Posts Tagged ‘Stanley Park’

And then the rains came – Welcome to Raincity!

Tuesday, November 20th, 2012

I must apologize for the absence of Blogs the past few weeks….November is generally the time when staff go on their vacation as the hotel tends to wind down after the busy summer period.

Coming back to Vancouver in the middle of November is like returning home to an unfamiliar city – gone are the glorious blue skies of summer, now replaced by the seasonal Pacific storms that barrel the coast like an unrelenting train (which in actual fact is the case). For some this can seem like a drab nightmare, but there is a great charm to the weather that makes the Pacific Northwest so unique.

We feel that rain should never stop you from venturing out, if anything, get the wellies and anorak on and brave the elements…the colors of the sky are not as dull gray as you may think…and Stanley park comes alive with the passing weather, its this time of year when you realize and notice that Vancouver is nestled in a temperate rain-forest, so take a good look as the fronts sweep by and watch the trees breath out the condensation in the park, it truly is a living and breathing ecosystem.

There are plenty of things to do in the city that is undercover, such as Granville Island Public Market, the Big Bus city tours, Museum of Vancouver alongside the Macmillan Space Center and Police Museum near Kitsilano Point at Vanier Park.

http://www.granvilleisland.com/

http://bigbus.ca/home/

At Kitsilano Point there is a great story that sums up our “Raincity”. Which has been carved onto a large rock, it is a lovely testament to the inclement weather.

This story stone, entitled “Vancouver in the Rain” is one of ten across the city. Here it is….

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

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

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

Fall has arrived and there is plenty to do around the city….

Wednesday, September 26th, 2012


The calender over the next few weeks has plenty for you all to see and do around Vancouver. Halloween as always will dominate the majority of the month, however there are quite the variety of events to partake in besides being consumed with Candy and being scared silly…

October is also a very good time to catch shows, films and music in the theaters around the city, as this is the time for the season to begin. As well as Theater, there will be plenty of comedy and improv down on Granville Island, and it is also a fantastic time to catch the Fall Colours in all their glory before the hibernation kicks in.

Here are our top picks for this coming October.

The Stanley Park Halloween GHOST TRAIN and Attractions
If you are brave enough, check out the annual ghost train in the dark deep forest that is Stanley Park – here the train will take you to the haunted Castle within the deep dark woods, here you will be told scary fairy tale stories….good luck!
The event runs from October 5th to October 31st. Sunday to Thursday 6 – 10pm and Friday and Saturday 6 – 11pm. Closed for Thanskgiving October 8th.

http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/ghost-train.aspx

FRIGHT NIGHTS @ The PNE
Fright Nights at The famous PNE park return again so that you can face your fear and phobias. Featuring 6 different scary houses, be prepared to be face some scary monsters and to fuel your adrenalin rush, there are 13 rides to enjoy.

http://www.pne.ca/fright-nights/

VanDusen Botanical Gardens
Check out the gardens as they come alive with the most amazing Fall colours the city has to offer, if you are a fan of Fall Foliage this is one of the better places to view the stunning foliage. Not only that, but if you have time, the Gardens have various other events to choose from as well as courses that encompass lectures on Conservation, Bees and general Gardening features and tips.
The gardens will have various other events for Halloween, please check their webpage below for further information.

http://vancouver.ca/vandusen/events/calendar.htm#oct

Vancouver International Film Festival
Running since 1982, this has been a major festival of the Vancouver Film scene. In the movie industry, Vancouver is known as the hollywood north and for good reason. Some of you may wander round the city and think this place looks really really familiar, well you may not be going crazy – there is a good chance that you saw the city in a mainstream movie…
The film festival is great as you will get to see some fantastic movies that you may never get the chance to see again, so please go there and enjoy.
Festival runs 27th September to October 12th.

http://www.viff.org/festival

September is the best month for late season hiking!

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012


Vancouver is enjoying a fantastic end to the Summer Season, its hard to believe that come the weekend the official start of Autumn begins.

Now, lets not get too carried away with this, it seems likely that weather will hold out for us for the rest of the month, and at The Sunset Inn we all pretty much agree that the month of September is pretty awesome in the city.

So as the Sun still packs in some welcome warmth and the air has a beautiful crisp feel to it, this will be a good time to check out some hiking trails before its too late. We will recommend some easy and not so easy trails for you too enjoy.

