Posts Tagged ‘English Bay’

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/

Bard on the Beach returns for Summer 2012

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Tents set up for Bard on the Beach


May 31st is the official opening of Bard on the Beach….a popular annual favorite that has been entertaining the masses since 1990.

The location of Bard on the Beach is quite convenient as it is situated at Vanier Park on the opposing side of False creek to us at the Sunset Inn. Just a 10 minute walk down the hill to the Seawall, you will be able to catch the cute False Creek Ferry taxi over to the Maritime Museam at Vanier Park. $3.25 one way and a round trip at $5.50 Cash Only!

The location for these great Shakespearean open air plays is pretty stunning, you have some wonderful views of English Bay and the City Skyline, definitely a photogenic moment that captures the city, mountains and rolling ocean.

Bard on the Beach runs from May 31st all the way through to September 22nd, so that is plenty of time to get your tickets for one of your favorite shows.

The performances for the 2012 season are as follows….

THE TAMING OF THE SHREW

The ultimate battle of the sexes! Fiery, hot-tempered Kate faces off in a crackling battle of wits with the only man who can tame her.

MACBETH

Seductive prophecy and devastating ambition are the forces that drive this dark and powerful tragedy.

THE MERRY WIVES OF WINDSOR

It’s 1968 and the merry wives of Windsor, Ontario plot their hilarious revenge on the wickedly charming rogue Sir John Falstaff.

KING JOHN

King John plots to stay one move ahead in this game of high-stakes chess where the winner takes the crown.

And whilst you are down there, head round the corner to kitsilano and kits Beach , this is truly our little taste of California….nearby there are some very good bars and restaurants to choose from, and if you are up for a challenge…climb the steep hill up towards West 4th Avenue. This area which is very much like The West End – is a popular spot for some shopping, drinking and eating.

http://www.bardonthebeach.org/

April is the beginning of Whale watching season.

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

As the spring season starts to warm up Vancouver, one thing that you will begin to notice is the breathtaking nature of the area coming alive before your eyes. It has been announced in the news that the first pods of Orca Whales (commonly known as Killer Whales) have been spotted swimming up through The Georgia Strait.

Whale watching season runs from April though to October each year, and if you do decide to venture out to the strait with a Whale Watching operator you may very well be lucky enough to be surrounded by a plentiful pod, as they migrate on their long journey north towards the Alaskan waters.

Not only are there Orca’s, the Strait also has other passing visitors such as Grey Whales, Dolphins and Porpoises. In actual fact, last year, a lone grey whale decided that it wanted to come along and see what Vancouver is all about, the Whale decided to take a small trip through English Bay and take a look at False Creek much to the delight of onlookers lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, visitors along Granville Island and False Creek really were blessed with such a rare sight. The Whale decided to come back to False Creek a few days later, must have been tipped off that there were some above par buskers and yummy seafood on offer at Granville Island…and why not?

To see these Whales as they migrate up the Strait you need look no further than ‘Wild Whales Vancouver’ who are located on Granville Island. Wild Whales Vancouver have been operating since 2004, run by a former fisherman and Whaler, you will be in the capable hands of people who are passionate about Whales and really want you to experience the true wonder of these majestic mammals.

If you wish to book with Wild Whales, you can do this via their website at the bottom of this page….

Or better still, just simply book through us at The Sunset Inn front desk whilst you are staying with us at the hotel.

So go ahead, get adventurous and get your Whale on, you will not be disappointed.

Also check out the Orca Network, this is a fantastic site that has people writing in and letting us know what Whales and other sea mammals have been spotted throughout The Strait and the Gulf Islands of the US and Canada.

Visit the website here and keep up to date with the current migration of 2012.

www.whalesvancouver.com

www.orcanetwork.org

Who wants to go and watch some Contemporary theatrical comedy?

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Do you fancy some Contemporary theater that is sure to leave you smiling from ear to ear? We know just the place and show for you to see.

