Archive for July, 2012

Celebration of lights fireworks begins on Saturday July 28th!!!

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

The Sunset Inn hotel is getting ready for the official start of major festivities in Vancouver.

Starting this Saturday July 28th, the first of 3 huge fireworks displays will be occurring at English Bay as part of the annual Celebration of Light Fireworks competition.

This is an event that is by far one of the most popular in Vancouver, and for all those who live in the West End we see this as the true beginning of summer.

Please see the link below to know what to expect…

http://hondacelebrationoflight.com/

This is a major event in the city, and with any huge event such as this you will have to expect road closures, so, we do strongly suggest that if you do have a vehicle this will be the best day to leave it at the hotel, the West End completely shuts down for traffic at around 4pm, so the streets can let around half a million people migrate through the West End towards English Bay.

We always suggest that you head straight down to the Beach via the seawall on Thurlow Street to Sunset Beach and towards English Bay…..you do not have to be right at the Bay to see the display, it will be crazy full and if anything Sunset Beach will be quieter yet – still it has an amazing vantage point, also GO EARLY….there will be a stage and live bands to entertain you as the sun sets before the big show shoots into the sky at 10pm…be prepared to be dazzled!!!!

As for the rest of the summer, please keep checking this blog for further exciting events. Over the next couple of months the Vancouver Calender does get pretty busy, the events following the fireworks are as follows…….The Davie Street Dance Party on August 3rd.

http://www.coopradio.org/events/barefoot-davie-street-dance-party

Following hot on its heels is the Annual Pride Festival and parade, then all this ends with a bang with the Vancouver Fringe Festival during September…….summer has never been so good in Vancity!!!

http://www.vancouverpride.ca/

Also in 2009 during the South African display at the celebration of light, a very rare thunderstorm moved over the city and very nearly upstaged the event itself, I believe the footage will speak for itself…..the 1st is a timelapse of the day, pretty breathtaking, the second video is the full display itself…enjoy!

http://youtu.be/HNgk1pEHi_Q

http://youtu.be/TwDDdfLYbDA

Get your running boots on…..its the Summer Fest 10k @ Stanley Park

Friday, July 20th, 2012

This Saturday on July 21st is the return of the annual Summerfest 10k race.

The race is for anyone who wants to walk jog or run, and is also a great opportunity to check out the beautiful Sea Wall and the ever green and gorgeous Stanley Park…

The race begins at Second Beach at 8am,(Near the Second Beach Pool) so make sure you a good nights sleep on the Friday so you are in good shape and fine form for such an early start, please check the link below for further information.

http://vfac.ca/club-events/summerfast-10k/

Also, if you are looking to check out another event this day, head down to Surrey where there is the Surrey Fusion Festival, an event that fuses multiculturalism, food and music!!! (Headlining at the festival are Los Lobos)……. And its free!

http://www.surrey.ca/fusionfestival/

Isn't life a beach!!!!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

It seemed like it would never come, but we can safely say now that since July came around summer seems to truly have arrived!!! We have literally just had only a handful of grey skies, and after the deluge and cold that was our June, we feel that many of us were losing hope and our minds as to when will Summer start – if it ever was to return?

Worry not, Vancouver has been basking under cloudless skies for a few weeks now, and fingers crossed this will be the general trend for the next few months.

Here we want to suggest the best beaches and swimming pools for you to enjoy…

Beaches of Vancouver
Sunset Beach

A beach on your door step, just a 5 minute walk down the hill and you will find yourself at the mouth of False Creek and English Bay, from here you will get some stunning views of a gorgeous Sunset out West, and looking East, you have the stunning backdrop of the majestic Burrard Bridge and Granville Island. There is also the cute Sunset Beach Cafe for a bite to eat if you fancy.

English Bay, Second and Third Beach

By far one of the most popular and well known beach to visit. From English Bay you will be treated to some stunning views of Bowen Island and the central portion of
Vancouver Island. This area is also the gateway to Stanley Park, if you follow the Sea Wall you will eventually come across Second Beach. At Second Beach you will find one of many Open air swimming pools, Second Beach Pool is pretty big and certainly a big hit for families to all enjoy, keep walking further and you will be at Third Beach near Prospect Point, an excellent viewing area from Stanley Park…well worth a visit.Also a tip for some good views and food, try The Boathouse for excellent
seafood and/or The Cactus Club Cafe.

Kitsilano Beach
We adore kitsilano Beach, it is our little bit of California, a long stretch of sandy beach that has beautiful scenic views of The North Shore Mountains and Downtown
Vancouver, here you will see people play Beach Volley Ball and other beach sporting activities. There is also Kitsilano Out Door Swimming Pool, probably the most
popular out door pool in the area. Just around the corner from Kitsilano Beach, you will find Vanier Park, here there is a beach that has been made a designated area for
Dogs to run around, some of the puppies love the attention too..

Jericho Beach/Spanish Bank
As we head out west towards the University of British Columbia, the beaches really start to look very different, much more sandy beaches to play around with, we now
begin to wind our way round the peninsula from Vancouver’s English Bay towards the more open ocean of the Georgia Strait. Here the visual scenary of the city and the
mountains really do begin to open up, what ever you do, do not forget the camera!

