Posts Tagged ‘English Bay’

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

PuSh Festival and Dine Out Vancouver coming this week…

Monday, January 14th, 2013

The first major festivals of the season are coming to Vancouver in just a few days time. First up is PuSH Performing Arts Festival, quickly followed by Dine Out Vancouver a few days later.

PuSh Festival
A great way to begin the year with this very popular and groundbreaking Live Perfomance Arts festival.
PuSh Showcases the very best talent of local Vancouver Artists who are sure to engage and wow you with some truly incredible performances.
Expect to be inspired, spellbound and entertained by the groundbreaking performances that are created to be an unforgettable experience.
The festival is built around a broker of International Partnerships that combines the most brilliant and creative minds that showcases some of Canada’s finest and best works in the Performing Arts Industry.

To look for Tickets and venues click on the link below…(PuSh Passes are now sold out – individual tickets can be obtained from this link).

http://pushfestival.ca/tickets-venues/push-passes/

DINE OUT VANCOUVER
This is a great foodie event! We are all looking forward to this as each and every year this festival gets bigger and much more diverse.
To be a little different this year, Dine Out Vancouver is now incorporating ‘Food carts’ to join in with the festivities…this makes perfect sense to us here at The Sunset Inn as the Food carts have been a major hit in Vancouver, it has really changed the food lovers landscape, and they are EVERYWHERE…we are truly spoiled for choice.

Local restaurants that are taking part in Dine Out and are in close proximity to the Sunset are as follows.

Lazziza
This is a fantastic restaurant located just a block away on Davie Street.
A menu that is Lebanese and Moroccan – you will really be treated to a fantastic Mediterranean style cuisine. Whats more, it is suitable for everyone as the menu has plenty to offer for anyone who is Carnivorous, Vegetarian and Vegan.
The Wine selection, decor and above all the care that is given in presentation and style will make this a great fine dining experience that will not break your wallet.
The food chosen is of the highest quality and that are local, organic and hormone free.

www.laziza.ca

The Boathouse
A very popular restaurant that is sure to satisfy anyone who has a craving for Seafood It has quite a varied menu that will please everyone, there is a little bit of everything, so for those of you that are not too keen on Fish, thats ok, you will be looked after too.
The Boathouse has a fantastic balcony too, so come rain or shine you can dine here while enjoying the perfect view of English Bay.

www.boathouserestaurants.ca

Raincity Grill
Just a block away from The Boathouse and also nestled close to English Bay this is a great restaurant for fine dining.
One of the very first restaurants to realise the potential of using locally grown ingredients. The Raincity Grill really captures the essence of food in Vancouver and the Pacific Northwest, it also boasts a great menu of Fine Wines to enjoy with your meal.

www.raincitygrill.com

Check out this Summers last Hurrah…West End Fest & Fringe Festival.

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

The final throes of Summer are now upon us, and it really does say goodbye with a bang!

This week, starting on September 6th is the Annual International Vancouver Fringe Festival…this is by far one of the most famous and popular festivals where the majority of its shows are to founds in on Granville Island.

This festival is truly huge, boasting 754 performances this year, this particular Fringe festival is North America’s largest and boy oh boy is it fun. Anyone who is into Theatre, Comedy and anything that is truly an alternative experience then this is for you, so come on down to Granville Island…hopefully you will be one of the expected 30,000 expected attendees for the 2012 season.

The Festival runs from September 6th through to September 16th.

http://www.vancouverfringe.com/

Also this weekend is the West End Business Association ‘West End Fest’ (Formerly known as Davie Day) and more specifically Davie Street will be host to the final car free day of the Summer Season.

These events are pretty awesome, they are a relatively new concept to the city and since their inception just a few years back the car free days are now becoming a major hit for families and festival lovers alike….it is truly a staple in the Vancouver calender all over the city, and a great way to discover new areas of the city with a different perspective on Culture, Entertainment and vibes that this vibrant and colorful city has to offer. We will personally like to thank The Vancouver West End Business Association for making this such a successful event for the West End and The Sunset Inn and Suites.

The Festivities begin at 12pm and run right through until 7pm, the areas that will be closed off to the traffic will be along Davie Street from Burrard St right down to Denman Street and Davie St at English Bay, close to the The Laughing Statues!

The highlights of the festival include, DJ’s, Live Music, Roller Disco, Drag Shows an Active Artist Gallery and much much more for all the family to enjoy.

www.westendbia.com

Watch Vancouver roar with Pride over this coming week and weekend!

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

The West End is alive with the sound of music, fireworks and probably the best weather of the summer season so far!

It all began in spectacular fashion with the opening of annual Celebration of Lights Fireworks display and it did not disappoint, with calm and completely clear skies, the stage was set for Vietnam (appearing for the very 1st time) to dazzle the strong crowd of well over 300 000 excited spectators, we really enjoyed the display especially the music which infused some traditional music and some more well known songs from our side of the pond which certainly got the crowd dancing. Next up on Wednesday will be Brazil to give us their best shot to try and win this competition. We anticipate a noisy booming affair.

Anyone who is staying at The Sunset Inn and Suites or elsewhere in the West-End will tell you that there is an unmistakable buzz in the air, and this is all for very good reason, as all week we are leading up to the 34th Annual Pride Festival and Parade. This is where the West End comes alive and its all fun in the sun.

