Archive for June, 2012

Queen Elizabeth Park & Van Dusen

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

One of the most popular attractions that will be in full bloom now is Queen Elizabeth Park and The Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, a true Gem that is literally at the heart of Vancouver.

The park is truly gorgeous, and if you are into Plants, scenary and wonderful parks…then this is the place for you.

Queen Elizabeth park is Vancouvers second most popular tourist attraction. The park is home to some of the most stunning Plant life in the city, it is also home to the famous Van Dusen Botanical gardens, the Bloedel Floral Conservatory, Sporting facilities, Golf courses and much much more.

The parks are also located at the highest point of Vancouver City, so if you can make it there on a clear and sunny day, which at this time of year we should get to see more and more of that gorgeous Summer weather.

Please check our calender for any events that are happening at Van Dusen Gardens, and for directions, just come to the front desk and we will be more than happy to put you in the right direction….

A little bit of interesting information…..the reason the park is so high, is that it has been created from the ancient remains of what used to be a Volcano! It is long extinct now, but it is what has made park look so interesting and unique, it was also in its history a quarry too!

Please check the websites below for further information on this stunning location.

http://www.vandusengarden.org/

http://vancouver.ca/parks/parks/queenelizabeth/

Vancouver Jazz Festival and Vancouver Art Gallery

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

The Vancouver international Jazz Festival gets under way this weekend beginning on June 22nd running through till Canada day on July1st.

Now in its 27th year, this has to be the Daddy of festivals in the Vancouver Summer Calender, and what a line up they have for you this year!!!!

The Jazz festival is huge, it boasts well over 400 different artists all over the city and what is even more impressive are the headliners that have decided to make it to this years festival.

The headliners are as follows…

Ten time Grammy award Winner George Benson
Jazz vocalist Diana Reeves
Spectrum Road
Legendary Saxophonist, Wayne Shorter and The Wayne Shorter Quartet
And The Avett Brothers.

There will be various live events around the city may of them will be free of charge and will have their own festival atmosphere – be sure to check out some of the opening shows, especially the grand opening event at Robson Square, where there will be a mini two day event to kick off the proceedings in festival fashion, it will feature music, great food, children entertainers and more.

Robson Square is located right by the Vancouver Art Gallery, so why not pop your head in there too, currently Their Headline Exhibition is ‘Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters - featuring more than 45 spectacular paintings from artists such as Paul Gauguin, Vincent Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso and Henry Matisse….

Summers here so go out there and have fun!

http://vancouverjazzfestival.ca/

http://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/

June 17th are Car free days…..a perfect family day out for your Dad on Fathers day!

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

If you are scratching heads on what to do for Fathers Day, worry not…….Vancouver has kindly decided this will be the day for the annual Car free event days.

These are certainly some of our favorite days in the city, and fingers crossed the weather will play ball too.

Car Free Days were created with the idea that the city can have days when we are free of vehicles and to see if there is future possible without cars at some point. it is also to encourage people to spend more time in their neighborhood with your families.

Since these festivals were created they have certainly grown in size and variety and are now popping up all over the city, you will get to see the weird and wonderful entertainers, plenty of food, stalls and information – on top of all that, the bars, restaurants and cafes will open their doors to join in the fun, along with music, bands and dancers to get you in the party mood.

The original site began on Commercial Drive with Live Music, Street Hockey a roller disco…even a healing garden, so you get the drift!

Here are the areas that will be taking part around the city.

THE WEST END Noon till 6pm
This is our Car free event in the area, make your way down to English Bay where the festival will be located along Denman St, and you will see the festival rocking out between Davie and Robson, this area is pretty cool, you will be spoiled for choice as it is close to Stanley Park, The Laughing Statues and the beach!!!

COMMERCIAL DRIVE (East Vancouver) Noon till 6pm
MAIN ST Noon till 8pm
KITSILANO Various times on the 16th and 17th
Each area is certainly worth a visit and are easily accessible via Public transit in no time at all, please check with the Front Desk for details.

So treat your Dad right and enjoy the party!

Check out the video of The West End Car free day….

http://youtu.be/2dWSmkEGB6E

http://www.carfreevancouver.org/

Rio Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

On June 15th 2012 Vancouver will be hosting the 24th Annual Tinto Alcan Dragon Boat Festival.

This is a hugely popular event that has become something of an Institution down at False Creek and nearby Granville Island over the years.

Not only can you watch 100s of people taking part in the actual races themselves, there will be plenty of live music and vendors to really make this a fantastic occasion. The festivities will officially open up with an exciting opening ceremony that encompasses the Spiritual aspect of the occasion.

Vancouver has had a long history with Dragon Boat Racing, this is mainly due to the long standing relationship between Canada and China over the years. Since the 1940s where Vancouver was preparing for its 60th Jubilee anniversary, the idea was to create a Dragon Boat to commemorate the occasion, but it was also created to acknowledge that the City would be known as the Gateway to Asia, what better way to promote this than by having a dragon boat festival. Unfortunately the idea was temporarily shelved, it would finally come to fruition for the arrival of Expo 1986.

At Expo 1986, Vancouver would finally let the Dragon Boat festival see the light of day, and it was at this milestone in the history of Vancouver that the Festival was to be born.

So please head down False Creek and get immersed in this great festival, the designs of the boats (which traditionally are decorated colorfully with heads of dragons at the front of the boat and the back end showing the tail), you will likely get a sense of the cultural, spiritual and meaning behind the Dragon Boats.

http://dragonboatbc.ca/

Get a good dose of the Sunshine coast into your system….

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

One of the most convenient perks that the Sunset Inn and Suites offers is the option of free parking of a single vehicle per room. Now as much as driving around the city of Vancouver can be a little challenging at times, it does give you great freedom to explore the local districts of North and West Vancouver and beyond in very little time, and this we wholeheartedly encourage!!!

As the weather is about to turn the corner to clear skies and plenty of warm sunshine, this will be a good time to show off an area called ‘The Sunshine Coast’.

One of our favorite places to visit is the beautiful and tranquil Bowen Island.

Looking out west from English Bay you can see Bowen Island out in the distance, it looks like a large hilly peninsula that melts away to the ocean, at the height of summer you will get to witness some stunning sunsets as it falls behind the peak of Mount Gardner on the island
.
The island is truly beautiful, situated in the middle of Howe Sound it is known to some as the gateway to the Sunshine Coast. The small town of Gibsons is located a little further West where you hop across via the ferry.

The attraction and appeal of Bowen are the artisan shops, the gentler speed of life, the local ecology and the breathtaking scenery…..it is certainly a place to be if you really appreciate the great outdoors and an easy going pace of life.

To reach Bowen is pretty easy, and why not make a whole day of it? A good full day out will be to drive to Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver, hop across to Horseshoe Bay where you can take the vehicle onto the Bowen Island Ferry, dropping you off at idyllic Snug Cove. It is just a short 20 minute journey across the Howe Sound, oh and please have the camara handy, the backdrop of the steep mountains and natural Fjord is truly stunning.
The ferry will drop you off at Snug Cove and you will find yourself right by the small village, here there are some very good restaurants, a pub and artisan shops to visit, plus the local Tourist Information office is here too.

So check it out, you will have a blast!!!!

http://www.bowen-island-bc.com/