Know Before You Go

  • It can and will rain on you. Be prepared.
  • Downtown is extremely walkable, but make sure you check out some of the cool neighborhoods out of the downtown area.


  • Rain boots and jacket
  • Umbrella
  • Light layers of clothing
  • Good walking shoes to hit the streets

Driving to Vancouver

  • Get a map. The city can be confusing if you don’t get yourself oriented or want to wander outside of downtown.
  • From Seattle, you can take I-5 north to the Canadian border. I-5 will become BC-99 and dumps you into downtown Vancouver.

Crossing the U.S. border into Canada

  • Don’t forget your passports, even for kids.
    • Nexus cards are also accepted at the border crossing and can make your wait time much shorter.
  • Bathrooms- Your best restroom stop is right after you go through customs if you can’t wait to get to your hotel


  • Pan Pacific Vancouver- review
    • Spa Utopia and Salon- review
  • YWCA Hotel Vancouver- review


  • Our Favorite Family Food Finds
    • De Dutch (locations on Oak Street and Robson Street) – try the Pear and Maple pannekoeken, basically a thin pancake bigger than your face.
    • Meat & Bread (370 Cambie Street, Gastown)- Open 11am-5pm. Get there early before the crowds line up. The Porchetta sandwich and grilled cheese should not be missed!
    • Nook (781 Denman Street Vancouver at Robson St.)- a small italian spot, but still very kid friendly. Food comes out quick and hot and will leave you full for hours. Pasta, pizzas and salads are the main item menus with a nice little wine list to go with it.
    • Kamei Royale (1030 W.Georgia St., 2nd fl., enter on Burrard St. next to Tiffany’s) – loads of great sushi and cooked options for the whole family. Semi-private booths let kids wander a little bit without disturbing other dinners.
    • Bella Gelateria (1001 West Cordova Street, corner of Burrard and Cordova)- do not miss the salted caramel and old fashion chocolate gelato. If you go on a weekday you will be able to sample a multitude of flavors a little more easily since the lines aren’t as long.


  • Car
    • Parking can be expensive. Very expensive. The cost is generally not included in your hotel rate.
    • Street parking is available, but you need to keep an eye on your meter. If you have international access on your phone, you can actually pay your meter by phone. It will even send you a 5 minute warning when your meter is about to expire.

Activities for Kids

  • Vancouver Aquarium
  • Granville Island
  • Walk through Gastown and check out the steam clock

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