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Vancouver & Victoria in December

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Jun 27, 2012, 7:01pm   #1
TokyoBound's Avatar
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TokyoBound
Singing the Sorrow
My fiance and I were thinking of going to Vancouver & Victoria for our honeymoon. As chance would have it, the only time we can take off from work concurrently is December 12/26-12/31. Is this too insane a time of year to go? I heard that Vancouver winters were fairly mild compared to the rest Canada. Plus we are from Southern California, and live by the beach, so a colder, possibly snowy climate is fairly exotic to us.

Also, can anyone recommend any must-sees that will be open that time of year?
Jun 27, 2012, 10:50pm   #2
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princess_riya
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I am from Vancouver. Last december I spent a few days in San Diego and found the weather similar in some ways. It is cold, cloudy often rainy. A lot of drizzle.

Sightseeing depends. What do you guys want to do?
Jun 28, 2012, 7:13am   #3
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Alidoll
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Always been in the summer / autumn so not sure what would be open...tho into skiing season so could try that up at Whistler. Weather wise, cold and wet (bit like scotland so probably why I like it lol!)
Jun 28, 2012, 12:37pm   #4
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Aurify
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If you want a beautiful, snowy environment, I would recommend Banff (in Alberta). Vancouver will be cold and rainy.
Jun 28, 2012, 5:13pm   #5
TokyoBound's Avatar
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TokyoBound
Singing the Sorrow
Originally Posted by princess_riya
I am from Vancouver. Last december I spent a few days in San Diego and found the weather similar in some ways. It is cold, cloudy often rainy. A lot of drizzle.

Sightseeing depends. What do you guys want to do?
We're history & culture buffs, so mostly museums. I'm really girly and like the "quaint" things like going to teas and cute cafes. One thing we really wanted to do was stroll through some of the parks we've read about, but even if they're not in bloom then.
Jun 28, 2012, 5:14pm   #6
TokyoBound's Avatar
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TokyoBound
Singing the Sorrow
Originally Posted by Aurify
If you want a beautiful, snowy environment, I would recommend Banff (in Alberta). Vancouver will be cold and rainy.
Oh that sounds cool, I will have to look into it! Is it mostly a skiing destination/winter sport destination, or are there museums and such to look at?
Jun 28, 2012, 9:00pm   #7
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daphodill84
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Originally Posted by TokyoBound

We're history & culture buffs, so mostly museums. I'm really girly and like the "quaint" things like going to teas and cute cafes. One thing we really wanted to do was stroll through some of the parks we've read about, but even if they're not in bloom then.
*edit* QE Park, Stanley Park and Van Deusen Gardens have some awesome christmas events:

http://vancouver.ca/parks/parks/bloedel/jewelbox.htm
http://www.insidevancouver.ca/2011/1...ay-wonderland/
http://vancouver.ca/parks/parks/vand...events/fol.htm

Harbour Cruises and Events (http://www.boatcruises.com) has some Christmas Carol cruises and new years cruises that are really fun and romantic.

We do have some great museums in Vancouver and Victoria, like the Vancouver museum, the Museum of Anthropology (good selection of native art and artifacts from all over the world) and the royal BC museum. You might like the sun yat-sen garden, but thats nicer in the spring and summer as well. Empress hotel in Victoria has a famous but somewhat overrated high tea.
Last edited Jun 28, 2012 at 9:43pm.
Jun 28, 2012, 11:16pm   #8
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princess_riya
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daphodill84 has already mentioned some of the best places. Def. see Stanley park. I found the museums better in Victoria overall. You may also want to see Burnaby Village Museum. Its an entire little old fashioned village with carousal.

Granville island is nice..touristy with nice gift shops and art studios. If you can plan even a day trip to whistler its worth it.
Jun 29, 2012, 2:29am   #9
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terrianne
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If you end up in Victoria and need restaurant recommendations, my favorites are Il Terrazo (amazing Italian restaurant), Ferris' Upstairs (seafood) & Flying Otter (pub). All have amazing food. :)

Banff is stunning in the winter, if you're looking for a snowy winter wonderland. Nearby Lake Louise is also gorgeous.
Jul 2, 2012, 12:39am   #10
k
kstolarchuk
Member
Taking the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria is beautiful and an easy way to see both, and Whistler is a must! A great way to experience the mountain life without trekking to the Rockies (although Banff and Jasper are amazing!)
Jul 2, 2012, 1:24pm   #11
m
meganfm
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I wouldn't recommend any museums in Vancouver-the couple we have are incredibly tiny and way too expensive to get into for what's available. The Museum of Anthropology out at UBC is nice, but it's very out of the way and I only went there when I was a student and could get in for free-I don't think it's worth paying for.

Just a tip-I would not drive up to Whistler yourselves that time of year-try to get a charter bus instead. It's an incredibly windy, narrow road and if you are not used to snow it will be a very difficult drive. They expanded the highway during the Olympics to make it safer, but you still have to be very careful driving up it in the snow. But if you can take a bus up, it's definitely worth it!

If you like "quaint" areas, I would definitely go to Granville Island. They have great markets and local artisan shops. Victoria is a great day trip/1 night trip as well-the downtown is very cute an right next to the water.

It will be dark, cold, and wet here. Unfortunately, although we are mild compared to the rest of Canada, don't let the temperature fool you. It's a very damp cold here, so lots of layers are a must as the cold goes right through you, especially downtown Vancouver and Victoria when you are close to the water and there is always a bit of wind.
Jul 2, 2012, 5:40pm   #12
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daphodill84
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Originally Posted by meganfm
I wouldn't recommend any museums in Vancouver-the couple we have are incredibly tiny and way too expensive to get into for what's available. The Museum of Anthropology out at UBC is nice, but it's very out of the way and I only went there when I was a student and could get in for free-I don't think it's worth paying for.

Just a tip-I would not drive up to Whistler yourselves that time of year-try to get a charter bus instead. It's an incredibly windy, narrow road and if you are not used to snow it will be a very difficult drive. They expanded the highway during the Olympics to make it safer, but you still have to be very careful driving up it in the snow. But if you can take a bus up, it's definitely worth it!

If you like "quaint" areas, I would definitely go to Granville Island. They have great markets and local artisan shops. Victoria is a great day trip/1 night trip as well-the downtown is very cute an right next to the water.

It will be dark, cold, and wet here. Unfortunately, although we are mild compared to the rest of Canada, don't let the temperature fool you. It's a very damp cold here, so lots of layers are a must as the cold goes right through you, especially downtown Vancouver and Victoria when you are close to the water and there is always a bit of wind.
As a further note to this, I have taken a bus to whistler and gotten stuck there overnight. Sometimes the roads get shut down due to avalanche or snow or something. So keep that in mind if you're in a time crunch. Doesn't happen every year but it does happen.
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