Road Scholar : Home
Vancouver: A Signature City

Program Number: 2678RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/29/2013 - 10/4/2013; 8/10/2014 - 8/15/2014; 9/28/2014 - 10/3/2014; 5/24/2015 - 5/29/2015; 8/9/2015 - 8/14/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia
Price starting at: $1,056.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Signature Cities
Meals: 10; 5 Breakfasts, 3 Lunches, 2 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt    

Set amid a backdrop of snow-flecked coast mountains, lush rain forest, and sandy beaches, Vancouver is spectacular by nature. Steadily earning accolades as one of the world’s most livable cities, Vancouver boasts stunning parks and seawall trails, rich history, and remarkable cultural diversity. Go behind the scenes with local experts to get an insider's look at the distinct historical, architectural and cultural communities that give the city its unrivalled cosmopolitan nature. Explore well-known and hidden treasures, from a Ming Dynasty-styled rock garden and bustling sea port to eclectic neighborhoods and markets.




Highlights

• On an expert-led exploration, delve into Vancouver's art and cultural scene, its fascinating neighborhoods and history, and rich Aboriginal culture at the Museum of Anthropology.
• Savor signature dishes at Vancouver's top restaurants and locally inspired food shops while hearing behind-the-scenes stories that will showcase the best of West coast cuisine.
• Explore the temperate West Coast forest with expert ecologist as you stand amongst the some of the tallest old-growth red cedars and Douglas firs. Enjoy the vista of ocean, mountains, ancient totems along Stanley Park's famous Seawall.



Activity Particulars

Walking 1-2 miles daily. Public transportation is used to traverse this coastal city.




Date Specific Information

9-29-2013, 8-10-2014, 9-28-2014, 5-24-2015, 8-9-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.




Vancouver (British Columbia)

Outdoor enthusiasts flock to Vancouver for its breathtaking hiking and biking trails and majestic views of the tree-lined waterway, the Strait of Georgia. With distinctive neighborhoods, top-rated restaurants and a thriving theater and arts scene, Vancouver is also a sophisticated destination. It is renowned as one of the world’s best cities.



Accommodations
Comfortable downtown hotel.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
John Atkin

John Atkin is an author, historian and heritage advocate who has been fascinated with Vancouver since moving to the city over 30 years ago. He if the co-founder of the Heritage Vancouver Society, has contributed to a documentary on the city, and has appeared regularly on television and radio, including CBC Television and CTV’s Canada AM. John is the author of four books on Vancouver, including “Strathcona: Vancouver’s First Neighborhood,” and is an editor for the B.C. Historical Federation.
 
Sara Mitchell

As a proud third generation Vancouverite, Sara Mitchell is delighted to share her city’s beautiful landscape and history. She inherited her interest from her grandfather, a well-known Vancouver pilot who had photographed British Columbia from the 1920s-onward. The other side of Sara’s family is Australian, so at an early age she began trips Down Under that inspired further travel to Egypt, Turkey, Israel, Germany, England, Mexico and the United States. Sara’s creative experiences range from singing in a band for many years, acting for film and television and writing scripts. In 2011, she completed a screenwriting residency at the prestigious Canadian Film Centre in Toronto and is currently working with a producer to bring her latest project to light: a script based on her travels.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Best Western Sands by the Sea
  Vancouver, BC 5 nights
 Best Western Sands by the Sea
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Best Western Sands by the Sea is conveniently located one half block from the beach at beautiful English Bay and three blocks from Stanley Park's 1,000 acres of trails and gardens. Three bus routes stop at the front door for easy access to other parts of town.
  Contact info: 1755 Davie Street
Vancouver, BC V6G 1W5 Canada
phone: 604-682-1831
web: www.bestwesternsandshotelvancouver.com
  Room amenities: In-room coffee makers, iron and ironing board, hair dryers, air conditioning, FREE high speed wireless Internet access, iPod/iPhone/iPad Clock Radios, mini fridges, 100% non-smoking, voice mail.
  Facility amenities: Hotel amenities include a sauna and exercise room. Same-day dry-cleaning and laundry service is available, and there is a laundromat six blocks from the hotel. Restaurant and bar on site.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: Call for availability & rates. Please contact the hotel directly on your own OR if you require personal assistance contact Maritime Travel toll free at 1-888-905-5959. A service fee MAY apply.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: Call for availability & rates. Please contact the hotel directly on your own OR if you require personal assistance contact Maritime Travel toll free at 1-888-905-5959. A service fee MAY apply.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Independent arrivals to the hotel. Check-in after 4:00 pm. Program introductions and orientation are scheduled for 5:00 p.m. Dinner is scheduled for 6:00 pm. You will be staying at Best Western Sands by the Sea that night.
  End of Program:
Breakfast is scheduled for 7:30 am. Independent departures from hotel after breakfast, Vancouver, BC. Check-out is 12:00 pm. You will be staying at Best Western Sands by the Sea the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. PASSPORTS: Passport requirements are subject to change. Visit www.travel.state.gov/travel/cbpmc/cbpmc_2223.html for up to date information.
  Parking availability:
Parking at the hotel is approximately $15 per day. Please arrange directly with hotel by calling 604-682-1831.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Vancouver, BC
  Nearest city or town:  Vancouver
  Nearest highway: Highway 1 - Trans Canada
  Nearest airport:  Vancouver International
  From End of Program
  Location: Vancouver, BC
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