Here is what to expect…

Friday August 3 from 7pm till 12pm – DAVIE STREET DANCE PARTY.
Start the weekend on the right foot and boogie on down at Davie where the street will be closed off for a Dance Party! Featuring some of the best and hottest DJs of the summer season, main entrance is at Broughton and Davie Street. This event is 19+ and cash only.

Saturday August 4th from 4pm till 10pm – SHOREfest.
Hosting free concerts on two music stages at English Bay and Sunset Beach, catch some of the hottest bands in Canadian music, absolutely free. The concerts preceded the grand finale of the finale to the Celebration of light, where Italy bow out the show starting at 10pm.

http://hondacelebrationoflight.com/

Sunday August 5th – PRIDE FESTIVAL, PARADE AND MARKET.
@Sunset Beach, 11am to 6pm The festival is a great place to check out before, during and after the parade.

34th ANNUAL PRIDE PARADE at 12pm
Starts @Robson and Denman and ends at Beach and Thurlow, with an expected attendance of over 700,000 spectators.

http://www.vancouverpride.ca/

So go out there and have fun, and support such an event that embraces equality and love in this huge world community of ours!

What to expect from the parade? See the link below.

http://youtu.be/J9gm3lMacOQ

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

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

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

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

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

Please see the link below to know what to expect…

http://hondacelebrationoflight.com/

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.vancouverpride.ca/

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

http://youtu.be/HNgk1pEHi_Q

http://youtu.be/TwDDdfLYbDA

Isn't life a beach!!!!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

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

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

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

Beaches of Vancouver
Sunset Beach

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

English Bay, Second and Third Beach

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

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

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

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

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

June 17th are Car free days…..a perfect family day out for your Dad on Fathers day!

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

If you are scratching heads on what to do for Fathers Day, worry not…….Vancouver has kindly decided this will be the day for the annual Car free event days.

These are certainly some of our favorite days in the city, and fingers crossed the weather will play ball too.

Car Free Days were created with the idea that the city can have days when we are free of vehicles and to see if there is future possible without cars at some point. it is also to encourage people to spend more time in their neighborhood with your families.

Since these festivals were created they have certainly grown in size and variety and are now popping up all over the city, you will get to see the weird and wonderful entertainers, plenty of food, stalls and information – on top of all that, the bars, restaurants and cafes will open their doors to join in the fun, along with music, bands and dancers to get you in the party mood.

The original site began on Commercial Drive with Live Music, Street Hockey a roller disco…even a healing garden, so you get the drift!

Here are the areas that will be taking part around the city.

THE WEST END Noon till 6pm
This is our Car free event in the area, make your way down to English Bay where the festival will be located along Denman St, and you will see the festival rocking out between Davie and Robson, this area is pretty cool, you will be spoiled for choice as it is close to Stanley Park, The Laughing Statues and the beach!!!

COMMERCIAL DRIVE (East Vancouver) Noon till 6pm
MAIN ST Noon till 8pm
KITSILANO Various times on the 16th and 17th
Each area is certainly worth a visit and are easily accessible via Public transit in no time at all, please check with the Front Desk for details.

So treat your Dad right and enjoy the party!

Check out the video of The West End Car free day….

http://youtu.be/2dWSmkEGB6E

http://www.carfreevancouver.org/

Get a good dose of the Sunshine coast into your system….

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

One of the most convenient perks that the Sunset Inn and Suites offers is the option of free parking of a single vehicle per room. Now as much as driving around the city of Vancouver can be a little challenging at times, it does give you great freedom to explore the local districts of North and West Vancouver and beyond in very little time, and this we wholeheartedly encourage!!!

As the weather is about to turn the corner to clear skies and plenty of warm sunshine, this will be a good time to show off an area called ‘The Sunshine Coast’.

One of our favorite places to visit is the beautiful and tranquil Bowen Island.

Looking out west from English Bay you can see Bowen Island out in the distance, it looks like a large hilly peninsula that melts away to the ocean, at the height of summer you will get to witness some stunning sunsets as it falls behind the peak of Mount Gardner on the island
.
The island is truly beautiful, situated in the middle of Howe Sound it is known to some as the gateway to the Sunshine Coast. The small town of Gibsons is located a little further West where you hop across via the ferry.

The attraction and appeal of Bowen are the artisan shops, the gentler speed of life, the local ecology and the breathtaking scenery…..it is certainly a place to be if you really appreciate the great outdoors and an easy going pace of life.

To reach Bowen is pretty easy, and why not make a whole day of it? A good full day out will be to drive to Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver, hop across to Horseshoe Bay where you can take the vehicle onto the Bowen Island Ferry, dropping you off at idyllic Snug Cove. It is just a short 20 minute journey across the Howe Sound, oh and please have the camara handy, the backdrop of the steep mountains and natural Fjord is truly stunning.
The ferry will drop you off at Snug Cove and you will find yourself right by the small village, here there are some very good restaurants, a pub and artisan shops to visit, plus the local Tourist Information office is here too.

So check it out, you will have a blast!!!!

http://www.bowen-island-bc.com/