Posts Tagged ‘North Shore’

This summer is full of events and festivals, take a look at what is in store!

Friday, June 28th, 2013

July is fast approaching and that means it is time to get out and about in the city as festival season will be hotting up….apparently the weather is going to play ball too just in time for Canada Day on July 1st.

It seems like the West is going to be enjoying better weather than of late (but us Vancouverites are quite used to a rainy start to the Summer…In Vancouver the month of June is commonly named as Juneuary….lol).
Forecasters are predicting temperatures in the mid 20 Celsius and possibly higher in parts (for you Fahrenheit folks out there this will be the high 70s pushing into the 80s), but we will have to wait and see when next week comes around….would be nice eh!

JULY 1st – CANADA DAY
Celebrate this Nations national holiday on July 1st with a fantastic long weekend spectacle around the city. Here are our suggestions where you can enjoy the Canada Day Celebrations.

CANADA DAY ON GRANVILLE ISLAND
Granville Island will be the bug of the party, starting the celebrations bright and early from 7am right until Midnight, you will be treated to a Pancake Breakfast, fantastic festival atmosphere with live dancers, Jazz music and performances courtesy of the South Asian Cultural Extravaganza.

http://granvilleisland.com/event/canada-day-celebration

CANADA DAY WATERFRONT PARTY & PARADE
The Canada Day Party will begin at 10am till 6pm at Canada Place which like Granville Island is a must see area to visit, it is also where the Cruise Ships dock in the summer season.
There will be a full on festival atmosphere down here with 3 stages for live entertainment.
CANADA DAY PARADE The Parade begins at 7pm and begins at Georgia St and Broughton St So don your best red and white clothes and get there to enjoy the festive activities!

http://www.canadaday.canadaplace.ca/

CANADA DAY FIREWORKS
The Fireworks will cap off the perfect day of celebrations from the beautiful setting of the Burrard Inlet which Canada Place overlooks with the gorgeous North shore mountains and North Vancouver in the background.
The fireworks will get going from 10.30pm till 11pm. Hopefully the weather will be clear as you will still be able to see the north shore backdrop with stunning twilight setting on these long balmy evenings.

http://www.canadadayfireworks.ca/

There are a couple of festivals happening on Saturday July 13th
KHATSAHLANO! Music & Arts Festival
A major music festival right in the heart of the trendy Kitsilano district
Located along West 4th Ave between Burrard St and Macdonald St, the area will be funpacked with live music, dancing and plenty of street performers with around 50 participants to make it a very special day. The area is awesome on its own too, like Davie Village it is packed with excellent Restaurants, Bars, Cafes and trendy shops – you cannot go wrong.

GAYDAY @ PLAYLAND
One of the first festivals that are leading up to the Vancouver Pride Parade is Gay Day at the PNE PLAYLAND Fairground….so don your best pink and bring out that inner child in you at the fun of the fair!

https://www.facebook.com/events/178249728899316/

VANCOUVER FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL
Friday, July 19 – Sunday, July 21
By far one of the biggest events in the musical calender in Vancouver, this is a must see festival that is not only folk music but does encompass other genres and styles that can relate to it. The musicians here are excellent too, so for the money spent you will not be disappointed at all.
It is also set at the stunning location of Jericho Beach, this is one of the finest beaches in the Vancouver area and offers stunning views of Vancouver and its surroundings.
$45 – $50 Friday only; $75 – $80 Saturday or Sunday; $135 – $165 Weekend Pass; student, youth and senior discounts available.

http://thefestival.bc.ca/

CARIBBEAN DAYS FESTIVAL – NORTH VANCOUVER/LONSDALE QUAY
Saturday, July 27 – Sunday, July 28
Let the Caribbean spirit flow through veins with lively music, excellent food that is full of flavour as only the tropics know how, and they have a way to party like no other!
Also when you are there, check out the Lonsdale Quay area, it is North Vancouver’s equivalent of Granville Island and Pike Place Market in Seattle.

http://www.caribbeandays.ca/

CELEBRATION OF LIGHT FIREWORKS
Saturday, July 27th, Wednesday, July 31st & Saturday, August 3rd
One of the biggest events in the Vancouver calender and a truly fantastic spectacle that draws almost half a million people to the West End Beaches of Sunset Beach and English Bay, iy is now in its 23rd year.
It is a worldwide competition that is held annual in various worldwide cities. Each country per night is hoping to win the prize by perfecting an incredible display in synchrony to Music of their choice.

There will also be an acrobatic air display to get you going before the fireworks kick off at 10pm.

Fireworks information: http://www.sunsetinn.com/blog/?cat=717

Please check with the hotel for details regarding this major event as there will be road closures. The Sunset Inn is within the no drive zone.

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

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

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.