Vancouver

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximately $30 - $35 CDN (per taxi)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes 

   

Taxi service is readily available from the airport to the hotel. Shuttle service is no longer available from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to downtown Vancouver. For current arrival and departure information to/from the airport, please visit www.yvr.ca/en/getting-to-from-yvr.aspx.

 

Vancouver

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
Sky Train - Canada Line/City Bus
phone: 604-953-3333

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximately $7 - $10 CDN
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

35-45 minutes 

   

From the airport, take the Sky Train to Yaletown/Roundhouse Station, signs will direct you to the Canada Line. From Yaletown/Roundhouse, take C23 Davie Street bus (same ticket) west to Davie Street & Bidwell, walk block west to the hotel.

 

Vancouver

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximatley $30 - $35 CDN
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes 

   

Taxi from hotel to Vancouver airport.

 

Vancouver

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Public Transportation
City Bus/Sky Train - Canada Line
phone: 604-953-3333

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximately $7 - $10 CDN
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

35 - 45 minutes 

   

From the hotel walk on Davie Street towards Bidwell Street and take the city bus route C21 towards Yaletown. Depart bus at the Yaletown/Roundhouse Station, there will be signage directing you to the Canada Line. Take the Canada line to Vancouver International airport. For more information on schedules and fares, please call Canada Line (TransLink) directly at 604-953-3333 or visit their website www.TransLink.ca

 

Vancouver

 

To Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximately $10 CDN (per taxi)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

 

Vancouver

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Checker Cabs
phone: 604-683-4567

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Approximately $10 (per taxi)
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

   

Taxis available at train station or use call box. Amtrak, Via Rail & Greyhound all provide service to Vancouver. Taxis available from the bus or train depot.

 
Driving Directions
  From East Take the Grandview Highway Exit to Granville Street. Turn right on Granville follow Granville across Granville Street Bridge. Turn Left on Davie Street and follow Davie Street to the ocean.
  From North Take Highway 99 south and turn right on Taylor Way, exit 13. Turn left on Marine Drive. Follow signs for Vancouver, cross Lions Gate Bridge, and continue on West Georgia. Turn right on Denman Street and then turn left on Davie Street. Follow Davie Street to the ocean.
  From South Take US Interstate 5 to Highway 99, follow 99 to 41st. Avenue. Turn Left on 41st Avenue and continue to Granville Street. Turn Right on Granville; follow Granville across Granville Street Bridge and turn left on Davie Street. Follow Davie Street to the ocean.
  From West Take Tsawwasswen Ferry Terminal, then follow Highway 17. Take exit to Highway 99 and follow Highway 99 to 41st Avenue. Turn Left on 41st Avenue and continue to Granville Street. Turn right on Granville; follow Granville across Granville Street Bridge. Turn left on Davie Street and follow Davie Street to the ocean.
Equipment Requirements: Supportive/comfortable footwear, good walking shoes are recommended, breathable, yet comfortable clothing suitable for daily walking, raincoat and/or windproof jacket (lined for cooler temperatures), umbrella, refillable water bottle.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrivals and Orientation
(Sunday, September 29)
   
