Archive for August, 2013

In Vancouver for just a couple of days? That is plenty of time to explore the downtown core neighborhoods!

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Many of our guests that breeze through the hotel find that they are short on time to explore the area, so we want to explain to you about the districts that make up the downtown core of Vancouver and how you can maximize your time and still get to visit plenty of amazing places.

We will breakdown the local districts that make up the downtown peninsula that is nestled neatly in between Stanley Park and East Vancouver and the water ways that are the Burrard Inlet, False Creek and English Bay, for each district that is mentioned we will highlight some of the must see areas within them.

WEST END/DAVIE VILLAGE
This is the area that the Sunset Inn and Suites calls home and is one of the most vibrant and colourful of all the districts that the city has to offer.
Davie Village is a 3 block area that spans Davie Street, between the cross sections of Jervis St and Burrard St and is more commonly known as the Gay district of Vancouver. The streets here are awash with colour such as the Rainbow Painted Cross walks of Bute and Davie, bright pink bus stops and an enormous amount of restaurants to satisfy your bellies.

Once you have gotten yourself orientated around our local neighborhood the next place to visit should be Granville Island.

GRANVILLE ISLAND
The jewel in the crown and a must see place to visit when you are in Vancouver, by not coming to Granville Island is like going to New York and not bothering to see the Statue of Liberty, so there you have it – get on down there.
Like Pikes Place Market in Seattle, Granville Island has plenty of wonderful boutique shops, so many market stalls, restaurants and entertainment to keep you occupied for quite some time.
The area is famous for its Buskers, it has a few Theatres for you to enjoy such as The Backstage Lounge which is an excellent venue for Live music and plenty of Comedy and Live Improve at the Vancouver TheatreSports League.

The Island is also famous for its more quirky stores to visit such as The Granville Island Broom co, and you have guessed it they make lots and lots of Brooms, and it is all done there and then at the Store before your eyes, its pretty impressive to see these Brooms, Dust pans and other items be handcrafted from scratch using the very best local materials from the area.

Broom Co website http://www.broomcompany.com/

Granville Island is home to the very first Sake maker in Canada to open a store, and like the Broom shop, all the Sake produced is being made from within the store there are tours are available too.

Sake Website http://artisansakemaker.dreamhosters.com/

For dining on the Island we highly recommend The Sandbar Restaurant. This is a huge hit in the area and everyone we recommend there has not been disappointed. It is a very Vancouver style establishment too, with a menu that is sure to satisfy everyone, if you are looking for Pub style food – you got it, fancy trying something that is more Asian fusion like Sushi – you got it, you are craving some excellent Pacific Northwest Seafood – well guess what? You got that here too – oh and ask to be sat at the very top, the views from the upper level balcony is fantastic!

Sandbar Website http://www.vancouverdine.com/sandbar

GASTOWN-CHINATOWN
From Granville Island you can then make your way to the older and most popular areas of Vancouver which is the districts of Gastown and Chinatown. Here you are entering the more historical side of the city which is full of character. From the Cobbled stone streets of Gastown to the hustle and bustle of the Chinatown district which is one of the oldest in North America – during the summer months it boasts a great Night market from 6 till 11 on the weekends, its full of excellent food and amazing craft stalls at a very affordable price.

The Gastown district has no shortage of great restaurants to dine in and lots of souvenir shops so you can buy gifts for friends and family to remember the trip.
The most notable places to see when you are in this area is the world famous Gastown Steam Clock, amazing array of restaurants and gorgeous boutique shops, in this area you are spoiled for choice when it comes to fashion as there are so many with really cute and trendy styles of all genres, whether you are into Pin Up, hipster, punk or designer it is all here for your pleasure.

For further information on these districts: Gastown http://www.gastown.org/

Chinatown: http://www.vancouver-chinatown.com/

VANCOUVER ART GALLERY
The VAG is a very popular destination to visit and has some amazing Art work to delight anyone who is creative and love to see new works of Art. They boast a collection of 10,000 pieces of their own permanent personal collection of Art.
The grounds outside the gallery are a popular assembly point for protests and some events such as Canada Day, so go check it out.

Vancouver Art Gallery: http://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/

Many of these places are very easy to reach via Public transport, and whats even better is the BIG BUS Tours as these guys will transport you all through the downtown core and the places that we have listed, and they have special deals set up with the hotel so it is always best to speak to the Front Desk and purchase your ticket here.

For further information on Big bus click here: http://bigbus.ca/home/

Please click on the following link to read the Sunset Inn’s latest Newsletter http://www.hebsmarketing.com/Sunset_Inn/07_July_2013/index.html

Visiting the capital of BC Victoria.

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

While you are enjoying your visit in the area of Vancouver it is worth it to check out the Capital of BC which is Victoria. Ideally spending a few days in our area and then a quick overnight stay will work, however, there are excellent day tour options to get you over to Vancouver Island as well as the Seaplanes.