The Sunset Inn is proud to accommodate the theatrical company Visible Fictions, the team will be staying with us in Vancouver whilst their production of Jason and the Argonauts will be playing at the Carousel Theater on Granville Island. Hailing from Glasgow, Scotland, the Visible Fictions production team are touring the US and Canada and are getting some incredible reviews from The Times in the UK and The New York Times to name but a few.

http://www.carouseltheatre.ca/

http://www.visiblefictions.co.uk

Their show Jason and the Argonauts will be running until April 28th, this production is sure to bring you plenty of laughs and entertainment with this high energy and hugely physical performance.

Not only that we highly recommend that you make a day of it when you head down to the Island. So here are some suggestions…

Feeling hungry? Check out The Sandbar Restaurant, this is a very popular dining establishment with an extensive menu that encompasses a wide price range from regular pub food to higher end cuisine, whatever you fancy we are sure you will be satisfied.

Fancy some Wine? Go and grab a bottle at Liberty Wine Merchants and mention you are staying at the Sunset Inn, we have a customer number set up so you can receive a discount at this Wine Store, the staff there sure do know their wine and have extensive knowledge of their wide and varied selection of high end wines.

Need to unwind and reset, have some relaxing time at The Calixica Holistic Spa, check out our promotion on this webpage that we have set up with them.

http://calixica.com/

And finally, make sure you explore the Island, there are plenty of boutique shops and craft stores to peruse, as well as the very famous Granville Island Market, open daily between 9am and 7pm.

http://www.granvilleisland.com/

To get to Granville Island, we recommend taking the False Creek Ferries, its cute, quick and a moment where you can reach for the camara and snap some shots of False Creek and English Bay.

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

We do hope that you make it to the show, it will not disappoint.

Clip from the Visible Fictions production of Jason and the Argonauts

Visible Fictions production of Jason and the Argonauts

Cherry Blossoms are Blooming!!!!

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Video of Vancouver Crows coming home to roost

Spring season has arrived, and like clockwork it is very visible throughout Vancouver.

One of the most telling signs that the Spring is here is by noticing the Cherry Blossom trees awakening all around the city, and what a beautiful site these trees are. Vancouver is blessed to have so many Cherry Blossoms throughout the city and it will be quite the display from now until May.

Between April and May, Vancouver will host the Annual Cherry Blossom Festival The festival is run by a non profit Society that celebrates the season with Arts, poetry and entertainment, it was set up in 2005 to celebrate and give thanks to the trees that were donated to the city back in the 1930s. They also have a fantastic website that follows all the trees as they begin to bloom, there is an interactive map that points out where you can go and locate the very best in bloom. The festival runs from April 5th until April 28th.

www.vcbf.ca

What we really adore about Vancouver is how the area is really divided by the seasons, not only do we have the four well known seasons, but also Wet and Dry, it is this time of year where we see the beginnings of Spring appear, also the rains now begin to taper off marking the beginnings of the transition between wet and dry

Check out the local flora and fauna which are now visibly awakening from their slumber, the suburbs of the West End are by far a stunning sight to see. Also keep an eye on the skies above you as Vancouver has many migrating birds of all shapes and sizes appearing overhead, it is not unusual to see Herons, Bald Eagles and more hovering majestically above our heads. If you want further help on where to see the best of the natural world make sure to check with us at the Front Desk, there is a wonderful spot in Stanley park where the Herons build their huge nests (located near the open air Swimming Pool and Second Beach), and nesting season for the Avian gang are well and truly here, we will be able to recommend other great areas such as Queen Elizabeth Park – located in the south of Vancouver, formally part of a quarry, the park is situated on the highest point of Vancouver and has incredible 360 degree views of the area it is a must for all plant lovers.

Finally, everyday of the year look out for the Crows heading home to roost, a remarkable sight that sees a huge flock (believe it or not it is commonly known as a murder!) of crows all heading home one before sunset, they congregate from many areas of the city (such as English Bay, False Creek and Stanley Park) where they head south East towards Burnaby where hundreds of the Vancouver Crows settle in for the night!.

So from every at the Sunset Inn and Suites, we say a warm and welcome hello to Spring, the good weather is on its way…..

How to get around Vancouver?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Big Bus, Land Sea Tours, Translink, Butchart Botanical Gardens

One of the regular questions we receive at the hotel is “What is the best way to get around Vancouver?”, and “Where can we park our vehicle?”. We have decided to explain how it all works and what the best options are for you to see the city with the least amount of effort, and something that will also be informative and as fun as possible.

