Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Useful Links for Vancouver 2010

I have been meaning to put together a list of useful links for all things related to the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics.  I try to display as many links as possible on the left hand side of my blog for anything Vancouver related but I know there are many more that could be there, I'm just not able to find all of them, and trust me there are alot!  I also realize I am not the best person to be describing areas of Vancouver and recommending places to go because frankly I'm not from there and have no idea where some of the things are that I want to go to!

I got an email from a new American friend who is making his trip to Vancouver 2010 a road trip with some friends and blogging about the adventure.  The blog is called The Jet Packer and he was kind enough to send me a bunch of links that they put together throughout planning their trip.  The below information appears as I received it and appears to be accurate to the best of my knowledge.  I have used many of the sites they listed and I believe you will find them useful as well.
Thank you for sending Jet Packer and have a great time in Vancouver!

Planning a trip to the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver can seem as daunting as slapping on a pair of ice skates for the first time. The details about things to do in Vancouver during the games were shrouded in mystery until a few weeks ago. And more venues, events and national houses are being listed every few hours.
But don't worry. We know how difficult and time consuming it is to find accurate and up-to-date information. So we've compiled this list of all the useful resources that will make it simple for you to find the information you need to enjoy a stress-free and fun-filled time in Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Residents of the United States can purchase tickets to select events via the CoSport website at www dot cosport dot com. Unfortunately, most events are sold out, and the prices for remaining tickets have sky-rocketed. However, if you want to experience an Olympic event without draining your kid's college fund, you can buy tickets to the Victory Ceremony in either Vancouver or Whistler for around $49 before taxes and fees.
Canadian residents have it much easier. If you have friends, family, ex-lovers or even random fifth-cousins that you've never talked to, now is the time to get in touch and ask for a favor. Residents of Canada can get tickets for about half the price. Victory Ceremony tickets are only $22 for the cheapest seats.

City Information
The Tourism Vancouver site is essential for details about where embassies are located, what to expect when you cross the border, how to dress, tipping customs, weather reports, everything.
The website for the Vancouver Sun newspaper is less detailed, but it's good for up-to-date information, especially as we get closer to the games. Here you can get more information on restaurants, attractions and shopping.
The website for the city of Vancouver has a great section on what to expect when you're at the Olympics. And what you can expect is a lot of waiting, a lot of crowds, and a lot of inconvenience. The site provides information on road closures and parking restrictions, which you'll want to know about if you're driving to Vancouver.
You'll definitely want to rely on public transportation in Vancouver, so here's a helpful article about how to get around the city by train, bus and ferry. Take particular note of the streetcar that connects riders to Granville Island from the Canada Line Olympic Village Station for free.

By far the most useful resource when it comes to things to do in Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics is offered by City Cactus. This comprehensive list details just about every national house and event location. Best of all, the article only features places that are free! Turns out you don't even need a ticket to an Olympic event to have a great experience in Vancouver.
Here's a map of most of the venues listed by City Cactus, plus a few extras. It saves you time having to Google Map every location.
The two biggest free party zones in downtown Vancouver will be LiveCity Yaletown and LiveCity Downtown. Their official site features a daily schedule of events so you know what sports will be broadcast on the giant TVs outside and who will be performing free concerts.
The other major free celebration zone is located just a few miles south of downtown Vancouver in Richmond. Their site also features a daily schedule of events with live performances and televised sports, as well as various rooms with food, games and exhibits. Make sure to check out the 2010 Ice Art World Championship that takes place at the O-Zone on February 21st and 22nd.
 Hockey fans will go crazy for the Molson Canadian Hockey House. The problem is, most nights are already sold out. But if you have $99 to spare, you can buy a ticket that will give you access to unlimited food and live entertainment like a performance by Barenaked Ladies.
This site is for all the people who plan on partying the night away at some of Vancouver's hottest nightclubs. World famous DJs like Paul Van Dyk and Paul Oakenfold will be spinning the ones and twos nightly. Tickets are pricey, especially for the big venues, but you can use this site to find out what you want to see, then take your chances buying cheaper tickets direct from the venue as soon as you arrive.
If you feel you're getting burned out on sports and partying, check out something at the Cultural Olympiad. Galleries and theaters all over Vancouver and Whistler are being transformed into meccas of all forms of art. Most of the exhibits are free, including the nightly light shows over English Bay, but more elaborate events will cost you between $20 - $100. The most interesting sounding show is The Only Animal, a play that will be performed in Canada's first theater made of snow and ice in Whistler.

Now that you have all the resources you need, the hard part is picking what to do with so little time!

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