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Friday fun post: what are some fun summer activities you can reach on transit?

For this Friday fun post, let’s pick up a topic we’ve explored a bit over the years: what are some fun summer activities can be reached by transit?

Here’s one—a little while back, Dale McGladdery sent a tweet to the Buzzer pointing out that some North Vancouver walking trails are very easily accessed by transit.

Check out the North Vancouver Guide to Walks and Trails for the walks — walks E1 and E2 in Bridgman Park are close to bus stops 53963 & 54011. And walk E10 starts at Lonsdale Quay, right near the SeaBus terminal.

This Buzzer blog post from 2009 also lists some great summer getaways reachable by transit.

For example, Cow suggested these trips (make sure to bring your passport for the Point Roberts trip!):

* Point Roberts — visit the US’s geographical mistake by bus: take the 601 to 2nd and 54th in Delta, walk (or bike) through Diefenbaker Park and across the border
* Powell River — catch an early-morning 257 to Horseshoe Bay, board the Nanaimo ferry, and catch the ViaRail train in Nanaimo. (12:50pm Sundays, 10:50am the rest of the week.) The train takes you to Courtenay, and then it’s a short walk or bike ride to the Little River ferry dock. (It also works in the other direction!)

Here’s Reva:

Deer Lake in Burnaby is a happy little spot. Take the #144 SFU from Metrotown Station, get off at Canada Way & Sperling, walk a couple blocks south, and you’re there! You can walk the boardwalks & trails around the lake, rent canoes & rowboats, go fishing, or have a little picnic on the beach. There is all kinds of wildlife to see including herons, eagles, turtles, squirrels, raccoons, ducks, geese, fish, etc. It’s so quiet & pretty it’s hard to believe it’s barely a 10 minute drive from Metrotown. When you’re done at the lake, you can always walk over to the Burnaby Village Museum, Burnaby Art gallery, or the Shadbolt Centre for some arts & culture too.

And here’s Dan B:

Ooh! I’m surprised no one mentioned Bowen Island! You take the 257 to Horseshoe Bay then BC Ferries to Snug Cove on Bowen Island. You can even use your ticket/pass from the bus to get you around the island via the C10 and C11!

This means that folks from Surrey or Coquitlam and the like can take a train (SkyTrain or the WCE) then a catamaran, then a bus, then a big ‘ol ferry, then a baby bus (or Community Shuttle, to use the technical term)! Plus, who wouldn’t want to go to a little island that receives more foot traffic than cars and has romantic, picturesque-sounding places like Eagle Cliff and Snug Cove? What a peaceful, relaxing way to spend a lazy summer day…

I also put together a summer getaway special in a 2008 print Buzzer, plus there’s always the Destinations to Discover section on the website. Are there any more suggestions for summer fun reachable by transit?


16 Comments

  • By Daniel, August 6, 2010 @ 8:15 pm

    I went to the fiveholeforfood road hockey event to raise food donations or the Vancouver food bank! Got there by one bus and 1 skytrain! Raise over 3000 pounds of food in total!

  • By Cliff, August 6, 2010 @ 8:40 pm

    Well, it’s been beaten to death and discussed so much, but I’ll throw it out there again.

    Spend the weekend in Seattle using only public transit. I’ll keep it short but you can google all the details.

    321 to 8th Avenue -> Walk to & clear US Customs; Walk to Blaine City Hall (H Street)-> Board 70X to Bellingham ->Transfer to 80X to Mount Vernon -> Transfer to 90X to Everett. From Everett you’re basically in Seattle and you can pretty much just go anyway you wish.

    I’ve done the trip to Mount Vernon. It’s certainly a fun little diversion.

    Another trip that can be done on transit is going to Victoria. It can be done as a day trip if you leave early enough and take the last ferry back.

