Get Around Like a Local – 6 Places in Vancouver Worth Taking Public Transit To

One of my favourite things about living in Vancouver is how you can get anywhere in the city, and to some great day trip places, via public transit. There isn’t really any need to drive anywhere. Which is just as well because driving in any city can be a bit of a pain!

I’ve been taking Vancouver’s public transit all my life and I’ve got the TransLink routes locked down. While I’m always a firm believer of walking everywhere, sometimes you need to hop on the train. Here is a quick recap of the convenient and accessible transit options* and six of my favourite attractions worth taking them to!

  • Bus – The extensive bus routes run from fairly early in the morning to late at night when the NightBus service kicks in. Downtown’s Granville Street, Burrard Street and Georgia Street are where you can catch many of the main bus routes.
  • SkyTrain – The SkyTrain is a completely automated light rapid transit system that offers quick, efficient service between the Downtown core and Metro Vancouver’s suburbs (going east-west). There are three SkyTrain line available to take: Expo line, Millenium, and Evergreen. The majority of the tracks are above ground, so this is a really affordable and scenic way to see the city. You’ll also hear hometown boy Seth Rogen’s voice on the announcements!
  • Canada Line – Opened the public shortly before the 2010 Winter Olympics, the Canada Line offers north-south service across Vancouver and into Richmond. Most importantly, it is your gateway to Vancouver when you arrive at the airport, and a fast and convenient way to get you back to YVR for your flight home.
  • SeaBus – Unique to Vancouver, the SeaBus is a passenger-only ferry service that links Downtown with the North Shore.

*All are wheelchair accessible and run from around 5:00 am to 1:00 am.  

Image via Vancouver Sun

Image via Google

Stanley Park

I love going to Stanley Park. There is something for everyone (Seawall walk, the Vancouver Aquarium, horse-drawn tour, beaches, mini-golf… just to name a few things to do!) and it is an experience that never gets old. I think my favourite thing about this beautiful urban park is walking along the paths surrounded by the majestic cedar, hemlock and fir trees.

How to Get There: Catch the #19 Stanley Park along West Pender Street. It will bring you right to the heart of the park.

For more information on Stanley Park, click here.

Image via BusTrainFerry.com

Lower Lonsdale

Lower Lonsdale is a vibrant waterfront area, home to some great restaurants with big patios, fabulous views of Downtown Vancouver, and the Lonsdale Quay Market. This used to be my weekend neighbourhood and my favourite spots are Green Leaf Brewing in the quay market and Finch x Barley for brunch. There is always something fun going on in the area, and this Lower Lonsdale is also the transit hub where you can catch the #250 or #257 to Horseshoe Bay for a ferry to the Sunshine Coast, Bowen Island, or Nanaimo; or the #236  to  get to Grouse Mountain or the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

How to Get There: Catch the SeaBus from Waterfront Station to Lonsdale Quay. It’s only a 12 minute and very scenic ride!

For more information on Lower Lonsdale, click here.

Photo Credit: Melissa Ariganello

New Westminster

I write this with a bit of bias as this is my neck of the woods. Downtown New West was the ‘first’ Downtown and the city used to be the capital of British Columbia. The 19th century architecture will enchant you while you browse for antiques and the waterfront will tempt your taste buds as you walk along the waterfront with its public markets and watch the tugboats and freighters as they parade along the Fraser River. Some favourite spots are the Great Wall Tea Co, the Fraser River Discovery Centre, and both The Boathouse and Wild Rice for their patio views and food.

How to Get There: New Westminster is a 20-25 minute (and very scenic) ride from Downtown on the SkyTrain Expo Line to King George or Production Way; get off at New Westminster Station.

For more information on New Westminster click here.

Image via Scout Magazine

Museum of Anthropology

The Museum of Anthropology is located in a stunningspectacular Arthur Erickson designed building overlooking Vancouver’s spectacular mountain and sea views. It houses one of the world’s finest displays of Northwest Coast First Nations arts, the world’s largest collection of works by acclaimed Haida artist Bill Reid, and over 9,000 objects from around the world. I love wandering the Great Hall with its sky-high windows and looking at all the carvings on display. Other engaging spots to visit at UBC are the Botanical Garden and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.

How to Get There: UBC is a 20-25 minute bus ride from Downtown on the #4 UBC, or the same amount of time on the Canada Line and bus combined. (Canada Line to Broadway-City Hall station and catch the 99 B-Line UBC all the way to campus.)

For more information on the Museum of Anthropology at UBC click here.

The Great Hall at the MOA at UBC | Photo Credit: Yasmine Hardcastle

Steveston Village

I grew up in Steveston – so yes, I am biased – and I think everyone needs to visit my quaint historic fishing village. Located in Vancouver’s suburb of Richmond, Steveston is home to what I firmly believe is the best fish and chips (there are options, but I am partial to the wharf location of Pajo’s – it’s worth the lineup!) With its cute shops, scenic walks, park,  and great restaurants, it’s the perfect place for a family or date day trip. Make sure to visit the The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site operated by Parks Canada. It is a world-class and very interactive museum.

How to Get There: Take the Canada Line from Downtown to Richmond-Brighouse station. Then transfer to the #402 or #407 to Steveston.

For more information about Steveston Village, click here.

Photo Credit: Yasmine Hardcastle

McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver Airport

Do you like shopping? I love it, but mostly when I can get a great deal on quality items and not have to go too far. McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver Airport is my answer to this, and to anyone who may have forgotten to pack a coat, pair of shorts, etc. (It happens!) Just a few minutes from the airport and 20 minutes from Downtown, this shopping mecca was voted the Best Outlet Centre 2015 at the MAPIC Awards. With Armani, Guess, Hugo Boss and many more for up to 70% less all year round, plus tempting cafés and restaurants, McArthurGlen is the city’s premier fashion destination for label lovers.

How to Get There: Take the Canada Line YVR Airport train from Downtown and get off at Templeton Station. The mall is a 3 minute walk from the station and is very visible.

For more information on McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver Airport click here.

Image via Tourism Vancouver

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Plan Your Trip

The most economical fare option for a day of exploring via transit is the Compass card day pass. Info on how to get your Compass card, and for all fares can be found here. For info on how to plan your transit route, visit the TransLink Trip Planning page. If you’re out and about and need to look up a route, save your data and log on to the city’s free wi-fi hotspots!

Photo Credit: Jam PR

Share your transit adventures with us by tagging us @inside_vancouver and #VeryVancouver on Instagram!

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One Response to Get Around Like a Local – 6 Places in Vancouver Worth Taking Public Transit To

  1. Stanley Park and New Westminster!