The Grouse Grind.
One of the most challenging and famous of trails for people who are into hiking but are not the full deal, its a good beginners guide to people who are wanting to become more serious about hiking.
Every Wednesday there is the Grouse Grind Social, but you must hurry, the trail will soon be closed for the season as it gets a little too icy at the top.

Baden Powell Trail (North Shore).
This is a great tail that connects Deep Cove out towards Lynn Canyon and then onto Grouse Mountain, a very popular trail that hits the 3 major attractions of the North Shore. Deep Cove is a very beautiful small village that is a natural cove situated at the mouth of Indian arm, a very popular destination for kayaking. Lynn Canyon has its very own Suspension bridge, this is the locals favorite as it is free and not as crowded as Capilano, check it out!

Stanley Park/False Creek.
The majority of visitors that come to Vancouver will have heard of Stanley park, it is a huge park (same size as downtown) with amazing views of the North Shore districts of North and West Vancouver (where the trails above are situated) The Burrard Inlet and English Bay.
There are plenty of easy trails that criss cross their way through the park. If you are feeling energetic, you can even walk round the park, head towards False Creek and walk all along that area. A good tip is to hire bikes at English Bay Bike Rentals on Davie Street, this will get you around the park and the creek in no time.

So please make the most of it, as we now know we are on borrowed time, and with Vancouver being Vancouver, come October, the march of the Seasonal storms will be migrating from Alaska and knocking on our door….but this means something else…Ski Season!!!

For further information, please see the links and video below

http://vancouver.about.com/od/sportsrecreation/tp/Great-Vancouver-Hikes.htm

http://www.vancouvertrails.com/regions/vancouver-city/

This video really shows off the beauty of the wilderness that is pretty close by

http://youtu.be/AtIGOeVL-aM

Open Air cinema and other summer film events

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

The festivals have really knocked our socks off in the area, what with the culmination of the fantastically colourful Pride Parade and the grand finale of the Celebration of lights fireworks display, the West End really showed us all what a Vancouver Summer festival is all about, and what about that weather! Absolutely perfect sunshine and great warmth to please the masses.

August is a great month to check out some free events in the city, our highlight today are the free outdoor movies.

Head down to Stanley Park at Second Beach near the open air pool, here you will find the location for the Fresh Air Cinema.

http://www.insidevancouver.ca/2012/06/19/free-outdoor-movies-in-stanley-park-start-july-3-2012/

Every Tuesday there will be an awesome movie for you to enjoy, so get out there, bring a picnic and sit back and enjoy the show!

Also, if you are into something a little different, check out the Pacific Cinematheque. Here they are showing a spotlight on Alfred Hitchcock and his works, and during mid to end of August, the cinema will be showcasing Universal Pictures: Celebrating 100 years.

http://www.cinematheque.bc.ca/

Get your running boots on…..its the Summer Fest 10k @ Stanley Park

Friday, July 20th, 2012

This Saturday on July 21st is the return of the annual Summerfest 10k race.

The race is for anyone who wants to walk jog or run, and is also a great opportunity to check out the beautiful Sea Wall and the ever green and gorgeous Stanley Park…

The race begins at Second Beach at 8am,(Near the Second Beach Pool) so make sure you a good nights sleep on the Friday so you are in good shape and fine form for such an early start, please check the link below for further information.

http://vfac.ca/club-events/summerfast-10k/

Also, if you are looking to check out another event this day, head down to Surrey where there is the Surrey Fusion Festival, an event that fuses multiculturalism, food and music!!! (Headlining at the festival are Los Lobos)……. And its free!

http://www.surrey.ca/fusionfestival/

Isn't life a beach!!!!

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

It seemed like it would never come, but we can safely say now that since July came around summer seems to truly have arrived!!! We have literally just had only a handful of grey skies, and after the deluge and cold that was our June, we feel that many of us were losing hope and our minds as to when will Summer start – if it ever was to return?

Worry not, Vancouver has been basking under cloudless skies for a few weeks now, and fingers crossed this will be the general trend for the next few months.

Here we want to suggest the best beaches and swimming pools for you to enjoy…

Beaches of Vancouver
Sunset Beach

A beach on your door step, just a 5 minute walk down the hill and you will find yourself at the mouth of False Creek and English Bay, from here you will get some stunning views of a gorgeous Sunset out West, and looking East, you have the stunning backdrop of the majestic Burrard Bridge and Granville Island. There is also the cute Sunset Beach Cafe for a bite to eat if you fancy.

