Posts Tagged ‘Cypress Mountain’

North Shore mountains have opened early for Ski Season in Vancouver

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Ski season has come exceptionally early to Vancouver all thanks to an early colder snap of weather that is more akin to December and January. After a very soggy October November came by and started to dry out with gorgeous clear and sunny skies to grace the city – this does come at a price at this time of year as it generally means it will be cold. Although not as cool as some of the other provinces were experiencing, it did drop to -4c in Vancouver.

As the rains were beginning to taper off it did manage to get cold enough on the North Shore mountains for the precipitation to fall as Snow. After the skies cleared the temperatures at the top stayed below freezing, this enabled the Snow makers to come out and maximise the colder weather so they could fast track the process and open early!

We encourage you to go and ski or Snowboard over the coming few weeks before the word is well and truly out, not all the Ski tourists have arrived so you can get a chance of riding some great runs without the hills being too crowded! Fingers crossed the skies stay relatively clear as the views from the top of the North Shore mountains is truly stunning!

Vancouver has 3 local ski hills in the area and all have differing routes that will suit your skill levels – there are also some free shuttle buses to Cypress Mountain that you can pick up close to the hotel.

CYPRESS MOUNTAIN
The ski resort is a 30-minute drive north of downtown Vancouver, and has 53 named alpine ski runs (many accessible for night skiing) and 19 km of cross country trails. Snowshoeing tours are also popular. Snow schools and rentals, Cypress Creek Grill, Gold Medal Cafe and Crazy Raven Bar and Grill and a Big Bear Sports retail shop are also located on the premises in the Cypress Creek Lodge.
Cypress Mountain hosted the Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding events of the 2010 Winter Olympics

Website: http://cypressmountain.com/
Cypress Coach lines (Westend Pickup) this is the closest location to the Sunset Inn & Suites Hotel just a 5 minute walk away- ask staff for details and guidance) http://cypresscoachlines.com/

GROUSE MOUNTAIN
This is the site of an alpine ski area in the winter season overlooking Greater Vancouver with four chairlifts facilitating 26 runs. In the summer, the mountain features lumberjack shows, a birds of prey wildlife demonstration, a scenic chairlift ride, and a 2.9 km (1.8 mi.) hiking trail known as the Grouse Grind. Year-round operations include a 100-seat mountaintop theatre and a wildlife refuge. Public access to the mountain top is by a Swiss Garaventa aerial tramway, or the Grouse Grind hiking trail. They also have ‘The eye in the sky’ Wind turbine located at the top of the mountain which makes this ski hill easy to spot and a fantastic viewing point over looking Vancouver.
Website: https://www.grousemountain.com/

MOUNT SEYMOUR
Mount Seymour is probably your best bet if you are a beginner as some of the runs are not as challenging as the ones to be found on Cypress and Grouse. Seymour is a popular Snow shoeing destination.
Located in North Vancouver, within Mount Seymour Provincial Park. Mt. Seymour has been the choice of outdoor enthusiasts for over 60 years. An easy drive from anywhere in Greater Vancouver, Mt. Seymour draws you out of the city and into a spectacular winter playground. Like the other hills you will experience the breathtaking views of Vancouver, the ocean, Mt. Baker, Washington state, and Vancouver Island.
Website: http://www.mountseymour.com/

Swimming Pools and Beaches that you must visit!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Summer officially began on June 21st up here in the Northern Hemisphere – so its a good time to tell you about the excellent beaches and swimming pools you can enjoy!

SUNSET BEACH
Our namesake Beach is just a short 5 minute walk down the hill from the hotel. At Sunset Beach you get to experience some very good views of the The Burrard St Bridge, Granville Island, False Creek and the mouth of English Bay….it is one of our favorite beaches due to its location and the fact that it does not get as busy as the others…and of course you do get to experience some spectacular Sunsets from this vantage point.

ENGLISH BAY (FIRST BEACH)
English Bay is the most popular beach of them all due to its location at the Western side of the city – this is where the West End meets Stanley Park. You can reach English Bay by heading west from the hotel, we feel the best and most scenic route is to walk South to Sunset Beach and then head West along the seawall towards the Iconic Inukshuk
To many locals this is also known as First Beach as it is the first beach you reach as you make your way along Stanley Park.