Using the vehicle may not be the best option within the downtown core, however, we do recommend using the vehicle to go further afield if you are feeling adventurous and will like to go your own way, please make sure that you ask us at the Front Desk for advice and pointers on how to get from A to B. A day trip on your own clock to Whistler or Victoria can be achieved, however, we will like to introduce you to Tour Operators that will do the hard work and really make a day trip work, so you don’t have to get lost and figure it for yourself.

Vancouver has multiple options for you to get around the city, the most obvious being the Public Transportation of either Bus, Skytrain and of course Taxis. The bus and the Skytrain are run by Translink (who also run the Seabus from Vancouver to the city of North Vancouver at Lonsdale Quay). Taxis are everywhere, so when ordering they will literally be at the hotel in minutes.

What is so good about the Translink company running the bulk of the public transport is its efficiency, one ticket will last you 90 mins which means you are able to transfer on any mode of transport they offer within that hour and a half, and with Vancouver being a smaller city in consideration, that ticket will get you quite far at a very small cost. For further details on the pricing and zoning areas, we will be more than happy for you to come to the front desk for directions and pointers…we will also happily provide you with change as paying on the bus you will need coins. The Number 6 Bus is available right around the corner, this will take you to English Bay heading out West, or Eastbound through the heart of the downtown core and Granville Street.

Big Bus Sightseeing Tours.
As for sightseeing and a tour that will be fun and engaging, you will need to look no further than Big Bus. We have been recommending Big Bus for many many years, we strongly feel that they are one of the best ways to get yourself around Vancouver, we are confident that you will come away from their tours with great knowledge of the city, and above all an unforgettable experience, they are fun, engaging and above all very experienced within this industry. Their routes pretty much hit every major attraction within the city, such as Granville Island, Gastown and Stanley Park.

There are various tours that they have on offer, the most popular being their Hop on Hop off excursions, you have an option of 1 day or 2 day passes, the best thing about Big Bus is that you can Purchase your ticket directly with us at the Front Desk (we will need your credit card) and the pick up stop is literally just around the corner from us, no more than a 30 second stroll on Thurlow Street. Perfect!

Landsea Tours and Adventures.
For travelling further afield such as Whistler and Victoria, we will recommend Landsea Tours & Adventures. Landsea Tours are perfect if you have a limited amount of time, and are looking for a day trip to Whistler or Victoria or even the North Shore of Vancouver. The tours will come directly to the Hotel and from here, they will whisk you away to your destination where they will set the agenda that you get to see the major hotspots and have time to sight-see and explore the destination for a few hours.

The Victoria trip also includes the Famous Butchart Botanical Gardens, we highly recommend that if you need to visit Victoria and the Gardens, please consider this tour option, as it will be more productive to let Landsea tours set up your trip, whisk you away from your doorstep with less fuss and more to see!

There are a few more options, but for now, we feel that these options will be sufficient and enable you to sightsee and explore with the least amount of fuss.

We look forward to hearing about your experiences, please feel free to write in and explain what the tours had to offer and why you would use them again.

Where to Dine in Vancouver during January?

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Dine Out Vancouver

We have some great events coming to Vancouver during January and beyond, we will like to pay special attention to an annual Food event that will begin on January 20th and runs till February 5th.

Dine Out Vancouver has become a regular fixture over the last 10 years and has now become a staple on the foodie calender. Vancouver has always been known as a foodie city and for very good reason too. Its cultural and social diversity has made the city a true goldmine for anybody who has a love for everything that is culinary, and in this city you will absolutely find something that will suit your taste buds, if you like to experiment, there will surely be a cuisine and ethnicity that will be a brand new experience, we always encourage everyone to just go for it!

Where ever you will be in the city, you will most likely stumble across a restaurant that is a participant of this popular event, and with over 200 Restaurants participating you will be spoiled for choice. The prices for Dine Out are a massive steal, for 3 courses you will be paying from $18, $28 or $38 Per person, the meal being paired with a BC VQA Wine or a Kronenberg 1664.

