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    Vancouver on a Budget: 5 Things to Do for Free




    Vacation travel is supposed to be fun and help relieve stress. Take some of the stress off of your wallet with these free things to do while you’re exploring Vancouver, British Columbia - Opens a dialog .

      The black squirrel population in Stanley Park is said to have originated from breeding pairs given as a gift from the Mayor of New York in 1909 and released into the Park.

      Stanley Park

      Bordering downtown Vancouver, there is a lot to see and do in the over 1,000-acre Stanley Park. Budding botanists will enjoy the many gardens. The Ted and Mary Greig Rhodondendron Garden features a large collection of hybrid rhododendron and azalea plants. If roses are your thing, visit the Stanley Park Rose Garden with over 3,500 rose bushes. If you are looking for history, Stanley Park has you covered with numerous monuments, including the 9 O’Clock Gun, the Air India Memorial, the Garden of Remembrance and the Japanese Canadian War Memorial, just to name a few. Best of all is the wildlife that roams the park. You may see everything from majestic bald eagles in the air to adorable black squirrels on land, and harbor seals swimming around in the water looking for fish. To stay close to Stanley Park, we recommend Hyatt Regency Vancouver - Opens a dialog .

        A view of False Creek from the walkway in Olympic Village.

        Explore Olympic Village

        Built for Olympic athletes for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Olympic Village is now one of the greenest communities in the world, using solar heating and green roofs. Olympic Village is currently comprised of residences, parks, and shopping. Here you can walk the False Creek Olympic Village walkway, looping around the the eastern part of the False Creek Seawall and crossing over the Cambie Street Bridge. On this walk you will see BC Place Stadium, originally built for Expo 86 world’s fair.

        - Opens a dialog

          Explore Olympic Village

          Built for Olympic athletes for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Olympic Village is now one of the greenest communities in the world, using solar heating and green roofs. Olympic Village is currently comprised of residences, parks, and shopping. Here you can walk the False Creek Olympic Village walkway, looping around the the eastern part of the False Creek Seawall and crossing over the Cambie Street Bridge. On this walk you will see BC Place Stadium, originally built for Expo 86 world’s fair.

          - Opens a dialog

            A view of False Creek from the walkway in Olympic Village.

            Viewing deck at the foot of Cleveland Dam, near Capilano Salmon Hatchery.

            Cleveland Dam and Capilano River Hatchery

            Head due north of downtown Vancouver and get out into nature at Cleveland Dam and Capilano River Hatchery. The Capilano River Hatchery was built to strengthen salmon stocks that were affected by the construction of the Cleveland Dam. A popular tourist spot, this hatchery receives almost 250,000 visitors annually, and features different species of salmon, including Chinook, Coho and Steelhead. Dedicated to preservation and conservation, the Capilano River Hatchery supports fish production for sustainable fishing. In addition this hatchery provides valuable indigenous cultural resources, as salmon returning to the Capilano River provide an important food, social and ceremonial fishery for the Squamish First Nation. If you want to learn more, the Capilano River Hatchery interpretive centre is open for public viewing every day, offering a chance to learn more about the salmon life cycle. To get to the hatchery easily, we recommend Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre - Opens a dialog . In 25 minutes and a few short turns (Hornby to 99 to Marine Drive to Capiano Road), you’ll get straight there.

              A colorful nighttime view of the sails of Canada Place.

              Canada Place

              One of my personal favorite landmarks in Vancouver is Canada Place, located in the heart of Vancouver’s waterfront. From May to August, here you can see cruise ships arriving from and sailing to Alaska adventures. Walk along the edge of the pier for beautiful views and watch the Harbour Air seaplanes take off and land. You can take a stroll from Canada place to The Drop (a giant blue raindrop sculpture) and continue on to one of my favorite breakfast spots, De Dutch. It’s not free, but the breakfast there is really good, featuring delicious sweet or savory Dutch pannekoeken. For great views of Canada Place, we recommend Fairmont Waterfront - Opens a dialog . It is located right across the street from the iconic sails.

