Posts Tagged ‘Coal harbour’

Want to see Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler but short on days….Follow our lead here….

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

As the seasons starts to get that little bit busier throughout April we find that many of our visiting guests are generally here for a few short days. In most peoples minds there is never really enough time to get any sort of sightseeing done, and, if the weather is not too good is it really worth it? Well, in all honesty we think YES!

The Staff at the Sunset Inn and Suites really do pride ourselves on our extensive knowledge of the city and we feel with our direction and expertise that we have to offer, we will be able to figure out the very best way you can enjoy the city.

This blog will explain some of the major attractions that you can see in a short space of time. Ideally if you are planning on visiting Vancouver for a few days make it 3 if possible. That way you can dedicate one day to getting around the city of Vancouver and then the remaining last few days you can venture further by checking out Whistler and/or Victoria.

There are many Tour operators here that are on hand to chauffeur you around the city and many of them are an excellent way of getting around where you can effortlessly see some spectacular sights without having to think too much! The best part of using these tours is that they generally have some excellent rates set up directly with the hotel so you can even save some money by booking through us, as opposed to booking ahead of time, this is a good idea for organizing for sure, but you can save more in the long term by asking for deals at the Front Desk.

Sightseeing in Vancouver
There are plenty of tours to choose from that will get you to see the city efficiently and with some fantastic guides to help you on your way. Our favorite pick for Sightseeing is undoubtedly the Big Bus – Hop on Hop off sightseeing city tours.

BIG BUS – HOP ON HOP OFF CITY SIGHTSEEING.
Big Bus are a cool bunch of people, they have extensive knowledge of the city, they have a fantastic team of dedicated staff that will make your excursion around the city memorable.

“What better way to see the sights of Vancouver than from a seat on one of our unique sightseeing buses! When you select a BIG BUS tour, you’ll have the opportunity to spend time at any of our stops, including major attractions, shopping areas, and many of Vancouver’s fine restaurants. On BIG BUS, there’s no need to rush!

When purchasing your ticket from the Front Desk, the ticket will be valid for 2 full days at a value fo 2 for the price of one and the Big Bus Hop-on/Hop-off policy means you can spend as much time as you’d like at any particular destination. We stop at Gastown, Chinatown, Stanley Park, Granville Island, Robson Street Shopping District, English Bay, Entertainment District and more.”

Operating Hours
April 15 – September 30 – 7 days/week
9:00 am – 6:30 pm

Big Bus Route.

We recommend that you do a full circuit tour of the city first so you can get to see everything, and then start to do the Hop on Hop off – also, you do not have to use the tickets in 2 consecutive days, you have a 3 week window in which you can fulfill the 2 days sightseeing – perfect if you are stopping over in Vancouver at the beginning and end of a nice Alaskan Cruise!

Big Bus Website: www.bigbus.ca

Biking around the city.
What better way to really get to see the city on your own time than by hopping on a bike and taking advantage of all the bike paths that are spread out all over Vancouver. Cycling is a very efficient way of getting around the perimeter of the gorgeous Stanley Park too! If you are adventurous enough you can even bike the whole Seawall (all 22km of it) from Downtown Coal Harbour area right through to Kitsilano and Kitsilano Beach via Granville Island.

ENGLISH BAY BIKE RENTALS
These guys are our preferred choice for Bike Rentals. They have a great selection of different types of bikes to choose from, they also do bike repairs and buy and sell bikes too!

English Bay Bike Rentals is pleased to announce that they will be working with Vancouver Bike Tours, an interpretive guiding company that offers daily bicycle tours of beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. The tours make use of Vancouver’s picturesque seawall, Stanley Park’s vast network of forest trails and the City’s ever-expanding grid of bike lanes. Along the way you will hear local stories, receive historical information and experience the thrill of cycling through a living rainforest.

English Bay Bike Rentals Website: http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

Please click the following link for the Vancouver Bike Tours website for booking information if you wish to join a tour. http://biketourvancouver.com/tours-offered/

Tours to Whistler and Victoria
It really would be shame to miss out on taking a quick visit to see Victoria and Whistler as these smaller towns are really not too far away at all. There are various ways you can get here. Here are our 2 preferred Tour Operators.
The following two options work on the same principle, you will be picked up at the Hotel and then they will drive you to various scenic locations as well as the towns that you wish to see, you will also have time to walk around Whistler/Victoria too. We highly recommend that you book this with us as it is a good tour to book last minute, you will get to see way more with a guide and time will be something that you do not have to think about, and when you bundle the price it will be so much better for your wallet in the long run.

