Posts Tagged ‘Grouse Mountain’

Christmas Events during December in Vancouver

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Here are the major events that will be happening throughout December and beyond in Vancouver.

The 11TH annual Rogers Santa Clause Parade Vancouver
This annual event really gets you into the spirit of things and marks the time that Christmas is indeed getting very very close now. Here Santa takes centre stage as he and his helpers guide his sleigh through the city streets for all those wanting to meet him at this very special time of year. There will be plenty of things to do for the whole family, from Arts and Crafts, Face painting, Letters to Santa, live music and much much more – this is one event not to be missed!

Sunday, December 7th, 2014 PARADE STARTS AT 1:00PM
Website: http://rogerssantaclausparade.com/

St Pauls Hospital – Lights of Hope
Lights of Hope is an annual fundraising campaign to support St. Paul’s Hospital. The public play an important role because Lights of Hope donations support the greatest needs as they arise throughout St. Paul’s, ensuring that the hospital has the funding to meet them.
Every year, St Pauls recognize donors to the campaign and inspire the community to show their support through a spectacular display of lights on St. Paul’s Hospital, which is built by volunteers using donated materials.

November 27, 2014 to January 12, 2015
Website: http://www.helpstpauls.com/lights-of-hope/

Bright Nights Christmas Train and Stanley Park
During the holiday season, the Bright Nights Christmas Train and Stanley Park Train Plaza sparkle with three million twinkling lights.
Buy tickets to ride the Bright Nights Train and experience the lights, breathtaking displays, and live performers along the train route. Or view the displays at the Train Plaza by donation ($4.00 suggested).

From November 27 2014 to January 4 2015
Website: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/bright-nights-train.aspx

Canyon Lights at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park – North Vancouver
Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park is one of the most popular attractions for any visitor who comes to Vancouver. An all year round attraction that has events to suit all seasons. Winter is an extra special time as the bridge and the surrounding areas are decked out in gorgeous lights to dazzle your senses – a definite must see attraction if you are visiting with the family you will get to witness the home of the world’s tallest living Christmas tree! Standing 46.4m (152 feet) tall, this Douglas-fir will be adorned in thousands of sparkling lights.

Canyon Lights is on from November 29, 2014 through to Saturday, January 3, 2015. (Closed Christmas Day – December 25th)
Website: http://www.capbridge.com/explore/canyon-lights/

The Peak of Christmas at Grouse Mountain – North Vancouver
Just a few minutes further up the hill from Capilano Suspension Bridge and Park you will find yourself at the gateway gondola to Grouse Mountain.
As always there are always some great festivities to enjoy at the top of this gorgeous setting that has incredible views of the whole city of Vancouver, Vancouver Island and the dominant Mount Baker volcano in the US state of Washington.
At the peak of Christmas you will get to meet Santa Claus, his reindeers, watch some great movies of a festive nature in the Theatre in the sky. You will also be greeted with Christmas carollers, have fun sleigh rides and enjoy Ice skating on their outdoor Ice-rink.

Daily from November 28, 2014 to December 24, 2014
Website: http://www.grousemountain.com

Vancouver Christmas Market – Vancouver, Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza
This annual German styled Christmas market is back once again – here you can walk around this alpine themed market that sells great Arts and Craft, you can buy festive themed food and drinks and enjoy all the sparkly decorations and entertainment you can come to expect at this time of year!

Daily from November 22, 2014 to December 24, 2014
Website: http://vancouverchristmasmarket.com/

Carol Ships Parade Of Lights Festival at Harbour Cruises – Vancouver Harbour
50 years ago someone decided it would be a great idea to adorn their boat with bright and sparkly christmas decorations – and thankfully they did as fast forward to this year and over 50 boats now take part in what has become a fantastic Chrstmas tradition in Vancouver.