                Canada Place

                One of my personal favorite landmarks in Vancouver is Canada Place, located in the heart of Vancouver’s waterfront. From May to August, here you can see cruise ships arriving from and sailing to Alaska adventures. Walk along the edge of the pier for beautiful views and watch the Harbour Air seaplanes take off and land. You can take a stroll from Canada place to The Drop (a giant blue raindrop sculpture) and continue on to one of my favorite breakfast spots, De Dutch. It’s not free, but the breakfast there is really good, featuring delicious sweet or savory Dutch pannekoeken. For great views of Canada Place, we recommend Fairmont Waterfront - Opens a dialog . It is located right across the street from the iconic sails.

                  A colorful nighttime view of the sails of Canada Place.

                  Robson Square attracts millions of tourists every year.

                  Robson Street

                  If you are in the mood for walking, I highly recommend Robson Street. You can start your Robson Street pilgrimage at BC Place. The shopping on this street includes retail such as Swarovski, Roots, Victoria’s Secret, H-Mart and so much more. Make a stop and explore Robson Square, and enjoy the fountain there. If you get hungry, there are a lot of places I’d recommend, including Kosoo Korean Restaurant Chicken & BBQ. It's also not free, but I had one of the best Korean meals I’ve ever had on my 30th wedding anniversary. If you keep on walking… eventually you’ll get to Stanley Park. Here, we recommend Fairmont Hotel - Opens a dialog , not only for its location near Robson Street, but also because the themed Afternoon Tea at Notch8 is well worth trying.

                    Sign Up for Costco.ca Emails

                    If you are interested in great deals Costco Travel has to offer, click here - Opens a dialog to sign up to receive emails. This will ensure that Travel and Costco.ca values are sent directly to your inbox.

                      Once You Are Ready to Travel, Costco Travel Can Help

                      We invite you to take some time to browse around and dream of your next vacation, rental car or cruise, whether you’re booking for next month or toward the end of next year.

                        Vacation travel is supposed to be fun and help relieve stress. Take some of the stress off of your wallet with these free things to do while you’re exploring Vancouver, British Columbia - Opens a dialog .

                          The black squirrel population in Stanley Park is said to have originated from breeding pairs given as a gift from the Mayor of New York in 1909 and released into the Park.

                          Stanley Park

                          Bordering downtown Vancouver, there is a lot to see and do in the over 1,000-acre Stanley Park. Budding botanists will enjoy the many gardens. The Ted and Mary Greig Rhodondendron Garden features a large collection of hybrid rhododendron and azalea plants. If roses are your thing, visit the Stanley Park Rose Garden with over 3,500 rose bushes. If you are looking for history, Stanley Park has you covered with numerous monuments, including the 9 O’Clock Gun, the Air India Memorial, the Garden of Remembrance and the Japanese Canadian War Memorial, just to name a few. Best of all is the wildlife that roams the park. You may see everything from majestic bald eagles in the air to adorable black squirrels on land, and harbor seals swimming around in the water looking for fish. To stay close to Stanley Park, we recommend Hyatt Regency Vancouver - Opens a dialog .

                            A view of False Creek from the walkway in Olympic Village.

                            Explore Olympic Village

                            Built for Olympic athletes for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Olympic Village is now one of the greenest communities in the world, using solar heating and green roofs. Olympic Village is currently comprised of residences, parks, and shopping. Here you can walk the False Creek Olympic Village walkway, looping around the the eastern part of the False Creek Seawall and crossing over the Cambie Street Bridge. On this walk you will see BC Place Stadium, originally built for Expo 86 world’s fair.

                            - Opens a dialog

                              Explore Olympic Village

                              Built for Olympic athletes for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, Olympic Village is now one of the greenest communities in the world, using solar heating and green roofs. Olympic Village is currently comprised of residences, parks, and shopping. Here you can walk the False Creek Olympic Village walkway, looping around the the eastern part of the False Creek Seawall and crossing over the Cambie Street Bridge. On this walk you will see BC Place Stadium, originally built for Expo 86 world’s fair.

                              - Opens a dialog

                                A view of False Creek from the walkway in Olympic Village.