SECOND BEACH

Heading West along the Seawall from English Bay and after about a 10 minute or so walk you will reach the beginnings of Stanley Park and Second Beach. Not as crowded as English Bay but it can get pretty busy when there are some events happening such as the Outdoor Movies at the height of Summer.
Close by to Second Beach are the Tennis Courts where the Herons annually congregate to raise their young high above the courts. Take the family along where you can enjoy a BBQ and Picnic at Ceperley Meadows and the famous outdoor Second Beach Pool – read further down to the Swimming Pool section for further details.

THIRD BEACH
Keep walking West along the Sea wall and as you start to turn towards the North West you reach the third and largest of the Stanley Park Beaches Third Beach.
Very popular among the locals who are willing to walk a little way around the park, here you will get to see unobstructed views of English Bay, Bowen Island, North Vancouver, The Spanish Banks and UBC towards the Southwest.
At the height of Summer, the beach is very popular among the drumming crowds – its well worth a visit to see the crowds congregate with their drums, especially as the Sun is beginning to set you hear the drummers increase the beat and volume which ultimately ends on a voracious high just as the Sun Sets, its quite the spiritual experience and a great sense of community as another day ends in Vancouver.

Greater Vancouver Beaches
KITSILANO BEACH

Some say this is out little version of California….so check it and lets us know what you think. Its a stunning vantage point of Downtown Vancouver, the North Shore and Bowen Island. There are also some great restaurants here to dine in that overlook the beach. If you like dogs, walk north towards The Maritime Museum and there is the smaller Dog Beach, this place will put a smile on your face!

Close by attractions:
Museum of Vancouver http://www.museumofvancouver.ca/
Bard on the Beach http://www.bardonthebeach.org/
H.R Macmillan Space Centre http://www.spacecentre.ca/

JERICHO BEACH/SPANISH BANKS
Located further West along Kitsilano – Jericho Beach and its parks is a stunning place indeed, with the city of Vancouver out East in the distance and towards the north you have Cypress Mountain dominating the sky line, this is an awesome area to see the Sun set over Vancouver Island at the height of summer.
Check out the Jericho Beach Webcam http://www.jericho.ca/webcam/webcam.html

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.

OUTDOOR SWIMMING POOLS
SECOND BEACH POOL

A very popular outdoor pool for all the family to enjoy – its locations is close to English Bay and by Stanley Park, at the height of Summer the near by Ceperley Meadows is the location for late evening after dark movies, so bring a blanket and a picnic and enjoy!
The Pool is heated and has a cafe located nearby if you fancy an Icecream, Hotdog or a Burger.
http://vancouver.about.com/od/sportsrecreation/p/secondbeachpool.htm

KITSILANO POOL

The most popular Outdoor beach of them all, located just to the West of Kits beach, this pool is huge – it is 3 times longer than an Olympic sized pool…pretty impressive!
http://vancouver.about.com/od/sportsrecreation/p/kitspool.htm

NEW BRIGHTON POOL
Located out in East Vancouver on the Burrard Inlet, it is the 3rd open air pool to enjoy.

For further information on Pools and recreation – http://vancouver.about.com/od/sportsrecreation/tp/outdoorpools.htm

INDOOR SWIMMING POOLS
AQUATIC CENTER

Just a few minutes walk down Thurlow St from the hotel and at the Foot of Sunset Beach and The Burrard Bridge – The Aquatic Centre is a great all year round facility for Water related activities.
http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/vancouver-aquatic-centre.aspx

HILLCREST POOL
The jewel in the crown for Aquatic facilities, Hillcrest is a state of the Art Sports centre than not only boasts a swimming pool, but much more for Sports and recreation.
Located next to the Stunning Queen Elizabeth Park, Hillcrest was the former curling venue for the 2010 Winter Games.
http://www.hillcrestcentre.ca/

Queen Elizabeth Park.. http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/queen-elizabeth-park.aspx
“> http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/queen-elizabeth-park.aspx

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

Springtime in Vancouver……Part 2 – Activities to explore.