 Afternoon: Independent arrivals and transfers to the program hotel by 4:00 pm. Please note that rooms are not generally available until mid to late afternoon. Following check-in, you will meet for introductions, a review of the program and site orientation. This orientation is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel. This evening's dinner will commence at approximately 6:00 pm.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Sands by the Sea
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: The Culture’s That Shaped Vancouver/City Exploration/Museum of Anthropology
(Monday, September 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: Learn about Vancouver’s history and culture and how it has evolved into a modern, progressive city. Examine the historical precedents and urban planning that have enabled the city to achieve its status as one of the most "livable" cities in the world. FIELD TRIP: Vancouver is situated in an exceptional natural environment and is often cited as one of the best cities in the world to live, work, visit or invest in. Following your morning lecture, travel with your local guide through Vancouver’s downtown core en route to the Museum of Anthropology. See some of the city’s most notable neighborhoods and hear about points of interest along the way.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Museum of Anthropology.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Explore the Museum of Anthropology and gain a remarkable glimpse into the lives of the indigenous peoples of the northwest coast of British Columbia. Discover one of the world's outstanding collections of Pacific Northwest Aboriginal artifacts. Massive totem poles, carved boxes, bowls and feast dishes are displayed in the Great Hall, while smaller (but equally magnificent) pieces in gold, silver, argillite, wood, ceramic and other materials are exhibited in the galleries. Canada's largest teaching museum is located in a spectacular building overlooking mountains and sea, and its collections, exhibitions and programs are renowned for providing insight into the cultures of indigenous peoples around the world.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local fare.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Sands by the Sea
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Gastown/Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Gardens/Chinatown Historic Walk
(Tuesday, October 1)

Note: Please Note: Public transit will be used during today's programming. Participants should also expect to walk up to 2 miles today, with stops along the way for interpretation. Participants should be prepared to stop en route for approximately 10 minutes at a time.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Today, explore two of the city's most fascinating neighborhoods - Gastown and Chinatown. Join a well-known cultural historian on a walk through Gastown, one of the oldest parts of the city and much of the early architecture and character remains, giving it a different look and feel than the glass and concrete of the rest of downtown. Learn about the importance of Gastown and the birthplace of the city of Vancouver, which was created around the same time that Canada became a nation. The neighborhoods are also unique in that they have the kind of old-fashioned architecture that no longer exists downtown or in the West End.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: An expert on Asian history and culture will be our guide at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the first of its kind outside of China and an authentic representation of an age old garden tradition which reached its peak in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The Garden is characteristic of the private spaces within a Ming scholar's residence. With its asymmetrical arrangement of rocks and plants, its winding paths and corridors, and the vistas that overlook its courtyards, the Garden emulates the rhythms of nature.
 Lunch: Enjoy a traditional Dim Sum lunch in Chinatown.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Continue with an exploration of Chinatown and its brightly colored facades, street markets, and the buzz of modern-day Cantonese commerce. Built by Chinese people to authentically reflect their culture and traditions it is still predominantly populated by Chinese people. (Unlike San Francisco's Chinatown which was built by their Chamber of Commerce to attract tourists.) Discover Chinatown's rich heritage, vibrant culture, and incredible food markets while exploring the colorful streets and alleys. Sample traditional Chinese tea or indulge in steamed rice cakes and warm apple tarts from a traditional bakery. Learn about the Millennium Gate, a four-pillar, three-story high, brightly painted arch spanning Pender Street which was erected in 2002 to mark the millennium and commemorate the Chinese community's role in Vancouver's history.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local fare.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Sands by the Sea
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Granville Island Public Market/Vancouver Art Gallery
(Wednesday, October 2)