The listings of all the restaurants that are participating in Dine Out will be released on January 9th via the Tourism Vancouver webpage

At the hotel, all the staff have their favorite restaurants to choose from, so please do not feel shy….ask us as many questions as possible about where we feel you should go to dine. Please also check out these restaurants below that are in the local area, especially if you are looking for something close by, and boy do we have quite the selection for you to enjoy…we have it all in The Davie Village area. The few we will have mentioned will be a reflection of the more popular food demographics that make up Vancouver.

Seafood-Pacific Northwest
The Boathouse Restaurant – Excellent location where you can enjoy some fantastic seafood at an affordable price, the restaurant is overlooking English Bay and is located at the very Western end of Burnaby St and Beach Ave, it is around a 15 minute walk downhill, or an easy few minutes bus ride close to the hotel just catch the Number 6 Bus towards English Bay.

Japanese
Guu There are 3 locations of this very popular “Izakaya” style establishment, the closest being found a 10 minute walk away at 838 Thurlow St, at Guu, you will experience authentic Japanese style food and a fun atmosphere that makes the dining experience unique to Guu.

Breakfast-Diner
Joe’s Grill and Hamburger Marys, These are two very popular diner experiences that will suit all the family and are ideally located a couple of minutes walk away, either side of the hotel on Davie Street, at these restaurants you will have something for everyone of all ages, with a Canadian/North American twist, all day breakfast and an overall Canadian feel.

We will promote more in future blogs where we will look at The Staff Picks of Restaurants………we hope you enjoy them as much as we do!!!

New Years Eve events

Friday, December 30th, 2011

I hope that everyone has fully come down from their Xmas period festivities, it seems that many of us needed a few days to recover from the sugar, food and for some over merriment….well whatever it was, we all hope it was as much fun as we had enjoyed.

New Years Eve is fast approaching, so I will like to inform of you of some of the events that will happening in and around Vancouver and a little beyond.

Many people have been asking us questions at the hotel about where you may be able to catch some fireworks, I am afraid to say that the city of Vancouver will not be participating in any major outdoor celebrations this time around, so sadly no fireworks for us this year…however, please read the following list of events below that you may like to attend.

Robson Square Ice Rink
A great way to kick off the New Years Eve party celebration for all the early birds out there with families. The Rink which is located near the Art Gallery will be hosting a family friendly evening with plenty of entertainment, music and GLOW STICKS! The countdown will happen early at 8pm, it will be New Year somewhere in the world….and even better the Rink and Rentals are FREE.

Bright Nights in Stanley Park
The lights will still be on during the New Year period, so come on down to Stanley Park and be bedazzled with all the festive lights and displays, and if you like, you can also hop on the festive holiday train…choooo choooo! The lights will be glowing away from 3pm all the way through till 11pm. And admission is always by donation.

Whistler First night
If any of you are making the trip up to Whistler, there will be a first night celebration in the Village Square and at the Whistler Conference Centre. The celebrations will begin at 6.30pm, with stories to be told, live music to boogie too and much more. Door tickets will be $20 and $10 for Children, a family friendly event so it will be alcohol free. An early countdown or the kids will happen at 9.30pm.

Polar Bear Swim (New Years Day)
The 91st annual Polar Bear swim will be happening at 2.30pm at English Bay Beach. If you fancy yourself to be hardy enough for this, feel free to join in and go for this popular dip in the bay, Costumes are one of the many highlights of this event, so if you feel this is your thing, lets see you get dressed up for the occasion. You will need to register for the swim, you can do this at English Bay and it is free to sign up, you will find this at The English Bay Bathhouse between 12.30pm and 2.30pm.

A little tidbit here, this Polar Bear swim is one of the oldest clubs to participate…91st year is quite something. The fist swim included just 10 swimmers, whilst the 2011 swim involved a massive 2.246 participants…WOW!

Non perishable Food Donations and cash donations are welcome too, with the proceeds going towards the Greater Vancouver Food Bank.