    Both those are a little more adventurous than Grouse Mountain or Stanley Park :p

  • By Border crosser, August 6, 2010 @ 10:19 pm

    I’d advise anyone thinking of walking over to Blaine from 8th Avenue to think twice. The Peace Arch crossing is closed to pedestrians on the US side until the end of 2010. You have to enter at the truck crossing, which adds about 2 km. I believe there’s a stop for the 70x at H Street & Route 543 on its way to Blaine City Hall, so you wouldn’t have to loop back all the way.

  • By Sean (CMBC), August 7, 2010 @ 4:57 am

    Ride the Amtrak train into the US… It runs twice a day now…
    And, it’s not that expensive…

  • By Sean (CMBC), August 7, 2010 @ 5:02 am

    Still haven’t done this yet myself, but do plan on riding the #364 out to Langley, and then the #595 over the Golden Ears Bridge into Maple Ridge… From there, either the #701 into Coquitlam Station, or the #791 to Braid Station (Weekdays Only)…
    Deep Cove is another great area to check out too… The #211 from downtown, or transfer at Phibbs Exchange…

  • By Cow, August 7, 2010 @ 6:23 pm

    It’s a bit of a long day, but I did this a few months ago. This only works on Sundays, as the schedule doesn’t work out right on Saturdays, but:

    take the 257 to Horseshoe Bay, then the ferry to Nanaimo, walk the 4km (or take a Nanaimo bus, but it’s a fairly pleasant walk) to the ViaRail station, the ViaRail 299 train (departs Nanaimo 17:25, arrives Victoria 20:00), have dinner in Victoria, then take the Victoria 71/72/73 bus to the ferry dock, and then the TransLink 620 to the Canada Line. One big loop! I documented it all here: http://cow.livejournal.com/569613.html

    Also, since some people enjoy this sort of thing, today I did a silly little adventure on the GTA commuter rail out to a lakefront park in Mississauga. If you’re curious what a mini-transit adventure is like in the Toronto area, here’s pictures/documentation: http://cow.livejournal.com/580797.html

  • By zack, August 7, 2010 @ 10:01 pm

    OMG!! @Cow thanks for the photos! I’m already having a nostalgic attack! (in a good way though).

    During my commuting days in Toronto, one stood out the rest. I was going to meet a friend in Scarborough on a hot smoggy day! I took the 73 Royal York bus to Royal York subway station on the Bloor Danforth line (for those who are familiar) and wanted to get off Kennedy station to transfer to the Scarborough RT, the sister of SkyTrain :). But suddenly my stomach decided it couldn’t wait for the trip. So I transferred to the Yonge University Subway Line and got off at Wellesley station where I found one the best Mcdonald’s in Downtown Toronto. and also refreshed with a nice cool strawberry milkshake on day where the temprature was 32 degrees C aahhh!

    After feeling satisfied, I went back to the Yonge line then transferred back to the Bloor Line (I know it looks too much but it was just one day) then making a 3rd transfer to the Scarborough RT before getting off at Scarborough Town Centre and making a final transfer to the #191 bus.

    OK , let me catch my breath now …..

    For my longest Vancouver commuting trip, I took the SkyTrain from Surrey to Waterfront, transferred to the Canada Line, then got off at Vancouver City Centre where I then took the 257 bus to Horseshoe bay before making a final transfer at Horseshoe Bay with the C12 bus to Lions Bay. It may look like a lot of transfers, but boy was view was ever so scenic! :D And definitely less stressful than Toronto. :)

  • By zack, August 8, 2010 @ 9:08 pm

    btw @Cliff. How on freaking earth did you walk from 8 ave (Surrey, BC) to H st (Blaine, WA)??!! I just checked the street view and google maps of the area and found no bus stops at H st and Truck Route, you had to walk several more blocks to Blaine City Hall, then you can catch the 70x. But it’s a hassle, I’d rather take the Amtrak next to Main SkyTrain station and it’s much cheaper. I was wondering though, if there is any transit between Lions Bay, Squamish, and Whistler.