VANTAGE WHISTLER TOURS
Vancouver to Whistler sightseeing van tours.
Experience the best in Whistler sightseeing. A full day, 11 hour tour, which includes 6 stops. The stops include Prospect Point, Cypress Mountain, Porteau Cove, Shannon Falls, Brandywine Falls, and Whistler Village. The tour starts with a pick up from your hotel, followed by a scenic drive around Stanley Park, over the Lions Gate Bridge, onto the Sea-To-Sky Highway, through Squamish, and ending up in Whistler. In Whistler, enjoy 4 hours of free time to explore the village, which is full of great restaurants, shops, and attractions. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try the new Peak-To-Peak Gondola or a Zip-Line tour or even Bungee Jumping! Vantage Whistler operates all tours using Mercedes_Benz Sprinters.

Website: http://vantagewhistler.com/

LANDSEA TOURS – Great for Victoria Excursions.
Like Vantage Whistler they pick you up and drop you off at the hotel. They have a great day trip to Victoria that includes the ferry trip too!

Victoria and Butchart Gardens; our most popular excursion, is the best if you want to visit our provincial capital and the world-renowned gardens in just one day. Maximize your time and save money, by turning a potentially difficult transfer between Vancouver and Victoria into an easy, fully-narrated day tour. With plenty of free time in downtown Victoria and at Butchart Gardens, this will be a day you will never forget.

The bus drives onto the ferry for a 1.5 hour cruise to Vancouver Island. Full restaurant facilities on board.
A scenic drive through exclusive residential areas and parks surrounding downtown Victoria.
See the Parliament Buildings, Empress Hotel and more of Downtown Victoria’s vibrant harbour front during your free time to explore.

Landsea Tours: http://www.vancouvertours.com/victoria-tour

Where to capture the very best Christmas lights in Vancouver…

Wednesday, December 11th, 2013

December is here, the Snow has arrived and the festive cheer is in full swing on the streets in the West End. We have already seen and listened to some great Brass Bands and Christmas Carols being sung on Davie St and Bute St near the new Park and Rainbow Crosswalk, it is just a few minutes walk away so keep an eye out for the Christmas cheer here…

This is the time of year when all the festivities focus their attention on outdoing each other with the very best lights to dazzle all the family, so here we will tell where to go to get the very best Christmas Light displays…

St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation’s Lights of Hope
The St Pauls Foundation of Light has been dazzling spectators that walk past the Hospital since 1998 and it is all for a very very good cause.
The aim of the lights is to help raise funds for the hospital itself, so it can purchase the very best medical equipment that it needs, it will enable them to increase funds towards better research and of the course enhanced Patient care for all those in need at St Pauls.
The lights are all assembled by Volunteers and my oh my are they beautiful….If you wish to check out the lights, head down towards Burrard and Davie and walk North on Burrard, it is just a 5 minute walk or so away from the Sunset Inn and Suites.

The hospital has a target goal to reach of $2.2-million – If you wish to help you can make a donation towards the campaign’s fundraising goal, call 604-662-HOPE or visit www.lightsofhope.com.

Festival of Lights at the VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver
It may not seem the best time of year to visit Gardens in the deep of Winter, but wait, we think you should consider this one……The Festival of Lights creates the Gardens into quite a stunning wonderland, it is something that should be on your list when you come here especially as the Van Dusen Gardens are world famous and for good reason!
What is even better, you will be in the company of Elves, Candy-Canes and Hot chocolates to guide your way around this most serene settings.

vand dusen festival of lights map

Website: http://vandusengarden.org/

Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park
We have written about the excellent Christmas train and the bright lights before, but it is that good that we feel it should be recommended a visit to come on down…
Check out Stanley Park like you have never seen before, the kids especially will love this trip out to the enchanted Rain-forest that we are proud to show off in the city.
Partial proceeds from the sale of Bright Nights tickets go to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, which helps burn survivors and their families. $1.4 million has been raised over the past 14 years.