Daily from December 5, 2014 to December 23, 2014
Website: http://www.boatcruises.com

Christmas at FlyOver Canada – Vancouver
One of the most successful attractions for tourists in Vancouver FLYover Canada has wowed visitors with this fun interactive movie that gets you to see Canada from a stunning birds-eye view perspective – Here you will join Santa as he heads up and over towards the North Pole – which of course as we all know resides in Canada right!?!?!

Daily from December 5, 2014 to January 4, 2015
Website: http://www.flyovercanada.com

North Shore mountains have opened early for Ski Season in Vancouver

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit Victoria, Whistler and more with Westcoast Sightseeing.

Monday, August 4th, 2014

Westcoast Sightseeing offer some amazing tours that will directly pick you up at the hotel and will guide you to your destination such as Victoria on Vancouver Island, Whistler and the North shore area of the North Vancouver city district including Capilano Suspension Bridge and Grouse Mountain. Westcoast Sightseeing work in conjunction with Big Bus City tours who we feel are one of the best in the sightseeing business.

VANCOUVER CITY TOUR AND LOOKOUT
Explore Vancouver’s downtown landmarks including Canada Place, the Olympic Cauldron, and bustling Robson Street on your way to the 40-hectare wonderland of Stanley Park. The journey continues through panoramic English Bay, vibrant Granville Island, historic Chinatown and Gastown. Then, board a glass elevator and whisk skyward to a 360-degree observation deck atop the Vancouver Lookout for another perspective on the city’s attractions, history and fascinating facts.

8:30am (May 1 – Sept 30) – 10:00am (Year Round, Daily) 1:30pm (May 1 – Sept 30)

Tour Length: 4 hours
Price Starting at $74 per adult $45 per child (3-11)

VANCOUVER CITY AND CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE
If the combination of city sights and a forest escape is your idea of an ideal day-trip, this is the tour for you. Relax and learn with our unique, guided commentary through Vancouver’s vibrant downtown. See spectacular waterfront landmarks including the sails of Canada Place and the bustling Robson Street shopping strip. Then soak in the view over Lions Gate Bridge as we venture to the adrenaline-pumping Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Next up are the sandy shores of English Bay on the west side of Stanley Park, then Granville Island, and a cruise though Chinatown and Gastown.

11:30am (Apr 1 – Oct 31)

Tour Length: 5 to 5.5 hours
Prices starting at $99 per adult $54 per child (3-11)

VICTORIA AND THE BUTCHART GARDENS TOUR
It starts with 90 cruising minutes aboard BC Ferries, and just gets better. With scenery so jaw-dropping you won’t want to blink, relax and enjoy the voyage through Juan de Fuca Straight and the Gulf Islands. From exploring the inner harbour of BC’s capital city Victoria–named after British monarch Queen Victoria–to Butchart Gardens 22 breathtaking hectares of meticulously manicured beauty, this tour delivers a royally spectacular day-trip experience.

7:00am (May 1 – Sep 30) - 8:00am (May 17 – Sep 15) - 9:00am (Apr 1– May 16, Sep 16 – Nov 3, Dec 6 – Dec 29)

Tour Length: 12 to 14 hours

Price Starting at $195 per adult and $99 per child (3-11)

WHISTLER AND SHANNON FALLS TOUR
Home to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and award winning for a reason, Whistler is an internationally renowned, year-round resort nestled in the Central Mountain range. The journey up the Sea-to-Sky Highway is just like it sounds–a winding spectacle of ocean and mountain scenery including the roaring Shannon Falls and cultural Squamish Adventure Centre. As the majestic backdrop of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain unveils before your very eyes, the adventure at Whistler Village is yours to create.

8:00am (Year Round, Daily)

Tour length: 10 hours

Price Starting at $135 per adult – $75 per child (3-11)

There are more tours to look at and of you go to their website you can find more information on the details of each and every tour that they offer.

Westcoast Sightseeing Website: http://www.vancouversightseeing.com/

Big Bus Hop on Hop off City Tours Website: http://bigbus.ca/home/

Ideas for Fathers Day in Vancouver.

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

Fathers day is coming up this Sunday June 15th and there are lots of things you can do in Vancouver to treat your Pa!

