Archive for the ‘Archive’ Category

A day out to the Gondola and the Britannia Mine with Landsea tours.

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

Last Wednesday Landsea Tours & Adventures invited us to take a a trip with them to visit the brand new Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish – this was an offer that could not be refused and what a great day out this was, so we are happy to tell you all about how the tour went and what you can expect to see.

SEA TO SKY TOUR – Running from May to September 8th 2014
Tour Itinerary includes:
Horseshoe Bay
Porteau Cove
Shannon Falls
Sea to sky Gondola
Brittania Copper Mine
The tour lasts for approximately 7 hours and you will be visiting all these various locations along the Sea to Sky highway before you reach the main destination in Squamish.

The pricing per person is $89 Adult and $59 for Children – this includes Taxes.
Tour begins around 10am where you picked up directly at the Hotel.

Landsea Tours and Adventures: http://vancouvertours.com/

The Tour!
The tour was an absolute delight and what really made it so very special were our two wonderful guides that took us to see some very special sights along the way. Our guides were Amy and Graham and we could not have asked for better guides to show us the sights in their comfortable Mini Coach.
Both Amy and Graham have been working tirelessly for Landsea tours for the past 3 years and really knew what they were doing on the job, they have extensive knowledge of the surroundings and never failed once to inform us of some incredible information. The one thing that struck us about the tour was their attention to detail and it is quite apparent that they know alot about the wilderness, Vancouver and beyond. No question was too silly and nothing was left unanswered, they also gave us plenty of opportunity to grab some great photos of the scenery as we made our way to the final destination towards the brand new Sea to Sky Gondola.

The weather forecast for the day was predicting a rainy and overcast day, as we set off sure enough there were some ominous clouds hanging out overhead, but, as we were making our way out of Vancouver and over the Lionsgate Bridge, the skies were beginning to clear and the clouds started to lift – it was starting to look quite promising for us.

First stop – Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver – 10.35am. 15 minute stop
Our first stop along the way was to have a 15 minute stop at the stunning Horseshoe bay which is located in the city of West Vancouver – here you get to experience some stunning views of the Howe Sound Fjord. it is the perfect start to the journey and if you are a little slow to wake up you get the chance to stretch your legs and grab a nice cup of coffee. While you are at the cafe take a wander downstairs to Sewells Marina these guys have been running Boat rentals here for many many years now, and, as other Boat rentals in the area have seen their business come and go, Sewells have been steadfast in running Boat rentals during that whole time and at present are the only Boat Rentals in the area, you can take tours up and down the Howe Sound with these guys.
Check out the Spirit Gallery and the Lookout Cafe.
Spirit Gallery of West Coast Native Arthttp://www.spirit-gallery.com/
The Lookout Cafe (Sewells Marina) - http://www.sewellsmarina.com/thelookout.html

Second Stop – Porteau Cove – 11.25am – 15 minute stop
Howe Sound stretches from the beginning of the Sunshine Coast gateway and West Vancouver, the fjord itself stretches north all the way to its end at Squamish – where it gives way to the majestic mountains and Valleys that will eventually lead you to Whistler. This is the most southerly fjord to be found in all of North America.
The halfway point between West Vancouver and Squamish is a gorgeous little spot called Porteau Cove, this is a famous spot for Scuba Diving and just off the coast there are vessels that have been deliberately sunk to create new thriving ecosystems that is successfully attracting Marine life and of course for the pleasure of the Scuba divers to enjoy!

Porteau Cove Provincial Parkhttp://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/porteau/

Third Stop – Shannon Falls – 12.00
After taking some very impressive shots of Porteau Cove it was time for us to get back in the vehicle and make our way to the first major destination of the tour – the gorgeous Shannon Falls.
The Waterfall is a breathtaking 387 ft high making this the third highest falls in BC behind the Della Falls and Hunlen Falls.
Shannon Falls: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/shannon/