HOW MUCH TIME DO WE NEED?
A day trip to Victoria is feasible but you must plan this trip carefully to ensure that you get to see the very best of what Victoria has to offer, so we suggest that you get up early and leave as late as possible. Public transportation is available, so here are the best options for getting there by yourself.

GETTING TO VICTORIA VIA PACIFIC COACH-LINES)
We can book you an early morning excursion with Pacific Coaches, picking up at (8.30am) at The Sandman Hotel entrance on Davie St which is directly behind us.
These reservations can be made via the Front Desk with further information from the staff if required.

Alternatively you can head down to MAIN ST STATION and get the next available bus to Victoria if you wish to depart later in the day. Order a Cab via the front desk at the hotel, it will then be a short 10 minute Cab ride to the Station costing roughly $12.
Proceed to the Pacific Coach line desk and here you can purchase your ticket and jump on the Bus. The Bus will transport you directly to Victoria town center. The trip includes the Ferry Journey.

Pacific Coach lines Website: http://www.pacificcoach.com/

FINDING YOUR OWN WAY TO VICTORIA via TSAWWASSEN FERRY TERMINAL
PLEASE NOTE The Journey to Victoria from Vancouver takes roughly 3.5 hours in total travel time even if that is by public transport or if you are driving by yourself.

Public Route
BUS NUMBER 6 (Davie St Bus) ……Catch @Denny’s Restaurant on Davie and Thurlow St. Transfer @Yaletown Station – Catch the RICHMOND SKYTRAIN Southbound to BRIDGEPORT STATION….Transfer to the BUS NUMBER 620 Bus (Tsawwassen Ferry Bus) to the Ferry Terminal Station (Final Stop)
THIS ROUTE IS $5.50 ADULTS $3.75 CONCESSION

FLOATPLANE
A fantastic way to get to Victoria in no time (roughly 30 mins) and a great way to check out the scenery from above.
You can either go there one way, return, or if you are feeling adventurous you can even do a tour of the local skies in the area. It will be a memorable trip that you won’t forget.

Harbour Air who operate from Coal Harbour are your best bet for this kind of excursion.

http://www.harbourair.com/

LANDSEA TOURS
We believe that the most efficient and practical way to visit the main attractions that Victoria has to offer is by using Landsea Tours.
They have a great package deal that picks you up from the hotel, takes you all around Victoria while you get to spend time at the world famous and stunning Butchart Gardens, Museum of Victoria and some time to wander down the downtown core – while you are at it, you should drop by at the empress and experience their famous High Tea.

The tours are a 13 hour day, and will drop you back off at the hotel by around 9pm. Reservations can be made via the front desk at the hotel.

www.vancouvertours.com/victoria-tour‎

EVENTS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN AUGUST!

Monday, August 5th, 2013

Take a quick glance at some of the events to look out for during this month of August!

TD VANCOUVER CHINATOWN FESTIVAL
10th & 11th August, 2013, at Columbia & Keefer Street

In its 13th year, this is a great festival for all the family to enjoy…soak up the sights and sounds in the 3rd largest Chinatown district of North America.
The Festival includes a day market, “Historical & Food Tasting Walking tour”, Kids corner, multicultural stage performances, Cultural Corner, TD Youth Talent Showdown, Young Star Challenge, theme related activities and Streetfest.

Click on link for further information: http://www.vancouver-chinatown.com/events/2013/ctf_main.php
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/TD-Vancouver-Chinatown-Festival/129549240480971

The VANCOUVER QUEER FILM FESTIVAL
August 15th-25th
Featuring over 70 films from 20 countries, Vancouver’s second largest film festival invites audiences to participate at their 25th anniversary fest. Watch films that showcase queer stories over 11 days at six venues around Vancouver – from Hollywood to Bollywood, from drama to documentary, and from indie cinema to big-budget offerings. Join us for unforgettable parties, community discussions, and a PechaKucha powered discussion called “Who Are We, Cinema?”. – See more at: http://www.queerfilmfestival.ca/content/ABOUT_US/598#sthash.oPkA4XLO.dpuf

Tickets: http://www.queerfilmfestival.ca/film/2013_PROGAM/739

Website: http://www.queerfilmfestival.ca/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/VancouverQFF?fref=ts

ENCHANTED EVENINGS CONCERT SERIES @ DR. SUN YAT-SEN CLASSICAL CHINESE GARDENS 20th ANNIVERSARY
Fridays running till August 30th, 2013

Enchant your evenings with the critically acclaimed concert series at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden every Friday night of July and August, 2013. Celebrate the Enchanted Evening’s 20th anniversary season with a range of musical performances including traditional Peking Opera, upcoming Jazz sensations, soulful Blues, and Afro Cuban rhythms!
Enchant your evenings with the critically acclaimed concert series at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden every Friday night of July and August, 2013. Celebrate the Enchanted Evening’s 20th anniversary season with a range of musical performances including traditional Peking Opera, upcoming Jazz sensations, soulful Blues, and Afro Cuban rhythms!