Website: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/bright-nights-train.aspx

Capilano Canyon Lights
A very popular attraction that is a must see location no matter what time of year, Capilano is quite incredible when all lit up on these very dark nights, it also boasts the largest lit up Christmas Tree too, Standing 46.4m (152 feet) tall the Douglas-fir will be adorned in thousands of sparkling lights…..Woohoo!

Website: http://www.capbridge.com/explore/canyon-lights/

Coal Harbour/Canada Place/English Bay
Although not on an official list a very good idea is to head down to the water as there will be trees, boats and yachts all decorated and decked up for the festive season, a great opportunity to see how the locals dazzle at Christmas time.

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

Your guide to get too and from the Sunset Inn/Major attractions…

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Although we may not be in the actual ‘Downtown core’ – we are part of the downtown peninsula that sets the downtown area apart from the suburbs of the greater Vancouver districts.

This blog will explain how far it is to the major attractions and other popular tourist destinations that you may have to travel through, hopefully this will help with answering any of the questions that are required to help towards planing your trip.

To and from VANCOUVER AIRPORT (YVR)
DRIVING – Upon leaving the terminal, you will be on Grant McConachie Way. Travel over the Arthur Laing Bridge. Stay in the far right lane at the end of the bridge onto Granville Street. Continue on Granville Street. After traveling over the Granville St. Bridge into downtown Vancouver, take the second left at Davie Street. Go four blocks up Davie and turn left onto Thurlow Street. Then take the first right at Burnaby Street. The second building from the corner on the right is Sunset Inn & Suites.

JOURNEY TIME -Around 30 mins

CANADA LINE (SKY TRAIN) YVR
Canada Line: First Train YVR/Airport to Waterfront – First Train 5:07am/ Last Train 1:05am
Canada Line: Frequency
Canada Line schedules provided are estimates only and are subject to change based on operational requirements.
Time of day Canada Line

YVR/Airport – Waterfront Canada Line
Peak Hours 6-7 min. 6-7 min. 3-4 min.
Midday 6-7 min. 6-7 min. 3-4 min.
Evening 12 min. 12 min. 6 min.
Late Night 20 min. 20 min. 10 min.
Early Sat, Sun 12 min. 12 min. 6 min.
Sat, Sun & Hol. 7-20 min. 7-20 min. 4-10 min.
*Please note: prior to 5:30 am, the Cordova Street entrance to Waterfront Station is closed. During that time, Canada Line customers should enter Waterfront via the entrance on Granville at Hastings.
Richmond-Brighouse | YVR/Airport | Waterfront
7 days a week First Train Last Train
Waterfront to YVR/Airport 4:48am 1:05am
Waterfront to Richmond-Brighouse 5:30am 1:15am
YVR/Airport to Waterfront 5:07am 12:56am
Richmond-Brighouse to Waterfront 5:02am 12:47am

TRANSLINK WEBSITE http://www.translink.ca/

TAXI-CAB
You can easily hail a cab at the Airport, the price to get from the Airport is roughly around $35 including Tip. (There are plenty of cabs to be found, just look for the signs to tell you where the pick up station is, any cab will be sufficient for your journey).
CAUTION! A MAXIMUM of 4 PERSONS only are allowed to travel in a Taxi Cab when boarding within the City of Vancouver, even if you were able to fit more than 4 when you were travelling from the Airport. This is a city by law.
PRICE $35 (with tip) TIME 30mins

CRUISE SHIP TERMINAL
It is always best to order a Taxi-Cab at the hotel if you are heading to the terminal – specify that you may want a Van Taxi if you wish to transport lots of luggage.
You can also hail a cab at the terminal as it is in an area where there are lots of hotels and shops etc, so it is a heavy traffic for Taxi Cabs too.
COST & TIME It will take around 10 mins to get too and from the Hotel and Cruise Ship terminal at Coal Harbour/Canada Place and should cost around $12.

