Going to British Columbia, Canada

Aug 18, 2012 - Aug 25, 2012

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I'm planning a trip to Olympic National Park, Victoria, Vancouver and need advice on things to do, places to stay, and places to eat. Can you help?

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.23 responses.Add a Recommendation.about 2 years ago . Flag

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    • Lana DelRey recommended Minnesota
      After five long years of smoking animals, my family finally staged an intervention and sent me to an animal rehabilitation center in Minnesota. It was simultaneously the best and most horrifying ... read more
      experience of my life. Kind of like eating fried chicken while thinking about the fact that it used to move by itself.
      .Comment.over 1 year ago. Report
      Lana DelRey

    • Joint Pizzeria & Deli The1219 Wharf Street, Victoria, BC V8W 1T7, Canada
      Rachel Slough Eastin recommended Joint Pizzeria & Deli The
      Described as the most loved pizza in Victoria, The Joint offers a delicious, innovative selection of gourmet pizzas for vegans, vegetarians, and carnivores. I recommend trying the El Diablo and the ... read more
      Thai Peanut pizza.
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      Ori Zaltzman thanked Rachel Slough Eastin for this recommendation.
    • Rachel Slough Eastin recommended Sooke
      All of the beaches from Victoria, BC to Sooke are misty and beautiful! I suggest renting a car and stopping at each beach along the way.
      .Comment.about 2 years ago. Report
      Ori Zaltzman thanked Rachel Slough Eastin for this recommendation.
    • Mount Rainier National Park55210 238th Avenue East, Ashford, WA 98304-9733
      Eitan Sapir recommended Mount Rainier National Park
      .Comment.about 2 years ago. Report
      Ori Zaltzman thanked Eitan Sapir for this recommendation.
      Eitan Sapir

      Olympic is great - and while you are there make sure you visit Mt. Rainier Nat. Park.

    • Granville Island Public Market1689 Johnston Street, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9
      Pro 2014
      Sara Benson recommended Granville Island Public Market
      If you're even a little bit of a foodie, or just like to eat, then get yourself over to Granville Island to walk around and browse the market stalls, food vendors and flower stands. I make it a point ... read more
      to stop by every time I'm in town, especially when I'm hungry after cycling or hiking.
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      Ori Zaltzman thanked Sara Benson for this recommendation.
    • Stanley ParkVancouver, British Columbia, Canada
      Pro 2014
      Sara Benson recommended Stanley Park
      Take a deep breath right inside the city of Vancouver and stretch your legs on a shoreline walk, woodsy hike or lazy cycling trip through Stanley Park. Great restaurants nearby the water and ... read more
      interesting attractions make it worth a detour, too. Or go just for the postcard-worthy scenic shots you could post on Gogobot!
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      Ori Zaltzman thanked Sara Benson for this recommendation.
    • Capilano Bridge3735 Capilano Road, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4J1, Canada
      Pro 2014
      Eric Brink recommended Capilano Bridge
      And as long as you're making the short trip to North Vancouver and Grouse Mountain, you might consider stopping here too. It's a way overpriced and beautiful kickass experience. It also kind of ... read more
      reminds me of looking down that glass floor at CN Tower in Toronto. A big gulp and a thrill! But, if you're budget forces you to make a choice, take the Gondola up the mountain and visit Lynn Canyon. But regardless of price, I will take my son back here if I get a chance to bring him up and bring out the jumpy kid in both of us.
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      Eric Brink

      A fun walk and just down the hill from Grouse Mountain.