Fourth Stop – The Sea to Sky Gondola – 12.20
After being wowed by the Shannon Falls it was now time to reach the first stop of the two main attractions of the tour the Sea to Sky Gondola.
The Weather was playing ball although there were some Shower clouds bubbling up over the surrounding mountains, but luckily for us they just helped create a gorgeous array of colour over the local surroundings.
The gondola ride itself took 10 minutes for us to ascent to the lookout point and walkways. Once at the top we were absolutely stunned at how far you could see high above Howe Sound, overlooking the town of Squamish which looked quite minuscule from our vantage point.
We were given plenty of time to look around and enjoy the various walkways and paths that have been created, there is also a very large suspension bridge to walk across too, if you have ever been to Capilano Suspension Bridge then you will know what to expect.
We were allowed to spend around an hour and a half to explore the sights and trails this gave us plenty of time to enjoy a meal and a drink at the lookout restaurant and the food here did not disappoint.
Sea to Sky Gondola - http://www.seatoskygondola.com/

Fifth and final Stop – The Britannia Mine 2.30
Just a few minutes south of Squamish and the Shannon Falls you will find the Britannia Copper Mine. Here the tour takes you all over the mining village, here you will get to learn about mining, great information on the day to day operations of the mine and interesting information on metals and more. The mine was in operation for a total of 70 years and at its peak it was the biggest producer of Copper at the time in the world.
We do recommend that you take a jacket with you as you will be taken on a train ride into the mountain where you can see how the miners went about their daily business, as we are deep in the bedrock the temperatures stay at a cool 12c all year round, so it may feel a little chilly below the ground….
Britannia Mine: http://www.britanniaminemuseum.ca/index.html

Hometime! 4.30
At 4.15 we all gathered and assembled back onto the bus to make our way back to Vancouver where Amy and Graham kindly dropped us all off at our specific hotels.
it was a great day out and we could not have picked better guides to help us along the way, the ride was comfortable, the sights were undoubtedly spectacular and we all came away with some incredible information.

This tour we believe will be a massive hit over the years to come, we highly recommend that you include this on your visit.

June 2014 Events in Vancouver.

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Here are some great events to enjoy during the month of June in Vancouver!

The Vancouver International Children's Festival - This event is actually occuring right now but will end on June 1st
A world-renowned festival of performing arts for young audiences, the Vancouver International Children’s Festival has been educating, entertaining and inspiring young audiences since 1978.
Festival Site on Granville Island
The Vancouver International Children’s Festival moved to Granville Island in 2011, after 33 years at Vanier Park.

Website: http://www.childrensfestival.ca/tickets_and_info/public_tickets.php

The PNE at Playland – every weekend during the month of June.
The PNE has played an important role in the history of Vancouver. From its beginnings as a showcase for the region’s agriculture and economy, it has grown immensely. This growth has resulted in many questions about the fair’s future at Hastings Park. Beginning in 1997, the city has restored a large portion of the park. Many old fair buildings have been demolished and replaced by a more natural character.

Other than the fair, Hastings Park is also the home of Playland, a horse racetrack (which also bears the name Hastings Park), the Pacific Coliseum (an ice hockey arena), the PNE Forum, and the PNE Agrodome. It was formerly the site of Empire Stadium, which has been demolished and replaced with a public soccer field. It is also the location of Hastings Skatepark, a skateboard bowl located to the south of the Pacific Coliseum.

Playland Hours and Admissions: http://www.pne.ca/playland/index.html

Monty Python’s Spamalot – running till June 29th.
Whether or not you’ve seen the movie that inspired it, Spamalot will make you laughalot. Favourites old and new—the Knights Who Say “Ni!” and the Laker Girls among them—appear in this highly irreverent and ironic musical that parodies not only the legend of King Arthur but also well-tread Broadway theatrical conventions. With songs like “The Song That Goes Like This,” “Twice in Every Show,” and “Find Your Grail,” the show will have you looking on the bright side of life.

Running time: Approx. 2 hours 15 minutes, including intermission.

Artsclub Tickets: https://secure.artsclub.com/tickets/production.aspx?performanceNumber=8639

The Richmond Night Market
The Richmond Night Market 2014 event is located at No. 3 Road & River Road, Richmond, just 1 block from Bridgeport SkyTrain Station. It runs from May 18 to Oct 8 on every weekend starting at 7:00 pm. This outdoor event offers 88 food booths (the largest international food court ever), over 200 merchants & corporate sponsor booths, more than 1,700 on-site parking stalls, free admission, free live entertainment nightly on a top-notch performing stage, games, contests & hundreds of give-away prizes. Come & spend your summer in this fun-filled shopping & eating paradise with us!

