Posts Tagged ‘Stanley Park’

HAPPY 129th BIRTHDAY VANCOUVER!

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

April 6th was the official date of Vancouver’s 129th birthday. Vancouver is probably one of the most stunning cities in Canada and of course the world – it is usually rated within the top 3 most liveable cities in the world and it really is very hard to argue against this. We will like to create a list to you as to why Vancouver should be at the top of your destination list.

STANLEY PARK & THE BIKING THE SEAWALL
Stanley Park is a gorgeous wooded forest and Park that completely dominates the centre of Vancouver. At 400 Hectares it is bigger than New Yorks Central park and is home to a vast array of incredible Gardens, Sporting facilities an outdoor pool, playparks for children and the natural Fauna and Flora that make the park come alive.
In the Summer time it is a great place to take your family to explore the dense forest and you can also check out the many beaches that can be found following the Seawall that encircles the outside perimeter.

Stanley Park is also home to the world famous Vancouver Aquarium which is home to the rehabilitation of the beloved Beluga Whales

The Seawall itself is a great way to explore the majority of the city and along the way you will be able to come across some notable features of the city such as Granville Island, Science World, the Totem Poles of Stanley Park, the Inukshuk and the Vancouvers most popular beaches such as English Bay. The best way to explore the full 22km wall is by bike rentals. English Bay Bike Rentals: http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

GRANVILLE ISLAND
A cultural hub that lies in the heart of False Creek. Granville Island is home to Vancouver’s largest Public Market which has a huge array of colourful stalls, unique homemade products and the very finest in gastronomic delights. All fresh from the ocean, the oven or the field. Try closing your eyes right now and imagine the rich aromas permeating from the lavish displays. Shimmering seafood, warm baked goods, plump fruit.
There is also plenty of dining out options, entertainment in the form of Theatre, comedy and Arts – it is also a huge hub for busking to delight the masses as they meander around the Island. http://granvilleisland.com/
You can reach Granville Island using the False Creek Ferries which is a 10 minute walk from the hotel http://www.granvilleislandferries.bc.ca/

CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE
Built in 1889, Capilano Suspension Bridge stretches 450 feet (137m) across and 230 feet (70m) above Capilano River and has created a whole complex within the rain forest canopy that is found located above the river half way up the mountainside towards Grouse Mountain. In the last few years the area has expanded so now we have a daring cliffwalk path that leads you out over the canyon close to the steep Granite cliffs that create the towering gorge that has been cut and eroded by the river over thousands of years. There are also treetop viewing points dotted all over the park.
Website: http://www.capbridge.com/

CLIMB THE GROUSE GRIND AND VISIT MOUNTAIN
Grouse Mountain did not have much in the way of Snow this year which was a troubling for the Ski enthusiasts, however, as Spring turns to Summer it is time for the Hiking season to begin.
Grouse Mountain https://www.grousemountain.com/

The Grouse Grind
This is a great challenge for any able’d bodied person to use if you are up for the challenge and a great well known hike. This very popular hiking trail is a steep trail that climbs 853 m (2800 feet) from the gate and timer near the bottom of the trail to the “Grind Timer” at the top of the trail, a distance of 2.9 km (1.8 mi), with an average grade of 17 degrees (or 31%) and short sections of up to 30 degrees. The total number of stairs is 2,830. https://www.grousemountain.com/grousegrind

BIG BUS SIGHTSEEING HOP ON HOP OFF TOUR
This is one of the most effective ways to see the best sights of the city, you can Choose from over 20 stops to create your adventure.
Free one-way ferry ride to the public market, galleries and colourful culture of Granville Island
As many as 7 stops in Stanley Park, voted the best urban park in the world
World-class commentary in English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin (May 2015)
Vancouver’s only company with convertible, clear-top bus covers for stunning views rain or shine.

For further information read out latest blog on the tour itself http://www.sunsetinn.com/blog/?p=7098

Great Blue Herons of Stanley Park webcam

Friday, March 20th, 2015

When you come to visit Vancouver during the Spring this is the perfect time for birdwatchers to see the Blue Herons at their one of their regular nesting homes next to the Tennis courts in Vancouver.