  • By Cliff, August 8, 2010 @ 10:52 pm

    Yes. I got off at the roundabout at 8th Ave and King George. I walked down the onramp on to the shoulder and through the duty free shop and through the park. After I passed the Canadian customs building, I crossed over to the central median and walked past the Peace Arch to the American side. I followed the signs for pedestrians that guided me around the left half of the building and entered from the ‘back’.

    A little known fact, if you have NEXUS you are given front of the line privileges inside the building, so you can scoot past all the folks that got kicked over for secondary. (Make sure to show your NEXUS card).

    After clearing customs, I walked out the building and headed due south. There is a ramp with a bit of a parking lot for customs vehicles and a sidewalk. From there, I walked under the overpass and south to H street, then back over to Blaine City Hall to wait for the bus.

    I didn’t find the walk too long, personally. Coming back, I missed my connection at 8th avenue and had to walk all the way to Marine Drive and Stayte to catch a community shuttle to take me to White Rock Centre, now that’s a long walk!

  • By David M, August 9, 2010 @ 1:08 pm

    Powell River is quite the adventure, but you can’t make it there and back in a day.

    From Courtney, I’d recommend getting BC Transit Bus 11 to Little River Ferry Terminal, otherwise it is a very long walk (9km). The number 11 bus leaves from the town centre, a short walk from the train. Schedules are on-line at BC Transit (look under Comox Valley Regional Transit System).

    Another nice one is to take the train from Nanaimo to Buckley Bay and then get the ferry to Denman Island. The ferries run every hour and the ferry dock is a 2 minute walk from the VIA station (it’s a flag stop, so make sure you tell the guard you want to get off the train at Buckley Bay). On the return, you’ll need to flag the train down.

    You can leave out the Sunshine Coast. A trip over to Langdale and the BC Transit has connecting buses that will take you as fare up as Sechelt. Buses run late and connect with the last ferries, which means you can do this one in a day.

    On the Victoria Trip (by Cow above) – the 71 bus doesn’t go to the ferry, do don’t get on that one. The 72 and 73 both do serve the ferry. The fastest route is the 70, which runs express from Victoria to Sidney and the ferry terminal. It runs every day meeting all the ferries to and from Vancouver.

  • By David M, August 9, 2010 @ 1:12 pm

    Almost forgot. You can also go to Campbell River. Take the train from Nanaimo to Courtenay, then BC Transit (Comox Valley Regional Transit System) bus 12 to Oyster River where there is a timed connection with BC Transit (Campbell River Transit System) bus 6 to downtown Campbell River. The train-bus connection is not the best, so you’ll have a 2-3 hour layover in Courtney.

  • By Twitter: @SkyTrainLady, August 10, 2010 @ 1:39 pm

    My new favourite spot for indoor and outdoor waterpark family fun is the aquatic centre at Hillcrest Park in Vancouver. That’s the park near Nat Bailey Stadium and it’s easily accessible from either King Edward Stn or 29th Ave. Stn and the No. 33 bus. Check the TransLink Trip Planner for transit details.
    For more details (and pics) on the Hillcrest Park aquatic centre: http://tinyurl.com/392nkv4
    Enjoy.

  • By Border crosser, August 11, 2010 @ 10:43 pm

    I can vouch for Cliff’s route from White Rock to Blaine. That’s how I do it too when the Peace Arch crossing is open to foot traffic.

    It takes about 20-25 minutes from 8th Avenue to US Customs, and 7-10 minutes from there to Blaine City Hall. Inside US Customs, though, is a bit of a crapshoot. Budget 30 minutes, expect double on Fridays & Saturdays especially in the late morning or lunch hour.

    Coming back, the #375 Guildford runs every 30 minutes now and arrives in White Rock Centre a few minutes before the #351 Vancouver. Kudos to Translink for reworking the schedule – it used to just miss the 351 connection.

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