4 Ways of Exploring Vancouver: Aquarium, Bus Tour, BC Sports Hall, & BC Place [Giveaway!]

April 28, 2016 9 Comments

Welcome to Creative Voyagers! I’m officially relaunching this blog as a human interest blog that aims to profile underrated destinations, creative individuals, and unique social projects, in Vancouver and beyond. For an introduction to the blog, click here

Last week, I had a chance to go explore Vancouver with YVR Bloggers, a local blogging group, and see some destinations around the city from a tourist’s perspective.

I’m very happy to share a highlight reel that I produced for the event, as well as details about the locations visited and photos of the attractions. (Full disclosure: this was a press trip, but as always, opinions are my own.)

Giveaway: I’m partnering with the Vancouver Aquarium and the BC Sports Hall of Fame to run a special giveaway of tickets and a prize pack. Please keep reading to the end for details about the giveaway! 

1. Vancouver Aquarium

My day began with a bus picking up my group near Canada Place and then heading to the Vancouver Aquarium. After a quick lunch in the aquarium cafe, we headed inside for the new Discover Rays exhibit.

The highlight was a special touchpool where I could touch cownose and southern stingrays. There were also displays with information about the rays, their habitats, and problems like overfishing. Afterward, I wandered around the aquarium to watch the dolphins,  jellyfish, and other marine life.

Recommended for: first-time visitors to Vancouver, nature and animal lovers, families traveling with kids

Tips for visiting:

  • The aquarium cafeteria can be quite busy around lunch time, so be prepared to wait in a long line or go elsewhere.
  • Look out for special events and exhibits happening at the aquarium.
  • Since the aquarium is located in Stanley Park, leave some time for a combined visit.

Discover Rays exhibit at the Vancouver Aquarium.

Fish swimming in the tanks at the Vancouver Aquarium

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Jellyfish in the Vancouver Aquarium

2. Bus Tour

My next activity was joining Westcoast Sightseeing on a HopOnHopOff bus tour around the city. I had only taken one HopOnHopOff tour before, when I was visiting the city of Bath, England.

This bus tour was very thorough and took me to all the common tourist locations around the city, such as Stanley Park, Kits Beach, Gastown, Yaletown, and Granville Island. While I was already familiar with these destinations, taking the tour allowed me to see all the sights from a bus and take some nice pictures of city streets.

Recommended for: visitors tight on time or wanting a quick overview of the city

Tips for visiting:

  • Taking a bus tour is a nice way to fit lots of sights into your sightseeing, providing convenience as you travel to different locations, but do also make time to explore Vancouver by foot or biking.
  • The bus tour is best taken on sunny days, because you’ll get a better view of the city and also because the bus has an open roof.
  • There are many bus tours available, so do your research to find the best one for you.
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Hop-On, Hop-Off Bus Tour

From the bus tour, a view of the Inukshuk in English Bay

From the bus tour, a view of the Inukshuk in English Bay

Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver

Lions Gate Bridge, Vancouver

3. BC Sports Hall of Fame

I had never visited the BC Sports Hall of Fame before the trip, because I didn’t have much interest in sports. However, when I got there, I learned that there was a special Vancouver 2010 gallery showing objects from the Vancouver Olympics, such as the torches (signed by torch bearers), one of the gold medals, and uniforms used in the competition.

In addition to learning about the story behind objects from the Olympics, I also got to visit a special gallery dedicated to female athletes and special displays celebrating Canadian icons like Terry Fox and Rick Hansen.

Recommended for: sports fans, Olympic enthusiasts, museum lovers

Tips for visiting:

  • Special promotion prices are available for people with ticket stubs for BC Place events/games (valid for 2 weeks after), Hosteling International members, or guests of the Vancouver Lookout and Science World (with receipts).
  • The sports hall has an area where visitors can take part in hands-on activities, such as playing Ping-Pong or trying a climbing wall.
BC Sports Hall of Fame

BC Sports Hall of Fame

A display on Team Canada in the Vancouver 200 Gallery of the BC Sports Hall of Fame

One of the gold medals from the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. Each medal is engraved with a section from the artwork behind it, and were co-designed by Corrine Hunt and Omer Arbel.

4. BC Place

BC Place is one of those iconic spots in Vancouver that most locals have either heard of or visited for an event, but I wasn’t aware that there are tours of the stadium available.

I get to learn a bit about the stadium’s history and construction, as well as took a walk around the audience areas and a part of the turf. I even ventured behind-the-scenes to visit the changing room of the BC Lions, Vancouver’s professional football team. (Sometimes the White Caps’ changing room is also a part of the tour, but it was closed to visitors that day because it was in use.)

Recommended for: sports fans, visitors to the Sports Hall of Fame, special events

Tips for visiting:

  • An All Access Tour of BC Place is available through the BC Sports Hall, and only four tours are available each month. Check early for the times and book in advance to save your spot.
  • The BC Sports Hall of Fame and BC Place share some building space, so it’s convenient to visit both locations together.
  • A great way to experience the stadium in action is to attend asports game or concert there.

BC Stadium

Down at the turf at BC Place

The complex roof of BC Place takes 20 minutes to open/close.

A Special Giveaway

Now, in partnership with the Vancouver Aquarium and the BC Sports Hall of Fame, I have two special prizes to giveaway to my readers 🙂

  • 1) A “Discover Ray” theme prize pack from the Vancouver Aquarium, including an adorable Cownose Ray stuffy, an Ocean Wise pouch, toys, and two tickets to the Aquarium.
Ocean Wise pouch

An Ocean Wise pouch, other toys, and two passes will be included in the prize pack provided by the Vancouver Aquarium. (Photo by Alexis Brown from the aquarium.)

  • 2) Two free admission passes to the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

    BC Sports Hall of Fame tickets

    A pair of tickets offering free admission to the BC Sports Hall of Fame.

 

The contest will run from today until 12:00AM, Sunday, May 8th, so be sure to enter before May 8th. After that, I’ll draw two winners and get in touch about claiming the prizes. 

If you have enjoyed this post and giveaway, please share, leave a comment, and follow my blog! Your support is crucial to this blog and means I can create more content about interesting destinations in the future. Thank you!

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9 Comments

  1. Reply

    Heather

    April 28, 2016

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  2. Reply

    Olivia

    April 29, 2016

    Science World is a favourite rainy day outing for us, and Lynn Canyon or the beach on a sunny day!

  3. Reply

    Alan

    April 30, 2016

    Love the Ray exhibition!

  4. Reply

    Chi

    May 1, 2016

    I’d like to see and feel the stingrays at the Vancouver Aquarium! Vancouver Art Gallery also has interesting exhibitions to check out!

  5. Reply

    Megan Kennedy

    May 1, 2016

    I love the adult only nights at the Aquarium and Science World!

  6. Reply

    Travelbuds

    May 2, 2016

    My kids and I love the Vancouver Aquarium but we haven’t been in a few years.

  7. Reply

    Donna

    May 2, 2016

    I’d love to visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge to conquer my fear of heights!

  8. Reply

    yvonne

    May 5, 2016

    The Aquarium is always a family favorite! The 2nd favorite place to visit is the seawall!

  9. Reply

    Laura @ Grassroots Nomad

    July 10, 2016

    I’m so excited to do allllll of these things! I think I might go to the aquarium first – there is something so relaxing about jellyfish blobbing around.

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