English Bay, Second and Third Beach

By far one of the most popular and well known beach to visit. From English Bay you will be treated to some stunning views of Bowen Island and the central portion of
Vancouver Island. This area is also the gateway to Stanley Park, if you follow the Sea Wall you will eventually come across Second Beach. At Second Beach you will find one of many Open air swimming pools, Second Beach Pool is pretty big and certainly a big hit for families to all enjoy, keep walking further and you will be at Third Beach near Prospect Point, an excellent viewing area from Stanley Park…well worth a visit.Also a tip for some good views and food, try The Boathouse for excellent
seafood and/or The Cactus Club Cafe.

Kitsilano Beach
We adore kitsilano Beach, it is our little bit of California, a long stretch of sandy beach that has beautiful scenic views of The North Shore Mountains and Downtown
Vancouver, here you will see people play Beach Volley Ball and other beach sporting activities. There is also Kitsilano Out Door Swimming Pool, probably the most
popular out door pool in the area. Just around the corner from Kitsilano Beach, you will find Vanier Park, here there is a beach that has been made a designated area for
Dogs to run around, some of the puppies love the attention too..

Jericho Beach/Spanish Bank
As we head out west towards the University of British Columbia, the beaches really start to look very different, much more sandy beaches to play around with, we now
begin to wind our way round the peninsula from Vancouver’s English Bay towards the more open ocean of the Georgia Strait. Here the visual scenary of the city and the
mountains really do begin to open up, what ever you do, do not forget the camera!

Wreck Beach
This is the mother of all beaches in the area, you have excellent views of the majority of Vancouver Island, amazing location as Wreck Beach is situated at the UBC
Campus, which itself is a really special area to walk around, and is also home to the UBC Botanical Gardens and the Museam of Anthropology, but approach with a
little caution, it is one of the most popular and famous nudist beaches……its not a requirement to let yourself walk around naked, but just so you know……

http://vancouver.ca/parks/rec/beaches/

Folk Festival at Deep Cove

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Deep Cove is by far one of the best kept secrets of the Vancouver North shore area. The small village is literally built alongside a natural Cove nestled within the mouth of Indian Arm.

Indian Arm is gorgeous for sightseeing as it is nestled between Grouse mountain and Mount Seymour. Deep Cove is famous for being one of the homes of Dragon Boat racing, regular boating and yachting, its also an extremely popular destination for anyone who wants to go Kayaking. Wether you are experienced or not, this is the place to go on these long hot summer days that have finally arrived to greet us.

http://www.deepcovekayak.com/

Not only that, but Deep Cove will be holding its annual North Shore Folkfest. Now in its 38th year, that are plenty of musicians to be entertained by on the evenings of Saturday June 16th and Sunday June 17th.

http://www.deepcovebc.com

So here is a suggestion on how you can make a full fun packed day with your loved ones. Deep Cove and the North Shore are easily accessible from The Sunset Inn and Suites either by Public Transport or your own vehicle. And if you are unsure – do not hesitate to ask the staff at the front desk for information and directions, we will make sure you know how to get there.

On the way to the North Shore, take a quick detour around Stanley Park, whilst you are doing the loop, make sure you visit the Stanley Park Totem Poles, have time to spend a couple of hours at the Vancouver Aquarium, then onto Prospect Point for a breathtaking view of the city, English Bay, Bowen Island, Lionsgate Bridge and The North Shore Mountains. Once this has been achieved, you are now ready to move over the Lionsgate Bridge towards North Vancouver and onto Lynn Canyon then Deep Cove.

Lynn Canyon is located very close to Deep Cove and will be the next destination after Stanley Park. The Canyon boasts a smaller wooden Suspension Bridge in comparison to Capilano Suspension Bridge (Lynn Canyon is truly the spot the majority of locals will tend to go too), The Lynn Canyon Cafe which is home to an ecological centre that educates you on the local Flora, Fauna and ecology of the Canyon a few yards away. There are also some excellent hiking trails that follow the river from the Grouse Mountain, we highly recommend that you explore the trails.

From Lynn Canyon you can then make your way east towards Deep Cove, here there are more trails to explore, the cute village, and gorgeous beach that is part of this natural cove….here you will be able to sign up and go Kayaking for an hour or more. After you have enjoyed the dip…..evening time should soon be upon you, now you can sit back and enjoy the music from the FolkFest.

June 17th are Car free days…..a perfect family day out for your Dad on Fathers day!