Website: http://www.richmondnightmarket.com

Bard On The Beach – Shakespeare Festival 11th June till 20th September
Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival was established in 1990 with a mandate to provide Vancouver residents and tourists with affordable, accessible Shakespearean productions of the finest quality
Over the years Bard on the Beach attendance has grown significantly from 6,000 patrons in 1990 to more than 90,000 patrons in 2009. Over a million patrons have enjoyed the Bard experience over its 23 seasons. Its budget has increased from $35,000 in 1990 to $4 million in 2012. The programming has of course expanded from one play to four, and from 34 performances to almost 200 two decades later. In 2003, through a collaboration with Mission Hill Family Estate winery called ‘Bard in the Vineyard’, Bard on the Beach also presented a production in the Okanagan for the month of August.

Through its constantly expanding community outreach, Bard hosts the immensely popular Young Shakespeareans Summer Workshops for youth and teens on site during the summer, and Bard in the Classroom workshops for students and teachers during the school term. Artistic Director Christopher Gaze spreads enthusiasm for the magic of Shakespeare’s plays through frequent guest appearances at corporate, scholastic and private events.

Website: http://www.bardonthebeach.org/

Fathers Day – June 15th AND CAR FREE DAY VANCOUVER
Father’s Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June, but it is also celebrated widely on other days.
So get papa top enjoy the Car free day festivals that happen to fall on the same day, click on the link below and see where the Car Free Festivals are happening!

Celebrate with your neighbours at one or all of the festival sites: Commercial Drive, Main Street, West End and Kitsilano (Kits block parties take place Saturday, June 14th and Sunday, June 15th).

Car free days: http://www.carfreevancouver.org/

Bicycling tours around Stanley Park with Vancouver Bike Tours.

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Bicycling season is well and truly here, lets us guide you as to where you can rent bikes and have some information on Bike tours around the city, we really believe that cycling around will get you up close and personal among the stunning scenery that Vancouver has to offer.

English Bay Bike Rentals.
without a doubt we feel that this company has nailed the bike rental industry. With many different styles and shapes of bikes to choose from you get to find the bike that will suit you most for the maximum amount of comfort. If for some reason you have your own bike with you they also do full Bike repairs on site too.
We have vouchers for you to use when you head down there so you can save a few small bucks off their regular price – every little helps in the long term so make sure you come by the front desk to pick up the vouchers.

Website: http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

Cycling the Sea Wall
The Downtown Vancouver peninsula is adjoined to Stanley Park and the majority of the outer perimeter of the park and city is lined by the famous Seawall. The wall was constructed way back in 1917 but it was not until 1980 that the sea wall as we know it today was fully completed, the sea wall as it stands is 22km long and from the downtown core begins at Coal harbour near where the Cruise ships dock and winds it way all around Stanley Park, close to the Sunset Inn and Suites at Sunset Beach all along the north and south side of False Creek, Science World towards Granville Island and finally finishing at the Kitsilano district and beach.

Full Map of the Seawall bike path. https://vancouver.ca/files/cov/Seawall-Printable-Map3.pdf

Vancouver Bike Tours.
In conjunction with English Bay Bike Rentals you should check out the Vancouver Bike Tours – these guys will organise a tour around the gorgeous Stanley Park and if you want to check out the town, they also have a city tour that gets you to ride around the oldest and most popular areas of the downtown core which includes the popular areas that are Gastown and Chinatown to name but a few.

TOURS OFFERED BY VANCOUVER BIKE TOURS

1. Stanley Park Tour
3 hours
Tour starts at 9:30 am
Leaving from English Bay Bike Rentals
Tour sights include the Totem Poles, Lost Lagoon, Prospect Point, Siwash Rock, the Hollow Tree and other secret treasures.
Tour Price: $30
Rental: $25
Total: $55 (tax included)

2. Park and City Tour
5 hours
Tour starts at 1:30 pm
Leaving from English Bay Bicycles
Tour sights include the park attractions listed above, plus the False Creek Seawall, Chinatown, Gastown, the Olympic Athlete’s Village and Granville Island.
Tour Price: $50
Rental: $25
Total: $75 (tax included)

To book a tour please come to the Front Desk for further details and have a Credit card on hand to secure the reservation.
Your tour guide will collect payment for the tour on the day of the ride. They accept Visa, MasterCard and cash payments.

