Posts Tagged ‘False Creek’

Whale and Dolphin watching season has begun in spectacular style!

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

It has been quite the week for us along the coastal BC waters as we have been treated to some rare Dolphin and Whale pods migrating through the Georgia Strait.
The Whales are not too elusive as they general favour these waters for migrating, but catching a sight of Dolphin pods is actually a rare occurrence – not so rare this week though. A Pod of Dolphins was spotted swimming along False Creek and Sunset Beach which is literally a 5 minute walk from the Sunset Inn and Suites hotel, it wasn’t just Vancouver that was being treated to this rare spectacle, there was also an incredible sight of Dolphins being chased by Orca Whales along Howe Sound in the Squamish area.

The coastal waters of BC is rich in abundance of some stunning sea creatures and none more majestic than the various species of Whales and Dolphins and so far this year, it seems apparent that the pods are looking very very healthy for the 2014 season.

This link has some great footage of the Whales and Dolphins that were in the Howe Sound recently courtesy of the Prince of Whales whale watching operation. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=731808353525929

And some more from the CBC News Website: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/dolphins-orcas-delight-watchers-in-vancouver-squamish-1.2574894

Here is a great link that shows how the species are interconnected to a wider ecosystem in the local waters around us.
bc_marine_life

Whale Watching Tours Season runs from April 1st to October 31st
There are various Tour operators that you can use to spend a day out at sea to catch these Whales. Reservations for these tours can be made directly with us at the Front desk of the hotel.

Vancouver operations
Wild Whales Vancouver
1806 Mast Tower Road – Granville Island
Vancouver, B.C.
V6H 4B6 Canada Phone: 604-699-2011 Website: http://www.whalesvancouver.com/

Vancouver Whale Watch
Suite 210 – 12240 Second Avenue
Richmond (Steveston), BC
Canada V7E 3L8

Phone: (604) 274-9565 Website: http://www.vancouverwhalewatch.com/index.html

Victoria operations
Prince of Whales Whale Watching
812 Wharf Street, Lower Causeway Level
Victoria, BC V8W 1T3 Canada

Toll-free 1-888-383-4884
info@princeofwhales.com
website http://www.princeofwhales.com/

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

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rainy day things to do in Vancouver!

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

Rain Rain go away come again another day! Um…well no…The Rains have well and truly arrived and this is generally the run of things for us till Mid Spring! So what do you do in an inclement climate? In all honesty quite a lot actually – so read on and prepare yourself for some excellent indoors activity for all the family to enjoy! Don’t forget to grab an umbrella from us behind the Front Desk…

MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY at UBC
A huge hit among the guests here and with the locals alike. Located in the beautiful grounds of the University of British Columbia the MOA has a vast collection of Pacific Northwest and First Nations artifacts and historical information on the way of life in days gone by of human activities and civilizations.

MOA WEBSITE http://moa.ubc.ca/

VANCOUVER ART GALLERY
Centrally located in the heart of Downtown Vancouver and very close to the Robson St shopping district, the VAG is home to over 9000 pieces of Art, it is also has a fantastic Cafe. Many of the Artworks are from a local source such as the Emily Carr University, also, each year the Gallery presents two to three international exhibits–traveling exhibits from around the world–and 10 to 12 in-house exhibitions that draw from their own extensive collections.
The Vancouver Art Gallery is located at 750 Hornby St, between Robson and Georgia in downtown Vancouver

VAG WEBSITE http://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/

SCIENCE WORLD
Another huge hit for locals and tourists, Science World is the giant Golf Ball looking building that is situated at the eastern end of False Creek.
The whole family will get great enjoyment out of this place and it is fun fun fun, so get your Geek on and learn some Science!

SCIENCE WORLD WEBSITE http://www.scienceworld.ca/

VANCOUVER AQUARIUM
Nestled in the heart of Stanley Park this is the perfect rainy day location as you are in the heart of the beautiful rainforest and with the creatures that love the water the most. A hit for all the family you will all come away with something different young or old. The aquarium has a strong focus on the local environment of the Pacific Northwest waters. They run lots of events throughout the year and the famous Otters and Beluga Whales are sure to put a huge smile on your face because they are so cute!

AQUARIUM WEBSITE http://www.vanaqua.org/

GRANVILLE ISLAND
Just a small Boat ride away, Granville Island for Vancouver is what Pikes Place Market is for Seattle. At Granville Island you have the large Public Market, Theaters, Restaurants, Kids Markets, Granville Island Brewery and lots of cute boutique shops to enjoy. It is also a hub for Art (Emily Carr Art University) and live entertainment with the famous Buskers to enjoy.