Father’s Day With The Vancouver Whitecaps Soccer Team at Grouse Mountain and the Grouse Grind.
Three major attractions in Vancouver all rolled into one. Grouse Mountain is a must see destination in its own right, and then you have a great Vancouver Soccer team the Whitecaps which are becoming quite the force in the city and are starting to really make a name for themselves in the world of Soccer.

So why not mix up the two and take your dad for lunch with the team and the staff at Grouse mountain for a well earned brunch meal after taking a nice hike up Grouse Grind? After the hike has been achieved you can then participate with the Whitecaps team with signings, a spot of Soccer and of course some incredible views that overlook the city!

Fathers day on Grouse mountain: https://www.grousemountain.com/events/fathers-day-with-the-whitecaps#.U5eSIfldWuk
Whitecaps Soccer Team: http://www.whitecapsfc.com/

Vancouver Brewery Tours
Ok, lets be fair, a lot of dads like to have a wee tipple now and then and if that is the case for your dad then look no further than heading to a beer tour!
Vancouver Brewery tours are great and will certainly be a great place to visit on Fathers day. The tours are fun and informative, they will provide you with exclusive behind the scenes access to life in a Vancouver brewery and are a great way to explore some of the city’s oldest neighborhoods.

Vancouver brewery tours: http://vancouverbrewerytours.com/

41 Restaurants with Father’s Day offers
Vancouver is a foodie city, we love it, embrace it and have pretty much every ethnicity under the Sun so you will all be spoiled for choice! Here is a comprehensive list of 41 restaurants that are offering Fathers day specials/and or deals!
http://www.opentable.com/promo.aspx?pid=85&m=73

Car Free Days
This year fathers day appropriately falls on the first day of the annual car free festivals that happen throughout the various neighbourhoods within Vancouver – we have our own West End car free day for the whole family to enjoy. Click on the link below to see what festivals appeal to you!
Car Free Festivals: http://www.carfreevancouver.org/

April Events in Vancouver.

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

April is the time when the transition from the Winter Season to Summer starts to become more noticeable in and around the city. We will be welcoming our first Cruise Ships of the season to our wonderful city and we will be looking forward to introducing new visitors to Vancouver, we will make sure it will be memorable even if it is just for a day!

So if you are coming to Vancouver in the next few weeks, here are some events that we feel you may want to check out, and of course it is Easter time again – so lots of great events for all the family to choose from, read further below and you will know where you can get your chocolate egg fill, between the yummy chocolates and our Jelly Beans at the hotel, one things for sure you will all be bouncing off the walls……Enjoy!

WEEKLY REGULAR FAVORITES

Thursday night Jazz at the Fairview Pub.
One of Vancouver’s best venues for live Jazz, Rhythm & Blues entertainment. This legendary Vancouver pub is popular with locals and guests alike and features live music and drink specials at the full-service bar. Our popular Thursday Night Jazz features John Nolan Jazz trio followed by the house band. Visit us online for schedule of upcoming shows.

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

Friday Late Night Movies at the Rio Theatre
Check out The Rio Theatre’s late night movies on Friday nights.
Friday Late Night Movies Rio Theatre
It’s got everything you could ever want:
- Cheap tickets
- Booze
- Hyper-into-it hipsters in costume
- Yummy, delicious, buttered popcorn
The Rio Theatre hosts late night movies for adults (19+ only), so you won’t have any kids kicking the back of your seat and crying (that’s just that annoying drunk guy). The movies shown are classics, the kind that you haven’t watched since you had a VCR and a non-HD TV.
Tickets are only $6 in costume or $8 without. So, if you’re looking for a fun, cheap way to please your date, the Rio Theatre Friday Late Night Movies are where it’s AT.
Check out the full schedule of movies on the Rio Theatre

Website: http://riotheatre.ca/events/

FORBIDDEN VANCOUVER PRESENTS PROHIBITION CITY WALKING TOUR
Every Thursdays and Saturdays

On Prohibition City you explore the strange, corrupt and colourful history of prohibition-era Vancouver. Hear of the unlikely alliance of temperance campaigners and anti-saloon activists who together convinced the province to go dry back in 1917. Discover what life was like under prohibition, with stories of blind pigs, private members clubs, corruption, bootlegging, and free-flowing medicinal liquor. And learn the stories of the city’s most notorious mayor, LD Taylor, its most beautiful showgirl and its greatest rum-runners.

