Nic’s guide to Vancouver
This page was originally posted in honour of all the foreign science journalists flying into Vancouver for the 2012 AAAS meeting. But I'll leave it up in case anyone else finds it useful.
Disclaimer: I live in Pemberton, which is a 2 hour drive north of Vancouver, so I may not be the best person to provide a guide to Vancouver. You may prefer this actual magazine guide.
Stanley Park = the big green patch on the map. Temperate rainforest, not mowed lawns.
North Vancouver = the bit across the water where the mountains are. It's residential. There’s a 'seabus' ferry across the water.
English Bay = the west side of downtown, along Beach street. There’s a beach.
Georgia Street = the main thoroughfare, with banks and big hotels.
Granville Street = where all the dance clubs are.
S of Homer + Robson = Yaletown = where the yuppy people are
Davie Street = heart of the gay community
Robson street = shopping for clothes and stuff (Lulu Lemon is the famous local sportswear)
Denman Street = coffee houses, burger bars
Commercial Drive and eastwards = East Van = where all the trendsters are
Stuff to do:
In a 5 min break: walk NW of the conference centre. There are boats and things. It’s pretty. Or walk SE to historic Gastown, but beware, it’s mostly tacky tourist stuff.
Go for your own polar bear swim in English Bay – a beach right in the heart of downtown that’s clean enough for kids to swim in.
Rent bikes or roller blades on Denman Street and go around the 9km seawall loop of Stanley Park.
The Vancouver Art Gallery is okay for local artists (like the Group of Seven). The Anthropology museum at UBC is full of carvings and totem poles and modern indigenous art. Other than that, we’re pretty slim on museums and stuff.
Get a bus to Mountain Equipment Co-op and buy cheap fleece, rain jackets, climbing kit, tents, etc.
Go to Granville Island market or Lonsdale Quay (the N terminal of the seabus ferry) to eat perogies and cake and fruit, watch buskers and buy over-priced crafts.
Play hooky for a day (or evening) to go skiing up Cypress. You’ll need to take the mini ferry bus across to Lonsdale Quay, and get the express ski bus from there.
Best restaurant in town = Vij's. Indian fusion
Near the conference centre:
Mill Bar and Bistro for pub food with a great view.
Subeez on Homer and Smithe
La Taqueria Taco Shop. Very limited seating. Cheap and good genuine Mexican tacos.
Kim House Japanese
Bao Bei, modern Chinese.
The Imperial for Dim Sum, in the Marine Building.
Samurai Sushi on Davie Street - cheap and cheerful
Greek: Stephos (expect to wait in line) or Taki's Taverna
More: UrbanSpoon / Vancouver Magazine
Steamworks for standard N. Am. pub experience
The Black Frog, Gastown (pub)
Havana - far away, on Commerical, but good Mohitos.