Website: http://biketourvancouver.com/

Nannies on Call – A Babysitting Service that comes to you at the hotel.

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Do you require a babysitter while you are staying at the hotel – try NANNIES ON CALL they provide an exceptional standard for extraordinary childcare in every city nationwide across Canada.

Nannies on Call provide an extraordinary nannies to care for your family on your schedule, in your Hotel Room 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The nannies are always experienced and available to care for your children of all ages from Infants to Pre Teens. All nannies are pre-screened with clear criminal record checks, valid CRP/First Aid Certification, bonded, and must have a minimum of 2 years child care experience with references on file.

Agency* Fee is $32.00 per booking – *Agency Fee is in addition to the on Call hourly rate.

And then, on call rates for Nannies are $16 per hour for up to 3 children from the same family. There is a four hour minimum for each booking. All incidental fess for special services are listed below.
Cancellations made within 24 hours of a nanny being booked and confirmed are charged at $69.00

Special Services
$2/Hour Extra – Additional children from your House. Extra hours past midnight. Bookings on Statutory & National Holidays.
$3/Hour Extra – Additional Children from a different Family.
Overtime – After 8 hours the rate is $24 per hour. After 10 Hours the rate is $33 per hour.

You can let us at the Sunset Inn and Suites make your Booking with Nannies on Call who will then charge the agency fee, search for a suitable nanny and call to confirm. And they will also email the hotel a brief Biography of the particular Nanny that will be coming to look after your child.

We will need to get details of the names of the children, room number that the nanny will be attending, any special requests or allergies, date – start time – and maximum amount of hours which to book for and finally a credit card number (Visa or Mastercard) is required to pay for the agency fee at the time of booking.

Again once we have these details the staff at the Front Desk will make the call and booking for you.

You then pay the hourly rate directly to the babysitter in Cash. If wanting to put on the room Bill, please see the Front Desk.

Website: http://www.nanniesoncall.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NanniesOnCall
G+ & Videos: https://plus.google.com/u/1/115825368882959310937/videos

Kayaking at the gorgeous Deep Cove

Monday, May 5th, 2014

Vancouver has already enjoyed a glimpse of what Summer may be like, the majority of last week we were graced with some pretty stunning Weather that was certainly more like Summer than mid Spring with gorgeous clear skies and very comfortable temperatures. This is great news for anyone who wants to explore a little further afield and are thinking of taking a dip in the water.

Kayaking in Deep Cove.
In the height of Summer you will see plenty of people head out to the open waters from False Creek to English Bay, some will be canoeing, swimming or paddling along, of all the water sports that are really popular in Vancouver renting a Kayak is by far one of the most popular in and around the area.
You can find places to Kayak close by at Granville Island and English Bay, however, we would love for you to get out and explore just that little bit further to a gorgeous small town that is called Deep Cove.

Deep Cove is a located to the East of the city of North Vancouver and is nestled on the Indian Arm waterway between the mountains of Grouse and Seymour. Deep Cove is named as such as the village is located on a natural cove, the geography and location makes the small town seem like a very secluded spot (with North Vancouver just around the corner), there are some stunning views of the Indian Arm Fjord where you can Kayak along the gentle waters – it is a breathtaking spot.

Kayaks are a great way to get around and enjoy yourself in the water, it doesn’t have to be the most strenuous work and is ideal to just paddle around with friends and family on a sunny Summers day.

Deep Cove Canoe & Kayak
These guys are celebrating their 30th year in business and a thriving business it has been! You will be in very good hands with the Deep Cove Canoe & Kayak team The business has grown exponentially over the last few decades with a starting point of just 16 canoes, 3 rowboats and a few paddleboats, as of 2014 they currently have 150 kayaks and canoes, so you can see how much they have grown in popularity.
These guys are probably the most professional in this business and provide classes, tours and more, they also have a retail store too so you can buy plenty of gear associated with the Kayaking.

Check out their website here:
http://www.deepcovekayak.com/

If you wish to try Kayaking out, just come to Front Desk and we can call these guys for availability and make your reservation with us at the Sunset Inn and Suites.

Try the Canopy walkway at UBC Botanical Gardens and visit the UBC Campus.

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

The UBC Botanical gardens have installed an amazing Canopy Walkway into the gardens for a great way to view the gardens from high above among the towering Douglas firs, Red cedars and Grand firs trees.