Website: http://vancouverchinesegarden.com/calendar/enchanted-evenings-2013/
Facebook:: https://www.facebook.com/vancouverchinesegarden

THE ABBOTSFORD INTERNATIONAL AIRSHOW
August 9th, 10th and 11th
Schedule of events – the same for all 3 days!
9:00AM Gates Open to the Public *NEW IN 2013*
Static Ramp and Displays Open
11:00AM
Anthems and Opening
11:00AM – 4:30PM
Main Flying Events Program with
CF Snowbirds Demonstration Team at 3:30PM
12:00PM- 5:00PM
McDonald’s Kids Zone Open *NEW IN 2013*
6:00PM GATES CLOSED
11:00 OPENING Skyhawks Flag Jump/Anthems
CF Combined Forces Tac Demo –Griffon, 2x CF-18 Hornet
11:30 Langley Museum of Flight
Smoke-n-Thunder Jet Truck
Extra 300S/ Eagle 580 Aerobatics Demo
12:00 Kent Pietsch – Interstate comedy
Extreme Firebirds 2-ship Demo
12:30 Manfred Radius – Salto Sailplane Aerobatics
Merlin Magic – Spitfire & P-51 Demo
13:00 Kent Pietsch – Trucktop Landing
CF Skyhawks – streamer drop
442 Squadron – SAR Demo
13:30 Rob Holland – MX2 aerobatics
CF Skyhawks
14:00 Greg Colyer – Acemaker T-33 aerobatics
Smoke-n-Thunder Jet Truck
14:20 Warbird Group
The 4CE – four ship Demo
15:00 CF-18 Hornet Demo
Kent Pietsch – Deadstick Routine
15:30 CF Snowbirds Demonstration Team

- See more at: http://www.abbotsfordairshow.com/index.php?p=1_37_ABOUT-US#sthash.YtHmd1AZ.dpuf
An exciting new attraction is coming to the Abbotsford International Airshow for 2013 – The Kids Zone put on by Par-T-Perfect.
This new family feature is sponsored in part by McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada – Aldergrove McDonald’s and the South Fraser Way Abbotsford McDonald’s.
The Airshow Kids Zone has activities to entertain children and toddlers and will be open from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. on all three days, 9, 10 and 11 August. Activities include:
A climbing wall;
Huey Helicopter Ballpit: An inflated Ball Pit with spinning propeller;
Carnival games;
Obstacle Challenge: An inflated obstacle course of tunnels and slides;
Travis the Train: an exciting train complete with bouncer section and slide combination;
9-Hole Mini Golf; and
A Craft Zone: Kids will have the opportunity to be creative and make their own airplane.
As a special bonus, two visiting celebrity guests will make an appearance 9 and 10 August to take part in a Dunk Tank to raise money for a local charity. Mikey McBryan and Scott Blue of the famed Canadian docu-series Ice Pilots NWT are special guests coming to Abbotsford specifically to watch the airshow and interact with spectators including the children enjoying the Kids Zone.
The illustrious Ronald McDonald will be making an appearance in the Kids Zone Sunday, 11 August, between 12:00 and 1:00 pm.

- See more at: http://www.abbotsfordairshow.com/index.php?news&nid=16#sthash.Z4UfKMRB.dpuf

CELEBRATE! STANLEY PARK 125YRS
August 24 – 25, 2013
Stanley Park celebrates its 125th anniversary this August with a huge, free, two-day festival full of fun for all ages.

Celebrate! Stanley Park will have five festival zones:
Live at Second Beach, where there will be a all-day live music, food concessions, outdoor sports, and a “beer garden” featuring Stanley Park Brewery’s fine selection of beers.
http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/live-at-second-beach.aspx
Family Fun at the (Lumberman’s) Arch, which will feature kids’ performers, live music and dance, workshops, interactive games, and a nylon zoo.
http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/family-fun-at-the-arch.aspx
Memory Lane at the Gardens, which includes a Celebrate! Stanley Park sing-a-long with TUTS(!), plus historic walking tours.
http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/memory-lane-at-the-gardens.aspx
Brockton Sportsapoolza, with rugby and cricket games.
http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/brockton-sportsapalooza.aspx
Lost Lagoon’s EcoHarmony, which includes nature displays, games and events hosted by Stanley Park Ecology Society.
Celebrate! Stanley Park runs August 24 – 25, 2013. It should be amazing! (And, also, crowded, so take the bus or bike to avoid dealing with packed parking.)
http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/lost-lagoon-s-ecoharmony.aspx