THE GREAT BLUE HERONS
These majestic creatures have made a small area in Stanley Park their natural home for nesting and it is in surprisingly large numbers considering the species is dwindling elsewhere.
During March we will see the return of the male Herons, the best place to see them are down by the Tennis Courts on Beach Avenue (Which is not too far a walk from the Sunset) the male herons will return to their designated nests where they will hope to attract the females whom arrive a short while later.

Once they do arrive the usual courtship ritual begins, you can spot this when the couples are in their nests and will cross their bills regularly, together they help maintain their nests (some return to the existing ones and like to modernise and spruce them up too).
Come the end of April and early May you will start to see the chicks hatching from their nests, it is quite a sight to see. This location has been a regular home since 1921 there were many nests across the creek in Vanier Park, but now, only a handful remain.

HERON CAM
A Webcam has now been installed at the sight of the Herons nests at Stanley Park near the Tennis courts and went live as of Wednesday March 18th. The heron cam is a remotely controlled wireless camera mounted on the roof of a building near Park Board offices at 2099 Beach Avenue. It gives you a “birds’ eye view” of the drama in the trees.

The heron cam gives you the ultimate close up view of one of North America’s largest urban colonies of Pacific great blue herons. It is a window on the world of these magnificent birds from courtship through egg laying, until the grown chicks fledge in late summer.
Tune in often to watch the drama of new life unfolding in our nests. Spread the word through Twitter using the hashtag #herontalk

The Stanley Park herons typically arrive in February and chicks are generally born in April and in 2014 there were 94 active nests in the colony, producing 131 fledgling herons. The baby birds face predators such as eagles and raccoons before they are able to fly.
Over the past century, the abundance of large trees suitable for Great Blue Heron nesting near foraging areas has declined in some parts of British Columbia because of human population growth and industrialization so this is a great way for the public to be aware of these majestic birds and the fact that they are an endangered species, hopefully this will help raise interest and awareness so these Great Herons do not go extinct.

WEBCAM: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/heron-cam.aspx

STANLEY PARK ECOLOGICAL SOCIETY: http://stanleyparkecology.ca/

St Patricks Day family events and Parade in Vancouver

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

March 17th is fast approaching and we all know what that means……we celebrate everything that is Green, has potatos in it and is all washed down with some great dark beer more than likely known as Guinness. St Patricks day brings the Irish out of all of us and why not? It is always a good gig that lets everybody let their hair down and jig around like there is no tomorrow.

In Vancouver there will be lots of places to celebrate the occasion in the week leading up to the big day. Read on for the full list of events to celebrate Paddy’s Day.

CELTICFEST VANCOUVER 2015
Celticfest returns once again to celebrate in irish style and they have lots for you to see and do from great Music, excellent drinks and a parade to cap it all off.

Family orientated events.
Many if us will think of the more adult inspired events that generally involves copious amounts of Whiskey and Guinness, but its not all about the people that enjoy the ‘Craic on the lash’, there are plenty of events that involves the younger generation too…
Celtic Village & Street Market
Saturday March 14: 11:00 am – 6:00 pm
Sunday March 15: 10:00 am to 5:30 pm
Granville Street (between Robson and Nelson Streets
)
Head down to Robson Square and see the whole area be transformed into a village that will transport you to Ireland. There will be live music, plenty of yummy irish food, face painting, lots of crafts and stalls plus a large stage set up by Doolins for some seriously Irish inspired entertainment.

http://www.celticfestvancouver.com/street-market/

FREE IRISH DANCING With the O’Connor- O’Brien Irish Dancers
Sunday, March 15 | 1:30pm – 2:30pm
Tom Lee Music Hall

Vancouver BMO St. Patrick’s Day 5K for Charity
Saturday, March 14
A “flat and fast” 5k run through Stanley Park a St Patrick’s Day tradition that lets all ages of people no matter what their ability is to take part. Taking place on (the day before the St. Patrick’s Day Parade), this annual event is a fundraiser the Canadian Diabetes Association (CDA), and includes a fun after-party for all participants and quite possibly a pot of gold awaiting you at the finish line….(ok ok we made that bit up)

ST PATRICKS DAY PARADE
Sunday, March 15, 2015, 11am – 1pm
The parade route begins at Howe St. and Davie St. in downtown Vancouver, proceeding north along Howe to Georgia, and ending at Georgia & Granville Streets

Organized by CelticFest Vancouver, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Vancouver is the culmination of a nine-day Celtic festival–the biggest Celtic festival in Western Canada– that includes international and Canadian Celtic performers, musicians, artists, and dancers.

