Tourist in My Own City: Tour Guys Downtown & Waterfront Walking Tour

Back in July I blogged about the walking tour I did of Granville Street and Gastown.  I had such a good experience that I wanted to check out another of the Tour Guys Free Walking Tours!  Coen and I decided to do one while he was here, opting for the Downtown & Waterfront tour.  We extended the invite to some of my friends and four of them joined us!

The tour began at Pacific Centre.  The first building we went into was the Hotel Vancouver, where we learned a little about the history.  From there we visited Christ Church Cathedral.  I had never been inside; it was small but beautiful!

 

We checked out the Marine Building next.  Another I had never been inside!  I’d never noticed that some of the detail on the building is marine-related!

 

From there we walked to Canada Place.  On the lower level there are a few exhibits that are worth checking out, including a podium, torches and medals from the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.  There is also a variety of First Nations artwork. The exhibit pictures are from when Coen and I checked it all out in March.  I didn’t take any pictures inside this time.

We walked along the waterfront to Jack Poole Plaza, where the Vancouver 2010 Cauldron is and walked to the small area on top of the Cactus Club where you can look down on the plaza as well as see the Convention Centre’s green roof!

20729323_10159080658150363_8285027017256694845_nThe tour ended there so we headed to Railtown to check out the Belgard Kitchen (http://belgardkitchen.com/) because Lori had been wanting to try it for awhile.  It was yummy and worth a visit!

We wandered around Downtown Vancouver afterwards.  What a great day with some of my favourite people!

Check out http://www.tourguys.ca/vancouver for info on the Tour Guys Free Walking Tours.

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Challenge Accepted/Tourist in My Own City: Tour Guys Granville Street & Gastown Tour

Although I don’t have a big trip planned this summer I’m not going to let the next couple months go to waste. As I mentioned in my previous post, I’ve decided to play tourist. I don’t think I’m the only person who takes what’s right there in front of them for granted. I’ve explored other cities in the world WAY more than I have explored Vancouver. What better time to change that?

When I was in Amsterdam last summer I took an amazing free walking tour and I wondered if Vancouver had one as well. Good ol’ Google came to the rescue and directed me towards “Tour Guys” which offers four walking tours: ¬†Downtown & Waterfront, Granville Street & Gastown, Chinatown and Granville Island. The tours are all free however the hope is that you will tip your guide at the end.

The Granville Street & Gastown tour fit best into my schedule for the week so I booked myself a spot online and made the trek downtown via the Skytrain from Coquitlam – gotta use that U-PASS I’m paying an arm and a leg for every semester (I’m sure some of you local post-secondary students can relate!)

The tour began outside of Pacific Centre (Georgia entrance) and worked it’s way down Granville Street and into Gastown.

We popped into Sinclair Centre and had a look at the original bell from the tower in 1909 while we heard all kinds of information about the history of the area.

From there we ventured down to Waterfront where we had a great view of Canada Place and the North Shore (including a cruise ship that I wished I was boarding!)

Next up was Waterfront Station. We heard a bit about the history of the building, much of which I didn’t know!

From there we went to Gastown where we saw the statue of Gassy Jack (I admit that pic is from March…I didn’t take one today!), the famous steamclock and the old (and not so old) buildings.

We also walked through Bloode Alley as well as Gaoler’s Mews which I never even knew existed.

The tour ended at the statue of Gassy Jack. I was highly satisfied. Our guide, Kyle, was great and I learned a ton about the history of this part of Vancouver. If you’re looking for a great walking tour check out the Tour Guys website at¬†http://www.tourguys.ca/free-tours

As an aside, after the tour I went to MeeT in Gastown (http://www.meetonmain.com) for lunch with a girl I met on the tour. If you’re looking for delicous vegan fare check it out! We shared Organic Steamed Kale and Sweet Chili Cauliflower…so delicious! I forgot to take a picture of the kale but here is the cauliflower.