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

NORTH SHORE MOUNTAINS AND ACTIVITIES IN SPRING
Some of you may have heard that Vancouver just received a considerable amount of snowfall over the weekend although accumulations were at a premium in the downtown area, this was not the case for the rest of the greater Vancouver area. This comes as welcome relief for the Ski hills of Cypress mountain, Grouse mountain and Mount Seymour as the snow pack was looking a little thin up till this point, but with 3 days of constant snowfall it was the giddy up that the Ski hills sorely wanted.
This makes for excellent news for anyone who wants to see us in the Spring, and like we had mentioned in the first installment of this blog, in the Spring season you can get a few hours of Winter sports in – whether that be skiing, snowboarding or Snowshoeing, and then back down to sea level, you can enjoy a walk around the sea wall without feeling too cold, that sounds like a win win situation for us. It may also increase the chances of a late season for the hills, if we are to look at how last years season transpired, the hills were able to keep open until the first week of May, we are keeping everything crossed that this will happen again this year!

Grouse Mountain
This is one of the best seasons to visit Grouse and its not just for the Sporting activities which of course is the big draw up here. Grouse Mountain is home to many animals that cannot live in the wild due to injury or that fact that they were unable to learn the skills required to survive in their natural habitat. Grouse is home to many creatures who are now in a safe and comfortable environment where they are well looked after – you too can visit them when you are up there and as it is the spring season if they are the hibernating type of critter, they will be ready to wake up. The animals that you will get a chance to see are Grizzly Bears, Gray Wolves, Owls and the visiting Hummingbirds to name but a few.

Grouse Mountain endangered wildlife refuge: https://www.grousemountain.com/wildlife-refuge

Grouse Mountain Website: https://www.grousemountain.com/

Whale Watching
Whale watching season begins in March and typically runs till October. The Georgia Strait is in the direct path of these large mammals and have been wowing people for many many years. The various types of Whales that you can expect to see are Orca’s (Killer Whales), Gray Whales and various Dolphins which are the most common sightings. IOn some occasions we may even be treated to a visit from these amazing animals close to the Vancouver shoreline itself a very rare occurrence! A few years ago a single Gray Whale decided to meander its way up False Creek for a few days at a time, our guess is that there was a great deal on Fish at the Granville Island Market and the Whale wanted to see what was happening, and who can blame it?

There are various ways to watch the Whales with guided tours, we recommend Wild Whales Vancouver down at Granville Island, you can also make a reservation at the Front Desk at the Sunset Inn and Suites.

Wild Whales Vancouver: http://www.whalesvancouver.com/

VANCOUVER GARDENS
As you will have read in the previous Blog article before we wanted to share with you the sights that Vancouver has to offer when the plants and trees start their blooms. If you are into trees and plants then we highly recommend that you visit the local gardens in the area, and even take the trip over to Victoria to see what they have on show.
Queen Elizabeth Park – Van Dusen Gardens
Queen Elizabeth Park is located in the central area of Vancouver, its location is fantastic due to its elevation, you will find the park is on a hill that overlooks the entire city with unobstructed views of the Mountains and beyond. Van Dusen Gardens is such a delight for all plant lovers, the gardens are to be found among an abandoned quarry with some interesting geological features.

Van Dusen Gardens: http://vandusengarden.org/

Queen Elizabeth Park: https://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/queen-elizabeth-park.aspx

In our next post we will inform you of all the major events that will be happening in Vancouver during March

The mountains have a dusting of snow…Time to think about the North Shore Mountain Ski Resorts!

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

Earlier in the week Vancouver witnessed the very first dusting of snow high up on the peaks of the North Shore mountains that overlook the city. It’s a nice change to see first hand the beginnings of the impending Winter that will be soon upon us in over a month and half’s time, and we do not complain, when the wet stuff is falling on our heads down here, the White fluffy flakes of snow will be falling in abundance guaranteeing the locals and visitors alike some Winter Alpine fun.

In this blog we will give you a detailed look at the 3 popular Ski Resorts of the North Shore Mountains that dominate the Vancouver Skyline and bring in various visitors from all over the world who love to Ski, Snowboard and more….

CYPRESS MOUNTAIN
A popular resort for Skiing and especially for those who prefer the more challenging runs then this will be the place for you. Cypress Mountain Ski Area is located in the West Vancouver area and is part of the Cypress Provincial Park which is avery popular area for Hiking in the Summer and long distance Skiing in the Winter.

