20578
British Columbia
Vancouver & Victoria: Signature Cities of Canada's Pacific Northwest
Enjoy culinary explorations, architectural walks, visits to museums and fascinating lectures as you immerse yourself in the unique story of Vancouver and Victoria.
Rating (4.86)
Program No. 20578RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
1,899
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8 days
7 nights
17 meals
7 B 5 L 5 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Check-In, Registration, Welcome Dinner, Orientation
Vancouver, British Columbia
D
Best Western Plus Sands Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Arrive to bustling Vancouver and transfer to the hotel. Program Registration. 4:00-5:00 p.m. Come meet our group leader in the lobby and get your welcome packet. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in and the front desk will be happy to help you.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a welcome dinner

Evening: We’ll begin our evening with an orientation session where we’ll get to know each other as well as review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes. We’ll go over important information as well as have time for questions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars or settle in for the night. You may also wish to explore what the city has to offer.

DAY
2
Vancouver History, City Exploration, Museum of Anthropology
Vancouver, British Columbia
B,L,D
Best Western Plus Sands Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking approximately 1 mile at moderate pace; standing at the museum.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll be joined by a local historian, author, and heritage advocate who will discuss Vancouver's multi-faceted character from past to present. Learn about the history of Vancouver from social, ethnic, and economic perspectives, its historical precedents, and urban planning — all of which have enabled the city to achieve its status as one of the most “livable” cities in the world. Next, board a motorcoach with our local expert for a field trip to see some of the city’s most notable neighborhoods and hear about points of interest as we make our way to the University of British Columbia campus. Enjoy interpretive commentary onboard; and stop at Queen Elizabeth Park, a 128-acre (52-hectare) park to walk in the gardens.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Next, glimpse into the remarkable lives of the Indigenous peoples of the northwest coast of British Columbia and around the world during our visit to the Museum of Anthropology (MOA). This is Canada's largest teaching museum, designed by Futurist architect Arthur Erikson, and located on the University of British Columbia campus overlooking mountains and sea. On a self-guided exploration, see massive totem poles, carved boxes, bowls and feast dishes displayed in the Great Hall, and smaller, but equally magnificent pieces in gold, silver, argillite and other materials, exhibited in the galleries. Then we’ll walk through the Nitobe Memorial Garden, part of the University of British Columbia Botanical Garden, with a local expert. Every element of the garden is designed to reflect harmony and an idealized conception of nature. Considered one of the top five Japanese gardens outside Japan, this oasis of serenity set amid a bustling city, honors Nitobe Inazo (1862-1933), noted agriculturalist, author, educator, and diplomat, whose goal was “to become a bridge across the Pacific”.

Dinner: We’ll enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Vancouver Communities, Chinatown, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Gardens
Vancouver, British Columbia
B,L,D
Best Western Plus Sands Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; walking approximately 1 mile on pavement, standing for short periods during field trip.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: A local historian will join us and give a presentation on the settlement of Vancouver and the distinct communities and neighborhoods that define this multicultural metropolis. Embark on a motorcoach field trip through Vancouver’s earliest and most colorful neighbourhoods. We’ll visit Gastown, the city’s first downtown, once home to sawmills and saloons and the scene of a well-known clash between hippies and police over marijuana in 1971. The district is now a National Historic Site, treasured for its VIctorian architecture and the Steam Clock, a city icon. Next, we will explore one of the oldest and largest chinatowns in North America. Learn about Chinatown's rich heritage, vibrant culture, incredible food markets, and distinctive "recessed balcony" style of architecture, as we ride along its colorful streets. Highlights include the Millennium Gate, a four-pillar, three-story high, brightly painted arch erected to celebrate the millennium and commemorate the Chinese community's role in Vancouver's history.

Lunch: We’ll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Next, visit the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese Garden, named for the man considered the father of modern China. It was the first of its kind outside China, an authentic representation of an age old garden tradition that 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, winding paths and corridors, and vistas that overlook its courtyards, the Garden emulates the rhythms of nature. While in the garden, we’ll participate in a traditional tea ceremony, learning about the flavors and art of making this ubiquitous drink.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Granville Island Public Market, Free Time
Vancouver, British Columbia
B,L
Best Western Plus Sands Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off bus; walking approximately 1 mile, standing for periods during 2-hour market exploration.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Head to Granville Island where we’ll be joined by an expert from the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts (PICA) for a historical and culinary exploration of Granville Island and the Public Market, known for its eclectic mix of artisanal food shops, studios, fine waterfront restaurants, theatres, galleries, an exceptional fresh food market. In this bustling public marketplace, we’ll savor samples of the market's many globally influenced and locally impassioned artisans, farmers. and food purveyors, and taste what's been grown, fished, and cooked fresh. Along the way, learn what makes the island both a sensory and historic delight.

