Posts Tagged ‘Victoria’

Happy 30th birthday LANDSEA TOURS & ADVENTURES!

Friday, June 5th, 2015

When you are visiting Vancouver for a few days it is likely that you will be interested in a day trip to Victoria on Vancouver Island and Whistler in the interior of the BC Mountains, it can be difficult figuring out which tour company to use to make the day-trip worth its while. So let us introduce to you Landsea Tours and Adventures.

Landsea is 30!
This year marks 30 years since Landsea Tours & Adventures began. They are an Canadian family owned and operated company that has been pleased to offer a variety of half-day and full-day sightseeing excursions around Vancouver, the Sea to Sky highway and Gondola, Victoria, Whistler and Vancouver’s North Shore. Landsea Tours & Adventures offers year round daily tours that will show you the best Southwestern British Columbia has to offer. They are a boutique tour company that utilizes the flexibility of mini-coach touring to bring you a personalized tour that a big motor coach can’t.

The staff are really what makes this particular touring company special – they are incredibly passionate about what they do and are a wealth of information in regards to the local surroundings. Like us at the hotel, the staff appreciate the area so much that they want you to see the city and the natural ecology as we do and will make sure nothing is missed. They will happily stop the vehicle if there is something significant to see and if you want to take a moment to take a picture of the area.

So if you fancy taking a day trip to Whistler or Victoria or any other excursions you should really take these guys on – the tour begins directly at the hotel where they will pick you up and so it begins, they will chaperon you around your destination and will drop you back to the hotel once done.

Landsea website:

Landsea Blog:

Landsea TV:


Thursday, April 16th, 2015

We will like to introduce to you a brand new tour operator that will take you out on day trips around Vancouver, Whistler and Photography tours around the Canadian Rockies. Also, they offer tours to Seattle, Outlet Shopping tours in the Seattle district and winery tours in Langley! They will pick you up at the hotel and drop you off at the hotel once the tour has ended.

BC Grand Tours is a proud small business with owner Gabriel providing an A+ service and creating friendships that cannot be matched by any large-scale corporate tours.

BC Grand Tours feel that the best way to experience this great city is by hanging out with someone who’s knowledgeable, personable, and accommodating. They will go above and beyond to provide you with an experience that cannot be achieved by sitting on a bus with dozens of other people. After a tour with us, you’ll leave the city with good memories, great photos, interesting knowledge, and of course, new friends.

They are fully flexible and your day will be delivered by a guide who works to make sure your day is everything that you want it to be, exactly to suit for you special interests. They stop and start as you wish not as the guide might find convenient. Changes to the day’s plan, according to the options available can be accommodated to suit your requirements.
Your safe, considerate and calm driver offers a late model 11 passenger Mercedes Sprinter that has all the latest safety and comfort features such as multi-zone climate control with a 23 inch dvd monitor and a luxurious Cadillac Escalade for small groups when more privacy is required.

VANCOUVER Sightseeing Photo Tour
year round 10am/6h tour/ adult $79/child $49
Vancouver Library – Gastown – Canada Place
Stanley Park – Totem Poles – Prospect Point
Maritime Museum – Granville Island – False Creek
VanDussen – Botanical Garden
North Shore – Deep Cove marina
Suspension Bridge – Lynn Canyon Park

WHISTLER Sightseeing
year round 8.30am /10h tour/ adult $98 /child $65
Dec 01 to Apr 15 / 11h tour /adult $69 / student $50
Sea-to-Sky Highway
Whistler Village – Peak 2 Peak Gondola
Squamish Lil’wat Aboriginal Cultural Centre
Scandinave Spa
Shannon Falls – Squamish

VICTORIA Sightseeing
Year Round 7am /13h tour /adult $155/child $95
BC Ferry to Vancouver Island
Oak Bay marina
Parliament Buildings – Empress Hotel
Royal British Columbia Museum – Craigdarroch Castle,
Miniature World – Butchart Gardens

Feb-Nov 10am/ 6h tour /adult $60 only Saturdays & Sundays
(off season tours available by request for minimum group of 6)
Vista D’oro Farm
Chaberton Estate Winery – Bistro Bacchus
Krause Berry Farm – The Market
Township 7 – Winery
Fort Langley City

June-Sept 9am/ 8h tour /adult $70/child $45
Bridal Veil Falls
Harrison Hot Springs
BC Art Galleries

SEATTLE Sightseeing
Year Round 8am/10h tour/adult $99/child $59
& Seattle Premium Outlets
Year Round 8am/10h tour/adult $79/child $49

Museum of Flight -Sky View Observatory
Pike Fish Market – Great Wheel
Space Needle – Experience Music Project
Tulalip – Premium Outlets Mall.