Cypress mountain was also used for certain events during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games that was hosted between Vancouver and Whistler Mountain resorts, the climate leading up to the games had some worried as the weather was unusually warm leading up to the games which had an impact on the amount of Snow on the hills, as the pack was very very low, it was decided that snow would be transported in and extra time was given for the Snow Making machines to salvage the events due – and thankfully it was a success…huzzah! Cypress hosted all of the Freestyle Skiing and Snowboarding competitions (Moguls, Aerials, Ski Cross, half-pipe, snowboard cross and parallel giant slalom)

The Ski hill have 53 different Alpine Runs and 19 km cross country of trails which are extremely popular for Snowshoeing. Tours are available for many of these activities.

For further information: http://cypressmountain.com/

GROUSE MOUNTAIN
Probably the most well known of all 3 Ski hills, Grouse Mountain sits directly above the city of North Vancouver and is just one Bus Stop away from the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Grouse Mountain is a very popular destination all year round due to its well known hiking paths such as the Grouse Grind and its Summer activities at the top of the peak such as the Lumberjack shows, Eye in the Sky (Wind Turbine) Theater & Restaurant.

Skiing on Grouse is certainly the most popular for all ages and abilities, so if you are a complete newbie then this will be the ideal location for you to fin your feet so to speak, some runs are much more gentle than others.

The resort has 26 runs, half of which are lit for Night Skiing and Snowboarding The most prominent run on the mountain is the Cut, one of two beginner runs, which is easily visible from the Vancouver area. It runs alongside the Screaming Eagle chairlift. East of the Cut are several intermediate runs, which take skiers and snowboarders down to the Olympic Express, which accesses the mountain’s easternmost expert runs, most of which originate from the mountain’s 4,100-foot (1,200 m) peak. Grouse Mountain features three green (beginner), 15 blue (intermediate), six black diamond (advanced) and two double black diamond. There is also an Outdoor Ice Rink located in the Village.

For further information: http://www.grousemountain.com/

MOUNT SEYMOUR
Located above North Vancouver, Deep Cove (a popular area for kayaking in the Summer season) and the Burrard Inlet and Indian Arm waterways The resort has 4 lifts, the Mystery Peak Express quad chairlift, Brockton, and Lodge double chairlifts, and the Goldie Lake covered magic carpet. Seymour also offers great Snowshoeing trails that are very popular with groups or just as a solo excursion.

For further information: http://www.mountseymour.com/

Enjoy the great outdoors & the spectacular scenery in and around Vancouver…

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

The Summer season is here so that means its time to get out there and explore the best scenery that the local surroundings have to offer…

THE NORTH SHORE and WALKING/HIKING TRAILS
The cities of North Vancouver, West Vancouver and Deep Cove are truly quite specalur areas to visit when you are coming to Vancouver. The North Shore is home to the the three Mountain peaks which are Cypress, Grouse and Seymour – and with the best weather soon to really dig in, we highly recommend that you visit these peaks for the incredible views alone.

The North Shore website: http://vancouversnorthshore.com/

It is also a great time of year to get the walking boots on and explore the multitude of trails and popular hiking paths.

We have some suggestions of a few trails that we feel are the most popular!

BADEN POWELL TRAIL
The Baden Powell trail connects Lynn Canyon to the gorgeous small town of Deep Cove…it is a relatively gentle trail that is 12km long and pet friendly. Along the way you will get to see the Lynn Canyon Suspension bridge (Which is smaller than the Capilano Suspension Bridge and FREE), also you will come across the Lynn Canyon and Indian Arm – the scenery is truly stunning.
Allow yourself around 5 hours or so to complete the trail.

http://www.vancouvertrails.com/trails/baden-powell-deep-cove-to-lynn-canyon/

KAYAKING at DEEP COVE
We adore Deep Cove, it is a small town situated at the eastern side of the North Shore where the Burrard Inlet meets the Indian Arm Fjordway which separates Grouse Mountain and Seymour Mountain.
In the Summer this is a fantastic place to head out too (especially if you have a vehicle) It is also quite easy to get too via public transport (Ask the front desk for the details).