Website: http://forbiddenvancouver.ca/home/prohibition-city/

Yoga At The Aquarium – April 25th – VANCOUVER AQUARIUM in STANLEY PARK
The Aquarium is excited to offer a unique experience to stretch, strengthen and breathe into a more peaceful state of body and mind in the Aquarium’s Arctic Gallery. Accompanied by the Aquarium’s aquatic life, you will enjoy the serenity of the underwater calm. This gentle Hatha yoga class is for all levels and will include movement and postures for all levels. Come join us for this incredible opportunity to see just how these peaceful surroundings will support you in finding your own stillness and calm.

Website: http://www.vanaqua.org/experience/events/annual-and-upcoming-events/yoga

EASTER IN VANCOUVER
Vancouver Easter Egg Hunts
Get the kids out and start hunting for those Easter Eggs, this will be so much fun! Here is where you can do this and get your fill of yummy chocolate!

The 6th Annual Great A-Mazing Egg Hunt at the Van Dusen Botanical Gardens – Saturday, April 19th
Limited Tickets on Sale starting Monday, March 31st, in-person only at the Visitor Centre, Admissions Desk.
Choose from four different sessions: 9 am – 10 am, 10 am – 11 am, 11 am – Noon, Noon – 1pm.
Join us on the Great Lawn for activities, games, and bring your basket for a good old fashion egg hunt. Enjoy live music by Razzmajazz and a magic show by Bell E. Button’s the Clown. Fun for children between the ages of 2 to 10 years of age.
Pre-purchased tickets required. Ticket Prices: Child $7.00, Adult $10.75, Senior $8.00. Member Adult and Member Senior Free with Child ticket purchase. All sales final, no refunds. Rain or Shine.

Website and events: http://vandusengarden.org/visit/whats-happening/events-calendar/archive/2014-04

Easter Train – The Stanley Park Miniature Train April 16-21..
Adults: $3.50; Child/Youth (3-17yrs): $8:75; Toddler (0-2yrs): $5.25
Hop on by the Stanley Park Easter Train. Enjoy a fun-filled day of activities, including a ride on the miniature train, egg hunts, crafts, games, a bunny ear workshop, and more.

Website: http://vancouver.ca/news-calendar/Stanley-Park-Easter-Train-March-20-2014.aspx

Grouse Mountain – Easter Brunch
This year’s Easter festivities will feature delicious brunch classics for all ages and an exciting Easter Egg Hunt led by the Easter Bunny himself.
Between 10am and 2pm, we will be offering a 3-course prix fixe and a children’s prix fixe menu. Call 604.998.5045 to reserve your table.

Website: http://www.grousemountain.com/events/easter-brunch-2014

In just a matter of weeks the Bears begin to wake up from their hibernation.

Friday, March 21st, 2014

When you come to visit British Columbia you are not only visiting some incredible terrain that encompasses impressive mountains, deserts and a stunning coastline, you are also visiting Bear country.

BC is home to the most populous of bears in all of Canada, roughly half of all Black Bears and Grizzly Bears that are in Canada actually reside in BC, in fact, the majority of the world’s Grizzlies live in Russia and this corner of Canada and of course neighbouring Alaska.
If you are thinking of coming to visit this part of the world at the end of Spring and into Summer, than there is a very good chance you will get to see some of these stunning creatures as they forage for food after their long slumber. These bears will be mighty hungry and probably looking a little thin due to their long period of inactivity.

