private bus (coach), Vancouver
If you are pressed for time and want good value for money you can try a great Greyline Tour called the "Wonders of the West Coast Dinner". It is $85 CDN for an adult and you get a 10% discount if you book it through the Holiday Inn Concierge Desk.
Before you jump at the price listen to what you get for that.
You get picked up at your downtown hotel, a mini city tour enroute to the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Access to the Bridge and Tree Top Adventure. Tour, interpretation, First Nations Drum Dancing and a Pacific Salmon Summer.
Then you continue on to Grouse Mountain to get the best views of the area, grizzley bears, an interpretation video and a great black forest cake desert in my case at a restaurant that has to have one of the best views possible. See the picture.
Then you eventually see the city by night from Grouse Mountain and enroute home with more city interpretation by your guide.
I thought it was great value if you need to see a lot of stuff in a hurry and still have to eat supper.
Departs 6 pm every day.
Whistler is the number one ski resort within reasonable driving distance from Vancouver if not the best skiing location in the world. Most will go to Whistler and stay a week, or work the season if they're a backpacker. No matter the reason for traveling a common way to get there is the Greyhound Bus.
The cost of the trip is approximately $36 return inclusive of taxes for a open ticket if you've got a hosteling international card. Thats a 10% discount. Getting an open ticket allows flexibility in the return. You can just turn up and catch the next bus back if need be. This is good if you're a day tripper like me. If the day had of been bad I could have caught an earlier bus back. It also provided insurance in case I was running late getting off the hill.
For those wanting to get to Whistler in time to go ski the best time to go is the 6:30am bus. I took this bus and it arrived into Whistler at around 8:30am. There were 2 buses for this time but I suspect there may even be more during the peak season. As a general rule I would try to get there as early as possible to ensure a seat if you do not book. I booked a seat.
The return bus I took was at 4:30pm. Again this is the peak bus time as the lifts stopped operating at 4pm. There was again 2 buses. Of note on the way back the bus driver gave the option to drop people at North Vancouver, and the Hotel Vancouver (Burrard St) in addition to the regular Main St bus terminal.
After sorting out a ticket, and a locker I was on the slopes by 9:30. Incidentally for those doing days trips, the locker at Whistler for the day cost me $5.
On occasion I get asked about bus tours in Vancouver. I don't know anything about how good these companies are, but they do seem to hit many of the major sites.
I would also suggest inquiring with the hotel you are staying at, as to whether they have similar recommendations.
In May 2003, I rode the shuttle bus from Seattle to Vancouver. It took about 30 minutes to enter the Canadian border from US. It's longer than a few years ago but still acceptable given the number of travellers on the bus. It also depends on the number of non-Canadian citizens on the bus (more = longer).
I remember in the mid-90's when I lived in Detroit, travelling across the border to Windsor was as simple as McDonald's drive-through. There were daily commuters who lived on one side but worked on the other. Not sure if it's still as casual as before...
When you arrive in Vancouver you must took a bus (like Greyhound) all the way to Whistler. It took approximately 2h30 between Vancouver downtown and Whistler.