Lunch: At the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts restaurant, we’ll enjoy cuisine prepared by talented students. The menu, featuring locally sourced foods, changes with the seasons.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You might like to continue exploring the Market, visit one of the many museums and attractions in the city, or just relax.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions to suite your appetite and tastes.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer tomorrow.

DAY
5
Stanley Park, Ferry to Victoria, Butchart Gardens
Victoria, British Columbia
B,D
Royal Scot Hotel & Suites

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. The ferry crossing from the mainland to Victoria on Vancouver Island is approximately 1.5 hours. We will be at Butchart Gardens for 2.5 hours, walking at your own pace.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll be joined by a member of the Stanley Park Ecology Society for an in-depth exploration of Stanley Park. Learn about this unique park and National Historic Site, with its majestic hemlock, cedar and firs trees, totem poles and ocean and mountain vistas. You’ll get close-up views of its world-famous landmarks, including Vancouver Lookout, Lion’s Gate Bridge, and the 5.5-mile stone seawall that encircles the park. From there, we continue on to the ferry terminal. We are scheduled to depart for Victoria at 1:00 p.m.

Lunch: On your own aboard the ferry. Choose from a wide variety of hot and cold entrees and beverages.

Afternoon: Arriving on Vancouver Island, we’ll head to Butchart Gardens, which consistently rank among the top gardens in the world and are a National Historic Site. Maps and flower guides will be provided on arrival for our self-directed exploration. There are 55 acres, with meandering paths through wonderful floral displays amid expansive lawns and spectacular views. Explore at your own pace, from the Sunken Gardens and rose-laden arches, to the serenity of the Japanese Gardens that were completed in 1906 with assistance from an expert Japanese landscaper.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Victoria, Inner Harbour Exploration, Robert Bateman Centre
Victoria, British Columbia
B,L
Royal Scot Hotel & Suites

Activity note: Walking approximately 2 miles on mostly pavement, standing for periods of time during field trips.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We’ll be joined at the hotel by a local historian who will provide an overview of this historic seaside city, the capital of British Columbia. We’ll learn about forces that shaped Victoria and gave it its old British charm. We’ll then embark on a walking field trip in Victoria’s Old Town and Inner Harbour and learn about well-known and hidden treasures along the way. Get a first-hand look at some of the best of the city’s Victorian architecture along Wharf Street. We’ll see the British Columbia Parliament Buildings and the historic Empress Hotel.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Next, visit the Robert Bateman Centre, featuring the definitive collection of one of Canada’s best known artists and naturalists. Bateman’s distinctively realistic paintings portray wildlife in natural habitats. The Audubon Society has recognized Mr. Bateman as a “hero of conservation” for his dedication to environmental and preservation issues. The remainder of the afternoon is free. You might like to explore independently along historic Government Street and its side streets; indulge in traditional High Tea at the Empress Hotel; or grab a pint at one of the charming pubs found throughout the Inner Harbour.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Monarchy in Canada, Point Ellice House, Coach Exploration
Victoria, British Columbia
B,L,D
Royal Scot Hotel & Suites

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking approximately 1.5 miles, standing for periods of time during field trips.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: A local historian will join us at the hotel to discuss the monarchy in Canada. Hear about royal visits to one of the oldest and most famous hotels in Victoria, the Empress. This National Historic site boasts some of the most iconic Victorian architecture in the world and has hosted many other notable guests, including Queen Elizabeth II, Rudyard Kipling, Shirley Temple, Spencer Tracy, Princess Margaret, Rita Hayworth, the King and Queen of Siam, and the Emperor and Empress of Japan. Then we’ll visit a time capsule of household Victoriana at Point Ellice House. This Victorian residence and garden houses one of North America's largest collection of original artifacts from the Victorian period and has been restored to replicate a typical home of one of the city's leading families, complete with original furnishings.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Explore some of the city's most prestigious landmarks and neighbourhoods by coach and marvel at the breathtaking architecture. Some of the highlights include Government House, Ross Bay, Oak Bay, University of Victoria, Mt. Tolmie and the Chinese cemetery.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: We’ll have a wrap up session back at the hotel to share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
8
Program Concludes
Victoria, British Columbia
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 12:00 Noon.

Breakfast: At the hotel at 7:30 a.m. This concludes our program.

Morning: We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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