IRISH PUBS IN VANCOUVER
There are plenty of great Irish themed bars and pubs in Vancouver, here is our pick.

The Blarney Stone
Established in 1972, The Blarney Stone is the longest running Irish Pub in the City of Vancouver. This venue is a great place to watch live bands and enjoy irish favorates and other popular music that is irish themed.
http://blarneystone.ca/

Doolins Irish Pub
Doolin’s is Vancouver’s modern Irish pub, bringing traditional Irish charm amidst state of the art A/V technology, live music, and 8 TV screens. Doolin’s staff proudly wears kilts to honor our Celtic heritage, and Doolin’s live entertainers blast the Irish spirit into the heart of every patron.
http://www.doolins.ca/

The Irish Heather
If you are true foodie then the Irish Heather is for you! A great vancouver GastroPub, Whiskey Shebeen and bar all in one, Sean Heather’s flagship restaurant is a neighbourhood institution in Gastown and home to the famous Long Table Series of communal dinners.
http://irishheather.com/

Johnnie Foxes Irish Snug
On a personal level, this bar is quintessentially Irish, the decor, the staff, and the patrons that make the atmosphere pretty unique to what an actual irish bar is like, well this place has it and they have done it well.
http://www.johnniefox.ca/

Gardens & Parks to visit in Vancouver during Spring & Summer

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

The flowers are responding to the gorgeous weather we are having here on the West coast. This gives us a great opportunity for us to guide you to see where the very best Gardens and Parks are to visit.

QUEEN ELIZABETH PARK – BLOEDEL CONSERVATORY – VAN DUSEN BOTANICAL GARDENS
A jewel that sits in the heart of Vancouver and has incredible views of the city due to is location at 152 metres above sea level, it’s the highest point in Vancouver and makes for spectacular views of the park, city, and mountains on the North Shore.
The gardens and the conservatory is located among an old disused quarry which is now home to an extensive array of incredible plants, flowers and trees for you to absorb. You can also enjoy some great recreational time by playing games at the Pitch and Put, Tennis and Bowling lawn. After all that we are pretty sure you will have worked up an appetite – so try out the Seasons in the Park restaurant for some incredibly good food that is typically flavored and inspired by the Pacific Northwest.
The Van Dusen Botanical Gardens are situated here also – during the month of March Kids are allowed entrance for free!

http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/queen-elizabeth-park.aspx

STANLEY PARK
New York has central park and we have Stanley Park. Stanley Park is huge and right next to the downtown heart of Vancouver with incredible views of English Bay, the North shore Mountains and Bowen island in the distance. The park really makes you understand the complexities of the rain forest area that Vancouver resides in. It is also home to many animals, birds and other incredible wildlife that call this area home. The highlights of the park are the array of trees that make up the park, the Herons nesting site at the Tennis courts and The Lost Lagoon to name but a few.

http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/stanley-park.aspx

DR SUN YAT-SEN CHINESE GARDENS
Right in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and adjacent Sun Yat-Sen Park are the perfect urban oasis.
The stunning Garden is an authentic representation of Ming Dynasty-era tradition and the first of its kind outside China. Be enchanted by the Garden’s winding paths, rocks, plants, and beautiful vistas. In the park alongside the Garden, find peace and tranquility in the unique rock forms, water lily-covered pond, pagoda, and lush plants.

http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/dr-sun-yat-sen-chinese-garden.aspx

UBC BOTANICAL GARDEN & CENTRE FOR PLANT RESEARCH
Located at the historical University of British Columbia Campus these gardens are one of the oldest to be found in Vancouver. During the month of March the Magnolias are what to watch for and my oh my are they responding to the gorgeous weather that we are currently experiencing.

http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/

Cherry Blossoms are blooming 3 to 4 weeks in advance – click on the link to follow the progression of the blossoms http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2015/03/where-to-see-cherry-blossoms-in-vancouver/

Spring in Vancouver

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

As the rest of Canada is still locked in the deep cold of Winter, it is looking and feeling more like the end of April in Vancouver. The rains have cleared away and we anticipate that the Flowers, trees and wildlife are going to be waking up from the slumber of the long nights of Winter.

Here we want to show you what Vancouver has to offer during the Spring time – it is one of the most gorgeous seasons as the city erupts in Colour and life!

