A Pedacito of One Day In Vancouver
Updated: Jun 7, 2021
For starters, no, Vancouver cannot be completed in a day. Here is my experience of having only one day in Vancouver to explore.
Coming off of our Alaskan Cruise (you can read about that here: https://bit.ly/2VjuIYn), we tacked on an extra day to have some breathing room before heading back to reality. This day had no plans with only minor research ahead of time, we set out for a day of adventure.
Vancouver's Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Our first location was the iconic Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. We hopped a shuttle from the cruise terminal that took us directly there. This experience is something you can find in several places around the world, but this was a first for us. The bridge is 450'+ long and 200'+ in the air over a ravine. At no point did we feel unsafe on this adventure, but if heights are not your thing, then steer clear.
As a bridge would not be that attractive to leave the city (about 20 minutes out), there are several other adventures at this location. Once you are over the bridge (sounds morbid), you can experience the Treetops Adventure, which is a series of elevated boardwalks and stairs through the forest. It was scenic and peaceful.
Lastly, we went over to the Cliffwalk, which is a walkway cantilevered off the side of a mountain. We found ourselves holding our breath walking over this one. Definitely a rush and a unique experience. There were gardens and cultural artifacts as you wandered back to the gift shop/restaurant. We knew time was tight, so back to the city it was.
Vancouver's FlyOver Canada
Back at the terminal (Canada Place), we had to experience FlyOver Canada, a flight simulator a la Soarin' at Disney. This was pricey, but a must-do for any Disney Parks nerd. The ride itself was long, approximately 10 minutes with load and unload. While well done, the preshow was my favorite. It was a sculptural room that was completely projection-mapped.
While waiting in line for FlyOver, we started mapping out the rest of the day. The terminal was the start of the riverwalk and Olympic Park, so we figured we would walk the various paths along the harbor coastline until dinner time. Seeing the Olympic torch was a powerful moment.
The Vancouver Seawall
The riverwalk felt like mini neighborhoods or backyards, which led to some great exploring. Think of the riverwalk as the pathway beyond people's backyards, with the front door being a full story above the riverwalk. With this unique topography, you often forget that you are in a big city.
The walk is several miles long and turns into beaches towards the end, so we chose to walk the street side on the way back to see the other side of the neighborhood. While less interesting, it reminded us of Boston and had that century-old city feel to it.
All in all, it was a great day. It gave us enough of a taste to know we want to go back. We never had any issue with language or navigation, but that is not a surprise since this was U.S. Lite, I mean, Canada.
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