Posts Tagged ‘English Bay’

Exploring Vancouver’s West End. Part 3. Beaches and Seawall.

Monday, April 14th, 2014

On Sunday evening the skies were clear and you could feel the warmth of Spring in the air, the breeze had a slight chill to it but nothing to make you uncomfortable or ruin the moment. It was the perfect evening to catch the Sunset at one of the beaches that hug the Seawall around the West End.

Beaches of the West End
Walk westbound for around 10 to 15 minutes down the hill on Davie Street and you will reach the western boundary of the West End district – here you will be greeted by the very popular English Bay Beach and the entrance to Stanley Park with the gorgeous Lost Lagoon dividing suburbia and nature – read our next Blog installment on the West End and we have more to say about the Lagoon.

As the Sun was setting on Sunday April 14th there were many many people who were gathering at the English Bay to see it, we were at the peninsula where the stunning Inukshuk is standing – which is an excellent area to watch the Sun set. The waters of English bay were quite calm and had a stunning metallic gold shimmer with dashes of blue reflecting from the stunning blue skies above. As the Sun was setting the crowds had swollen in size and there were lots of cheering and drumming as the spectacle came to its finale!


Photo courtesy of Kyle Pearce at Unifiedstream – visit their site at http://www.unifiedstream.com/

Inukshuk Monument at English Bay
Standing by the Inukshuk you really get to see the beauty that this city has to offer and also the realisation of what a wonderfully cute area that the West End is, the location of the Sunset Inn and Suites hotel is indeed a prime spot for us and our guests.
The Inukshuk itself looks very majestic overlooking the ocean and the North Shore mountains as a great backdrop, it is a great opportunity for some incredible photographic shots and memories of your stay in Vancity. It is also one of the most recognised landmarks in this part of the world and is a symbolic representation for the First Nations peoples and adopted for the Winter Olympic Games of 2010. Traditionally the Inukshuk were used as markers for a point of reference when navigating the land especially during hunting in the more northern climes of Canada- they were also used as Sign posts for settlements in the area.

Click Inukshuk and you will see a great video on the meaning of this symbolic monument is.

Looking at the map, you will find the Inukshuk is located at the South Side of English Bay at the mouth of False Creek – our Hotel is at the same spot marked where the HI Hostel is..

The Seawall
The Seawall is one of the most walked, run and biked paths in Vancouver and at 22km long it encompasses Stanley Park, and much of the Downtown peninsula with a plethora of sights to absorb and photograph- one things for sure you will certainly remember this part of your visit.

Balancing Rocks
We suggest that you walk from English Bay back South to South East where you start to follow the seawall along the opening of False Creek towards Burrard Bridge and Granville Island, along this path you will come across some really cool Rock structures balanced on the large boulders and rocks embedded among the pebbles and sand.
Everywhere you go along the beaches in Vancouver, if there are rocks, there are likely to be plenty that are balancing on top of each other, and as much as you may believe that they are glued on, well, you will be wrong, the glue that is holding them together is quite literally the natural force of gravity and the awesome art of balance!

Rock Pools and Sandy Beaches at Sunset Beach.
Further along the Sea Wall you will notice that there are more options to hang out at the waters edge, here the rocks make way for Sandy beaches and large Logs that have been lined up for you to hang out and have a picnic. This is called Sunset Beach the hotels namesake and is the quieter option in comparison to the popular English Bay.
As the Rockier beaches transition to more Sandy style beaches you can easily explore the area with your family, just be mindful of the tides of course. Along the beaches you can come across some cool Rock Pools and see some smaller fish, crabs and all varieties of colour from the Seaweed and Algae that adorn the rocks and pebbles. It is also a great area to watch all the local Birds such as Geese, Gulls, Crows and the majestic Herons, if you have a really keen eye, you may even catch a glimpse of a Seal popping its head up from the water…

Events that are best seen from Sunset Beach and English Bay during the Summer
There are lots of events that happen in Vancouver throughout the year, here we will highlight a couple of the major events that come to our neck of the woods.