Deep Cove is also one of the best areas to go Kayaking, you can kayak your way around the natural cove itself and onto Indian Arm where you will be treated with some stunning Scenery.

http://www.deepcovekayak.com/

Deep Cove Website: http://www.deepcovebc.com/

THE GROUSE GRIND
Grouse Mountain is by far one of the most popular destinations to visit in Vancouver and it is just around the corner from the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Once all the snow has melted (usually all gone by mid July or so) then the Grouse Grind Hiking trail is open for business. many of us will have enjoyed this popular trail due to the challenge of tackling such a famous trail. It is one that you have to work at as it is a lot of steps to get to the top, but once there it will be well worth it. On average the regular person will complete that trail in 90 minutes to a couple of hours…the crazy fit professionals who run up the hill like there is no tomorrow can complete it in under an hour…sheesh!

http://www.grousemountain.com/grousegrind

CYCLING & BIKE RENTALS
Vancouver is fast becoming a cycling kind of city and over the last few years it is very noticeable the changes that have been occurring with regards to encouraging people to cycle more and more – the evidence is with all the new bike paths that are plentiful around the city.

We do encourage you to do this as its a fantastic way to see the sights of Stanley Park, False Creek or even Granville Island, you can even transport your bike with the public transit system on the front of each bus and the skytrain (although at peak hours you are not permitted to bring the bike on the skytrain).

We recommend English Bay Bike rentals: http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

City cycling information: http://vancouver.ca/streets-transportation/cycling-routes-maps-and-trip-planner.aspx

Translink Cycle Maps: http://www.translink.ca/en/Getting-Around/Cycling/Cycling-Maps.aspx

Beaches and outdoor Swimming Pools.

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

The city of Vancouver is surrounded by many gorgeous beaches for you to enjoy, as the season starts to heat up we want to share with you the very best of Vancouver Beaches, swimming pools (Indoor and Out) and other aquatic related centers for all the family to enjoy.

VANCOUVER BEACHES

Downtown Vancouver/Stanley Park
SUNSET BEACH
Our namesake Beach is just a short 5 minute walk down the hill from the hotel. At Sunset Beach you get to experience some very good views of the The Burrard St Bridge, Granville Island, False Creek and the mouth of English Bay….it is one of our favorite beaches due to its location and the fact that it does not get as busy as the others…and of course you do get to experience some spectacular Sunsets from this vantage point.

ENGLISH BAY (FIRST BEACH)
English Bay is the most popular beach of them all due to its location at the Western side of the city – this is where the West End meets Stanley Park. You can reach English Bay by heading west from the hotel, we feel the best and most scenic route is to walk South to Sunset Beach and then head West along the seawall towards the Iconic Inukshuk
To many locals this is also known as First Beach as it is the first beach you reach as you make your way along Stanley Park.

SECOND BEACH
Heading West along the Seawall from English Bay and after about a 10 minute or so walk you will reach the beginnings of Stanley Park and Second Beach. Not as crowded as English Bay but it can get pretty busy when there are some events happening such as the Outdoor Movies at the height of Summer.
Close by to Second Beach are the Tennis Courts where the Herons annually congregate to raise their young high above the courts. Take the family along where you can enjoy a BBQ and Picnic at Ceperley Meadows and the famous outdoor Second Beach Pool – read further down to the Swimming Pool section for further details.

THIRD BEACH
Keep walking West along the Sea wall and as you start to turn towards the North West you reach the third and largest of the Stanley Park Beaches Third Beach.
Very popular among the locals who are willing to walk a little way around the park, here you will get to see unobstructed views of English Bay, Bowen Island, North Vancouver, The Spanish Banks and UBC towards the Southwest.
At the height of Summer, the beach is very popular among the drumming crowds – its well worth a visit to see the crowds congregate with their drums, especially as the Sun is beginning to set you hear the drummers increase the beat and volume which ultimately ends on a voracious high just as the Sun Sets, its quite the spiritual experience and a great sense of community as another day ends in Vancouver.

Greater Vancouver Beaches
KITSILANO BEACH
Some say this is out little version of California….so check it and lets us know what you think. Its a stunning vantage point of Downtown Vancouver, the North Shore and Bowen Island. There are also some great restaurants here to dine in that overlook the beach. If you like dogs, walk north towards The Maritime Museum and there is the smaller Dog Beach, this place will put a smile on your face!