The bears typically are in deep hibernation during the dark winter months of November and April, it is not the same sleeping time for all the bears as this depends on their location and habitat, that will dictate the length of rest they need to undertake, for example, the bears that live on Vancouver Island and the more southerly coasts of BC will likely have a shorter hibernation period, this is due to the weather not being half as cold or severe and therefore food is more accessible for a longer period of time.

The Hibernation process for the bears is quite an incredible feat. The bears generally make Dens within or close to trees, leading up to the hibernating time the bears will eat as much food as they can so they can pack on the weight so they are able to shut down for the winter. Many of the bears will not even eat, drink, urinate or defecate for a few months and their heart rate can even drop as much as 50 beats a minute to as little as just 10 beats, (which seems pretty crazy), so of course their oxygen intake will drop dramatically and they will likely lose around at least a quarter of their weight due to abstinence of eating and drinking, which again seems crazy, but that is how these creatures roll!!!!

So come May and certainly June and July the bears will likely be out in force ready to fill their hungry bellies on Berries, Salmon and whatever else they can get to sustain themselves. As these are quite cute looking we must also take due care as these creatures as cute as they maybe are an apex predator and all due respect must be given to them, so we advise that if you want to witness the bears in their natural habitat, there are some tours that will specifically help you out with that.

Watching Bears in the wild – Tour Operators
The habitats of the bears in the wild is actually surprisingly close to us, from the North shore mountains of North and West Vancouver you are beginning to live in bear country. If anything, we have been imposing ourselves to their homes hence the reason we see them wandering around the north shore suburbs! So there are a few ways that you can see the bears in person….

Grouse Mountain – Vancouver
A popular destination just a 45 minute journey from downtown Vancouver – in the summer months this is a great place to visit for incredible scenery, hikes and more……they are also home to a couple of bears in their long term home, the poor things are not fit to live in the wild, so they now reside at the top of Grouse mountain quite literally living the high life!
Website: http://www.grousemountain.com

Ocean Adventures Charter Co – North Vancouver
These guys will get you to see the very best that the wilderness has to offer in this part of the world, from Bears to Whales and awe-inspiring First Nations culture, amidst BC’s most spectacular landscapes.
Website: http://www.oceanadventures.bc.ca

Whistler Discovery Tours – Whistler
‘Exclusive Land Rover Excursions’. Our year-round scenic private/semi-private eco-tours will take you to areas rarely seen by most Whistler visitors: Morning/Evening with the Bears, Ancient Rainforest/Eagle Viewing Experience, Hidden Glacier Lake Hike/Snowshoe.
Website: http://www.whistlerdiscoverytours.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

How to see the very best of Vancouver in just a few short days.

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Its been a crazy Winter here in Vancouver as we have not seen this much Sun over the winter period for as long as anyone can remember – maybe, just maybe this is a sign of a good tourist season to come for 2014.
We are starting to notice a big upswing in reservation calls for people who are now looking ahead to the Spring and Summer season get away’s. We feel this will be a good time to give you advice on how to utilise your time in the city with the few days that you may be stopping over. So we will guide you on what to do if you are stopping by the city for just 1, 2 or 3 days…

1 DAY VISIT
One day in the city may seem like there is no time to see anything, but we feel you can actually see a fair bit of the city due to the size and geography of the area, so, if you are only making a whistle-stop tour and still want to catch some sights, here are the places to see for just one day.

BIG BUS CITY TOUR – HOP ON HOP OFF Big Bus will be the very best way to see the sights of the city while having the freedom to get around at different stops so you can experience some pretty decent areas that Vancouver has to offer. The bus stop is quite literally a 1 minute walk from the hotel on Thurlow St – we suggest that you do a full circle tour on the bus, and then once back around, its time to use the Hop on Hop off option to good use.
Granville Island is a must see area in the city, it is our own version of Seattle’s Pike Place market There are some amazing boutique shops to browse and shop in, the wonderful Granville Island Market whic is open from 9am till 7pm seven days a week. There are also some really excellent restaurants to choose from too, our suggestion is to visit The Sandbar Restaurant, this really showcases the very best Pub style dishes, Seafood and an Asian infusion twist which is very very Vancouver.