Celebration of Light Fireworks Display.
These Fireworks come to Vancouver every single year and draw in very large crowds of locals and tourists alike every year, the display is a competition that travels the world each year and our turn comes at the end of July and the beginning of August – the masses love to get their prime seat down at English Bay, but for us, we feel that Sunset Beach will do the job and is quieter too, so if you do not like the crowds – Sunset Beach it is!
Celebration of Light: http://hondacelebrationoflight.com/

Pride Parade and Festival.
Davie Village which is adjacent to the Hotel is home to the Gay District of Vancouver so naturally that means we have fun with the annual Gay Pride Parade. This event always happens on the final weekend of the Celebration of Light fireworks.
The Parade winds it way from Robson St through to Denman where the procession ends at Sunset Beach and then the party truly begins!
Vancouver Pride Parade: https://vancouverpride.ca/

For further information on other Vancouver Top Attractions – click here: http://www.sunsetinn.com/leisure/attractions

DINE OUT VANCOUVER 2014……Read about the restaurants that are taking part in the West End and more….

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Hello everyone, Happy New Year from us all once again – and as it is January 6th it is now business as usual again for us all as life returns to normal.

January maybe a quiet month for some around the world, however, in Vancouver we are welcoming the first festival of 2014 and being a foodie city it is all about dining out!

DINE OUT VANCOUVER – JAN 17 – FEB 2, 2014
Dine Out Vancouver returns to the city once again and it is such a great way to check out new restaurants at a very reasonable price. We point you in the right direction for some of the participating restaurants in the area.

Canada’s largest restaurant festival, produced by Tourism Vancouver, and presented by American Express dishes up unlimited ways to enjoy the flavours of the city. Choose from hundreds of restaurants, a 17 day calendar of culinary events and dozens of hotel options to create your own delicious dining experiences.

For further details at Tourism Vancouver: http://www.tourismvancouver.com/

West End Participating restaurants.

THE BANANA LEAF
Step out of Vancouver and into the warm heart of Malaysia at Banana Leaf, where we serve the finest of Malaysian flavours. Malaysian cuisine is a celebration of the best that Southeast Asia has to offer, a sample of culinary inspiration from Indonesia, India, Thailand, and China. This restaurant is by far one of the most popular destinations for great food.

All three West End locations are taking part in Dine Out and are accepting reservations.

1043 Davie Street. 1096 Denman Street. 1779 Robson Street.

http://www.bananaleaf-vancouver.com/

THE BOATHOUSE
In English Bay on Vancouver’s famous beach enjoy great seafood & steaks with lively outdoor dining, the place to meet for cocktails, or watch the sunset with a bottle of BC VQA wine and fresh-shucked oysters.
Distinctively Westcoast, the extensive wine list, freshest quality seafood, premium steaks and great service make Boathouse a BC coast favourite.

1795 Beach Ave (English Bay and close to Davie and Denman Streets)

www.boathouserestaurants.ca

THE CACTUS CLUB CAFE – ENGLISH BAY BEACH FRONT
Proudly Canadian owned and operated, Cactus Club Cafe leads through innovation while remaining true to its Vancouver roots. Committed to delivering a unique experience, Cactus Club Cafe blends the worlds of fine and casual dining through inventive design, unparalleled food quality and a personalized approach to service.

Beach Avenue – English Bay Waterfront

http://www.cactusclubcafe.com/

CENTRAL BISTRO
A West End landmark, the Central is located in a turn of the century refurbished home & boasts a fun flirtatious vibe, “gourmet food for everyday people” and mind-blowing cocktails. It’s where the locals go It also features live Jazz every Sunday evening!

1072 Denman Street

www.centralbistro.com

TOP 10 RESTAURANTS IN CANADA WORTH SPLURGING ON – 2 OF WHICH ARE IN VANCOUVER ARE WORTH THE MENTION!
And finally, throughout the country you can find some extra special dining experiences, among the top 10 restaurants in Canada, the number 1 and 3 spots are given to two restaurants that are here in Vancouver. These are higher end restaurants so will be a perfect dining experience for a birthday, romantic excursion or just a good old fashioned splurge where you can dress up and go fancy for an evening…..

Reservations are recommended and a topped up savings account too – but trust us, you will not be let down!