    • The Fairmont Empress721 Government Street, Victoria, British Columbia V8W 1W5, Canada
      Pro 2014
      Eric Brink recommended The Fairmont Empress
      The Empress is one of the oldest and most famous hotels in Victoria. It faces the Inner Harbour and has become an iconic symbol for the City. It has also been designated a National Historic Site of ... read more
      Canada due to its national significance. The Edwardian, Château-style hotel was designed by Francis Rattenbury for Canadian Pacific Hotels as a terminus hotel for Canadian Pacific's steamship line, whose main terminal was just a block away. The hotel opened in 1908 and was to serve businesspeople and visitors to Victoria, but later as Canadian Pacific ceased its passenger services to the city, the hotel was successfully remarketed as a resort to tourists. Victoria emerged as a tourist destination beginning in the mid-to-late 1920s. Over the years, The Empress played hostess to kings, queens, movie stars and many famous people. On May 30, 1939 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth attended a luncheon at the Empress, as guests of the Provincial Government. The Empress (with 477 rooms) has undergone many changes throughout the year. Additional wings were added between 1909 and 1914, and in 1928. In 1965, there was much debate on whether to tear down what was becoming a faded, dowdy hotel, to make room for a more modern, functional high-rise hotel. Instead, under what was called "Operation Teacup", the Hotel was refurbished. In 1989, over $45 MM was spent in what was called "The Royal Restoration". The goal was to restore the Empress to its original pre-war elegance. And even when Gayle and I were walking the grounds of the Empress, there was major work going on at the newer wing of the Hotel. Gayle and I actually stayed at the Magnolia during our recent stay in Victoria, and it we both agree that it was our best Hotel choice. However, my good Calgary friend advises that for any of the Fairmont Hotels, the Gold Floor (a Hotel within a Hotel) is the place to be for that extra touch of luxury. What we did do here was take in Afternoon Tea (separate review), and wander around a lot outside and inside, and within the attached Victoria Conference Center (in Back). After all, this is a Signature property and a key piece of Victoria's history and identity. It 's a great ambiance to take in, enjoy and maybe toast its good fortune at the Bengal Lounge.
      .Comment.about 2 years ago. Report
      Eric Brink

      Pricey, especially for Tea. But at least walk through.

    • Inner HarbourSuite 116B-1150 Douglas St, Victoria, BC, Canada
      Pro 2014
      Eric Brink recommended Inner Harbour
      Victoria Harbour is a harbour, seaport, and seaplane airport. It also serves as a cruise ship and ferry destination for tourists and visitors to the City and Vancouver Island. Historically it was a ... read more
      shipbuilding and commercial fishing centre. Several port facilities in the harbour are overseen and developed by the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, however the Harbour Master's position is with Transport Canada. Gayle and I entered and left Victoria through the Inner Harbour on the Clipper. We also had a modest view from our Magnolia Hotel Room. It's a signature view on either side of shore, with pretty sights including the Fairmont Empress, the Legislative Assembly Buildings, landing float planes, water taxis, and happy folks (including us) walking hand-in-hand along the shoreline and taking it all in. My only complaint is that Inner Harbour is perhaps a victim of its own popularity and less than optimum urban planning. I mostly see that in the various styles of modern architecture that sit "side-by-side" with the more historical Francis Rattenbury "English" buildings. The result (in my opinion) is a whole that does not equal the sum of its parts.
      .Comment.about 2 years ago. Report
      Eric Brink

      The Central place to be in Victoria...

    • Beacon Hill ParkVictoria, British Columbia, Canada
      Pro 2014
      Eric Brink recommended Beacon Hill Park
      Beacon Hill is a popular 200 acre Park that contains a number of amenities including woodland and shoreline trails, two playgrounds, a water park, playing fields, a petting zoo, tennis courts, many ... read more
      ponds, and landscaped gardens. The land was originally set aside as a protected area by Sir James Douglas, governor of the Colony of Vancouver Island in 1858. In 1882, the land was officially made a municipal park of the City of Victoria, and given its present name. The name is derived from a small hill overlooking the Strait of Juan De Fuca, upon which once stood navigational beacons. The hill is culturally significant, having been a burial site for the First Nations Coast Salish people, who are the original inhabitants of the Greater Victoria region. It provides scenic vistas of the Strait and the Olympic Mountains of Washington. Gayle and I enjoyed a wonderful walk through Beacon Hill Park. We particularly enjoyed the chance to exercise in such a beautiful setting and have the chance to enjoy such peace and solitude at such a short distance from the hustle and bustle of the Inner Harbour area. Along the way, we witnessed a Wedding, strolled around Goodacre Lake (including the pebble bridge), found Mile Zero, and gazed out at the Strait and the distant peaks of the Olympic Peninsula.
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      Eric Brink

      Fun local park. Greetings from Iceland!

