Thursday, October 01, 2009

Aussie Sis & Partner Visit Lower Mainland - Where To Take 'Em?

Carole's Shirt: Hard Water in Melbourne???

These are the suggestions I got from my pals (with edits from me). Decided to leave in the repetitions to show which popped into the most brains. (The lists end with the suggester's name.)

  • Reifel Bird Sanctuary, birds and forest and water
  • Steveston fishing village, with good fishing museums and tourist stuff (pretty)
  • UBC endowment lands, forest walks, UBC botanical garden, nude beach (brrr!), Museum of Anthropology, etc
  • Britannia Beach near Squamish. mountains sea and forest.
  • MacDonald Beach and beyond (Richmond) - seaside beach, birds, inc predatory
  • Granville Island Market on water, between bridges and downtown, cool stuff to eat and buy, Kids Market, live theater, etc.
  • VanDusen gardens, well-wrought plantings, gift shop
  • Stanley Park
  • Hollyburn Mountain
  • Bowen Island...good pub on the other side!
  • ....and my favorite...Jericho Beach.. (Mary) (great sunsets, views of north shore mountains and downtown Vancouver)
  • Mount Baker, if you want to go that far, is best mountain views for the buck - you can drive up a paved road to 6500 feet, with breathtaking views of baker and shuksan (glaciers everywhere) and no hiking required at all, though nice easy walks all over the place. takes 3 hours drive plus border crossing, but at a quiet crossing (sumas) usually with no lineup.
  • Yew Lake interpretive trail at Cypress Mountain is totally lovely in the fall and an easy walk.
  • Reifel, obviously. Also Burns Bog is really interesting.
  • inside city, coffee at Caffe Artigiano on Hastings for Vancouver's best espresso coffee, bar none. Aquarium has very young beluga calf, which apparently plays with the older bigger calf in a very cute way. Also loads of new tanks that are really wonderful, including a massive 2 story high one with kelp community fish. It's a bit expensive though.
  • Lighthouse Park to see huge trees.(Susan)
  • Centennial Park on Burnaby Mountain (on the way to SFU) with great views and Ainu totem poles. SFU itself. Unless it's raining.
  • UBC, for the Botanical Gardens, the Nitobe Japanese Garden and adjoining Asian Centre, the Anthopological Museum, -- and the area behind the Museum
  • with west coast first nations lodge and totem poles.
  • Jericho Park beach
  • The walk along the water from Pacific Place convention centre (the one with the sails) to Stanley Park. And on around the seawall.
  • Bowen Island. Where we have yet to go. (Eileen)
  • Buntzen Lake (Port Moody), Reifel Bird Sanctuary (Ladner), Burnaby Lake (duh, Burnaby), Wal-Mart (oops, did I say that?), Nitobe Gardens (UBC), Sun-Yat Sen garden (Chinatown). (Clelie)
  • Queen Elizabeth and the view (don't forget the sculptures of the two couples, next to the restaurant)
  • Stanley and the view and the totem poles
  • Van Dusen and the several sculptures there
  • Lighthouse Park in North Van
  • Grouse Mountain Skyride (a bit pricey, I think)
  • Lynn Canyon Park in North Van (free scary suspension bridge, much cheaper than the
    Capilano Bridge)
  • some nice parks that I've never really explored in the vicinities of Capilano College, SFUniversity and Port Moody
  • Vancouver Island and the other Islands
  • revolving Sears Tower--we found the restaurant quite pricey, even for lunch, during the high season, but it may be a bit less now, and there's an observation deck with an admission fee, but I don't know how much it is. (Howard)
And any ideas of my own...
  • a drive up the Squamish Highway (depending on Olympics construction) has endless beauty: forest, mountain and coastline. Interesting stops along the way: Britannia Beach and mining museum, Squamish and horseback riding, the Chiefs, sheer mountain face popular with climbers, the scent and smoke of pulp mills.
  • interior of BC: how far can you get in a day? Definitely to Hope and the stunning mountains in that area. Or an overnight camp in Manning Park or any of a dozen others. Mission and Haney, with Golden Ears mountains, Harreson with the hotsprings, Chilliwack, Abbotsford, etc, etc.
  • Gulf Islands: Pender or Saltspring, eg, for a day trip. Victoria overnight. High tea at the Empress? Classic old Canadian hotel. Crystal Gardens, Buchart Gardens. We are nothing in BC if not forests, gardens, mountains, and gardens. Personally I am not crazy about ferry lineups, as there are usually long waits for the ferries, but in this weather not so much, I'd expect.
  • I like Southlands Nursery, with its beautiful indoor and outdoor plants and displays, friendly staff, and free coffee. It's a hop and skip from a quiet river walk and not far from UBC with Pacific Spirit Park and particularly the wee reclaimed area of Camosun Bog. There are tiny stunning plants and critters in there if you slow to a dull jog and have a look.
  • I also fancy walks along Commercial Drive (my longtime neighbourhood), with a stop in Hippy Bongo Park (thanks, Chris Walter, for that handle) (it's also called Grandview Park, I think), with book, coffee, friend, or joint in hand. (Okay, no joint in my hand, but it IS traditional.) Maybe I'll do a feature on Commercial Drive one day. But for now...
This is my list, Carole, my sister, and Melissa, your partner (who I am so excited to meet). Where do we start? And what have we missed? Cheap eats?

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