The tours can be booked via the Front Desk, please ask the staff for further details.

They have glowing reviews on Tripadvisor – Click here to see what the people have to say about them


Sunday, March 29th, 2015


April is the beginning of the official tourist season as all major tours will now be up and running, we will like to introduce to you the Big Bus and Westcoast sightseeing tours that will take you around Vancouver, Victoria, Whistler and Squamish.

The Big Bus Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing route offers over 20 stops, getting you within walking distance of many of the top attractions in the city. Enjoy a birds-eye view of Vancouver at your own pace, complete with one-of-a-kind commentary. Ask about value-priced attraction add-ons, and 24 & 48 Hour Passes.
Enjoy all the sites of Vancouver with the flexibility of hopping off where you like. Wake up late? No problem, the ticket is valid for 24 hours – Use it the next day with no extra charge – up to 24 hours of the first use.

Big Bus + Local Attraction Tickets
There are also bundle packages that you can purchase with the Hop on Hop off tour – so make it a combo deal and get a second 24 hours of exploring for free! These packages include entrance to the following Flyover Canada, the Vancouver Aquarium, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain, Dr. Sun Yet Sen Chinese Garden, the Vancouver Lookout and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

Please speak to the front desk about special offers and you can purchase your ticket with us at the hotel, the bus stop is literally a 30 second walk away from us on Thurlow St.


WESTCOAST SIGHTSEEING TOURS – This is the same company that runs the Big Bus city tours. If you have the time and really want to get out and about and explore then Westcoast Sightseeing have tours that will pick you up at the hotel, they will also drop you back off at the hotel once the day tour has been completed. The Day tours they offer are as follows:

Whistler + Shannon Falls
Escape the city and wind along fjords and inlets, ascend into the coastal mountains, and stroll through the alpine Village of Whistler during this epic day of exploration.

Victoria + Butchart Gardens
With the journey to Victoria equally as fascinating as the city itself, this tour offers scenic ocean travel, a captivating series of gardens, and an introduction to the enchanting waterfront city of Victoria.

Grouse Mountain + Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Get outside, breathe in the fresh Pacific air, and immerse yourself in the natural wonders surrounding Vancouver, with a visit to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and Grouse Mountain.

Craft Breweries of Vancouver
An experience you can taste! With over 20 craft breweries in the area, this is the perfect place to learn about the craft beer industry and its history in the Vancouver area.

Vancouver City + The Lookout
Explore, learn, and be amazed by Vancouver’s soaring skyscrapers, architectural masterpieces, urban beaches, and coastal rainforests.

Vancouver City + Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Explore, learn, and be amazed by Vancouver’s soaring skyscrapers, architectural masterpieces, urban beaches, and coastal rainforests.

For further details please click here:

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:

The Butchart Gardens:

Queen Elizabeth Park

For further information on what to expect with the Fall colours, please click on this link courtesy of Tourism Vancouver

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…

Granville Island Website:

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.

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)

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)

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)

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:

Big Bus Hop on Hop off City Tours Website:

Hells Gate Fishing Adventures and The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site.

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

The Pacific Northwest is famous many things and for most what comes to mind are the incredible Cascade Mountains, the Pacific Weather and of course the Seafood

If you like Seafood and the life on the Ocean waves or just simply anything that is remotely fishy then you will be interested in Hells Gate Fishing Adventures located on the Fraser River in Mission & Vancouver, and The Gulf of Georgia Cannery that is located in the Historic Fishing village of Steveston which is located around 45 minutes South of Vancouver.

Last Thursday there was a great meet and greet for the Vancouver Tourism Industry and at the event we got to meet some very nice people who will be running some great Tours in 2014 that we feel you will all enjoy. Many of the blogs that you will be reading over the next few weeks will showcase these tours.