    • British Columbia Parliament Buildings501 Belleville Street, Victoria, BC, Canada
      Pro 2014
      Eric Brink recommended British Columbia Parliament Buildings
      THE BEST 8TH GRADE CIVICS LESSON EVER! The British Columbia Parliament Buildings in Victoria are home to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. The Neo-Baroque buildings face North on the Inner ... read more
      Harbour and diagonally across from The Empress Hotel. A statue of Queen Victoria stands on the front lawn as well a statue of a soldier to commemorate the Province's World War I, World War II and Korean War dead. Atop the central dome is a gold-covered statue of Captain George Vancouver. From 1856 to 1860 the Legislature of the Colony of Vancouver Island met at Bachelor's Hall at Fort Victoria. From 1860 to 1898 it was housed in the first permanent building at Legislative Hall, a drafty and leaking wooden building known colloquially as "The Birdcages" because of their shape. The Province then engaged in an architectural completion to replace the The Birdcages with a new signature Legislative building. Francis Rattenbury, a recent English immigrant (and only 25 years old), entered the contest and signed his drawings with the pseudonym "A B.C. Architect". He progressed to the second round, signing his drawing "For Queen and Province" and eventually won the competition. Despite many problems, including coming in at $923,000 against the original budget of $500,000, the BC Parliament Buildings began operation officially in 1898. The grand scale of its 500-ft long andesite façade, central dome and two end pavilions, the richness of its white marble, and combination of Baroque rigorous symmetry, use of domes and sculptural massing with the rusticated surfaces of the then popular Romanesque Revival style, contributed to it being the most innovative and impressive monument for the young Province. Its success garnered Rattenbury many more commissions in Victoria and other parts of the province, including the Legislative Library, the design of The Empress Hotel, the Crystal Gardens indoor swimming pool nearby, and the Vancouver Court House (now the Vancouver Art Gallery). I love visiting State capitols, with California, Iowa, Minnesota, and others under my belt. In Canada, I only have the Yukon Territory Legislative Assembly Building in Whitehorse as a reference. Here's what Gayle and I loved about our visit to the BC Legislative/Parliament Buildings: - Security - Can you believe that we could just walk right in without going through a metal detector? There were of course security personnel in all the strategic places, and we felt welcome and professionally looked after the entire time. - Beautiful Grounds. The brochure also features a nice outdoor walking tour route to takes you to all sides of the Complex. - Activity. We didn't see any Weddings, but during our Victoria Day Weekend, there were a lot of talented High School Bands playing on the front steps. - Guided Tour. Our Host was Rachel who did a most excellent job showing off this treasure inside and out. An added bonus was the young actor (part of the Parliamentary Players) that played Francis Rattenbury, and engaged our group with stories of his architectural efforts and his personal life. - Inside Architecture. We loved the Dome, the Legislative Chamber, and other distinct touches. - Outside Architecture. The Buildings are simply stunning and even more lit up at night. And it's all Free. This was one of the signature highlights of our trip, and woe be to any resident, tourist, or other visitor that passes up the chance to experience this civic jewel.
      .Comment.about 2 years ago. Report
      Eric Brink

