ACM SIGMOD/PODS Conference: Vancouver, 2008
Vancouver is the largest city in the province of British Columbia, and integral part of the third largest metropolitan area in Canada, with a total population of over 2 million. Surrounded by spectacular natural beauty, and recognized as one of the most livable cities in the world, Vancouver offers its visitors an impressive range of attractions.
Get ready! In June, you should expect long days (16 hours of daylight) and mild temperatures (21℃/69F): ideal conditions for exploring this great city!
- Popular sites in and around Vancouver
- Tour Companies Offering Tours In-and-Around Vancouver
- Sites a Little Further from Vancouver
- Sites Further Away from Vancouver
- Additional Tourist Information
Stanley Park, including the Vancouver Aquarium, the area around Lion's Gate Bridge, Coal Harbour, English Bay, and the Stanley Park Seawall (which starts near the SIGMOD conference site). The seawall is great for walking, cycling, or inline skating (rollerblading). Walkers have their own lane on the seawall, keeping them separate from the cyclists and skaters.
Here is an aerial view of Stanley Park, provided by Wikipedia. You can click on the image twice to enlarge it, and you will see the surrounding areas, including the Lion's Gate Bridge and even the City of West Vancouver's seawall in the upper left hand side of the photo. A vertical line drawn through the Vancouver Aquarium dot on the image would intersect the Westin Bayshore (SIGMOD conference site), which lies between the marinas at the bottom of the photo.
- English Bay
- Granville Island
- Queen Elizabeth Park
- University of British Columbia
- Dinner cruises of Vancouver Harbour or Indian Arm (departs by the SIGMOD conference site)
- Translink's Seabus from Downtown Vancouver to the North Shore
- numerous other attractions and, of course, great restaurants! (See the restaurant recommendations offered by Raymond Ng.)
North Shore mountains (15-30 minutes from downtown Vancouver, in light traffic ... accessible via public transit)
- Grouse Mountain and its Skyride (gondola)
- Capilano Suspension Bridge
- Capilano Fish Hatchery and Cleveland Dam
- Hiking in Lynn Canyon Park (it has a suspension bridge, too), Cypress Bowl, Lighthouse Park, etc.
- West Vancouver's waterfront and seawall
Burnaby Mountain (35 minutes from downtown Vancouver, in light traffic ... also accessible via public transit)
- Landsea Tours Ltd.Daily scheduled tours of Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler, the North Shore mountains, and the City Highlights tour. They'll pick you up from Vancouver hotels in 24-passenger buses
- Vancouver Trolley Company. Narrated sightseeing throughout the day. They offer loop tours of Vancouver's major attractions, parks, and shopping areas, including Chinatown and Gastown. Get on/off at 26 stops, or stay on board for the whole circuit.
Whistler Village and Mountains (1.5 hours from downtown Vancouver, in light traffic)
- Whistler is a site of some of the 2010 Olympic events.
- The Sea-to-Sky highway route (by car, bus, Whistler Mountaineer train) between West Vancouver and Whistler offers great scenery.
- Victoria (by seaplane, or car/bus + ferry: It takes 45 minutes from downtown Vancouver, in light traffic, to get to the ferry terminal in Tsawwassen, then (hopefully) an hour or less wait for the Swartz Bay ferry, then 1.5 hours of beautiful scenery while sailing across Georgia Strait and between the Gulf Islands. From the Swartz Bay ferry terminal, it's about 30 minutes to get to Victoria.
- Whale Watching in Georgia Strait
Some Popular Sites Further Away from Vancouver (but especially worth considering by our international guests)
Alaskan Cruise - Vancouver is a hub for cruise ships offering a 1-week Alaskan cruise, leaving from the downtown Vancouver waterfront.
- Holland Line ms Statendam cruise leaving Saturday, June 14th (after the conference)
- Royal Caribbean Serenade of the Seas cruise leaving Saturday, June 14th (after the conference)
- Norwegian Sun cruise leaving Sunday, June 1st (before the conference, but back in time for the conference)
- Rocky Mountain Rail or Bus Tours - The Canadian Rockies are among the most spectacular tourist attractions in North America. It takes about 1 day (about 10-12 hours worth of driving, with rest/food stops) to get from Vancouver to Banff/Calgary. You can get there by car, bus, or train. The highway between Banff and Jasper offers fabulous scenery in the Canadian Rockies. Plan to spend time in the towns of Banff and Jasper, with plenty of stops along the way, such as, Roger's Pass, Yoho National Park, Lake Louise, Columbia Ice Fields, etc. More info.
- Here is a link to Tourism Vancouver (the Greater Vancouver Convention and Visitors Bureau).