WHALE WATCHING
Wild Whales Vancouver offer great trips to watch the majestic Whales as they swim through the Georgia Strait. The Whales will be migrating sooner than April when Wild Whales begins its operations so if you travel between Vancouver and Victoria you may catch them.
Beginning in April and departing from Granville Island in downtown Vancouver, the Wild Whales experience allows you to observe Killer Whales and the diverse wildlife of the Pacific Coast in their natural habitat. It is an unforgettable, trip of a lifetime!
Board one of our three vessels at Vancouver’s unique and historic Granville Island. Keep your cameras ready as you travel down False Creek and into English Bay, where the views of Vancouver, the Coast Mountains and Stanley Park are unparalleled. From English Bay, we pass the Fraser River estuary into the Strait of Georgia.
Trips and Rates: http://www.whalesvancouver.com/trips-rates/

GRANVILLE ISLAND
If you visit Vancouver you must visit Granville Island – it is famous for its world renowned Public Market, Artisan Shops and entertainment that includes Theatres, Live buskers and more.
The Granville Island Public Market features a farmers’ market, day vendors, and artists offering local Vancouver goods. There are fifty permanent retailers and over one-hundred day vendors in stalls throughout the market selling a variety of artisan cottage-industry foods and handmade crafts on a rotating schedule – a true jewel in the crown of Vancouver
Website: http://granvilleisland.com/

CHERRY BLOSSOM FESTIVAL
This annual festival for us heralds the fact that Spring is well and truly here, the city looks absolutely incredible once the Blossoms are in full bloom, it is impressively bright and really tells us that the gloom of Winter becomes a distant memory.

Best Places to View Cherry Blossoms in Vancouver
“This is why I live here!” is a phrase many Vancouverites exclaim during cherry blossom season. Each spring, as the rainy season fades, city dwellers pack their sweaters away and are rewarded with one of the world’s most cheerful sites: 40,000 cherry trees bursting with pink and white blooms.

The West End is flush with the Blossoms, Harwood St which is one block South of us becomes quite an impressive site, also, check out Bute St the architecture and the trees make this street look very romantic.
Vancouver’s many parks and gardens are ideal showcases for the beloved trees, but there are also a number of urban places to view these pink beauties.
Queen Elizabeth Park touts several varieties of cherry trees, which bloom at different intervals throughout early March and late April
Stanley Park also has rows of blossoming trees near the formal rose garden and the Japanese Canadian WWI war memorial
VanDusen Botanical Garden boasts more than 100 cherry trees, representing 24 varieties.
Vancouver international Cherry Blossom Website: http://www.vcbf.ca/

BIG BUS CITY TOURS
This is an excellent way to sight-see around the city and to take in all the major attractions. Big Bus have an excellent reputation and the Big Bus staff are incredibly knowledgeable and fun! They offer 1 day and 2 day passes where you can Hop on and Hop off at your leisure. Tickets can be purchased directly at the Hotel, ask the staff about discounts!
Website: http://bigbus.ca/home/

SEAWALL, STANLEY PARK AND VANCOUVER WILDLIFE
The Vancouver Seawall is absolutely breathtaking and circles the majority of the Downtown Peninsula and encircles Stanley Park. This area is great to walk around during the Spring as there is no shortage of incredible Trees, Flowers and wildlife to stun your senses. We recommend that you look all around you as there will be Racoons, Geese, Herons that nest in the Spring in the Park and plenty of Birds of Prey and more. We are very lucky to have such stunning nature within this busy metropolis.
Stanley Park Ecological Society Website: http://stanleyparkecology.ca/

We also recommend Cycling around the Seawall and Stanley Park, you can get a great deal with a selection of Bikes to choose from using English Bay Bike Rentals – we have discount vouchers at the Front Desk.
English Bay Bike Rentals: http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

SHOPPING FOR THE SPRING SEASON ON ROBSON ST
Robson Street is Vancouver’s main shopping district that connects the West End to the downtown area and is a little over a 10 minutes walk north of the Sunset Inn Hotel.
If you are really up for a good old fashioned spending spree why don’t you go on a Shopping tour? Posh Shopping Tours will help out you out with exactly that, taking you to some great brand named stores and other major Shopping areas that Vancouver has to offer.
Robson St Website: http://www.robsonstreet.ca/
Posh Shopping Tours: http://www.poshshoppingtours.com/

For further tourism information click here Tourism Vancouver: http://www.tourismvancouver.com/

Tips on what to do in Vancouver if you are visiting on an Alaskan Cruise.

