Getting There And Getting Around Vancouver

The Vancouver region’s volcanic setting offers travel luxuries like soaking in the Harrison Hot Springs, located less than a two-hour drive from the city. Credit: Lon Abbott and Terri Cook The Vancouver region’s volcanic setting offers travel luxuries like soaking in the Harrison Hot Springs, located less than a two-hour drive from the city. Credit: Lon Abbott and Terri Cook.

Most visitors to Vancouver and the surrounding area arrive via Vancouver International Airport (YVR) or by road, approaching the city from the east along the Trans-Canada Highway or from a U.S. border post to the south. Although flights into YVR are often good value, especially as a stopover for trans-Pacific flights, it’s often cheaper for U.S. travelers to fly into Seattle, as we did, and then drive across the border. Most rental car agencies permit travel between the two countries, but it’s important to verify this ahead of time. Although border formalities are usually quick and easy (as long as you remember to bring your passport), you should be prepared for queues lasting one to two hours.

You’ll need a vehicle to complete the loop drive described above, but if you’re planning to remain in Vancouver, you won’t need your own wheels. The metro area has an excellent public transportation network, including the convenient airport-to-downtown Skytrain. Several shuttle companies also offer transport between the airport and the downtown, as well as to Whistler.

Vancouver is a major metropolitan area with plenty of accommodations at any price and quality you seek. Prices tend to be higher at Whistler and Pemberton due to their proximity to the ski resort, and lower in the more remote towns like Lillooet. Canada’s official currency is the Canadian Dollar, and credit cards are widely accepted.

Terri Cook and Lon Abbott

Terri Cook (www.down2earthscience.com) is a science and travel writer based in Colorado and an EARTH roving correspondent. Lon Abbott is a geology professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Monday, July 16, 2018 - 06:00

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