Wreck Beach
This is the mother of all beaches in the area, you have excellent views of the majority of Vancouver Island, amazing location as Wreck Beach is situated at the UBC
Campus, which itself is a really special area to walk around, and is also home to the UBC Botanical Gardens and the Museam of Anthropology, but approach with a
little caution, it is one of the most popular and famous nudist beaches……its not a requirement to let yourself walk around naked, but just so you know……

http://vancouver.ca/parks/rec/beaches/

Folk Festival at Deep Cove

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Deep Cove is by far one of the best kept secrets of the Vancouver North shore area. The small village is literally built alongside a natural Cove nestled within the mouth of Indian Arm.

Indian Arm is gorgeous for sightseeing as it is nestled between Grouse mountain and Mount Seymour. Deep Cove is famous for being one of the homes of Dragon Boat racing, regular boating and yachting, its also an extremely popular destination for anyone who wants to go Kayaking. Wether you are experienced or not, this is the place to go on these long hot summer days that have finally arrived to greet us.

http://www.deepcovekayak.com/

Not only that, but Deep Cove will be holding its annual North Shore Folkfest. Now in its 38th year, that are plenty of musicians to be entertained by on the evenings of Saturday June 16th and Sunday June 17th.

http://www.deepcovebc.com

So here is a suggestion on how you can make a full fun packed day with your loved ones. Deep Cove and the North Shore are easily accessible from The Sunset Inn and Suites either by Public Transport or your own vehicle. And if you are unsure – do not hesitate to ask the staff at the front desk for information and directions, we will make sure you know how to get there.

On the way to the North Shore, take a quick detour around Stanley Park, whilst you are doing the loop, make sure you visit the Stanley Park Totem Poles, have time to spend a couple of hours at the Vancouver Aquarium, then onto Prospect Point for a breathtaking view of the city, English Bay, Bowen Island, Lionsgate Bridge and The North Shore Mountains. Once this has been achieved, you are now ready to move over the Lionsgate Bridge towards North Vancouver and onto Lynn Canyon then Deep Cove.

Lynn Canyon is located very close to Deep Cove and will be the next destination after Stanley Park. The Canyon boasts a smaller wooden Suspension Bridge in comparison to Capilano Suspension Bridge (Lynn Canyon is truly the spot the majority of locals will tend to go too), The Lynn Canyon Cafe which is home to an ecological centre that educates you on the local Flora, Fauna and ecology of the Canyon a few yards away. There are also some excellent hiking trails that follow the river from the Grouse Mountain, we highly recommend that you explore the trails.

From Lynn Canyon you can then make your way east towards Deep Cove, here there are more trails to explore, the cute village, and gorgeous beach that is part of this natural cove….here you will be able to sign up and go Kayaking for an hour or more. After you have enjoyed the dip…..evening time should soon be upon you, now you can sit back and enjoy the music from the FolkFest.

Two novelty ways to explore Vancouver city and beyond…

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

We believe that Vancouver is one of the most stunning cities in the world and how could you not. So what are the best ways to see the city and its surroundings? We feel we have a few novelty ideas that will make your trip that extra bit special.

As always, we will always recommended the regular city tours such as the cool Big Bus and Trolley tours, but Vancouver has a few more options up its sleeve – these are the famous walking tours of the city and Seaplane tours of Vancouver, Vancouver Island, ocean and mountains.

For those of you who like to explore the city on foot, Vancouver is indeed spoiled for choice with a great number of walking tours around the city – our pick will be ‘The Tour Guys’.

The Tour Guys offer free tours and more specialized walking tours at an offerdable price around our town, these guys are an absolute pleasure to be chaperoned around the city, they are energetic, fun and are pretty much street performers in their own right, but they belong to you, we think this is pretty awesome.
The tours focus on three areas of the city, which includes the well known area of Gastown which is the oldest area of Vancouver and certainly has quite some character and many many stories behind the scenes of Gastown, these stories you will be sure to hear from these great guys.

The tours which you will have to spend a little cash on include – Murder, mystery and mayhem, Eat your cart out (a delightful tour of the now famous Foodcarts of Vancouver), and a Craft beer tour called Beer makes history better – a tour that involves craft beers, sounds pretty cool eh!

If there is a tour that does not fit your schedule, you can also contact them and build a tour that fits you and your budget too…

The next option is a really really cool one, this could be a real treat for a loved one or an idea to have an epic view of the city, let us introduce to you the Harbour air seaplane tours.
Boasting a a large fleet of 39 aircraft, Harbour Air are proud to boast that they are the largest all Seaplane fleet in the entire world. Whenever you come to Vancouver, one of the most noticeable objects in the skies above you are these float planes buzzing all over the area.

The tours are great, they include anything from a short 10 to 20 minute tour of the City, to more extensive tours that travel farther afield such as Victoria, Seattle, Whistler, the great north shore mountains and Glaciers – we cannot think of anything more spectacular than buzzing around in a seaplane over Cypress, Grouse or Seymour mountains with the city falling behind.

http://www.harbour-air.com/

http://www.tourguys.ca/