First things first:
Translink for all your public transportation needs. If you’re bringing your smart phone (or other handheld internet-capable gadget), Translink has a pretty awesome mobile site that includes real-time next bus information, which you can read about here.
Yellow Cab: 604-681-1111. Please give exact street address. (Quite often, Yellow Cab cars are waiting in front of the hotel – check before you call).
Campus ‘must see’ things:
Museum of Anthropology: not big, but the totem poles and dugout canoes are amazing; don’t miss the outdoor display in the back (adult admission $16.75).
6393 N.W. Marine Drive
Open Tues 10 am to 9 pm, open Wed-Sun 10 am to 5 pm. Closed on Mondays until May 21.
Beaty Biodiversity Museum: don’t miss the reconstructed 25 m blue whale skeleton on display, as well as other wondrous things (adult admission $12)
2212 Main Mall
Open Tues-Sun 10 am to 5 pm. Closed on Mondays for research.
UBC Botanical Garden: fantastic old trees and Asian flora collection (adult admission $8); check out the Canopy Walkway ($12, 1 h tours daily, every hour on the hour 10 am to 4 pm).
6804 S.W. Marine Drive
Open daily 9:30 am to 5 pm.
Nitobe Memorial Garden: small but beautiful Japanese garden with Pacific Northwest flavour, endorsed by the Emperor (then Crown Prince) Akihito himself (adult admission $6)
1895 Lower Mall
Open daily 9:30 am to 5 pm.
There is also a Museums and Gardens Pass that gives admission to all four places, as well as discounts at the UBC Bookstore and museum cafes – $33 for an adult
Best pub on campus:
Best coffee on campus:
Best fast/cheap sushi:
– Honour Roll in the SUB (6138 Student Union Blvd., lower floor) (best anywhere in the world we tried – and that’s saying a lot, considering that Vancouver has a sushi place practically on every block)
– One More Sushi in the Village (222-2155 Allison Rd., upstairs.)
City ‘must do’ things:
Best places to walk or run:
– StanleyPark (walk, run or bike the 10km seawall with its gorgeous views of the sea, mountains, lush forests, and Vancouver skyline); you can rent a bike at the corner of Georgia and Denman; restaurants on Denman will provide food and drink afterwards.
– the seawall around False Creek (city and water views), which continues around Stanley Park and into Coal Harbour
Best places to watch the sunset:
Best neighborhoods to explore on foot:
– West Broadway (Alma to Larch): used bookstores, cafes, bakeries, Greek food
– West Fourth (Balsam to Burrard): cafes, restaurants, clothing, and a great magazine store
– Mid-Main St. (around King Edward Ave.): antique shops, record stores, crafts, clothing
– Davie village (from Burrard to Jervis St.): dance clubs, bars, restaurants of all kinds
– Commercial Drive (from Broadway to Venables St.): organic food, cafés, small live venues
– Vancouver Maritime Museum http://www.vancouvermaritimemuseum.com
Best antiquarian bookstore in town (if you want to find some treasures, ask them to take you to their annex across the street): Macleod’s Books – 455 West Pender St.
For local, new & used: Pulp Fiction Books (2 locations)
2422 Main St.
3133 West Broadway (at Balaclava St.)
For children and teens: Kidsbooks – 3083 West Broadway
Best selection of new books in the city: UBC Bookstore – 6200 University Blvd
Best coffee in town: 49th Parallel – 2152 West 4th Ave.
Best bakery (plus café): Terra Breads (bread, sandwiches, cookies, and more. 4 locations)
2380 West 4th Ave. (at Balsam St.)
53 West 5th Ave. (at Ontario St.)
1605 Manitoba St. (on the seawall)
Granville Island Public Market – bakery only
Best pies: Aphrodite’s (organic) – 3598 West 4th Ave (at Alma)
Best chocolate: Chocolate Arts (the best we’ve had anywhere) -1620 West 3rd Ave.
Best tea: Bayswater Tea Company – 2966 West Broadway (at Bayswater St.)
Best vegetarian: The Naam – 2724 West 4th Ave.
Best casual Asian (Malaysian food, three locations) : The Banana Leaf
820 West Broadway
3005 West Broadway
1096 Denman Street
1043 Davie Street
Best funky sushi: The Eatery – 3431 West Broadway
Best ramen noodle soup: Kintaro – 788 Denman St. at Robson (if it’s too busy, Motomachi, Benkei and Santouka ramen shops are right nearby.)
Siegel’s – 1883 Cornwall Ave., and in Granville Island Public Market
Solly’s (3 locations)
2873 West Broadway
368 West 7th Ave
189 East 28th Ave. (at Main St.)
Hell’s Kitchen – 2041 West 4th Ave.
Incendio – 103 Columbia St.
Marcello Pizzeria & Ristorante – 1404 Commercial Drive