Also close are:
Museum of Vancouver http://www.museumofvancouver.ca/
Bard on the Beach http://www.bardonthebeach.org/
H.R Macmillan Space Centre http://www.spacecentre.ca/

JERICHO BEACH/SPANISH BANKS
Located further West along Kitsilano – Jericho Beach and its parks is a stunning place indeed, with the city of Vancouver out East in the distance and towards the north you have Cypress Mountain dominating the sky line, this is an awesome area to see the Sun set over Vancouver Island at the height of summer.
Check out the Jericho Beach Webcam http://www.jericho.ca/webcam/webcam.html

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.

OUTDOOR SWIMMING POOLS
SECOND BEACH POOL
A very popular outdoor pool for all the family to enjoy – its locations is close to English Bay and by Stanley Park, at the height of Summer the near by Ceperley Meadows is the location for late evening after dark movies, so bring a blanket and a picnic and enjoy!
The Pool is heated and has a cafe located nearby if you fancy an Icecream, Hotdog or a Burger.
http://vancouver.about.com/od/sportsrecreation/p/secondbeachpool.htm

KITSILANO POOL
The most popular Outdoor beach of them all, located just to the West of Kits beach, this pool is huge – it is 3 times longer than an Olympic sized pool…pretty impressive!
http://vancouver.about.com/od/sportsrecreation/p/kitspool.htm

NEW BRIGHTON POOL
Located out in East Vancouver on the Burrard Inlet, it is the 3rd open air pool to enjoy.

For further information on Pools and recreation – http://vancouver.about.com/od/sportsrecreation/tp/outdoorpools.htm

INDOOR SWIMMING POOLS
AQUATIC CENTER
Just a few minutes walk down Thurlow St from the hotel and at the Foot of Sunset Beach and The Burrard Bridge – The Aquatic Centre is a great all year round facility for Water related activities.
http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/vancouver-aquatic-centre.aspx

HILLCREST POOL
The jewel in the crown for Aquatic facilities, Hillcrest is a state of the Art Sports centre than not only boasts a swimming pool, but much more for Sports and recreation.
Located next to the Stunning Queen Elizabeth Park, Hillcrest was the former curling venue for the 2010 Winter Games.
http://www.hillcrestcentre.ca/

Queen Elizabeth Park.. http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/queen-elizabeth-park.aspx

Sports in Vancouver

Saturday, April 27th, 2013

If you are a fan of Sport, take a look at the most popular Sporting venues and click on their respective links for any events.

ICE HOCKEY (NHL)
VANCOUVER CANUCKS are the Senior Ice Hockey team that play in the Western Conference. They have had a good run of it over the last few years, even making it to the Stanley Cup Final in 2011, some of you may have heard about that one on the news…the Canucks Goalie Roberto Luongo was also the Goalie for the Canadian National Gold Medal winning team of 2011.
They play at the Rogers Arena which is opposite BC Place which is the home of the BC Lions and the Whitecaps.

http://canucks.nhl.com/

VANCOUVER GIANTS JUNIOR HOCKEY – The Canucks maybe the Big Boys of the game, however there are the Juniors to watch and they are great, its fast and its the new batch for the future…
You can watch them at their home stadium at The Pacific Coliseum

http://www.vancouvergiants.com/

CANADIAN FOOTBALL LEAGUE (CFL)
The BC Lions play their home games at BC PLACE which is also a venue for major Concerts and other extravagant events.
Their original home was at Empire Stadium from 1954 to 1982 until they moved to bigger pastures at BC place.
They currently play in the Western Conference and are the only team to have won THE GREY CUP.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
THE VANCOUVER WHITECAPS FOOTBALL TEAM are the local Soccer team who play at BC Place, in their inaugural season they were playing temporarily at the Empire Stadium near the PNE in East Vancouver. The Whitecaps are the first Western team to qualify for the MLS League Playoffs.
The team has become very popular with some major signings from very well established players coming from Major Top Tier Soccer leagues from around the world.

http://www.whitecapsfc.com/bc-place

BASEBALL
THE VANCOUVER CANADIANS BASEBALL TEAM are part of the Baseball Minor League and play their home games at The Scotia Bank Field at NAT BAILEY STADIUM which is very close to QUEEN ELIZABETH PARK
The team are affiliated with the TORONTO BLUE JAYS and they play in the NorthWest League.

http://www.milb.com/

WINTER OLYMPICS/PARA-OLYMPIC VENUES
It already seems an age to us since the 2010 WINTER OLYMPIC games were held in Vancouver and Whistler. Many of the venues used for the games have been mentioned above, stadia such as BC PLACE, ROGERS ARENA, THE PACIFIC COLISEUM were all used to host various events.