      Another duplicate entry. Great tour and grounds

    • Royal BC Museum675 Belleville Street, Victoria, BC, Canada
      Pro 2014
      Eric Brink recommended Royal BC Museum
      The Royal BC Museum is located within steps of Victoria's Inner Harbour (between the Fairmont Empress and the Legislative Assembly Buildings) and was well worth the price of Gayle and my admission. ... read more
      The Museum anchors the Royal BC Museum Cultural Precinct, a surrounding area with historical sites and monuments, including Thunderbird Park and the The Netherlands Carillon (the largest in Canada with 62 bells that toll for thee). The Museum proper includes three permanent Galleries (Natural History, Modern History, and First Peoples) and an IMAX Theatre. It also hosts touring exhibitions from around the world. In recent years, these included exhibitions on the RMS Titanic, Leonardo da Vinci, Egyptian artifacts, and Genghis Khan. Elizabeth II opens on June 1st and I'm sorry we missed it. The Dinosaurs! exhibit is very Kid friendly (for all ages) and I was pleasantly surprised on how much I enjoyed seeing a bunch of old bones come to life in various multi-media ways. That includes of course their modern successors (birds, lizards, etc.). We then took a swing through the Natural History portion as of course we could not miss the big Woolly Mammoth! The newer Climate Change section was an added bonus. The only section we didn't spend a lot of time in was the Modern History area. It's not the exhibits here weren't interesting, rather in our ~2-3 hour visit (including Thunderbird Park and the other outside stuff), some things got prioritized away until another time. However, the "Rock Star" of our visit to the Royal BC Museum was the First Peoples Section. The exhibits are stunning in their depiction of what First Nations life was like before and after the Europeans arrived. Particularly notable was the full size supply canoe, various Totem Poles, a goose bumps inducing Spirit Cave, the various masks and a native long house. This exhibit is apparently not without controversy as the gallery has been criticized by indigenous scholars for its portrayal of First Nations people, and its use of controversial images and film from Edward Curtis. History is written by the Victor? Gayle and I both separately commented that this exhibit reminded us of the Museu À Descoberta do Novo Mundo in Belmonte Portugal. That museum depicts the colonization of the native peoples of Brazil by Portugal and the associated and controversial cultural consequences. We spent most of our time here, and I wasn't ready to leave until I'd seen a few things over again. And next time I'd love to share this place with my son. P.S. - The Gift Shop downstairs is impressive in it's size and selection.
      .Comment.about 2 years ago. Report
      Eric Brink

      Great museum, especially the First Nations and Natural History stuff

    • Magnolia Hotel And SpaVictoria, BC, Canada
      Pro 2014
      Eric Brink recommended Magnolia Hotel And Spa
      Gayle V. and I spent a wonderful Victoria Day Weekend at the Magnolia. In fact, she's still raving about here experience here, in terms of the View, the Comfort, the Roominess, the nice Continental ... read more
      Breakfast, the spot-on Service, her soft Bathrobe, and of course the Aveda Products in the Bathroom. She was very pleased! That's high praise as she's very particular about Hotels, and hearing "This Will Not Do" from her could have cast a dark cloud on this romantic getaway. The Hotel has 64 rooms and is centrally located just a few blocks up from the Inner Harbour. I booked the Signature Corner Room at the 30/30 Rate and it was a great value for the money. This type of room is 395 square feet, offers a postcard view of the Parliament Buildings, features floor to ceiling windows, and has safe door and window openings to let the fresh air and light in. There's also free Wi-Fi, a nice work desk (if I were here on Business), generous Cable TV offerings, plenty of comfortable sitting space, complimentary local calls, and a shower with plenty of hot water and pressure. Our only regret is that we didn't have the chance to have the complete Magnolia Experience. That includes the Prime Steakhouse and the Magnolia Spa. Both are probably destinations in themselves, and I guess Gayle and I will have to try them out the next time we're here. And we will be back!
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      Eric Brink

      A wonderful place to stay in Victoria

    • Steamworks Brewing Co.375 Water Street, Vancouver, BC V6B Canada
      Pro 2014
      Eric Brink recommended Steamworks Brewing Co.
      I try to come here whenever I'm in town. I've had good luck with their craft beers, and like the ambiance and the brewpub menu. I also like the Vancouver locale (near Gas Town) and the view of the ... read more
      .Comment.about 2 years ago. Report
      Eric Brink