UBC BOTANICAL GARDENS AND CANOPY
The canopy was designed and built by the local Vancouver business Greenheart who specialise in building trails and canopies in parks and Green areas that are protected for their environmental significance.
The walkway is located high above the gardens among the huge trees that are a significant feature of the pacific North West and at a height of 20 metres above the ground and running at a length of 310m you will get an incredible ‘Birds eye’ vantage of these amazing trees that are more than 100 years old.

When traversing the Canopy walk way you are more than welcome to take your time and soak in the sights at your own leisure and pace, or alternatively you can take a guided tour along the walk way as well as the gardens. Tours are offered hourly from 10am to 4pm during operating months. If you wish, you are welcome to experience the walkway at your own pace. The walkway will be open between 10am and 4pm.

For further information on the Gardens and Canopy click here: http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/canopy-walkway

UBC CAMPUS AND PACIFIC SPIRIT REGIONAL PARK/WRECK BEACH
While you are visiting the gardens we do highly recommend that you visit the whole campus of the University of British Columbia as the grounds and the surroundings are just absolutely gorgeous to explore.

UBC CAMPUS
Located at the western end of Vancouver city, the buildings and parks that envelope the campus makes it one of the most desirable and scenic of universities in the world. The University has been educating students since 1918 and is one of the most prestigious schools of learning in the world. Not only is the architecture of the buildings that make the campus appealing to the eye, you should also check out the trees and gardens that are dotted all over the campus and in particular the ‘upside down tree’, the branches of the tree resemble roots, and the reason for the unusual shape comes from the way tree has been cultivated, rather than sprouting from a seed this Weeping elm tree grows from a Camperdown elm that is grafted onto the trunk of a Wych elm.

MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY at UBC
A huge hit among the guests here and with the locals alike. Located in the beautiful grounds of the University of British Columbia the MOA has a vast collection of Pacific Northwest and First Nations artifacts and historical information on the way of life in days gone by of human activities and civilizations.

MOA WEBSITE http://moa.ubc.ca/

WRECK BEACH
Wreck Beach is famous really for one thing….and thats the nudists! A world famous nudist beach that is a popular destination in the summer….clothing is optional so you have been warned.
Located at the Western end of the University of British Columbia and flanked by some steep cliffs here you will enjoy stunning views of the Georgia Strait and Vancouver Island.

Website on Wreck Beach http://www.wreckbeach.org/

Shop with style courtesy of Posh Shopping Tours.

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Vancouver has a fantastic shopping scene and it is quite noticeable with the different styles of fashion that the locals choose to wear. The one thing that is very obvious about the fashion in Vancity is that if you find yourself in a different neighbourhood not only is the scenery different but so is the dress sense of the people, fashion seems to dictate the area in quite a remarkable way, and what with Vancouver being known as the City of neighbourhoods it makes sense that each area has an individual style and striking identity. If you are visiting the city and want to treat yourself to a good dose of shopping but do not know where to go or you are simply just at a loose end with ideas, well, help is at hand…

Posh Shopping Tours
Posh Shopping Tours have it all figured out, not only will they help you with your Shopping needs but you will also get to visit the best shopping districts that Vancouver has to offer, we feel this is a great concept as the majority of visitors that come to the city do not get to explore these districts which is a shame. Vancouver is actually a surprisingly small city considering its stature and status in Canada and the world stage, however, many visitors tend to stay put in the ‘bubble’ of the downtown area and like many that live here we tend to stay where we are. Posh Shopping tours will actually take you a that little bit farther afield to some very special districts such as the eclectic and bohemian areas like Commercial Drive (which is in the East Vancouver area), Main St and of course the older and very trendy downtown area that is Gastown and the downtown shopping district that is of course Robson St.

The Tours are run by the wonderful Brandy Kawulka who is a self made entrepreneur – Brandy is no stranger to running a successful business as she and her husband Paul Keller set up their first venture called Wood be Art http://www.woodbeart.com/ which specializes in custom made wood furniture and has been a success for quite some time now, they both met in school while studying woodwork so you are seriously talking to the real deal professionals in Wood work.

Brandy’s latest venture Posh Shopping Tours looks set to just grow and grow – Brandy has an obvious eye for detail and is attentive to what people need, it is such a good idea to fuse sightseeing and shopping in one package with someone who is knowledgeable of the surroundings and obviously cares for Vancouver and fashion.