Granville Island Website: http://granvilleisland.com/

After spending some time on Granville Island we highly recommend that you take a walk inStanley Park A diamond in the rough – Stanley Park is one of the largest public parks that shows you what the area once looked like before the rapid expansion of the city. The Park is located at the Western end of the downtown peninsula and at 1,001-acres there is plenty to see. Here you are in the heart of an ‘urban Rainforest’ so to speak, there is no shortage of spectacular scenery with the various species of Plants, trees and wildlife, it is a must see area of the city, just like Granville Island.

We also recommend that you purchase your Big Bus tickets with us at the front desk as it will be a cheaper deal for you – as opposed to buying a ticket directly from their website. We will send you their link below so you know what to expect when you get here.

BIG BUS Website http://bigbus.ca/home/

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

2 DAY VISIT
Now that you have gotten some of the downtown area out of the way, you can now start to explore a little deeper, if you have purchased a ticket with Big Bus you will have seen that they have a 2 day Pass – this will help get you to explore some of the older areas of the city.
Gastown and Chinatown are also a must see area of Vancouver, here you will step back in time and get to see where the original and oldest areas of the city began, you can check out the famous cobble-stoned Streets, incredibly stunning architecture and historical landmarks such as The Steam Clock, the Chinatown district (which is one of the oldest in North America and Canada – including the majestic and beautiful DR SUN YAT SEN CLASSICAL CHINESE GARDENS website http://vancouverchinesegarden.com/

Gastown Website:http://www.gastown.org/

GROUSE MOUNTAIN & CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE can be visited after spending some time in Chinatown and Gastown, you can head over to Waterfront Station where you can catch the Seabus over to North Vancouver and Lonsdale Quay (which is North Vancouver’s version of our own Granville Island, its smaller but very cute and offers some great views of the Burrard Inlet, Downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park.

Grouse Mountain overlooks Vancouver and can be easily spotted as the middle of the three North Shore mountains that overlook the city, it is nestled in between Cypress Mountain to the West and Mount Seymour to the east. Grouse is excellent for Winter sporting activities for all the family – and in the summer it has great hiking trails, the famous Grouse Grind if you are up for a steep walking challenge and entertainment at the top for all the family to enjoy, this includes a lumberjack show which is funny and breath taking and a Bird Sanctuary and Grizzly Bear enclosure.
Just one stop down from Grouse is the world famous Capilano Suspension Bridge, here you will get to experience one of the worlds largest suspended Suspension Bridges, high above the Capilano river and canyon, there is also a daring cliff walk and glass paths for the especially daring – its a stunning sight to be so high among the trees in this amazing rain-forest canopy.

Grouse Mountain – The Peak of Vancouver https://www.grousemountain.com/

Capilano Suspension Bridge Website: http://www.capbridge.com/

3 DAY VISIT
if you happen to be here for 3 days or more, then we absolutely encourage you to start to explore further out to areas like Victoria on Vancouver Island.
Vancouver Island is a pretty big place – many believe that it is a fairly small place but don’t be fooled it is actually close in size to the UK!
Victoria which is the capital of BC is a very quaint and beautiful town, much smaller than Vancouver and certainly steeped in rich history of its colonial past – it too has a decent China town to explore.
We recommend that you use a Tour Operator to visit Victoria, the one way trip itself take roughly 3 to 4 hours to get from Vancouver to Victoria – this includes the stunning Ferry ride that meanders through the Georgia Strait and the Gulf island, if you are lucky, you may even catch a glimpse of some travelling Whales…..when you are in Victoria, take a visit to the Empress hotel for some High Tea!

We really like LANDSEA TOURS, they have an excellent package that will take you directly from the hotel to Victoria, they will also ship you around the town so you can get to enjoy the world famous Butchart Gardens, The Museum of Victoria and some time to walk around the downtown area, they will also bring you back to the hotel too – its an awesome tour where you can sit back, learn about the area and not have to think! We like that very much!