New modern state of the art Venues were created for the games and were built to be used for future Sports and Recreation such as the following.

RICHMOND OLYMPIC OVAL
A fantastic Venue that is to some the jewel in the crown of this major sporting event, the OVAL is quite an impressive facility that includes the following: State of the Art Gym Facilities (with over 100 different cardio focused equipment), 2 Olympic Sized Ice Rinks, 18 badminton courts, Soccer pitches, Basketball & Volleyball Courts, and much much more… http://richmondoval.ca/default.aspx

The Olympics also used Cypress Mountain for various Skiing & Halfpipe events http://cypressmountain.com/

For details on Whistler…click here…http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/

And so it begins – The snow is here, lets hit the slopes!!!

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

It seems like that Vancouver is in for a dollop or Snow over the next day or so and we all know what that means – Ski season is well and truly underway!

It tends not to snow too much in Vancouver, but when it does – it really is a stunning sight, especially if you manage to get a rare glimpse of the sun that catches the glistening snow sparkling off the mountains that tower over the city.

Vancouver is spoiled for choice when it comes to Winter sports, and the choices come from 3 stunning peaks to use as your outdoor adventure playground during the winter Season.

On any of the 3 mountain resorts in the area you will be able to enjoy Skiing, Snowboarding, Snow Shoeing, tubing and a whole lot more….
There has been plenty of precipitation falling over the last few weeks (which is normal for this time of year) So whats falls as the wet stuff down at Sea Level, is almost certainly falling as the white stuff at the top of the peaks. To date, roughly up to 300cm of snow has accumalated on the mountain tops, in the last 24 hours alone there has been up to 10cm, and that amount is set increase dramatically over the next few days.

GROUSE MOUNTAIN
Nestled in between Cypress and Seymour, Grouse mountain is by far one of the more popular destinations to visit when it comes to Winter Sports. It is in a great location as this is the mountain that sits directly over North Vancouver and dominates the city skyline to the North of Vancouver itself. Along the way, you can even stop off at the Capilano Suspension Bridge, where the whole area is currently illuminated for the Festive Season. Capilano Canyon Lights runs until January 5th and illuminate the bridges and park from 4pm till 9pm.
At Grouse there is a fantastic restaurant that overlooks the city, an open are Ice rink, and the slopes here are suitable for beginners and the more experienced.

Mountain HighlightsThe Theatre in the Sky, Snow Limo and Mountain Ziplines.

http://www.grousemountain.com/#tickets-passes

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

Mount Seymour
This is a great place for any beginner to come and learn to Ski as it offers shorter runs to practice and learn, it also has a great rugged feel to it, so if you are searching for the quintessential ‘outdoors’ adventure, Seymour is the place to be.

Mountain HighlightsSnowshoeing and 2 for 1 Discover lessons

http://www.mountseymour.com/home

Cypress Mountain
Cypress mountain was used during the 2010 Winter Olympics for the alpine events. Cypress Park has some more challenging slopes so if you want to test yourself this is the place to be.

Mountain HighlightsSnow Tubing and Snowshoeing.

And of course – WHISTLER
Th gem in the crown during the Winter season is Whistler Blackcomb and Whistler Village.
A beautiful Alpine Village that was home to the majority of events during the 2010 Winter Olympics, this really is the place to go if you are a Winter Sports junkie.
Located a couple of hours north of Vancouver, there are many ways to get here, and we feel that one of the better ways is to use Landsea Tours. Landsea tours will pick you up at the hotel and take you for a full day out to Whistler, where you can participate in sight seeing and some skiing too. It is designed for tourists so you don’t have to figure out where to go or what to do as they have your itinerary set. Speak to the front desk and we will book the tour. Payment occurs on the day on the bus, either by Cash, Debit or Credit.

Mountain Highlights- Peak to Peak Gondola and Whistler Village

http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/

http://www.vancouvertours.com/

Ski Season comes early to Vancouver!!!!

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

As soon as Daylight Savings time arrives to greet us, so do the very first falls of Snow begin to appear on the North Shore Mountains, and what a beautiful sight it is! It provides a stunning backdrop to the city skyline of Vancouver. As always, we really want our visitors to get the best of what the area has to offer and we sincerely hope that you come away with a little bit of knowledge about the surroundings, so we will explain in some detail about what you can expect to see when you visit these mountain areas.