                                Viewing deck at the foot of Cleveland Dam, near Capilano Salmon Hatchery.

                                Cleveland Dam and Capilano River Hatchery

                                Head due north of downtown Vancouver and get out into nature at Cleveland Dam and Capilano River Hatchery. The Capilano River Hatchery was built to strengthen salmon stocks that were affected by the construction of the Cleveland Dam. A popular tourist spot, this hatchery receives almost 250,000 visitors annually, and features different species of salmon, including Chinook, Coho and Steelhead. Dedicated to preservation and conservation, the Capilano River Hatchery supports fish production for sustainable fishing. In addition this hatchery provides valuable indigenous cultural resources, as salmon returning to the Capilano River provide an important food, social and ceremonial fishery for the Squamish First Nation. If you want to learn more, the Capilano River Hatchery interpretive centre is open for public viewing every day, offering a chance to learn more about the salmon life cycle. To get to the hatchery easily, we recommend Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre - Opens a dialog . In 25 minutes and a few short turns (Hornby to 99 to Marine Drive to Capiano Road), you’ll get straight there.

                                  A colorful nighttime view of the sails of Canada Place.

                                  Canada Place

                                  One of my personal favorite landmarks in Vancouver is Canada Place, located in the heart of Vancouver’s waterfront. From May to August, here you can see cruise ships arriving from and sailing to Alaska adventures. Walk along the edge of the pier for beautiful views and watch the Harbour Air seaplanes take off and land. You can take a stroll from Canada place to The Drop (a giant blue raindrop sculpture) and continue on to one of my favorite breakfast spots, De Dutch. It’s not free, but the breakfast there is really good, featuring delicious sweet or savory Dutch pannekoeken. For great views of Canada Place, we recommend Fairmont Waterfront - Opens a dialog . It is located right across the street from the iconic sails.

                                    Canada Place

                                    One of my personal favorite landmarks in Vancouver is Canada Place, located in the heart of Vancouver’s waterfront. From May to August, here you can see cruise ships arriving from and sailing to Alaska adventures. Walk along the edge of the pier for beautiful views and watch the Harbour Air seaplanes take off and land. You can take a stroll from Canada place to The Drop (a giant blue raindrop sculpture) and continue on to one of my favorite breakfast spots, De Dutch. It’s not free, but the breakfast there is really good, featuring delicious sweet or savory Dutch pannekoeken. For great views of Canada Place, we recommend Fairmont Waterfront - Opens a dialog . It is located right across the street from the iconic sails.

                                      A colorful nighttime view of the sails of Canada Place.

                                      Robson Square attracts millions of tourists every year.

                                      Robson Street

                                      If you are in the mood for walking, I highly recommend Robson Street. You can start your Robson Street pilgrimage at BC Place. The shopping on this street includes retail such as Swarovski, Roots, Victoria’s Secret, H-Mart and so much more. Make a stop and explore Robson Square, and enjoy the fountain there. If you get hungry, there are a lot of places I’d recommend, including Kosoo Korean Restaurant Chicken & BBQ. It's also not free, but I had one of the best Korean meals I’ve ever had on my 30th wedding anniversary. If you keep on walking… eventually you’ll get to Stanley Park. Here, we recommend Fairmont Hotel - Opens a dialog , not only for its location near Robson Street, but also because the themed Afternoon Tea at Notch8 is well worth trying.

                                        Sign Up for Costco.ca Emails

                                        If you are interested in great deals Costco Travel has to offer, click here - Opens a dialog to sign up to receive emails. This will ensure that Travel and Costco.ca values are sent directly to your inbox.

                                          Once You Are Ready to Travel, Costco Travel Can Help

                                          We invite you to take some time to browse around and dream of your next vacation, rental car or cruise, whether you’re booking for next month or toward the end of next year.


                                            Image of a Caricature of Penny Anderson

                                            About the Author: The above piece was compiled by Penny Anderson, mother of two young athletes, and Merchandising/Ecommerce Manager at Costco Travel. Penny has been a Costco employee for 27 years.


                                             
                                             
                                             
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