This past summer, renowned travel bloggers, the Barefoot Nomad, visited Vancouver and stayed at the West Coast Suites at UBC. Micki Kosman, one half of the Barefoot Nomad and guest blogger for this post, writes about their experience.
This summer, our family of four had a chance to stay at UBC West Coast Suites as an alternative to staying in Vancouver’s busy and expensive downtown accommodations. West Coast Suites’ location, on the sprawling University of British Columbia campus, nestled on the western tip of the Point Grey Peninsula, is perfect for a fun and stress free family vacation in Vancouver.
Here are 15 reasons why we loved staying at UBC West Coast Suites Vancouver accommodations:
It’s close to downtown
It only took us about 15 minutes to drive from West Coast Suites Vancouver accommodations to downtown, where you can find some of Vancouver’s best family attractions, including the Vancouver Seawall, Granville Island, Science World at TELUS World of Science, and Stanley Park. There’s also a major bus exchange located on campus if you want to take transit downtown.
You’re close to nature
Pacific Spirit Regional Park is two and a half kilometers (one and a half miles) away, with plenty of trails to enjoy. If you’re feeling adventurous, there’s the infamous, and stunningly beautiful, clothing optional Wreck beach right on UBC land. More family-oriented beaches, like Spanish Banks beach, Locarno Beach Park and Jericho Beach Park are all an easy 10 minute drive from UBC with lots of colorful food choices only blocks away from them.
There’s great food nearby
UBC Food Services has over 40 locations on campus, including cafés & bistros, restaurants, popular chains like Starbucks and Tim Hortons, dining rooms, food trucks, and even mini marts. UBC’s restaurants get many of their ingredients from the on-campus UBC Farm, and fresh seafood is 100% Ocean Wise certified. We loved the Hungry Nomad food truck, which serves up ample, delicious servings of vegan poutine big enough to feed two. Close behind was the freshly made-to-order pizza from Mercante, where pizzas are hand fired in a hot stone earth oven. They’re great value at around $10 per authentic traditional Italian pizza. You can find UBC food services hours, locations and more at www.food.ubc.ca.
Museums and culture abound
Right on campus there’s the internationally known Museum of Anthropology (MOA), the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, and more. The Museum of Anthropology is consistently one of the most popular attractions in Vancouver, and it’s walking distance from West Coast Suites. The museum features Northwest Coast First Nations traditional and contemporary art. There are also over 16,000 objects from around the world in the Multiversity Galleries. Visit the Beaty Biodiversity Museum to see the colossal and rare skeleton of a blue whale, plus two million specimens of plants, marine invertebrates, insects, fish, vertebrates, fungi, and fossils. Check out the UBC attractions page at attractions.ubc.ca for more.
The comfortable, luxurious king size bed
Is there anything much better at the end of a long day of exploring than sinking into a comfy, king size bed with luxury linens? I don’t think so. There’s even a queen pull-out sofa bed for the kids.
Lots of green space and room to roam. The campus itself is the perfect place for a stroll, with miles of pedestrian only walkways and green spaces along Main Mall, University Boulevard, and throughout campus.
Surfing free, fast Wi-Fi
Reliable, fast Wi-Fi is an absolute essential for us when we travel, and West Coast Suites has it in spades. Even better, we found out that the same Wi-Fi signal kept us connected on our walks through most of the campus. Though now entertaining activities don’t always require you to be connected to WiFi, for instance, in our resort you may enjoy free casino games no wifi needed for fun.
Walking high among the trees
Our family of four had a blast tearing along the 310 metre (1,000 foot) long Greenheart TreeWalk canopy walkway. The walkway is suspended among cedars, Douglas firs and grand firs (many of them over 100 years old), and reaches a height of almost 20 metres (65 feet). The Greenheart TreeWalk is in the UBC Botanical Garden.
Saving money and hassle by self-catering
West Coast Suites has full kitchens (no oven), making it easy to whip up great meals. There’s a grocery store nearby in Wesbrook Mall, and mini marts on campus for supplies. If you don’t feel like cooking, you can pick up to-go meals from nearby Harvest to eat in your suite. After a long day of touring, we had a Harvest feast of rotisserie chicken, roast vegetables, and delicious drinks in our room that night.
The prices at UBC West Coast Suites are definitely cheaper than staying downtown. You can use the money you save on a delicious meal or one of Vancouver’s fun attractions.
Enjoying the Botanical Gardens
We loved walking along the long, winding trails at the UBC Botanical Garden. The Garden covers over 100 acres, with 8,000 different plants. The Nitobe Memorial Garden is a traditional Japanese tea and stroll garden, and makes for a relaxed, contemplative walk.
Browsing the Farmer’s Market
The UBC Farm has a weekly on-campus market from late spring to fall that’s bursting with fresh produce and flowers. We stopped by the pop-up market at the UBC bookstore, but there are also farm gate sales and seasonal u-picks for blueberries, pumpkins, hops and more. If you’re around on the weekend, the UBC Farm offers free public tours at 11:00 am each Saturday during the market. Check ubcfarm.ubc.ca for details
There’s shopping nearby
We love to self cater, so luckily for us, it’s a short drive from West Coast Suites (or even walking distance, if you’re so inclined) to Wesbrook Village shopping center, which has a Save-On-Foods grocery store, plus plenty of shops to peruse.
Campus events and campus life
We were lucky enough to visit UBC during a solar eclipse, so we walked over to the campus viewing area to grab some free eclipse viewing glasses.There’s almost always something fun and interesting happening on campus. We spent a lot of time wandering around UBC, and even found a piano set up for public use, which the kids loved. See UBC events at www.events.ubc.ca.
A quiet, serene place to unwind at the end of a busy day
We loved being able to relax in our spacious suite at the end of the day, with no sounds other than the birds chirping in the trees outside. With very few cars zooming about and plenty of things to do, staying at UBC West Coast Suites was a great way to spend our Vancouver getaway.
Want to learn more? Check out what we did during our Vancouver family vacation with West Coast Suites at www.thebarefootnomad.com/canada/west-coast-suites-ubc-and-our-vancouver-family-vacation.
Guest Post Bio:
Micki Kosman writes about travel, tech, family and fun with her husband Charles on their blog, The Barefoot Nomad www.thebarefootnomad.com. Follow along for fun travel tips, tech help, and inspiration for your family travel all in one helpful, quirky space. Oh, and a lot of talk about ice cream.