Photos: Vancouver, B.C., 2010

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  1. Vancouver, British Columbia, played host to the 2010 Winter Olympics. (Albert Normandin / Tourism B.C.) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. A couple strolls through Stanley Park on a spring afternoon near the city's main boat marina. One of the city's most visited parks, visitors can also enjoy the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Center and zoo at the park. (Joe Mcnally / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Rowers glide past a line of yachts at the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club.It is said that in Vancouver, it is possible to ski in the morning, sail in the afternoon and take a sunset dip in the Pacific. (Mary Peachin / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Planning to soak up some art while in town? Consider staying at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, which is located right behind the Vancouver Art Gallery. The hotel is located on the VIA Rail route for those who plan to travel to the city by train. (Tourism B.C.) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. The Granville Island Public Market is perhaps the most well-known market in Vancouver. Dozens of vendors offer food-loving tourists and locals produce, seafood, meats, sweets and European speciatly foods. (Robert Giroux / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. The steam-powered Gastown clock blows out clouds of steam during its hourly sounding of Westminister Chimes. Gastown is located in the northeast corner of Vancouver, and is known as the birthplace of the city. (Robert Giroux / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia is "acclaimed for its spectacular architecture and unique setting on the cliffs of Point Grey," its Web site proclaims. (Tourism B.C.) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Totem poles and other artifacts are on display at the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. The museum, founded in 1949, is world renowned for its collections. (Kevin Arnold / Tourism B.C.) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. While in the city, check out the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver. The bridge spans 450 feet across and is situated 230 feet above the Capilano River. (Tourism B.C.) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. A totem pole decorates Stanley Park in Vancouver. The park covers about 1,000 acres, and offers residents and tourists a wealth of options, including walking, running or biking the 5.5-mile seawall path, a pitch-and-put golf course and more. (Robert Giroux / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. A young girl interacts with a sea otter at the Vancouver Aquarium. Tickets for adults cost $22, $17 for seniors (65+) and youths (13-18), $14 for children (4-12) and kids get in free. (Robert Giroux / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Pedestrians walk by Aritizia on Robson Street, the famous shopping street in Vancouver's west end. In the stretch of three blocks, tourists looking for retail therapy can find stores specializing in shoes, clothes, lingeri, candy, souvenirs and luggage, not to mention hair salons, currency exchanges and restaurants. (Christopher Herwig / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. The Library Square building in Vancouver houses the city's public library. (Danniele Hayes / Tourism B.C.) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Patrons eat in the dining room of Six Acres, a pub and restaurant located in Gastown. Six Acres is "tucked in the oldest brick building in Vancouver," its Web site claims. (Christopher Herwig / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. A traditional pagoda sits on the shore of a pond in the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden in the downtown area of Vancouver. Though Canada's third largest city, Vancouver has historically been thought of as the "terminal city," the end of the line and the last remote town before the continent comes to an end at the Pacific Ocean. (Ross Barnett / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. The Granville Entertainment District is an area in Downtown Vancouver known for its vast assortment of bars, danceclubs and nightlife. The entertainment district is centered on a seven-block stretch of the Granville Mall and immediately surrounding streets. (Tourism Vancouver) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. The H.R. MacMillan Space Centre was built in 1968, and was a gift from the lumber magnate to Vancouver's citizens. If you're visiting Vancouver on a Friday or Saturday night, you can catch laser shows to music from Green Day, Radiohead and Pink Floyd. (Christopher Herwig / Lonely Planet Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Olympic rings are illuminated in the harbor outside the Vancouver Convention Centre. (Tourism B.C.) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. The Olympic and Paralympic Village Vancouver is set on the waterfront of Vancouver. (Stephanie Lamy / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. The Richmond Oval, located south of Vancouver, served as the long-track speed skating venue for the 2010 Winter Games. (Ben Hulse / Tourism B.C.) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Skiers and snowboarders gather on top of Whistler Mountain. Whistler was the official alpine skiing venue for the 2010 Olympic Games. (Jonathan Hayward / The Canadian Press via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. Norway's Johan Remen Evensensoars through the air during the FIS Ski Jumping World Cup skiing event in Whistler, British Columbia, in 2009. The venue was the site of ski jumping events during the Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. (Darryl Dyck / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Cypress Mountain hosted the snowboarding and freestyle skiing events during the 2010 Winter Olympics. (Tourism B.C.) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Canada's Mellisa Hollingsworth zooms around a corner during the sixth training run for the World Cup skeleton race in Whistler, B.C., in 2009. (Frank Gunn / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. The Vancouver skyline, Burrard Inlet and Lion's Gate bridge is pictured at sunset. The Lion's Gate Bridge connects North and West Vancouver with downtown. The suspension bridge is 5,890 feet in length. (Robert Giroux / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
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By
updated 5/15/2009 4:27:32 PM ET 2009-05-15T20:27:32

For tickets and accommodations, this is shaping up to be a particularly challenging Olympics.

