Day trip to Vancouver (via Amtrak) - Any recs?
Mid-November, my wife and I are looking into a day trip to Vancouver (from Seattle) by train.
I believe we have 3 or 4 hours before the train heads back to SEA.
What's in the area that's good eats, shopping and sightseeing?
Most likely we will be on foot.
Train station is at
1150 Station Street
Vancouver, Canada V6A 4C7
It would help if you gave some idea about what kind of food and price range you are interested in.
With the current train schedule, you'll be in Vancouver from about noon-5pm, so you're probably looking for lunch. The area immediately around the train station is not wonderful.
If you're coming in late November, there's a slight chance that a much-anticipated new restaurant will be open at 1022 Main, quite close to the station. It's called Campagnolo, and will be run by the folks from Fuel.
Aurora Bistro would only be an option if you're coming on a weekend as it isn't open for lunch weekdays, and it's an uninteresting walk up Main St. Reservations required.
If you are into Asian food, Chinatown is about 3 blocks North. One popular option there would be Phenom Penh.
Otherwise, fmed's suggestion to take the Skytrain (which leaves from in front of the station) to Yaletown and/or Robson St area would make the most sense.
Your time frame no matter how you look it is tight. Arriving in the afternoon beware of heavy traffic that starts early on skyTrain. My suggestion, since you are a mere minute away from old chinatown, to head there for lunch. Catch pretty much any bus headed northbound 2 stops so you can pick and choose what you'd like. Personally during a layover train trip i'd go for The Boss Restaurant on Main St. It's Hong Kong cafe style no hassle, hot food . Personally if i were in the type of schedule you are on I wouldn't want to demand any more or risk messing up the schedule.
The Skytrain (light rail) is basically right across the street from the train station,
and gets you right into downtown Vancouver, and to the waterfront.
As a matter of note: for the trip INTO Canada, I would really recommend that you go BUSINESS class on Amtrak.
Business class is the first to get off the train, and that means being first in line going thru Customs. Always good when you're only doing a day trip.
for the way back to the USA, it doesn't matter if you go Business or Coach,
since they take care of Customs right on the train, but definitely Business for going into Canada.