This list is courtesy of The Readers Digest http://travel.ca.msn.com/10-canadian-restaurants-worth-splurging-on?page=3

HAWKSWORTH RESTAURANT
Named restaurant of the year in 2012 by Maclean’s magazine, Hawksworth is the streetside jewel of Vancouver’s revamped Rosewood Hotel Georgia. Come for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner to sample chef David Hawksworth’s extensive menu; selections might include an appetizer of pan-seared scallops with green apple and sesame ($17), an entree of Pacific sablefish with pickled shiitake and soy-braised daikon ($38) or ‘ if you feel like sharing ‘ a 30 oz heritage Angus bone-in ribeye for $125. The seven-course seasonal tasting menu is $84 or $134 with wine pairings.

801 W Georgia St, Vancouver

www.hawksworthrestaurant.com

C RESTAURANT
It seems every major restaurant in BC’s largest city participates in Ocean Wise, the Vancouver Aquarium’s sustainable seafood identification program, and C was the one who started it all. Come here for locally sourced seafood and other ingredients prepped with flair by executive chef Lee Humphries. Dishes might include an appetizer of seared Qualicum Bay scallops ($19), a main of poached lobster with gnocchi ($38) or a seafood tower to share ($95); for a truly special occasion, splurge on “caviar with a conscience,” at $225 for one guest and $400 for two.

1600 Howe Street

www.crestaurant.com

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.

All that Jazz…..a look at some great venues for live Jazz music.

Friday, November 29th, 2013

Vancouver has a very vibrant Music scene and one of the most popular musical joints to visit are the various Jazz bars that are dotted around the area. At the Sunset we do get asked quite a lot ‘Where can we find a great venue for Jazz” so to answer the question we will point you in the right direction here…

Before we get going, one of the reasons we are highlighting the Jazz venues is because of the news that the infamous Cellar Jazz Club run by Corey Weeds will be closing its doors in early 2014 after 13 years of business. This is very sad news for Jazz lovers and its a sad moment in Vancouver as it is yet another long term favorite establishment soon to be gone.

So we encourage any of our guests to check this venue out before its too late, we promise you will not be disappointed.

THE CELLAR JAZZ CLUB – Kitsilano.
One of the most popular Jazz Venues in the city and also run by the great musician Corey Weeds who is known for his award winning Saxophone playing.
Opened way back in 2000 The Cellar has been entertaining the masses 7 nights a week showcasing popular local Jazz musicians and more from the International community. The clubs focus was to highlight the very best of local and Canadian Jazz musicians and in time it has caught the attention of the international Jazz community making it the premier Jazz Venue in Vancouver. It has appeared in ‘Downbeat’ magazine as the best Jazz club for the last 6 years.

Website: http://www.cellarjazz.com/

THE POURHOUSE – Gastown
This venue is fantastic for its famous prohibition period Cocktails, very good food and its decor, the Pourhouse is very much in touch with its turn of the century end of the Victorian era concept, it really embodies the feel, style and look of a building and establishment that was built in 1910.

Every Sunday there is live Jazz that starts at 7pm for you to really soak up the mood and atmosphere of this little Gem in the heart of the Gastown district – the are of which is also a step back in time for us as it is the oldest and most touristic district in Vancouver.

Website: http://www.pourhousevancouver.com/about/music/

THE FAIRVIEW PUB – Fairview/Westside.
Located near Vancouver General Hospital on Broadway this venue host various types of music ranging from Rock to Blues and Jazz.
Jazz nights are every Thursday at a convieniant time beginning at 6pm till 9pm with just a $3 entrance fee. Definitely a venue for the older crowd and Jazz lovers of all ages. Good old fashioned and inexpensive Bar food too.

Website: http://www.fairviewpub.ca/

CENTRAL BISTRO – Denman St – Westend
A great restaurant that is located on the bustling Denman Street area not too far away from English Bay. This is not only a great place to relax and enjoy great food and drinks (great cocktails) it also has some intimate Jazz every Sunday evening – a perfect location to unwind on dark Winters evening at the end of the weekend. It is also a great venue for delicious Brunches too….

Website: http://www.centralbistro.com/events/sunday-jazz.php

STANLEY PARK is 125 years old in AUGUST!

Saturday, June 1st, 2013

HAPPY BIRTHDAY STANLEY PARK!

