Alaska has always been a big bucket list item for many people. Most of the cruises begin or end in Seattle or Vancouver and for those of us on the East Coast a couple of days before or after the cruise are typically added into our package because half the battle is getting there so we might as well make the most of it.
So what to do in these two beautiful cities if you only have 24 hours? Glad you asked!
24 hours in Seattle!
What can you do in 24 hours in Seattle?
Quite a bit actually…
After checking into your hotel your first thought may be where to start? I would suggest starting with a Food Tour of Pike’s Market. It is a great way to really enjoy the sights, sounds and of course some of the wonderful food to be had at the market. There are several themed food tours by Savor Seattle to chose from ~ Pike’s Markets, VIP Pike’s Market, Chocolate Indulgences, Booze n’ Bites, Gourmet Seattle and Hip on the Hill. One of my best friends recently took a tour with Savor Seattle and chose the Pike’s Market food tour. Their guide Tiffany was great, she pointed out historical points within the Market, had interesting stories and the food was pretty darn good! She tells me though that next time she and her husband visit they are going to try either the Chocolate Indulgences Tour or Gourmet Seattle.
Next head over to the Chihuly Gardens and Glass Museum. To describe this museum in a word is “breathtaking”… all the incredible glass is a must see when you visit Seattle. The Chihuly Gardens is conveniently located next to the Space Needle so after the gardens head over to the Needle and on up to the observation deck ~ have a drink and enjoy the view! Years ago when I cruised from Seattle that is just what we did.
From the Space Needle head back to your hotel to get ready for dinner at one of the wonderful restaurants in Seattle. After dinner head out for a stroll along the waterfront or to listen to live music.
There you have it… 24 hours in Seattle!
24 hours in Vancouver!
What can you do in 24 hours in Vancouver eh?
Vancouver, British Columbia, a modern city proud of its rich First Nation history that served as the foundation of its culture, has a variety of things to see and do that will keep you busy and entertained for days, at least. But, if you only have a day to explore this diverse urban city, here are the top things to do and see in Vancouver in a period of 24 hours.
Vancouver fancies itself as a destination for foodies and Granville Island Marketis the perfect place to experience and taste it. Make your way to Granville Island for breakfast. It’s roughly a 15-minute walk from Downtown, and various ferries take visitors across False Creek to the island where this vibrant market, mixed shops, restaurants, and bars are located.
After your time on the market, head to Canada Place, in front of the Vancouver Convention Center in Downtown, to catch a free shuttle to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. As the name says, the main feature here is the breathtakingly suspended bridge 230 feet above Capilano River. But it is more than that. Nature walks along towering evergreens, impressive First Nation Art, and a gravity defying skywalk, are some of the other attractions at this park that make it worth spending a few hours there enjoying the West Coast rainforest.
The Seawall Paththat borders the whole city along its coastline is a wonderful place to take a walk. Vancouver has one of the best-designed waterfront urban spaces in the world. So, make sure to experience it. Since biking is a popular activity in Vancouver, why not rent a bike and pedal along the Seawall Path and on to Stanley Park. There are many bike rental places in the city, but one that is right along the path is called Seawall Adventure Center.
While biking through Stanley Park, the “green lung” of Vancouver, take some time to enjoy nature and to explore its many internal paths. This park is 10% bigger than Central Park in New York, so we are talking about a true urban park with a lake, gardens, playgrounds, totem poles, and more!
Also in Stanley Park is the Vancouver Aquarium, so park your bike and take the rest of the afternoon to enjoy the underwater world. Not only you will see the usual animals like dolphins, sharks, jellyfish, and sea lions, but you will also see some of British Columbia and arctic specific animals like the beluga whales and sea otters. Another impressive exhibition is the Amazon Rainforest. Here you walk inside a greenhouse-like space where sloths, parrots, exotic birds, and other animals are loose. Don’t worry, it is totally safe. Other animals include monkeys, snakes, giant fishes, caimans, and more. (of course, not loose)
Still have some energy to burn? Then Granville Street is the place to go. Vancouver’s nightlife is rich and varied and ranges from karaoke bars to sports bars, to dance clubs, and everything in between. Granville Street has plenty of choices, from casual Irish pubs such as Doolins, to chic cocktail bars like The Granville Room, or dance clubs like Caprice, Republic, and Crush. If not into any of these, there’s also enough nightlife on the street that make is easy to enjoy the night while hopping from one place to another.
There is so much to see and do in Vancouver that 24 hours is nearly not enough. However, this is just a small selection of the best things that can be done in this world-class city. Enough to give you a good taste to make you want to come back for more.
There you have it… 24 hours in Vancouver!