Whether it's Vancouver, B.C.'s stunning setting, easy accessibility or the growing popularity of winter sports, Vancouver 2010 has been selling beyond expectations, according to Tourism Vancouver ... and many of you. But as we researched answers to Reader Questions About Visiting Vancouver During the Olympics, we dug up some good news.

Tickets
Readers such as Ross and klbears wanted to know how to buy non-package tickets in advance. We feel your pain. Individual tickets went on sale May 14 via CoSport, which essentially has a monopoly on selling Olympic tickets in the U.S.

Purchasing through CoSport is a way to insure that your tickets are legit and that you're not paying a fat markup to a scalper. But of course scalpers and other resellers will be out in full force later this year! If you go the resold-tickets route, know that you have more protection against deceit by using established online resellers like StubHub and TicketsNow.

And keep an open mind. If you can't get tickets, all is not lost. "This will be the biggest party that's ever hit Canada," says Emery, citing massive light shows, live bands, public art and other amazing-sounding official events. Then, there are always the unofficial ones. Vancouver will be a rich, wonderful, exciting place to be next February.

Lodging
Luckily, one of these challenges — sold-out accommodations — is partly a myth. A few of you — Megan Greve, M.O. Nichols, and Ross — wrote to bemoan the lack of hotel rooms in Vancouver, due to media blocks, minimum stays, and so forth. But lodging is actually in abundance, just not in traditional form.

"At this point, traditional hotel accommodation is unavailable. But there are alternatives, such as cruises, B&Bs, home and condo rentals, and hotel rooms in outer-lying areas. A commute to an event or venue should be expected as a normal part of an Olympic day," says Katie Emery, at Tourism Vancouver, who cites the two-hour-plus commutes of many Athletes' Villages in the past as proof that it can be done.

The city's new bylaws boost her case: They make it entirely legal for Vancouver residents to rent either a room in their home, or an entire home. Sure enough: we googled and found a few agencies offering these services, such as Rent2010.net and Rentatthegames.com. Of course, as reader Tina suggested, there's always Craigslist.

Or go to 2010destinationplanner.com, click on "Accommodation," and scroll down to click to vacation rentals and bed & breakfasts in Vancouver or along the Sunshine Coast.

As for outer-lying areas, by all means: just (as reader Tina suggested) park yourself close to a rapid-transit (ALRT) station, or a ferry. All areas listed on the map at 2010destinationplanner.com are reachable by public transportation, so you can safely stay in Burnaby, Surrey, Delta, Abbotsford, even Bowen Island (20 minutes) (thanks for the tip, Carcase!) or Vancouver Island's Nanaimo (90 minutes from North Vancouver by ferry). You can also stay on the Sunshine Coast — the coastline to the north — and commute to the city, just like a local.

For those of you requiring rock-bottom rates, there are unofficial efforts afoot to build and expand RV parks. What's more, those media blocked hotel rooms in downtown Vancouver may open as we get closer to the Games.

Transportation
That is, unless you have a car. Then it will be a dastardly, frustrating, gridlocked place to be. So Megan Greve, heed fellow reader Carcase, and don't rent! You're asking for trouble. Public transportation in Vancouver is rapid, all-encompassing, and improving: by Games-time, there'll be new lines and ferries, a rapid airport connection, the works. And don't let the proximity of the border fool you, either: border lines will likely be long, and security procedures heightened. Think what a damper that would be!

On the bright side, we don't think it's impossible to stay in either Vancouver or Whistler, and commute between the two, as reader Audie suggested. It's too soon for the organizers to release the shuttle schedule (or even be able to predict how often they'll run; we asked), but you can also travel back and forth on the Olympic Bus Network. Unlike the shuttle, the $25 round-trip fee isn't included in your event ticket, but it is a subsidized rate and not bad. If you've got events in both places, it'll be better than changing accommodations mid-stream.

Vancouver Island
Readers Noreen Lurch and Kevin Wang suggested a side trip to Vancouver Island, and we couldn't agree more. If you're really short on time, just hop on the ferry (90 minutes to either Nanaimo or Victoria) and come straight back. If you can stay, then spend a day or two drinking up the deep blue ocean, evergreen mountains, and unrivalled Pacific air.

Copyright © 2012 Newsweek Budget Travel, Inc.

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