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Snowboarding in Vancouver on a Budget

Snowboarding near Vancouver is cheaper than you think



A rider catching air at Whistler-Blackcomb

© Jason Jo / Coast Mountain Photography via Whistler-Blackcomb

Six ski and snowboard resorts are within a short trip of Vancouver including one of the world’s most famous resorts, Whistler-Blackcomb, which is just a two hour drive away.

While a trip to Vancouver’s snowboard area should be on every rider’s bucket list, the city’s high prices can seem prohibitive to snowboarders on a budget. That doesn’t mean, though, that you should cross Vancouver off of your list of places to snowboard. Although on the surface it may seem expensive, the city also has its share of budget accommodations, restaurants, and transportation.

Where to Ride

The most important part of a snowboard trip to Vancouver is knowing where to ride to get the most bang for your buck. If Whistler-Blackcomb is at the top of your must-ride list, you’re best advised to try and plan your trip in the spring when lift tickets and accommodations are often discounted. Since Whistler-Blackcomb’s season usually lasts until end of May, it’s a great place to extend your season after your local hill has closed.

One of the things that makes Whistler-Blackcomb expensive is that it’s so far from the city, which means most visitors will need to stay in the village rather than look for cheaper accommodations in the city. There are, however, several lesser-known mountains very close to Vancouver.

Riders who want to stay in the city should check out Cypress Mountain, Grouse Mountain,  and Mount Seymour. Grouse Mountain and Mount Seymour can both be reached by public transportation, while Cypress can be reached by a short bus ride on Cypress Coach Lines.

Local shops, resort websites, and Liftopia.com all usually have discount lift tickets available. It’s best to check them all to find out who offers the cheapest tickets.

Where to Stay

Finding budget accommodations in Vancouver can be tricky. The two most popular hostels, SameSun and The Cambie are often booked up, so if you’d like to stay at one of them you should book well in advance.

To find locals who are renting out properties independently, your best best are to check Kijiji (the Canadian version of Craigslist) and Air BnB.

If you don’t mind being a little farther away, staying just outside of the city near a SkyTrain route can be cheaper and the SkyTrain can conveniently cart you into the city and back for roughly $9 a day.

Where to Eat

Vancouver is known for having awesome food from around the world. Sushi, Chinese, and Indian are especially prevalent and authentic. For great cheap Chinese food, head to the area around Chinatown. Commercial Drive, a short SkyTrain ride from the city center, has dozens of inexpensive restaurants with great food. Vancouver’s massive food truck scene features every type of cuisine from barbeque to burritos and Thai food, and with most food trucks squeezing their prices down to less than $10 a plate, you’ll never go hungry.

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