Hells Gate Fishing Adventures – STS Guiding Services.
STS Guiding Services have been in operation since 1994, run by a husband wife team of Vic and Teresa Carrao. They have some incredible Fishing excursions that will have you experiencing a great Boat ride along the famous Fraser River or you can go further south out into the Georgia Strait and enjoy a Fishing trip around the Gulf Islands.

These guys will pick you up in Vancouver and they will boat you along the Fraser River for an excellent Sturgeon Fishing tour all along the river up to the destination of the town of Mission.
If you are interested in Fly Fishing you will likely know that Mission is the Sturgeon capital of this part of the world, and although you can Fish along the Fraser river at anytime of year, the Sturgeons are best caught between the months of June till October. There are many other species of Fish to be found too, such as Salmon which tend to live side by side with the Sturgeons, and of course there are the crustaceans to fish as well such as Prawn and Crab.
The Hells Gate excursion looks like quite a wild ride and for us we feel it will suit anyone who loves nature, wants the experience of White Water while speeding along the famous Fraser taking in all the sites and of course to get some decent Fishing in.
The boats are all heated and STS will provide all the essential Fishing gear that is required. The fun part of this is that you can bring whatever catch back to the hotel and you have a full kitchen to cook the catch of the day right here at the Sunset Inn and Suites.

They also have excursions throughout the year with many of them specifically heading out to the Gulf Island just off the coastline of Victoria, the Gulf Islands are absolutely stunning and especially so in the Summer months as the Weather is generally much dryer and calmer – you will likely get to see some extraordinary scenery and spot some Whales!

Here is what they have to say about their operation…
“We pride ourselves on our personal and friendly service, our ability to catch fish on 95% of our guided charters. We are fishing the area 12 months of the year. For us fishing is a year round commitment, not just a summer job.
If you are a novice or an expert, we will make every effort to insure your full satisfaction. So come and join us for fun and adventure exploring the beautiful waters of the Fraser Valley.”

For further information please check out their website here:

Hellsgate Tours:

The Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site.
This Cannery is a great place to visit if you like Seafood, Fishing and your history. Located in the quaint and Historical village of Steveston, this is one of the oldest and longest running Cannerry’s in the area.
The Cannery has been in operation since 1894 and at the time the Cannery was built it was the largest of its kind and was also the largest producer if Canned Fish goods in its day.
The Cannery is now owned and run by Parks Canada and is now run as a non for profit organisation. The Cannery operates every day of the year and offers full tours, videos and stories of the BC Fishing Industry.

For further information please check out the Website here:

Want to see Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler but short on days….Follow our lead here….

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

As the seasons starts to get that little bit busier throughout April we find that many of our visiting guests are generally here for a few short days. In most peoples minds there is never really enough time to get any sort of sightseeing done, and, if the weather is not too good is it really worth it? Well, in all honesty we think YES!

The Staff at the Sunset Inn and Suites really do pride ourselves on our extensive knowledge of the city and we feel with our direction and expertise that we have to offer, we will be able to figure out the very best way you can enjoy the city.

This blog will explain some of the major attractions that you can see in a short space of time. Ideally if you are planning on visiting Vancouver for a few days make it 3 if possible. That way you can dedicate one day to getting around the city of Vancouver and then the remaining last few days you can venture further by checking out Whistler and/or Victoria.

There are many Tour operators here that are on hand to chauffeur you around the city and many of them are an excellent way of getting around where you can effortlessly see some spectacular sights without having to think too much! The best part of using these tours is that they generally have some excellent rates set up directly with the hotel so you can even save some money by booking through us, as opposed to booking ahead of time, this is a good idea for organizing for sure, but you can save more in the long term by asking for deals at the Front Desk.

Sightseeing in Vancouver
There are plenty of tours to choose from that will get you to see the city efficiently and with some fantastic guides to help you on your way. Our favorite pick for Sightseeing is undoubtedly the Big Bus – Hop on Hop off sightseeing city tours.

Big Bus are a cool bunch of people, they have extensive knowledge of the city, they have a fantastic team of dedicated staff that will make your excursion around the city memorable.