Victoria BC Website: http://www.victoria.ca/

High Tea at the Empress Hotel Victoria http://www.fairmont.com/empress-victoria/dining/afternoontea/

Landsea Tours http://www.vancouvertours.com/

Read about the Festive events happening during November and into December. Its never too early to think about Christmas…Part 1

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Ok ok so its still November and we are about to talk Christmas, but for very good reason. Although we all know that the Christmas Season really gets going around the mid December mark in Vancouver the festivities begin to get underway come Mid November.

If you are planning to visit us between now and the end of the December then this blog will hopefully help you plan some festive activities for all the family, we do hope that you get to visit some of these awesome events.

NOVEMBER EVENTS

4th ANNUAL VANCOUVER CHRISTMAS MARKET
Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6B 2P1
Fri November 22, 2013 – Tue December 24, 2013

Now running in its 4th year, this is a fun market to get you all revved up and in the full festive spirit of Christmas. At this market you will get to experience the feel and vibe of a traditional German styled Christmas Market with all the goodies you can expect, with lots of delicious foods, drinks and festive items for you to enjoy!

Website: http://www.vancouverchristmasmarket.com

CANDYTOWN – A YALETOWN HOLIDAY FESTIVAL
Throughout the Yaletown District
Saturday November 23 from 12pm – 9pm

Candy Candy Candy all around! Check out the Yaletown district and experience Candy treats like you have never done before, after the success of the Candytown of 2012 the event is returning again this year. At Candytown you will be able to buy some delicious items that will sweeten your mouth-buds you will be able to make your own Candy treats, enjoy sleigh rides, listen to great live music and much much more!!!!

Website: http://yaletowninfo.com/events/candytown/

THE PEAK OF CHRISTMAS – GROUSE MOUNTAIN
At Grouse mountain Ski Hill
Sat November 23, 2013 – Tue December 24, 2013

A host of activities will welcome you at this stunning location right at the very top of Grouse Mountain, here you will get to see Reindeer’s, Santa Clause, outdoor Ice Skating, Sleigh Rides, Carol Singing and Christmas Movies.

Website: http://www.grousemountain.com/

LUMINESCENCE AT THE VANCOUVER AQUARIUM
845 Avison Way
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6B 3X8

Thu November 28, 2013 – Wed January 22, 2014

Get into the holiday spirit by exploring this celebration of aquatic light. Gaze at a display of 100-plus origami jellyfish, marvel at an electric eel-powered holiday tree & learn how sea creatures create & reflect light. Take a virtual tour through the depths of the ocean with a deep-dive installation & don’t miss the exhilarating 4-D film Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas. Afterwards, continue the journey to a winter wonderland in Canada’s Arctic Gallery & meet Scuba Claus. Admission is $25 for adults, $18 for students, youth & seniors & $14 for children (ages 4 to 12).

Website: http://www.vanaqua.org/

CHRISTMAS AT FLYOVER CANADA
999 Canada Place
Vancouver, British Columbia
V6C 3C1

Fri November 29, 2013 – Mon January 06, 2014

Enjoy the ride of a lifetime from the comfort of your chair at Flyover Canada – here you will get to see Canada as you have never before with a Christmas twist!

Website: http://www.flyovercanada.com/

CANYON LIGHTS AT CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE
3735 Capilano Rd
North Vancouver, British Columbia
V7R 4J1

Sat November 30, 2013 – Sat January 04, 2014

Come visit the worlds tallest Christmas tree at the world famous Capilano Suspension Bridge. Prepare to be dazzled by the thousands of lights glittering throughout the rainforest, across the Suspension Bridge & on CLIFFWALK, the Park’s newest attraction. Also part of the fun – a children’s scavenger hunt, gingerbread cookie decorating, sing-a-long carols with the holiday band & glass blowing.

Website: http://www.capbridge.com/

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

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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