      And family-friendly

    • False Creek Ferries1804 Boat Lift Lane, Vancouver, BC V6H Canada
      Pro 2014
      Eric Brink recommended False Creek Ferries
      This is a fun little water taxi line that has several routes and options along False Creek. I have previously taken the Blue Line (and back) between the Aquatic Centre/Sunset Beach (West End) to ... read more
      Granville Island. I was in the early stages of a long walk that day, and this was definitely the most efficient, economical, and scenic way to get from A to B.
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      Eric Brink

      A fun way to get around

    • Vancouver Aquarium845 Avison Way, Vancouver, BC V6G Canada
      Pro 2014
      Eric Brink recommended Vancouver Aquarium
      The Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre is located in Stanley Park and easily accessible from my rental bike at the time. In addition to being a major tourist attraction for Vancouver, the ... read more
      aquarium is a centre for marine research, conservation and marine animal rehabilitation. The opened in 1956 and is run by a self-supporting non-profit organization. The operation of the aquarium receives no government funding. The property is owned by the City of Vancouver and rented to the Aquarium for $40,000 a year since 1991 (prior to which it was $1 per year). It is officially Canada's first public aquarium and its largest. It's also the first aquarium in the world to capture and display an orca. Other whales and dolphins on display included belugas, narwhals, and dolphins. No penguins though. I still have my Vancouver Aquarium "Fish" tie as a souvenir from my visit. It was a cool, fun, and educational experience (especially the arctic stuff), and one that I'd love to repeat.
      .Comment.about 2 years ago. Report
      Eric Brink

      One way to spend a great time in Stanley Park

    • Grouse Mountain6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9, Canada
      Pro 2014
      Eric Brink recommended Grouse Mountain
      One of the amazing things about Vancouver (besides stunning scenery and all the cosmopolitan options) is how short a trip it takes to be in the "wilderness". So, I took a short drive to North ... read more
      Vancouver one day and took the gondola ride up Grouse Mountain. Cost of the Gondola Ride - $$$. The resulting view and experience - Priceless. When I come back the next time, I'll try out the ski area there and maybe even walk up or down the Grouse Grind. However, at the time I was there, they were doing a search and rescue operation on the mountain for a missing hiker. Sadly for him, he took a wrong turn and didn't return home. Even so close to civilization, the Grouse Grind requires some hiking skill and caution. But on this trip, I walked around, marveled at the City, hiked around the top of the mountain, and hung out a little bit at the "Lodge".
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      Eric Brink

      3 Grouse Mountain listings on Gogobot. Take the tram up and walk down.

    • Butchart Gardens800 Benvenuto Avenue, Victoria, BC V8M 1J8, Canada
      Pro 2014
      Eric Brink recommended Butchart Gardens
      The Butchart Gardens is a group of floral display gardens in Brentwood Bay, an easy 75X BC Transit bus ride up from Downtown Victoria. These internationally acclaimed gardens were created after Robert ... read more
      Butchart exhausted the limestone quarry near his Tod Inlet home. His wife Jenny gradually landscaped the deserted eyesore into the resplendent Sunken Garden, who opened it for later for public display. Over the years, a Rose Garden, Italian Garden, and Japanese Garden have been added. Butchart Gardens is still in the family and now display more than a million plants throughout the year. Gayle and I were also told that over 50 gardeners are employed, and they obviously take great care of the place, and there's hardly a weed in sight. It was too early for Roses, but the Tulips (the first flowers I gave Gayle after we met) were in full and gorgeous bloom. We particularly enjoyed the Sunken and Japanese Gardens. We were also happy to get here early, as Butchart Gardens is a popular place. I could write more about the floral displays and grounds, but I'll let my pictures do the rest of the talking. An extra treat for us was paying the little extra for the boat tour from the Butchart Garden Dock and admiring the property, the Inlet, the various boats and docks, the nearby town (where we had Lunch later) from the water. Captain Jack was great and as a bonus, we got a very personal history of this place and the dedication of the great people who work here.
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      Ori Zaltzman thanked Eric Brink for this recommendation.
      Eric Brink

      Gayle and I had a great time here. BTW, this is a duplicate listing for this place.