GRANVILLE ISLAND WEBSITE http://granvilleisland.com/

SHOPPING!!!!
A good old fashioned past time to keep occupied in the rain is shopping – YAY! Here are a couple suggestions for some popular malls to choose from…..go on buy us something pretty…

PACIFIC CENTRE MALL
Located in downtown Vancouver and easily accessible by bus, cab or foot, this has all the brand named stores and food court to suit your needs in a compact and comfortable mall in the heart of the city. Just across the road on Granville St is the famous The Bay Store…check it out!

PACIFIC CENTRE MALL http://www.pacificcentre.ca/en/Pages/default.aspx

METROTOWN MALL
Boasting over 400 Stores and easily accessible via the Skytrain, this is BC’s largest Mall, you can literally spend hours and hours here, so make sure you have enough space on the old credit card as you will want to shop shop shop until you drop.

METROTOWN WEBSITE http://metropolisatmetrotown.com/

We will leave you with a great poem about the Vancouver rain, it really sums it up quite nicely. So please don’t let it bother you, get the raincoat out and the umbrella up and brave those elements, there is so much out there for you to enjoy it will be shame to miss out…

At Kitsilano Point there is a great story that sums up our “Raincity”. Which has been carved onto a large rock, it is a lovely testament to the inclement weather.
This story stone, entitled “Vancouver in the Rain” is one of ten across the city.

“It is probably fair to say that one of the things for which Vancouver is most famous is rain. It is true that it can and will rain here for weeks on end. Several years ago I found myself coming close to being thoroughly disgusted with the rain, unusual for me as it usually bothers me not at all.

I was walking home from work and was mumbling under my breath the whole way, carrying on about how this weather was suited only to ducks. The building I lived in at the time was a large square building surrounding a brick courtyard. I came around the corner into the courtyard and there, to my amazement, was a beautiful Peking duck, having a ball in a huge puddle in the middle of the courtyard. It was quacking and splashing with such obvious delight that I had to smile, glad that such joy could be found in the gray wetness of such a day.

I really love the rain in Vancouver. I have been told that the Inuit have hundreds of words for snow. I have often thought we don’t have nearly enough words for rain, for there are so many types of rain. There is soft rain and hard rain and sideways rain, rain that makes you instantly wet, and rain that leaves soft kisses on your cheek, like the wings of a butterfly. There is cold rain and warm rain, go out for a walk rain and stay in bed with the cats rain. There is booming rain and whispery rain, rain that lulls you to sleep and rain to sing you awake. The rain brings us all the shades of gray, but it also brings us the wonderful greenery which surrounds and blesses us.”

FACEBOOK PAGE https://www.facebook.com/SunsetInnVancouver?ref=tn_tnmn

NEWSLETTER http://www.hebsmarketing.com/Sunset_Inn/07_July_2013/index.html

In Vancouver for just a couple of days? That is plenty of time to explore the downtown core neighborhoods!

Friday, August 30th, 2013

Many of our guests that breeze through the hotel find that they are short on time to explore the area, so we want to explain to you about the districts that make up the downtown core of Vancouver and how you can maximize your time and still get to visit plenty of amazing places.

We will breakdown the local districts that make up the downtown peninsula that is nestled neatly in between Stanley Park and East Vancouver and the water ways that are the Burrard Inlet, False Creek and English Bay, for each district that is mentioned we will highlight some of the must see areas within them.

WEST END/DAVIE VILLAGE
This is the area that the Sunset Inn and Suites calls home and is one of the most vibrant and colourful of all the districts that the city has to offer.
Davie Village is a 3 block area that spans Davie Street, between the cross sections of Jervis St and Burrard St and is more commonly known as the Gay district of Vancouver. The streets here are awash with colour such as the Rainbow Painted Cross walks of Bute and Davie, bright pink bus stops and an enormous amount of restaurants to satisfy your bellies.

Once you have gotten yourself orientated around our local neighborhood the next place to visit should be Granville Island.