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

It maybe the middle of Winter but we can see that the reservations are coming in thick and fast for the upcoming Cruise ship season to Alaska. Once the Cruise ships arrive the city gets pretty busy and of course that means we generally have full occupancy.

The Cruise Ships dock very very early at Canada Place http://www.canadaplace.ca/ so we find that the majority of our Cruise Ship guests will arrive at the hotel between the hours of 7 and 8am. Our check in time at the hotel is guranteed at 4pm as our guests are allowed to stay in their rooms until 11am which is the Sunset Inn and Suites regular check out time, this of course means there is still the majority of the day to occupy your time, so follow our lead and we will help you maximise your stay if you are here for just a day or two, we will make sure you get to see the major sights even if the stay seems short. We will strive to get the rooms ready earlier but that is dependent on the volume of occupancy at the hotel.

Getting to the Sunset Inn and Suites Hotel from Canada Place
The cruise ships usually dock around 6am and we get many people asking us what is the best way to get to the hotel and how much does it cost?
We do not have a shuttle that connects us to Canada Place, however, there are plenty of Taxis ready and waiting to get you to your destination, and if you feel a little lost there will be lots of Agents from Tourism Vancouver http://www.tourismvancouver.com/ on hand to help guide you to the nearest Taxi, these guys and girls will be wearing Sky blue jackets so you know who they are and will be extremely helpful!

Taxis in Vancouver
A taxi ride between Canada Place should cost around $12 and will take around 10 minutes or so to reach the Sunset Inn and Suites hotel. Within Vancouver, the taxis are only allowed a maximum of 4 persons per Car and you can pay by Debit, Credit Card or Cash. Any taxi can be picked up anywhere on the streets if the yellow light is on, this signals that it is unoccupied and ready to take you to your desired destination.

Checking in and Luggage storage
Once you arrive at the hotel – we will make sure that we complete the check in process and will be ready to answer any questions you have on the city, we will then help formulate a plan on what to do to occupy your time in Vancouver that day, you are more than welcome to enjoy our Light Continental Breakfast even if you are are unable to check into the room, so grab some fruits, croissants and yogurts which we sell for 50c and you can start the day fed, energised and happy.

BIG BUS HOP ON HOP OFF City Sightseeing tours.
The Big Bus city tour is a great way to to see all the major sights of the city and will give you excellent information and insight of the city, they are fun, informative and have plenty of experience, all the while you will see the very best attractions within the city of Vancouver and can Hop On Hop Off at anytime so you can take your time to enjoy the sights.

Big Bus Video Clip Hop on Hop Off city Tour

The Big Bus stop is literally a 30 second walk away from the hotel on Thurlow Street and you can purchase your ticket directly with us at the front desk, we do encourage this as there are plenty of hotel deals for you to enjoy. http://bigbus.ca/home/

BIG BUS TOUR Highlights include:
Granville Island http://granvilleisland.com/
Stanley Park http://www.tourismvancouver.com/do/explore/stanley-park-complete-guide/
Gastown http://www.gastown.org/
Chinatown http://www.vancouver-chinatown.com/
Robson St – Shopping District http://www.robsonstreet.ca/

Davie Street and Davie Village
We are situated one block South of Davie Village which is one of the gems of the West end, here there is a wealth of restaurants, bars and cafes for you to enjoy and it is located right in the heart of Gay District of Vancouver – so naturally it is awash with colour and a vibrant atmosphere. West End Business Association – Davie Village http://westendbia.com/neighbourhood/davie-street/

We hope that this advice is helpful and will go to some length on being able to plan what to do when you arrive!

We look forward to seeing you all in the Summer.

‘The spirit of Christmas’ Vancouver city tour with Westcoast Sightseeing Tours

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Westcoast Sightseeing tours who run the very popular Hop on hop off Big bus tours are offering a great city tour around Vancouver that will embrace the Christmas spirit while taking in popular attractions.

THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS TOUR VANCOUVER – Dec 11th to Jan 4th
Tour Length – 4 hours
Prices Starting at
$70 per adult
$60 per senior
$50 per child (3-12)
Website: http://www.vancouversightseeing.com/vancouver-christmas/

This tour looks to be quite spectacular as it takes in all the dazzling christmas lights that will be transforming areas of Stanley Park, the VanDusen Botanical Gardens and the city itself.

“Experience the multi-cultural holiday cheer of Vancouver with a festive tour though the city’s most impressive Christmas sights. Begin in charming Gastown with a hot chocolate treat. Visit the historically significant Steam Clock, backlit by Christmas lights.
Continue to Canada Place for the exciting FlyOver Canada flight simulation experience. Gaze upon the beautiful Christmas tree display in Jack Pool Plaza, at the 2010 Olympic Cauldron. Childhood wonder comes alive at the Bright Nights Christmas Plaza in Stanley Park with over 3 million Twinkling Lights.
Continue along English Bay for a quick tour through Vancouver’s holiday decoration hotspots. Top off this enchanting winter night with the Van Dusen Gardens Botanical’s Festival of Lights. This sparkling tour of Vancouver’s finest light displays is sure to get you in the holiday spirit.”

You can purchase the tickets directly with us at the Front Desk.

Flyover Canada Christmas: http://www.flyovercanada.com/christmas
Canada Place: http://www.canadaplace.ca/
Vancouver Convention Centre – Jack Poole Plaza http://www.vancouverconventioncentre.com/jack-poole-plaza-gallery/
Bright lights at Stanley Park: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/bright-nights-train.aspx
Fesitval of Lights at the VanDusen Botanical Gardens: http://vandusengarden.org/visit/whats-happening/featured-events

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

Experience the gorgeous transition from Summer to Fall in Vancouver

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

The last day of August in Vancouver was greeted with some serious Monsoon type rains which in our eyes is a taster for things to come as Summer make the gradual transition towards Autumn. It was a welcome relief for the area as we have somewhat been a little parched in this parts of the world, but of course, we know that it could be much much worse as our neighbours to the south have been experiencing a real deal drought.

It is fairly typical for August to be one of our drier months. It also seems to be a regular occurrence for the rains to make a visit at this point of the Summer, why is that? Well it is the Labour day long weekend of course and the weather seems to only perform on time with the rains when a bank holiday rolls around, but hey, such is life!

Interestingly enough, as much as September tends to see a little increase in the inclement weather it can be one of the most gorgeous months in Vancouver, the weather tends to be much more tolerable as the humidity starts to wane and the nights are noticeably much more comfortable, with the days seeing a healthy amount of sunshine -the temperatures in September give or take average out around the 20C mark (to our friends who work on the good old Fahrenheit system that is 68C).

The leaves have just started the process of changing colours so on that note we will like to tell you how to maximise your stay in Vancouver well embracing the gorgeous transition between Summer and Fall. Vancouver and this area of the world does show off some spectacular falls colours – granted it is not anything like out in the East where there are predominately Deciduous trees, but saying that, we do pull of a great show here especially when visiting the stunning Stanley Park.

Not only can you see some incredible fall colours in Stanley Park, we also highly recommend that you head down to Queen Elizabeth Park and the Van Dusen Gardens which is a stunning location no matter what time of year. If you happen to be visiting Victoria be sure to check out The Butchart Gardens which is a great alternative.

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

The Butchart Gardens: http://www.butchartgardens.com/

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

For further information on what to expect with the Fall colours, please click on this link courtesy of Tourism Vancouver http://www.tourismvancouver.com/do/explore/fall-colours/

Over the next couple of months we do see the Summer tourist Season wind down, but that does not reflect on the entertainment scene in Vancouver, first of all, during the first few weeks of September there is the final big hurrah of the Summer festivals which is the Vancouver Fringe Festival – this is the perfect way to end the Summer with some Quirky comedy, music and live theatre with something for everyone to enjoy no matter the age, this is located down at Granville Island which is a cultural must see hub in Vancouver.

You can read more about the Vancouver Fringe Festival here… http://www.sunsetinn.com/blog/?p=5803

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

Once September winds down you will then notice that the entertainment start to focus on the more thrilling and ghostly elements as the Vancouver area and most of North America start to gear up for the Halloween season – and trust us it is fun scary and there are lost to write about but that will be for a future blog in the not too distant future……

So for now, we encourage you to come by and embrace this season of change and get out to explore nature in all its Summery to Fall glory!

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/