Stanley park truly is the Jewel in the crown of Vancouver and a beautiful reminder of what Vancouver used to look like before the city itself was born and developed.
2013 is the official 125th birthday of the park and we want to tell you what is happening for this special occasion and what you should see when you get to the park itself.

For further information as more events unfold, please ‘LIKE’ our Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/SunsetInnVancouver?ref=tn_tnmn

Stanley Park is Vancouver’s largest and very first urban park – it is nestled as a green oasis between the downtown peninsula of Vancouver and is connected via the famous and iconic Lions Gate Bridge that forms the artery between the cities of North & West Vancouver and the park over the Burrard Inlet waterway.

Aside from Granville Island the Park is one of the main attractions when visitors come to Vancouver, easily up to 8 million people take their time to experience the Sea Wall, lake, cafes and trails.

CELEBRATE! STANLEY PARK
Bring your family and friends to Celebrate! Stanley Park, on the weekend of August 24 & 25, to celebrate Stanley Park’s 125th anniversary. This event will feature live music and performances, ecological and historical talks and tours and more!

Like the official FACEBOOK page and keep up to date with what will be happening in Stanley Park during August so you are more than ready to join in with the festivities.
https://www.facebook.com/CelebrateStanleyPark?fref=ts

PLACES OF INTEREST IN STANLEY PARK
Here is our best of pick of what to see in the park.

SEAWALL
One of the most stunning seawalls around and its pretty big 8.8km around the park itself – it is ideal for a gentle stroll as there are no hills, or for a good hearty run and bike ride- which we highly recommend. BIKE RENTALS see English Bay Bike Rentals - http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

VANCOUVER AQUARIUM
A fantastic Aquarium that has various rotating exhibitions throughout the year, the current exhibition is showcasing the world of Jellyfish. The most popular exhibits are the performing Beluga Whales and Otters. You will also be educated about the local ecology of the surrounding waters here.

WEBSITE http://www.vanaqua.org/
FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/vanaqua?fref=ts

SECOND BEACH POOL
One of the most popular and pretty large open air swimming pools, it is heated and has fantastic views of English Bay.

http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/second-beach-pool.aspx

THE BROCKTON POINT LIGHTHOUSE
Located at the North east end of the Park, the lighthouse is close to the location of the 9 o clock Gun that is fired everyday at…you guessed it 9pm!

GIRL IN THE WETSUIT – Located close to Brockton point, this is a quirky gem, a cute statue located on one of the boulders at the beach, at high tide it looks like she is floating on the rock.

TOTEM POLES
Located at the North East of the Park – the totem poles are a colourful reminder of the history of the Coast Salish First Nations and the lands that Stanley Park is located upon.

As the summer progresses and we get ever closer to the birthday of this stunning Park, we will be blogging about various other sites of interest in the park, this should enable you to really get stuck in and really discover where all these sites are, there is a lot to see in Stanley Park and all have their special place and story to be told.

DIRECTIONS TO STANLEY PARK
http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/directions-to-stanley-park.aspx

Honda – Celebration of Light 2013 Important Information.

Friday, May 17th, 2013

By far one of the biggest events of the Summer calender is the Celebration of light Fireworks.

We will like to give you some helpful tips and advice for the 3 days on the days that the Fireworks will be occurring as there will be road closures. We will also give you some pointers on where is best to watch the show.

CHECKING IN TIME/PARKING ADVICE
As we are in high season it is highly likely that the rooms will be ready closer to the usual check in time of 4pm, we know that some of you are travelling early – so if the room is not ready, don’t worry, we will have plenty of space to store any bulky luggage, and you will be able to park your car at anytime, irrespective of the status of the room.

Bring your vehicle to the very front of the hotel, we have a loading zone for your convenience that has enough space for 2 vehicles – when you check in, park the vehicle in this spot (make sure there is enough room for a second vehicle) and we will then direct you with a parking pass to the parking lot.

ROAD CLOSURES
Due to the volume of people that will be attending the display (300,000 and more) The city will be shutting down the West End to traffic for safety precautions.