What ever you wish to do, and however you will celebrate we wish you all a very happy and incredible New Year, please keep visiting the blog as I will update you on further events come January and beyond…

Hidden Gems of the West End

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

As a part of Vancouver’s West End, we really feel very lucky to belong in such a pretty district, and what makes it even better is its superb location.

Cozily nestled between the Downtown core of Vancouver, with False Creek to the South, English Bay and Stanley Park to the West and Coal Harbour to the north, this area has pretty much retained its look since the 1960s – much of this due to the efforts of the long term residents of the West End who understand the importance of retaining an image and history that makes the West End unique.

When visiting this neighbourhood, we suggest taking time to wander and meander through the different streets as it is impressive to see how the area changes.  Street by street, block by block, you will see the colours,  style and shape of each building and apartment look very different from the next one. The trees and various other types of flora are absolutely stunning, especially at this time of year with the fall colours and leaves showing us an impressive natural display.

Not only do we enjoy the sights of the West End, it is its sense of multiculturalism and welcoming diversity that really makes this area what it is. It is home to Davie Village, which spans the blocks of Davie Street and Jervis, right down towards Burrard and Davie Street. The streets here are all decorated in an array of colour to predominantly celebrate the heart of Vancouver’s Gay scene and now official Gay district. The area is awash with Rainbows, colourful murals and pink bus stops – all to celebrate the sense of pride, love and diversity that is Davie Village. No matter who you are, you will always feel welcome within this love-able community.

The West End is home to many hidden gems – some of which are very well known, others not so much.  We would like to personally highlight a few that you may wish to discover when you come to visit us here. As mentioned earlier the West end is located at the northern side of False Creek, reaching False Creek you will be greeted with the Seawall and Sunset Beach. This beach has to be one of our favorites as it is tucked along the Creek were it is bordered to the East by the Impressive Burrard St Bridge, and English Bay to the West… all overlooked by the famous Inushuk monument at the seawall, a recognizable symbol of First Nations culture and also known as “Ilanaaq” which was one of the official mascot logos at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
This beach is a perfect place for hanging out in the summer, never overly crowded and generally filled with locals from the area. It is a great spot to watch the small boats and yachts zoom in and out of False Creek and from Granville Island through to English Bay. It is also one of the better spots to watch the vibrant Vancouver sunset away from the busy but bustling English Bay.

Our other favorite areas to explore are also just a stones throw away from Sunset Inn & Suites. These are the historic housing community of Mole Hill, Gabriola Mansion (formally home to the ‘Romanos Macaroni Grill’) and St Pauls hospital.

Mole Hill is situated just to the north of Davie Street/Village and south of Nelson Park, a cute little city park which is home to a smaller park where your dogs can run free. It’s pretty fun to watch the dogs have their day with their buddies. Mole Hill has its history dating back to the 19th century; it was named after two early settlers Elizabeth and Henry Mole. The housing here is basically a co-operative community advocating for people of all ages in the middle to low income bracket, members and tenants of the housing here all partake in the upkeep of the Mole Hill community, which is clearly visible with the stunning flowers and gardens that surround this hidden community.

Gabriola Mansion which was formally the home to Romanos Macaroni Grill is quite an impressive building. One of the very few ‘great’ mansions left in the city. In its day, this home would surely have been one of the most lavish in the area. Named Gabriola after the sandstone rock which was quarried at Gabriola Island and used to build the outer side of the house. Built in 1900 for Benjamin Tingley Rogers an industrialist whom founded BC Sugar. Sadly the mansion is now standing derelict and its future is unsure. Back in the 1970′s it was at risk of demolition, and we hope that this building is saved for the future and beyond.

St Pauls hospital, which sits between The downtown Core and Davie Village, is an impressive imposing red brick building. The site was founded in the late 1800s as a 25 bed hospital, with a large expansion of the hospital occurring in 1912. Its unmistakable red brick turn of the century architecture is quite something, especially among the many taller glass fronted buildings that is quite the modern look of Vancouver these days. The hospital was at risk of closing down until very recently, for the foreseeable future it is here to stay.

So there are just some tidbits of what the West End is like….come for yourself and see this wonderful community!

Some information was cited from the following sources: http://gabriolan.ca, http://www.miss604.com, http://www.mole-hill.ca