Not only will you be able to shop for what you desire, the tour will also help you get to know the areas you are in while you are at it, so your group will be able to get some sightseeing around the district that has been specifically chosen to suit your needs, and, when you are ready you can shop shop shop to your hearts content.
The tours will completely cater to the fashion and style that you are looking for, so if you are a complete Fashionista that
cannot get enough of the variation of styles such as Vintage, high end expensive brands or something that is cheap and comfy this will be no challenge at all!

So take a look at their website and if you have a group of people that want to shop in style and also see the sights then this will definitely be a great tour for you.

Website: http://www.poshshoppingtours.com/

May Events in Vancouver 2014

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

May 2014 is shaping up to be a very busy month in Vancouver, not only is it the beginning of Official tourist season what with the arrival of the Cruise Ships, it is also the time when our weather is becoming sunnier and warmer and that means the festivities start to commence! We cannot wait and are looking forward to a great Summer season ahead of us.

Here are a list of Events to look out for in May – it is a jammed packed month so we are sure you will be kept busy!

EVERY THURSDAYS of every Month
Forbidden Vancouver City Walking Tours
On Prohibition City you explore the strange, corrupt and colourful history of prohibition-era Vancouver. Hear of the unlikely alliance of temperance campaigners and anti-saloon activists who together convinced the province to go dry back in 1917. Discover what life was like under prohibition, with stories of blind pigs, private members clubs, corruption, bootlegging, and free-flowing medicinal liquor. And learn the stories of the city’s most notorious mayor, LD Taylor, its most beautiful showgirl and its greatest rum-runners.
Website: http://forbiddenvancouver.ca/home/prohibition-city/

Fairview Pub – Thursday Night Jazz
One of Vancouver’s best venues for live Jazz, Rhythm & Blues entertainment. This legendary Vancouver pub is popular with locals and guests alike and features live music and drink specials at the full-service bar. Our popular Thursday Night Jazz features John Nolan Jazz trio followed by the house band. Visit us online for schedule of upcoming shows.
Website: http://www.fairviewpub.ca

MOTHERS DAY in Vancouver – May 11th
There are plenty of options for Mother to enjoy her day – take a look at this comprehensive list courtesy of About.com Vancouver http://vancouver.about.com/od/vancouverevents/tp/mothersday.htm

Soul Reflexions Spa
If you really want to pamper Mother we do recommend a great Spa that is in the local neighbourhood and run by Zsuzsanna Szokendi – it is just a few minutes walk away from us, a very initimate setting and at a great price! Mum will be happy.
Website: www.soulreflexions.com

NIGHT MARKETS
The Richmond Night Market
The Richmond Night Market 2014 event is located at No. 3 Road & River Road, Richmond, just 1 block from Bridgeport SkyTrain Station. It runs from May 18 to Oct 8 on every weekend starting at 7:00 pm. This outdoor event offers 88 food booths (the largest international food court ever), over 200 merchants & corporate sponsor booths, more than 1,700 on-site parking stalls, free admission, free live entertainment nightly on a top-notch performing stage, games, contests & hundreds of give-away prizes. Come & spend your summer in this fun-filled shopping & eating paradise with you.
Website: http://www.richmondnightmarket.com

Vancouver Chinatown Night Market
The street market contains booths with different merchandises on sale including artistic handicrafts, creative gifts & decors, modern electronics, fashionable clothes, popular music, delicious snacks & ethnic food…etc.
Vancouver Chinatown Night Market
Every Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Venue: Keefer St. / Main St. (Between Main & Columbia St.
Website: http://vancouverchinatownnightmarket.com/

FAIRGROUND – Playland at the PNE Vancouver May 3 – Sept 21, 2014
The Playland amusement park is now ready to open its doors for the 2014 season
The Park is also home to the PNE and the Hastings Race Course – the Playland Amusement park itself is Canada’s oldest amusement park, it opened its doors to the public way back in the 1950s and still has the original wooden Rollercoaster in operation, which has been entertaining thrill seekers since 1958, there are also 2 other rollercoaster rides at Playland.
Website: http://www.pne.ca/playland/