TSAWWASSEN FERRY TERMINAL – VICTORIA (Swartz Bay)
The easiest and most efficient way to get to Victoria from the hotel will be to use the PACIFIC COACH LINES at MAIN ST STATION. Order a Cab at the hotel, then it is a short 10 minute Cab ride to the Station costing roughly $12.
Proceed to the Pacific Coachline desk and here you can purchase your ticket and jump on the Bus. The Bus will transport you directly to Victoria town centre. The trip combines the Ferry Journey, read below to see the breakdown of the cost of travel.

ONE WAY FARES (Not Including Ferry prices)
http://www.pacificcoach.com/Bus-Coach-Travel/Crosswater/Vancouver-to-Victoria

And additional Ferry Cost
http://www.pacificcoach.com/About-Us/Travelling-with-Pacific-Coach

GRANVILLE ISLAND
Driving is an option, although we do strongly advise that you get the False Creek Ferry to and from the Island.
BY CAR – The Following link has the directions and map written out so you can print this if you wish to go by yourself https://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&tab=wl&authuser=0

Or you can catch the Cute False Creek Ferry – Just walk South down Thurlow Street and continue along the hill until you reach the SEAWALL
Turn Left on the Seawall and you will walk towards the Burrard Bridge, a few minutes on and you will walk down the path to the Pick up terminal just before you reach the Bridge.

Click on the following link for a Map and Directions – https://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&tab=wl&authuser=0

This is the link to the False Creek Ferries – Your destination is The Vancouver Aquatic Centre – http://www.granvilleislandferries.bc.ca/fares_schedule.htm

GASTOWN/CHINATOWN
The best way as it is the most direct route is by catching the NUMBER 6 Bus, you can pick this up outside Denny’s on Davie and get off at the Last Stop outside Water-Front Station at the mouth of the Gastown District.

The schedule for the No 6 bus route can be found here….http://tripplanning.translink.ca/hiwire?.a=iScheduleLookup

SHOPPING DISTRICTS (ROBSON ST & METROTOWN)
Robson St is very very close, just a walk Northbound up Thurlow St and in about 10 minutes you will be in the main shopping district of Vancouver!

METROTOWN MALL
This is the Vancouver/Burnaby area largest Mall and can be easily reached via the Number 6 Bus and then change at the GRANVILLE ST SKYTRAIN (Next to The Bay) Use the King George or VCC Clark trains to get to the Mall.

Metrotown Mall Website – http://www.metropolisatmetrotown.com/

To see the Schedules for the Expo/Millenium Lines – click on the following links. http://tripplanning.translink.ca/hiwire?.a=iScheduleLookupSearch&LineName=999&LineAbbr=999

This link is a detailed map on how to get to the Coal Harbour Cruise Ship terminal
https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=vancouver%20cruise%20ship%20terminal&rlz=1C1LENP_enCA521CA521&aq=f&um=1&hl=en&authuser=0&biw=1360&bih=643&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=il

Biking and Boating around Vancouver!

Monday, April 1st, 2013

The season has now begun where you can get out and about to see Vancouver in some serious detail. The best way to do this is by renting a bike or going on a small boat cruise around the Bay, Harbour and Creek that encircle the city.

ENGLISH BAY BIKE RENTALS
English Bay bike rentals are really very good. They have an extensive selection of bikes to choose from, and they are really decent so biking at your leisure will be comfortable and effortless.
They are also experts regarding repairs and general maintenance here, so if you have a question or a problem – just ask them for help!

If you like the bikes that much, they even sell the bikes – check their website for special deals and sales on these items. Also ask at the Front desk for further details and coupons.

http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

FALSE CREEK FERRIES
When you are visiting Vancouver and you are in the vicinity of False Creek there is a very good chance that you will use their cute little false creek ferry to get to your destination such as Science World and Granville Island.

They also do larger tours of False Creek itself, this is something we feel you will enjoy, along the way you will get to see stunning views of the downtown area, the Olympic Village, Granville Island Public Market and the mouth of English Bay.

http://www.granvilleislandferries.bc.ca/sightseeing.htm

HARBOUR CRUISES AND EVENTS
Harbour Cruises are based in Coal Harbour, they do great tours around the north side of the city in the inlet that separates North Vancouver and Vancouver City itself.
These tours include travelling up Indian Arm and the small town of Deep Cove, evening Dinner Cruises and tours to see the annual fireworks display in English Bay.

http://www.boatcruises.com/