Note: Please Note: You will travel by school bus & ferry today. Moderate amounts of walking on Granville Island on uneven terrain and some cobblestone streets. There will be rest areas along the way to stop for a break if needed. At the Vancouver Art Gallery, benches are available throughout the museum to rest, if needed.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: Imagine an island in the middle of a city - a place molded by a fascinating history, buzzing with a colorful artistic community. Enjoy a private in-depth exploration of the market on Granville Island. Sample an eclectic array of culinary discoveries - from Canada's only artisan Sake distillery and an active brewery to artisan bread makers, organic coffee producers, cheese specialists and locally produced gourmet foods. A living, breathing urban oasis filled with fine waterfront cafes theatres, galleries, studios, unique shops and the most spectacular fresh food market you have ever seen.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: An expert from the Vancouver Art Gallery will provide an introduction to the largest art gallery in western Canada. The Gallery presents national and international exhibitions of works by a range of artists, from groundbreaking contemporary visionaries to historical masters. Discover the Gallery's most important holdings, its more than 200 major works by the British Columbia artist Emily Carr, the world's most significant collection of Carr's work. Take the rest of the afternoon to explore downtown Vancouver independently or return to the English Bay area with the Group Leader.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local fare.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Sands by the Sea
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Vancouver: Greenest City Action Plan/Stanley Park/Free Afternoon
(Thursday, October 3)

Note: The walk to/from and through Stanley Park will be approximately 2 miles or 3.22 km over relatively flat terrain.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: PRESENTATION: Vancouver is situated in an exceptional natural environment and is often cited as one of the best cities in the world to live, work, visit or invest in. They have the smallest carbon footprint of any major city in North America and they are a leader in green building, planning and technology. They also have a bold new ambition: to be the greenest city in the world by 2020. Meet with a local expert who will share this exciting plan to become the world's greenest city.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: A member Stanley Park Ecology Society will lead you on an in-depth exploration of Stanley Park, a breathtaking park which remains unspoiled and a testimony to the giant trees which occupied the site of Vancouver in its former days. With the ocean and mountain vista as a backdrop, learn about this unique park and its temperate rainforest ecosystem. Its natural west coast atmosphere offers a back drop of majestic cedar, hemlock and fir trees which transports visitors to an environment rich in tranquility. World famous landmarks in the park will also be discussed including Lost Lagoon, totem poles, various monuments and sculptures, and the 5.5 mile seawall which encircles the entire park.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own to explore the many dining options the city has to offer.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore the city on your own. Information will be provided for free time activities.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner and evening wrap-up.
   
Accommodations: Best Western Sands by the Sea
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Independent Departures
(Friday, October 4)
   
