Backpacking in Vancouver is a must for anyone stopping in Canada. Vancouver has a good couple handfuls of hostels, some found right in the downtown area, which can be a great base to start from. If however, big cities aren’t you’re thing, or you just want to stay near the water, you’ll be happy to hear that Vancouver also has some hostels overlooking the water. Whatever your choice is, be sure to make it early, as hostels tend to book up fast here. I would highly recommend that you give them at least a one weeks notice before showing up to guarantee a spot in the backpackers of your choice.
If you’ve already managed to find a hostel then you’ll be wanting to know what to do next. Vancouver has countless different things to do.
Stanley Park is Vancouver’s first park. It’s always got something going on in it. I would highly recommend spending a day hiking through it. Be sure to make a stop at one of the many beaches. They’re always a great way to spend the afternoon. If you’re keen on seeing an inukshuk or a totem pole, you’ll find both here.
Vancouver has handfuls of different boat operators willing to take you out on the sea for a day of Whale Watching. Most Whale Watching groups head out to Point Grey or Near Victoria and are usually able to spot some whales. This activity can be pretty expensive. Keep an eye out for deals, flashing your HI card or student card can sometimes get you up to 15% off.
The 2010 Olympic Winter Games are being held right in Vancouver. If you’re lucky enough to be in the area during this time, be sure to try and take part in the festivities. Tickets might be hard to come by, but head to any sports bar or pub and it’s sure to be on every screen. I would highly recommend watching the Men’s or Women’s Canadian Hockey Team. If you’re able to see one, go! If not, watch it in a pub! Be sure to deck yourself in Red, White, and Black.
The Vancouver Canucks are one of Western Canada’s most popular NHL Hockey Teams. If you’ve never been to a hockey game before, particularly an NHL Game, you’re in for some quality entertainment. Enjoy a few beers while cheering on Vancouver’s own. Tickets will range from $55 to $130 during regular season, and can increase significantly in the playoffs.
Eat some Amazing Sushi
For those who don’t know, Vancouver is home to many Japanese peoples, and anywhere the Japanese go, so does Sushi.
Restaurants range from cheap and tasty, to expensive and tasty. Check out Miko – Located on Robson Street. It’s a little more pricey than your average run of the mill 99 cent roll. But is well worth it. It also just so happens to be an unofficial hangout for some of the Vancouver Canucks. You might be lucky enough to spot one while enjoying some great sushi.
Sea Kayak, Windsurf, Kite surf
If you’re looking to get on the water and enjoy Canada’s west coast then head to Granville island where you’ll find several places to grab a sea kayak. Rentals will cost you roughly $40 for a 2 hour excursion, or $60 for a full day. If you’re looking to save some money, then grab a friend, Tuesdays have Two-for-One Rentals. If you’re looking at getting a little more speed, or just want to try something new, check out Windsurfing and Kite surfing at Jericho Sailing Center. They offer lessons and rentals and should be able to get you up and going.
Enjoy the beaches
Vancouver has many beaches worth checking out. The most popular are Jericho Beach, English Bay, Kits Beach, and Stanley Parks 2nd and 3rd beach. Keep in mind your in Canada, and the water is usually pretty cold. But on a real hot day, that’s exactly what you might need.
If you’re looking to work on those tan lines of yours, and want to show off your birthday suit, then be sure to visit Wreck Beach. Wreck beach is one of the few Nude Beaches in Canada. It surprisingly averages approximately 500, 000 visitors per year. If you’re lucky you might even find yourself partaking in a game of Nude Volleyball. If all this excitement is getting you hungry, then you’ll be glad to know you can find Burgers and Sandwiches for sale at several different vendors on Wreck Beach.
Vancouver is a large city. Between the sports, the activities, the food, the people, there is so much to see and do. If you’re short on information check with your hostel. They’ll have all you need for local tours and activities. Vancouver is a great place to stay, and a great stopover before heading to the Rocky Mountains.