GRANVILLE ISLAND
The jewel in the crown and a must see place to visit when you are in Vancouver, by not coming to Granville Island is like going to New York and not bothering to see the Statue of Liberty, so there you have it – get on down there.
Like Pikes Place Market in Seattle, Granville Island has plenty of wonderful boutique shops, so many market stalls, restaurants and entertainment to keep you occupied for quite some time.
The area is famous for its Buskers, it has a few Theatres for you to enjoy such as The Backstage Lounge which is an excellent venue for Live music and plenty of Comedy and Live Improve at the Vancouver TheatreSports League.

The Island is also famous for its more quirky stores to visit such as The Granville Island Broom co, and you have guessed it they make lots and lots of Brooms, and it is all done there and then at the Store before your eyes, its pretty impressive to see these Brooms, Dust pans and other items be handcrafted from scratch using the very best local materials from the area.

Broom Co website http://www.broomcompany.com/

Granville Island is home to the very first Sake maker in Canada to open a store, and like the Broom shop, all the Sake produced is being made from within the store there are tours are available too.

Sake Website http://artisansakemaker.dreamhosters.com/

For dining on the Island we highly recommend The Sandbar Restaurant. This is a huge hit in the area and everyone we recommend there has not been disappointed. It is a very Vancouver style establishment too, with a menu that is sure to satisfy everyone, if you are looking for Pub style food – you got it, fancy trying something that is more Asian fusion like Sushi – you got it, you are craving some excellent Pacific Northwest Seafood – well guess what? You got that here too – oh and ask to be sat at the very top, the views from the upper level balcony is fantastic!

Sandbar Website http://www.vancouverdine.com/sandbar

GASTOWN-CHINATOWN
From Granville Island you can then make your way to the older and most popular areas of Vancouver which is the districts of Gastown and Chinatown. Here you are entering the more historical side of the city which is full of character. From the Cobbled stone streets of Gastown to the hustle and bustle of the Chinatown district which is one of the oldest in North America – during the summer months it boasts a great Night market from 6 till 11 on the weekends, its full of excellent food and amazing craft stalls at a very affordable price.

The Gastown district has no shortage of great restaurants to dine in and lots of souvenir shops so you can buy gifts for friends and family to remember the trip.
The most notable places to see when you are in this area is the world famous Gastown Steam Clock, amazing array of restaurants and gorgeous boutique shops, in this area you are spoiled for choice when it comes to fashion as there are so many with really cute and trendy styles of all genres, whether you are into Pin Up, hipster, punk or designer it is all here for your pleasure.

For further information on these districts: Gastown http://www.gastown.org/

Chinatown: http://www.vancouver-chinatown.com/

VANCOUVER ART GALLERY
The VAG is a very popular destination to visit and has some amazing Art work to delight anyone who is creative and love to see new works of Art. They boast a collection of 10,000 pieces of their own permanent personal collection of Art.
The grounds outside the gallery are a popular assembly point for protests and some events such as Canada Day, so go check it out.

Vancouver Art Gallery: http://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/

Many of these places are very easy to reach via Public transport, and whats even better is the BIG BUS Tours as these guys will transport you all through the downtown core and the places that we have listed, and they have special deals set up with the hotel so it is always best to speak to the Front Desk and purchase your ticket here.

For further information on Big bus click here: http://bigbus.ca/home/

Please click on the following link to read the Sunset Inn’s latest Newsletter http://www.hebsmarketing.com/Sunset_Inn/07_July_2013/index.html

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

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.deepcovekayak.com/

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

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

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

http://www.grousemountain.com/grousegrind

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

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

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

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

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

Events happening in June

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

June is shaping up to be quite a busy season, please take a look at the events that are going to rock your socks off in Vancouver…and the best part – many of them are FREE!!!!

TD INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL – JUNE 21st to JULY 1st
A community based non for profit festival that has been wowing audiences and locals alike since its inception in 1986. Closely connected with other great festivals in the Vancouver calender, this one in particular has grown to be one of the biggest and best! Not only is there Jazz but there will be Blues, World, Creative and improvised music to delight your ears!

http://www.coastaljazz.ca/

RIO TINTO ALCAN DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL – JUNE 21-JUNE 23
Another very popular Festival – check out the Dragon Boaters as they compete in this wonderful and colourful event, you will likely see them train down by Granville Island and False Creek

http://dragonboatbc.ca/

WEST END FARMERS MARKET – Every Saturday!
Buy locally grown Vegetables and more at the every popular Farmers Market located at the local Nelson Park near the Mole Hill Heritage Houses.

http://met.bcfarmersmarket.org/market/west-end-farmers-market

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