 Breakfast: This morning's breakfast will be served from approximately 7:30 am. to 9:00 am.
 Morning: Independent departures from the hotel following breakfast. Hotel check-out is 12:00 noon.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Vancouver, BC Grouse Mountain
Take the Gondola to the top of Grouse Mountain. If you want a real challenge - or at least a serious workout - try the Grouse Grind. A 2.9-kilometre (3700 ft) trail straight up to the top of Grouse Mountain. When you do the Grind, it's recommended you wear hiking boots and carry water. For those in good shape the hike takes about an hour. An average time would be between one and a half to two hours. The world record for doing the Grind is under 27 minutes! It's free to hike up, but it's not wise (or advised) for you to hike back down so you'll need to pay for the gondola ride to the bottom ($10 - 15 CDN for gondola ride). The Grind is open from late Spring to early Fall, dependant on weather and trail conditions. For additional information, visit www.grousemountain.com
  Museum of Vancouver
Museum of Vancouver (MOV) creates Vancouver-focused exhibitions and programs that encourage dynamic conversations about what was, is, and can be Vancouver. Permanent exhibits tell the city’s stories from the early 1900s to the late ‘70s and are complemented by contemporary, groundbreaking feature exhibits. MOV is located in scenic Vanier Park, set against a spectacular vista of ocean, city skyline, and mountains. For additional information, visit www.museumofvancouver.ca
  Vancouver Maritime Museum
Visitors enjoy the Vancouver Maritime Museum’s many permanent and changing exhibits, the famous RCMP schooner St Roch and Children's Maritime Discovery Centre. The Maritime Museum tells the stories of Canada's ties to the Pacific and the Arctic. As a centre for life-long learning, the Museum interprets our ongoing interaction with the sea through exhibitions and programs for people of all ages. Visitors will discover rich maritime history and traditions and there’s so much to see and do for landlubbers and old salts. Explore the many exhibits on pirates, shipwrecks, lighthouses, early fur trade, fireboats, Vancouver warships, deep-ocean exploration, coastal and transpacific steamship lines, and so much more. For additional information, visit www.vancouvermaritimemuseum.com
  Vancouver Zodiac Adventures
Immerse yourself in the pristine scenery and coastal wildlife of British Columbia. On this 3-hour tour, your guide will take you deep into Howe Sound to explore the many islands and inlets. Once there, you will encounter seals and sea lions, visit seabird nesting sites and discover bald eagles. Also be on the lookout for porpoises! Returning to Coal Harbour you will be treated to breathtaking views of downtown Vancouver, English Bay, Stanley Park and the Lions Gate Bridge. The tours are guided by a certified naturalist/skipper and depart from the Westin Bayshore, Vancouver dock. For additional information, visit www.princeofwhales.com/vancouver-departures/vancouver-zodiac-adventure-tours/
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Bachelor Brothers' Bed and Breakfast


Author: Bill Richardson


Description: Lake Woebegone goes British Columbian in this humorous slip of a novel about an unconventional Vancouver B&B, which features twin bookworm brothers, a talking parrot and a motley crew of hotel guests.



First Fish, First People, Salmon Tales of the North Pacific Rim


Author: Meg McHutchinson, Judith Roche, One Reel


Description: A collection of native voices from Pacific shores, all remembering the salmon. It's a lovely book, illustrated throughout with black-and-white photographs, and made more poignant by the salmon's decline in the coastal regions.



Insider's Guide Victoria & Vancouver Island


Author: Gerald Hill, Kathleen Hill


Description: A quirky, personal guide to Vancouver Island by two residents, with a focus on out of the way places, food and cultural attractions. Organized by neighborhood, the guide includes excellent listings of where to eat, stay and shop.



Lonely Planet Vancouver Encounter


Author: Lonely Planet


Description: With a section of not-to-missed highlights and a calendar of annual events, this lively pocket guide organized by neighborhood includes suggested side trips, along what to see and where to shop, eat, drink and play. With a double-sided pullout map.



National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Pacific Northwest


Author: Peter Alden


Description: A compact photographic guide to the wildflowers, trees, mosses, butterflies, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals of the Pacific Northwest.



Plants of the Pacific Northwest Coast: Washington, Oregon, British Columbia and Alaska


Author: Andy MacKinnon, Jim Pojar


Description: A terrific handbook to nearly 800 species of trees, shrubs, wildflowers, grasses, ferns, mosses and lichens found along the Pacific coast from Oregon to Alaska.



Snow Falling on Cedars


Author: David Guterson


Description: A beautifully wrought, extremely evocative novel set on San Piedro Island in Puget Sound in the 1950s. Readers are rewarded not only with some fine storytelling and beautiful prose, but also with a vivid glimpse of life on these islands in Puget Sound.



The Island Within


Author: Richard Nelson


Description: A beautifully written tribute to the Pacific Northwest. Drawn from the author's journals, this is an account of the natural and cultural history of an island in the waters of Haida Strait, with emphasis on the relationship between people and the land.



The Raven Steals the Light


Author: Robert Bringhurst, Bill Reid (Illustrator), Claude Levi-Strauss (Introduction)


Description: A classic collection of 10 Haida myths and legends with accompanying black and white etchings by Vancouver artist Bill Reid. These stories capture the storytelling traditions of the Haida.





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