MARATHON – Vancouver May 4, 2014
Named as one of the Top 10 Destination Marathons, the BMO Vancouver Marathon is a Boston Qualifier that takes runners on a 42.2 kilometre (26.2 miles) adventure past beaches, through natural parks, and along Vancouver’s bustling Seawall.
Website: http://www.bmovanmarathon.ca/

CHILDRENS EVENTS!
Vancouver International Children’s Festival 27th May to June 1st
A world-renowned festival of performing arts for young audiences, the Vancouver International Children’s Festival has been educating, entertaining & inspiring young audiences since 1978.
The Vancouver International Children’s Festival moved to Granville Island in 2011, after 33 years at Vanier Park.
Website: http://http://www.childrensfestival.ca

Hells Gate Fishing Adventures and The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site.

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

The Pacific Northwest is famous many things and for most what comes to mind are the incredible Cascade Mountains, the Pacific Weather and of course the Seafood

If you like Seafood and the life on the Ocean waves or just simply anything that is remotely fishy then you will be interested in Hells Gate Fishing Adventures located on the Fraser River in Mission & Vancouver, and The Gulf of Georgia Cannery that is located in the Historic Fishing village of Steveston which is located around 45 minutes South of Vancouver.

Last Thursday there was a great meet and greet for the Vancouver Tourism Industry and at the event we got to meet some very nice people who will be running some great Tours in 2014 that we feel you will all enjoy. Many of the blogs that you will be reading over the next few weeks will showcase these tours.

Hells Gate Fishing Adventures – STS Guiding Services.
STS Guiding Services have been in operation since 1994, run by a husband wife team of Vic and Teresa Carrao. They have some incredible Fishing excursions that will have you experiencing a great Boat ride along the famous Fraser River or you can go further south out into the Georgia Strait and enjoy a Fishing trip around the Gulf Islands.

These guys will pick you up in Vancouver and they will boat you along the Fraser River for an excellent Sturgeon Fishing tour all along the river up to the destination of the town of Mission.
If you are interested in Fly Fishing you will likely know that Mission is the Sturgeon capital of this part of the world, and although you can Fish along the Fraser river at anytime of year, the Sturgeons are best caught between the months of June till October. There are many other species of Fish to be found too, such as Salmon which tend to live side by side with the Sturgeons, and of course there are the crustaceans to fish as well such as Prawn and Crab.
The Hells Gate excursion looks like quite a wild ride and for us we feel it will suit anyone who loves nature, wants the experience of White Water while speeding along the famous Fraser taking in all the sites and of course to get some decent Fishing in.
The boats are all heated and STS will provide all the essential Fishing gear that is required. The fun part of this is that you can bring whatever catch back to the hotel and you have a full kitchen to cook the catch of the day right here at the Sunset Inn and Suites.

They also have excursions throughout the year with many of them specifically heading out to the Gulf Island just off the coastline of Victoria, the Gulf Islands are absolutely stunning and especially so in the Summer months as the Weather is generally much dryer and calmer – you will likely get to see some extraordinary scenery and spot some Whales!

Here is what they have to say about their operation…
“We pride ourselves on our personal and friendly service, our ability to catch fish on 95% of our guided charters. We are fishing the area 12 months of the year. For us fishing is a year round commitment, not just a summer job.
If you are a novice or an expert, we will make every effort to insure your full satisfaction. So come and join us for fun and adventure exploring the beautiful waters of the Fraser Valley.”

For further information please check out their website here: http://www.guidebc.com/

Hellsgate Tours: www.hellsgatejetboattours.com

The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site.
This Cannery is a great place to visit if you like Seafood, Fishing and your history. Located in the quaint and Historical village of Steveston, this is one of the oldest and longest running Cannerry’s in the area.
The Cannery has been in operation since 1894 and at the time the Cannery was built it was the largest of its kind and was also the largest producer if Canned Fish goods in its day.
The Cannery is now owned and run by Parks Canada and is now run as a non for profit organisation. The Cannery operates every day of the year and offers full tours, videos and stories of the BC Fishing Industry.

For further information please check out the Website here: http://gulfofgeorgiacannery.com/visit-us

Exploring Vancouver’s West End. Part 4. Parks and play areas.

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

To end our series on the West End we will point you in the direction of the numerous parks in the district that you can enjoy. The parks and play areas in the West End vary in all shapes and sizes and appear in areas where you will least expect it, we want to make sure that you can get to enjoy these areas just as much as we do.