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

If you are scratching heads on what to do for Fathers Day, worry not…….Vancouver has kindly decided this will be the day for the annual Car free event days.

These are certainly some of our favorite days in the city, and fingers crossed the weather will play ball too.

Car Free Days were created with the idea that the city can have days when we are free of vehicles and to see if there is future possible without cars at some point. it is also to encourage people to spend more time in their neighborhood with your families.

Since these festivals were created they have certainly grown in size and variety and are now popping up all over the city, you will get to see the weird and wonderful entertainers, plenty of food, stalls and information – on top of all that, the bars, restaurants and cafes will open their doors to join in the fun, along with music, bands and dancers to get you in the party mood.

The original site began on Commercial Drive with Live Music, Street Hockey a roller disco…even a healing garden, so you get the drift!

Here are the areas that will be taking part around the city.

THE WEST END Noon till 6pm
This is our Car free event in the area, make your way down to English Bay where the festival will be located along Denman St, and you will see the festival rocking out between Davie and Robson, this area is pretty cool, you will be spoiled for choice as it is close to Stanley Park, The Laughing Statues and the beach!!!

COMMERCIAL DRIVE (East Vancouver) Noon till 6pm
MAIN ST Noon till 8pm
KITSILANO Various times on the 16th and 17th
Each area is certainly worth a visit and are easily accessible via Public transit in no time at all, please check with the Front Desk for details.

So treat your Dad right and enjoy the party!

Check out the video of The West End Car free day….

http://youtu.be/2dWSmkEGB6E

http://www.carfreevancouver.org/

Happy Easter

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Hello everybody, looking outside we feel confident that it is going to be a very pleasant Spring, and all in time for us to celebrate the Easter Season.

So Happy Easter to you all, we will like to put you in the right direction of events and places of worship if you are looking for somewhere to celebrate this very famous occasion on the Christian Calender. If you are just celebrating as you have some days off, we are sure we can find something for all the family to enjoy.

At the Sunset Inn, this time of year marks a major transition from Winter Season to Summer season, and it is now just a matter of weeks before the Cruise Ships start to move in and welcome the tourists from all over the globe, many of whom are getting ready for the big cruise north to Alaska. This means that the hotel and Vancouver will be getting very very busy and the city now has its lively summer hat on, we feel it is is going to be yet another busy and fun packed summer, so please keep up to date with the blog as we will keep you up to date on all that will be going on.

So as this is Easter Week, Vancouver has various events happening all around the city, here are some of the highlights that we feel you will enjoy!

Vancouver Easter Egg Hunts.

The Great A-Mazing Egg Hunt at VanDusen Botanical Garden
For all ages
Friday, April 6, 2012
10am – 12pm or 1pm – 3pm
Tickets: $6.50 for kids; $10.75 for adults. Tickets sell out fast. See site for details.

http://vancouver.ca/parks/parks/vandusen/website/media/eggHunt.htm

Stanley Park Miniature Railway presents “Easter in the Park”
Train ride, Easter egg hunts and visits with the Easter bunny for all ages
Friday, April 6 – Monday, April 9, 2012
11am – 4pm
Tickets: $6.50 for kids 2 – 12; $3.50 for adults to ride the train

http://vancouver.ca/parks/par.htmks/stanley/fun

Easter at Grouse Mountain 2012
Easter brunch, Easter egg hunts and the Easter bunny for all ages
Sunday, April 8, 2012, Tickets: $15 for kids; $25 for youth; $42 for adults (includes general admission)

Places of Worship

Holy Rosary Cathedral, located at Richard and Dunsmuir Street, easily accessible by Cab or the Number 6 Bus.

hrc.rcav.org

St Andrews Wesley United Church, located at Nelson and Burrard St – a 10 to 15 minute walk away from the Sunset Inn.

www.standrewswesleychurch.bc.ca

As well as Easter, we will like to place a special mention that the month of April is Daffodil month, this is to raise awareness for the fight against Cancer, the Canadian Cancer Society will be campaigning all month for donations, which you will receive a daffodil pin in acknowledgment of your contribution. Friday April 27th is Daffodil day…for further information please go visit their website at the bottom of this page.

www.fightback.ca

So happy Easter to everyone, try not to eat too much chocolate!!!!

Cherry Blossoms are Blooming!!!!

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Video of Vancouver Crows coming home to roost

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

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

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

www.vcbf.ca

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

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

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

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