ROAD CLOSURES COME INTO AFFECT AT 19.30hrs (7pm)

We do advise that you try to check into the hotel before the streets close at 7.30pm, as the Police will not let anyone in without a West End permit (Our Green Parking passes are not accepted as Permits). The Sunset Inn is just within the closed boundary.

Please see the link to see a map of the Road closures. http://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/28412201/MAP2012.pdf

THE BEST VIEWING/VANTAGE POINTS
The majority of the crowds will be heading down toward the intersections of Davie and and Denman Street – also a big crowd will assemble at Beach and Pacific Ave.

English Bay is the most popular area, however, it will be seriously crowded and you will likely be packed tighter than a can of sardines. We suggest that you head down Thurlow Street towards the Sea-Wall and head West towards English Bay and the Inukshuk.

Sunset Beach is a really good vantage point and will be much quieter and less congestion. DO NOT BRING BOOZE, it will be confiscated and you are at risk of a fine. Be smart regarding valuables – as always when there are large crowds it is best to be safe and sound.

For further information on the events. Please look at the website
http://hondacelebrationoflight.com/

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

Coming to Vancouver on a cruise?…Here are some helpful tips to organize your visit.

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

For many Vancouverites in the city April is the last quiet month before the Summer tourist season begins, we are sure that many of you are busy planning your trips and it is likely that you maybe visiting us as via a stopover on your Alaskan Cruise.

The majority of the Cruise ships dock into Vancouver very early in the morning (usually docking at Canada Place around 7am) this means that the majority of the Cruise Ship guests have quite some time to kill due to Checking in time being 4pm. So what can you do to utilize your time until your room is ready? Below we will have some helpful tips and advice on how to organize your day efficiently.

There is no doubt that many of you will be lugging some heavy luggage with you, well worry not, after we have completed the Check In procedure – we will happily place your bags in secure and safe storage, if the room happens to be ready before you return to the hotel, we will do our very best to have your luggage in your room ready and waiting for you on your return.

Below we have some excellent suggestions on what you can do in the time between arrival and checking in to your room.

BREAKFAST!
Its early, way to early for many, but here you are checking in at 7am – you are maybe tired and highly likely that you will be hungry too….so why not find yourself somewhere to go to satisfy your hunger…here are our recommendations for an excellent Breakfast.

THE ELBOW ROOM
The Elbow Room is quite an experience, not only does it have a huge Breakfast but you will be greeted with some Sassy Staff! What makes the Elbow Room a hit eatery in Vancouver, it isn’t just the yummy food, it is its reputation for some very funny and very rude staff – and please do not be alarmed, this is exactly what it is known for. If you have a reputation for quick wit, humour and Sarcasm and love a good old fashioned cooked breakfast – then this IS the place for you. Get fed and enjoy the ride, its a very amusing experience – Good Luck!
www.theelbowroomcafe.com
JOES GRILL
With locations on Davie St and Denman Street – this breakfast joint is a huge hit in the city, with great food and great staff it has been delighting hungry patrons for many years, but get there early, it can be a very very busy restaurant and for good reason as it is an excellent well known institution of the West End.
www.joesgrill.ca
HAMBURGER MARYS DINER
A cute 1950s Diner on Bute and Davie, open from 8am till the early hours of the morning, it has an extensive Breakfast Menu, excellent comfort Canadiana style foods such as a variety of tasty Burgers, Sandwiches and good old fashioned meals such as Meatloaf, Fish and Chips and more…!
www.hamburgermarys.ca

SIGHTSEEING AND MORE…
BIG BUS SIGHTSEEING TOUR AROUND THE CITY OF VANCOUVER
Big Bus is an excellent way of utilizing your time while you are waiting on the room. You can purchase your tickets at the Front Desk and better still, the stop is just a 30 second walk away around the corner on Thurlow St, where the next stop on the Tour is Granville Island.
Helpful Tip We recommend that you purchase a 2 DAY HOP ON HOP OFF pass as it will save you money, and we advise that you do a full round trip tour of the city in one trip and then on the second loop, use the HOP ON HOP OFF service that the ticket provides so you can see some major attractions such as Granville Island, Gastown and Chinatown.

http://bigbus.ca/home/

http://granvilleisland.com/

TOUR AROUND FALSE CREEK/VISIT GRANVILLE ISLAND
If you are heading down to Granville Island, you can get there by taking the FALSE CREEK FERRIES, these are cute little boats that will transport you to the island and also to various destinations along False Creek such as The Maritime Museum, Science World and the Olympic Village.

