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Travel around Vancouver, Part 2

We were staying in the downtown area on Robson Street – the center of commerce…


In our downtown hotel location on Robson Street, there are shops (like Guess, Banana Republic, Tommy Hilfiger) with upscale names and glamorous window displays. The prices were glamorous, too, except for a modest Chinese Restaurant, Hon’s Wun-Tun House, which whipped out our food very quickly for takeout. The menu was enormous and we had a hard time choosing, but the prices were generally under the $10 (Canadian) price range for each entrée.

In contrast, we spent considerably more – $40-plus with tip – at O’Doul’s (Listel Hotel) for a corned beef hash and Eggs Benedict breakfast.

Sculpture on Robson Street

Sculpture on Robson Street

A sculpture, appearing to be a whimsical orange twisted wire, was in front of O’Doul’s. We saw other interesting art around Vancouver.

A totem-like art piece in downtown Vancouver near Gastown

A totem-like art piece in downtown Vancouver near Gastown


Robson Street at night

Robson Street at night

What drove us nuts in downtown was the profusion of one-way streets. Trying to get back to our hotel after a day of sightseeing, we had to go round in circles until we hit the right combination of streets that would let us turn where we needed to be. We tried this three different ways and were beginning to despair that we’d get back. Driving in rush hour downtown Vancouver – not a good choice.

Almost to Gastown, Canada Place is a very photogenic sight with its sails and the attached building that makes it look like a giant ship.  Cruise ships dock here, a hotel is located in the building and commerce uses this as a focal point.

Canada Place - Cruise ship port and hotel

Canada Place - Cruise ship port and hotel with plaza/fountain in foreground


An area that has been renovated from warehouses, Yaletown is s center of cafes and shops with – we’re sure – pricey upstairs condos. (It reminded us very much of the Pearl District we had previously visited in Portland, Oregon.) There are one-way streets in the area, which make it essential to have a map or walk.

Yaletown - Chic street converted from warehouses

Yaletown - Chic street converted from warehouses


A residential neighborhood, Kitsilano has established, upscale homes. Desirable, we could see that the neighborhood was well-established because of the landscaping. The neighborhood is described as “chic” in a Fodor guide. We whisked through on our way to the University and the Museum of Anthropology (see more on that in our blog tomorrow).  There is also a major park, Kitsilano Beach, with a pool and other recreational opportunities.

About driving in Vancouver

Much as we would have liked to take public transportation, there was no connection in all of the areas we wanted to visit, so we drove. Or I should say, my husband drove. And, he was not a happy camper. He was passed on many streets (while doing the speed limit or above), and found the lack of advanced notice on one-way street closings exasperating. At a merge, he found himself converged upon from both directions. A bit scary – and he’s a pretty formidable driver himself.

Granville Island

We had heard about Granville Island. It was a “must see,” impossible to get a parking spot in, crowded, and fun. Except for the impossibility of getting a parking spot – which was not true in our case – Granville Island was fun.

A little challenging to get to because of one-way streets, Granville Island signs finally appeared,  directing us. Our hotel concierge told us that a water taxi would have been the best way to get there because it was reasonable. He said parking would be expensive and impossible. We did find a free parking spot (with a three-hour limit) and had just a little challenge as we drove around until we found the spot right near the public market.

More tomorrow on –  Granville Island and its Public Market.

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2 Responses to “Travel around Vancouver, Part 2”

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