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Disney Wonder Departure Port: Vancouver, Canada, Day 1

Gardens of Vancouver

VanDusen Botanical Garden

VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, Canada, June 2023

The draw for us to visit VanDusen Botanical Garden was to see a collection unique to the Pacific Northwest and other temperate rainforests. We also enjoyed seeing how the climate allowed plants (azaleas, rhododendrons, edible fruits and vegetables, etc.) that bloom in early spring in coastal Virginia to bloom in early summer in Vancouver. We arrived on a rainy afternoon and decided to wait the weather out with lunch in the Shaugnessy Restaurant, located just outside the visitor center of the garden. Guests who preferred a less upscale dining experience could eat at the Truffles Cafe. 

In early summer the lotus were in full bloom, creating a fun photography stop for all ages. The vegetable garden and apple orchard (near the maze) were filled with familiar edible plants. We always say “how hard can it be?” when we go into a Labyrinth Garden only to emerge an hour later. This one was no exception, and it was fun to also observe others from above.

Some of the most interesting plants were in the Chilean, Australian and New Zealand, and South American Gardens. While the Wollemi Pine and monkey puzzle tree located in these gardens weren’t friendly to the touch, they do have interesting stories. The giant rhubarb found near the water in these gardens also made for a great photo op.

VanDusen Botanical Garden, Vancouver, Canada, June 2023

Blodel Conservatory

The Blodel Conservatory was a short car ride or long-ish walk from the Botanical Garden. With less than an hour, we were able to easily cover the one-way path inside, which was crowded with tourists. The collection of tropical birds (parrots, macaws, etc.), pheasants and free flying songbirds made it more interesting for kids, allowing adults with a more plant-centric focus to linger longer.

The bulk of the gardens were filled with palms and tropical plants, but there were also sections with interesting succulents and cacti.

granville island


Granville Island Public Market was the most recommended destination by friends who had visited Vancouver. On Sunday morning the indoor market filled with locals shopping for fresh produce and seafood, as well as tourists browsing the local artists, bakeries, and souvenir stands.

Getting Around

We spent two hours in the Market and in the shops lining the streets outside. Parking was difficult and in hindsight we realized it would have been easier to walk to the Aqua Bus stop at the Plaza of Nations near our hotel in downtown Vancouver.

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