False Creek Ferries also offer full sightseeing tours all along False Creek, we feel that this is a trip well worth doing so check it out!

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

SEAWALL, ENGLISH BAY & STANLEY PARK.
If you have the energy and you are in the need to stretch the old legs, well just head South down the hill on Thurlow St and head down to the Sea Wall and Sunset Beach – head West towards English Bay, along the way you will experience stunning views of the ocean and Bowen Island in the distance and the Iconic Inukshuk!

Here you will be at the famous downtown Beach that is English Bay, you should reach this area in around 15 mintues or so, if you still want to carry on further – another 10 minutes farther along you will reach the beginnings of Stanley Park (nearby are the Tennis Courts and above them are the Nesting Herons) – stunning to see!
http://www.tourismvancouver.com/do/explore/stanley-park-complete-guide/

For further reading on Vancouver http://www.venturevancouver.com/

And Tourism Vancouver http://www.tourismvancouver.com/

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/

Explore the Georgia Strait and beyond as Whale watching Season is coming soon!

Monday, March 11th, 2013

In a little under a month the volume of Orca Whales will hopefully start to dramatically increase in numbers, and this can mean only one thing….Whale Watching Season has truly begun!

http://www.tourismvancouver.com/do/activities-attractions/whale-watching/

As has been mentioned before, this area of the world is enriched with some amazing nature and wildlife out there, and along with the mass migration of birds in the air, beneath those chilly waters of the Pacific North West we have another type of mass movement happening below.

The most common Whales that many wish to see out on the ocean are the stunning Orca (Killer Whales). If you are out there on a good day you may witness a handful of Whales, however, if you are extremely lucky, you can be the few who will witness Pods of up to 100 whales at a given time….crazy!

Not only are there Orca’s, but you may even get the chance to see Humpback Whales, Mink Whales, Grey Whales and Dolphins…also, where there are these creatures, there will be birds too…you may even catch a swooping Bald Eagle.

Many will know about the Whale Watching industry in the area – and if this is your thing, you will not be let down. The Vancouver area is ideally situated for this industry to thrive so you will have a variety of options to get out onto the seas, so you too can witness this spectacular passing migration of many sea-faring species.

Some tours do operate all year round, while others are just more seasonal, please check out the links below for tours that may suit your needs – and remember, you can always just come to the Front Desk where the staff will be able to assist in booking a suitable tour for you.

PRINCE OF WHALES
Operating all year round and located not only in Vancouver but Victoria too.

http://www.princeofwhales.com/

WILD WHALES VANCOUVER
Wild Whales are based down on Granville Island, so not a million miles from us and definitely an area to visit while you are down there….you can reserve your spot with us at the Front Desk.

http://www.whalesvancouver.com/

STEVESTON SEABREEZE ADVENTURES
Steveston is a very cute fishing village that is close to the US border, this place is quaint cute and cool and is somewhere unique to explore as it has character that looks nothing like Vancouver, so if you are more adventurous than others and want to explore some pretty neat areas and fancy a bit of Whale Watching, this will be ideal for you!

http://www.seabreezeadventures.ca/whale-watching-vancouver/

Here are a couple of cool little tidbits…a couple of years ago, a lone Grey Whale decided to be a Tourist for a couple of days and wanted to go for a wee swim through English Bay and all the way up through False Creek to its furthest end by Science World…it came by for a couple of days – much to the delight of the visitors that were in the area that day. A very rare occurance but it is not the first time. It is thought that this particular Whale may have not found enough food for its own fat reserves and may have decided to take a drastic turn in its ongoing search for sustenance.

The particular Whale is shown in the picture in the top right hand corner of this page! And check out what the media at CTV News had to say about this…

http://bc.ctvnews.ca/grey-whale-wanders-into-downtown-vancouver-1.509376

And some Surfers in Tofino had a close shave with some Orca’s last week….maybe they wanted to join in the surfing fun, or fancied some fit surfers….we will never know.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOtntDW0KnM