    • Granville IslandJohnston Street, Vancouver, BC V6H Canada
      Ran Kohavi recommended Granville Island
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      Ori Zaltzman thanked Ran Kohavi for this recommendation.
    • Kitsilano BeachKitsilano Beach, Arbutus Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
      Ran Kohavi recommended Kitsilano Beach
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      Ori Zaltzman thanked Ran Kohavi for this recommendation.
      Ran Kohavi

      Cool beach with a typical Vancouver view.

    • English BayBeach Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6G Canada
    • English Bay BeachBeach Avenue, Vancouver, BC V6G Canada
    • Gastown Steam Clock305 Water St., Vancouver, BC V6B Canada
    • Oven spoonful110 E 1st St, Port Angeles, Washington
    • Shannon Falls Provincial ParkShannon Falls Provincial Park, Sea-to-Sky Hwy, Squamish, BC V0N 1J0, Canada
    • Best Western Tacoma Dome2611 East E Street, Tacoma, WA 98421
    • Cento Notti350 Davie Street, Vancouver, BC V6B 2G2, Canada
    • Opus Hotel322 Davie Street, Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 5Z6, Canada
    • Cardero's1583 Coal Harbour Quay, Vancouver, BC V6G Canada
    • Mount Seymour1700 Mount Seymour Road, North Vancouver, BC, Canada
    • Pacific Rim National Park Reserve2185 Ocean Terrace Rd., Victoria, V0R 3A0, Canada
    • Robson StreetRobson Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 1B5, Canada
    • Five Sails Restaurant309-999 Canada Place, Vancouver, BC V6C Canada
    • Italian Kitchen1037 Alberni Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 1A1, Canada
    • The Keg Steakhouse & Bar - Whistler4429 Sundial Place, Whistler, BC V0N 1B4, Canada
    • The Keg Steakhouse & Bar - Thurlow742 Thurlow Street, Vancouver, BC V6E 1V8, Canada
    • Tim Hortons750 West Pender Street, Vancouver, BC, Canada
    • Olympic National ParkForks, Washington
    • Market Square -- CLOSED560 Johnson Street, Victoria, BC, Canada
    • The Parliament Building501 Belleville Street, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
    • YaletownMainland Street, Vancouver, BC V6B Canada
    • BC Ferries6866 Island Highway South, Fanny Bay, BC, Canada
    • Whistler Blackcomb MountainsWhistler Way, Whistler, BC, Canada
    • Gastown145-332 Water St., Vancouver, BC V6B Canada
    • Olympic National Park600 E Park Ave, Port Angeles, WA
    • SameSun Backpacker Lodge1018 Granville St., Vancouver, British Columbia V6Z 1L5, Canada (Formerly Global Village Backpackers)
      Matthias Gomio recommended SameSun Backpacker Lodge
      There you should stay! Awesome rooms and great atmosphere. they have their own bar - check in on FourSquare and get a free ber! ... read more
      .Comment.about 2 years ago. Report
      Matthias Gomio

      There you should stay! Awesome rooms and great atmosphere. they have their own bar - check in on FourSquare and get a free ber!

      Also, try to visit grouse mountain - great for snowboarding with a panorama view to the city!!

    • Roni Kornitz recommended Experience Music Project / Science Fiction Museum & Hall of Fame
      .Comment.about 2 years ago. Report
    • Space Needle400 Broad Street, Seattle, WA 98109-4607
      Roni Kornitz recommended Space Needle
      .Comment.about 2 years ago. Report
    • Victoria Marriott Inner Harbour728 Humboldt Street, Victoria, British Columbia V8W3Z5, Canada
    • Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside Hotel1133 West Hastings Street Vancouver, BC

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