Green Space Parks within the West End
As built up as Vancouver seems to be you have to applaud the effort that has been made at integrating the Green spaces that seem to be dwindling from many other cities around the world.
As many people make their way into Vancouver for the first time you would not be wrong in thinking that the city just looks like it is a built up mass of Glass Skyscrapers, however, once you make your way to the West End area all is not what it seems. The West End has really done a great job with the immersion of nature and suburbia and many of the parks have their own unique style and charm, so we will guide you through them by starting with the smaller ‘hidden’ parks to the larger parks more well known parks in the area.

West End Garden Oasis among the Streets and Lanes.
Before we head to the larger parks in the area, take a small wander around the West End and look out for some of the many Bike Paths that connect the small streets to the more larger Streets that criss- cross the area, along some of these pathways you will come across cute mini gardens that are dotted all over the city. These areas are surprisingly cute and are awash with colour and all kinds of Plant and Tree life. These spots are quite good at nullifying the city noise and always have some cute animals going about their business, expect to be greeted by a Black or Gray Squirrel, or even later on in the day a Skunk or Raccoon will likely amble on its way.

One of the closest little gardens that connect the Bike Paths to the Streets in the city is just two very short blocks away on Burnaby St and the cross street of Jervis St, there is a really cute park with a cobbled pathway that is a used for biking as well as pedestrians, this is a stunning spot if you just need a small rest on your travels. It will take a little over 5 minutes to reach this little city Oasis.

Click on this interactive Map and you can check out where the local parks are situated in the West End.
https://www.google.ca/maps/dir//49.28718,-123.132167/@49.2871023,-123.1371274,16z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m3!4m2!1m0!1m0?hl=en

Nelson Park & Mole Hill
Located just a couple of small blocks away from us & easily reached when you head North on Thurlow St – you will be there in 5 minutes.
After some major redevelopment in 2007 Nelson Park has been treating our local neighbourhood for quite some time now, it looks beautiful at all times of the year, but is particularly striking in the Spring (with blooms) and Fall (with the falling leaves in the park).
At this park you will find a play area for the little kids, some nice benches dotted all around – and one quarter of the park is a dedicated Off Leash Dog park, where the pooches are allowed to be unleashed and run amok without a care in the world.
Mole Hill
Like we had mentioned in previous Blogs, the West End has many areas that are classified as heritage building, well, Mole Hill which is situated next door to Nelson Park is a whole block of Co Op Heritage Houses that have been kept in excellent shape by the people for the people who reside there.
The Alley and gardens are stunning and if you go for a little exploration in the area, you will find that half along the Alley you will come across a small pathway that connects the Alley to Nelson St, here, you will find a cute small creek and a little bench, its a really nice ‘secret’ nook where you can have a small moment among the flowers and trees.
Where? Thurlow St and Nelson St

Barclay Heritage Square
As we have also mentioned in previous blogs Barclay Square is surrounded by some very interesting Heritage Buildings that lets you step back in time at what Vancouver looked like at the end of the 1800s.
whether you are a local or visitor the Barclay Square gardens are among many a really nice and tranquil spot to enjoy all year round. The Gardens are well kept and are inviting for all who wish to laze around and enjoy the natural colours that flowers, shrubs and trees can offer!
Where? Barclay St, Broughton St and Nicola St

Alexandra Park
Just nestled into the corner of the West End where English Bay meets False Creek this corner nook is a great place to watch the ocean without stepping foot onto the sandy beach. You can enjoy people watching here if that is your kind of thing to do, and you can even check out the stunning Bandstand that is the center piece of Alexandra Park. The park has been around for over 100 years and the Bandstand is exactly 100yrs old this year opening up for the public in 1914.
Where? Beach Ave and Burnaby St

Sunset Beach Park
Sunset Beach park overlooks Sunset Beach of course! This just a small 5 minute walk down the steep hill from the hotel, the Park overlooks Sunset Beach and False Creek and is a hit among all the locals here, you get amazing views of English Bay, Bowen Island and some of Vancouver Island from here, and you can also enjoy a play Hockey, kick around of a football or skateboard and Rollerblade in the designated play areas here.

So get out there and enjoy the Green Spaces among the concrete Jungle!