The good news about the snow falling is that in the last few weeks the Ski Hills have been busy preparing for the new Ski Season of 2011/2012. It is with great pleasure that we can announce that Cypress Mountain has opened some of their runs as of TODAY! For further information on Cypress and the transportation options, please visit their website on www.cypressmountain.com. Cypress Mountain was a venue that took part in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, it hosted the Snowboarding and Freestyle events, however not with a glitch, as unbelievably so, the lack of snow on the Mountain during the Olympics led to Snow being transported by Truck and Helicopter so the games could still go ahead.

This is the earliest known date for Cypress to open for the upcoming Winter so we all feel confident that the Grouse and Seymour Ski hills will be opening very soon, for further information here you can visit their websites too, www.grousemountain.com and www.mountseymour.com. It has also been predicted that this Winter season could very well be one of the coldest in the past 20 years, so lets keep our fingers crossed as Skiing, Snowboarding or Snowshoeing on these hills is something you will never forget.

The North Shore Mountains are part of the Cascade Mountain Range that extend from Southern BC, over the US border travelling down through the States of Washington, Oregon and Northern California. When visiting the North Shore Ski resorts on a clear day you will be taken back by the breathtaking views of Vancouver Island, the Fraser Valley and the stunning Mount Baker at the head of the Fraser Valley. Another very popular and definitive landmark of these Mountains are ‘The Lions’. These are a pair of Peaks that are instantly recognizable landmarks and can be seen from a large area of the lower mainland, these distinctive twin peaks (also known as ‘The Sisters’ according to the local indigenous Squamish tribes of the area), overlook the Capilano Lake and Cleveland Dam. The Lions are the reason for the name of the BC Lions Football team.

The Cascade themselves are a mountainous region that is part of the ‘Pacific Ring of Fire’, this is a very active area of Plate Tectonics that are home to Volcanoes and ongoing seismic activity that encircles the majority of the Pacific Ocean, The Cascades are also home to the famous Mount St Helens situated in Southern Washington State. Mount Baker is an active Strato-Volcano and also happens to be one of the most snowy areas on earth, its location primed for the regular Pacific Storms that dumps a huge amount of rain on us and Snow on the summit each year, thus creating this incredibly white and imposing figure as a stunning backdrop to the South East of Vancouver, is is indeed our very own Mount Fuji.

The Grouse Mountain Ski resort added a new tourist attraction in 2010 that is also helping the resort to become a more environmentally friendly use of energy. On top of the peak you will see a huge Wind Turbine that is known as the ‘The eye of the Wind’, since the Turbine has been in use, its aim is to generate around 25% of the resorts energy so that the resort is able to function with sustainability at the forefront of its activities. Grouse Mountain is also home to the world famous ‘Grouse Grind’, although closed during the Fall, Winter and early Spring, this is worth a try if you are feeling daring and want to burn off some calories….it is called the Grind for good reason, as it is a trail that is 2.9km, and with just under 3000 steps and an incline in some parts of more than 40 degrees, it has become one of the most popular challenges for locals and tourists to complete, even a few of us at the hotel have managed to complete the Grind, so if we can do it so can you!

These Mountains also play a very important role with the weather here in Vancouver, the city and the whole of the Lower Mainland region is situated in an area called the Fraser Valley, and as we all know, rain is a very common weather event in this area. Due to the shape of the valley, the influence of the mountains is that they are a barrier to the incoming moisture from the passing storms, this enables the systems to drop more moisture on the city due to air funneling down through the valley from an easterly direction where it piles up against the North Shore Mountains, this in turn drops plenty of rain and snow on higher elevations on us during the Fall, Winter and Spring Seasons, Summer is commonly very dry as is typical of any Rainforest region.

This moisture is also what has helped influence the greenery that is associated with the Pacific North West, this area of the world is found among a Temperate Rain Forest, and if you do decide to go for hikes along the North Shore, you will get to experience the amazing green growth of a northern temperate jungle that is teeming with a wide variety of Wildlife, Flora and Fauna .

Vancouver is known for Raincity for a reason, and we have to be thankful for all this rain as it really makes this area unique and a wonderful playground for all ages.