Tourist in Your Hometownby
Last year we were on hiatus (mostly due to my whole ‘getting married’ thing) but the family girls weekend is a go in a couple of weeks. For several years my mother, sister, aunt, niece and I have ferried over to Victoria for a 3-4 day weekend of Hotel pampering, spa sessions, shopping and touring about the city. It just so happens that our little trip coincides with the city’s annual “Be a Tourist in Your own Hometown” event. Basically, townies are invited to purchase a pass which includes anything from free admission to museums and attractions, free coffees or half price discounts for over 30 places around town.
It allows us to have a little getaway and see a lot more than we would normally because a) it saves a lot of money b) it gives you ideas about what exactly you can do in Victoria. I know we’re not from town but they usually give us a break at the Tourist Infocentre when we pop in every year.
Vancouver could really use something like this, sure we’re inundated with tourists daily but I’ve never been up Grouse Mountain and never gone up the Harbour Centre tower. Does this make me a bad local? I don’t really find a need to check out our tourist spots but I’d like to be able to play host when my in-law family comes to town. I’m sure they’d rather like to see the Vancouver John and I experience though, and not what’s plastered on the front of brochures and in promotional videos. For me, that view of Victoria works just fine when I experience it every 360 days, but I’m certain there’s much more to the city than an Undersea Garden and Miniature World.
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Never been up Grouse or the Harbour Centre myself, even when I took tourists there they decided they didn’t want to pay those prices. If you haven’t figured it out, a trick is to go to the other revolving restaurant downtown, Cloud 9, which is simply the top floor of the (free) elevator in the Empire Landmark Hotel. When the host asks you and John “Two for dinner?”, state you just want a drink in the lounge. For the price of a beer, you get a beautiful view… and a beer too!
Nice! We’ve been meaning to check out Cloud 9 – it would seem that you could see a lot more from there as opposed to the Harbour Centre since it’s the tallest building in the West End.
I read an article that the area around the empire landmark has the highest rate of car-breaks-ins. Beware ! Oh, and have fun 🙂
This coming from the woman who lives in Surrey? Yikes, it MUST be serious!
Bad local! =P I love taking the opportunity to go to touristy places then visitors arrive and that is exactly how I managed to go to the Grouse Grind and Harbour Centre for the first time. In some respects Granville Island and the Seawall, while fantastic on a sunny day, is not too different from farmers’ markets and proximity to water (a river, lake, or ocean) is a feature of many other Canadian cities.
When a friend and her family came in flew in from Dallas four years ago (she was getting married to one of my best friends), we took them, in order to:
– Stanley Park in the early AM
– Grouse Mtn afterwards
– the Aquabus to Granville Island in the PM
It was a beautiful sunny day and there was still snow on the mountains. As crazy as it sounds, only then did I truly realize the beauty of living in Vancouver.
As I always say when you talk about Grouse Mountain, well, whether you are a tourist, a local or a bear, Grouse is a must! I was up there a couple of weeks ago on a foggy day and while the city was hidden in the clouds, I could see all the way to the Olympic Peninsula and even Mt. Rainier!
Now as far as the Vancouver Lookout (Harbour Centre) goes, just drop me a line, that’s easy to arrange for you and John. 😉 (bearing in mind that the Lookout is actually closed for renovations until March…)