“What better way to see the sights of Vancouver than from a seat on one of our unique sightseeing buses! When you select a BIG BUS tour, you’ll have the opportunity to spend time at any of our stops, including major attractions, shopping areas, and many of Vancouver’s fine restaurants. On BIG BUS, there’s no need to rush!

When purchasing your ticket from the Front Desk, the ticket will be valid for 2 full days at a value fo 2 for the price of one and the Big Bus Hop-on/Hop-off policy means you can spend as much time as you’d like at any particular destination. We stop at Gastown, Chinatown, Stanley Park, Granville Island, Robson Street Shopping District, English Bay, Entertainment District and more.”

Operating Hours
April 15 – September 30 – 7 days/week
9:00 am – 6:30 pm

Big Bus Route.

We recommend that you do a full circuit tour of the city first so you can get to see everything, and then start to do the Hop on Hop off – also, you do not have to use the tickets in 2 consecutive days, you have a 3 week window in which you can fulfill the 2 days sightseeing – perfect if you are stopping over in Vancouver at the beginning and end of a nice Alaskan Cruise!

Big Bus Website:

Biking around the city.
What better way to really get to see the city on your own time than by hopping on a bike and taking advantage of all the bike paths that are spread out all over Vancouver. Cycling is a very efficient way of getting around the perimeter of the gorgeous Stanley Park too! If you are adventurous enough you can even bike the whole Seawall (all 22km of it) from Downtown Coal Harbour area right through to Kitsilano and Kitsilano Beach via Granville Island.

These guys are our preferred choice for Bike Rentals. They have a great selection of different types of bikes to choose from, they also do bike repairs and buy and sell bikes too!

English Bay Bike Rentals is pleased to announce that they will be working with Vancouver Bike Tours, an interpretive guiding company that offers daily bicycle tours of beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia. The tours make use of Vancouver’s picturesque seawall, Stanley Park’s vast network of forest trails and the City’s ever-expanding grid of bike lanes. Along the way you will hear local stories, receive historical information and experience the thrill of cycling through a living rainforest.

English Bay Bike Rentals Website:

Please click the following link for the Vancouver Bike Tours website for booking information if you wish to join a tour.

Tours to Whistler and Victoria
It really would be shame to miss out on taking a quick visit to see Victoria and Whistler as these smaller towns are really not too far away at all. There are various ways you can get here. Here are our 2 preferred Tour Operators.
The following two options work on the same principle, you will be picked up at the Hotel and then they will drive you to various scenic locations as well as the towns that you wish to see, you will also have time to walk around Whistler/Victoria too. We highly recommend that you book this with us as it is a good tour to book last minute, you will get to see way more with a guide and time will be something that you do not have to think about, and when you bundle the price it will be so much better for your wallet in the long run.

Vancouver to Whistler sightseeing van tours.
Experience the best in Whistler sightseeing. A full day, 11 hour tour, which includes 6 stops. The stops include Prospect Point, Cypress Mountain, Porteau Cove, Shannon Falls, Brandywine Falls, and Whistler Village. The tour starts with a pick up from your hotel, followed by a scenic drive around Stanley Park, over the Lions Gate Bridge, onto the Sea-To-Sky Highway, through Squamish, and ending up in Whistler. In Whistler, enjoy 4 hours of free time to explore the village, which is full of great restaurants, shops, and attractions. And if you’re feeling adventurous, try the new Peak-To-Peak Gondola or a Zip-Line tour or even Bungee Jumping! Vantage Whistler operates all tours using Mercedes_Benz Sprinters.


LANDSEA TOURS – Great for Victoria Excursions.
Like Vantage Whistler they pick you up and drop you off at the hotel. They have a great day trip to Victoria that includes the ferry trip too!

Victoria and Butchart Gardens; our most popular excursion, is the best if you want to visit our provincial capital and the world-renowned gardens in just one day. Maximize your time and save money, by turning a potentially difficult transfer between Vancouver and Victoria into an easy, fully-narrated day tour. With plenty of free time in downtown Victoria and at Butchart Gardens, this will be a day you will never forget.

The bus drives onto the ferry for a 1.5 hour cruise to Vancouver Island. Full restaurant facilities on board.
A scenic drive through exclusive residential areas and parks surrounding downtown Victoria.
See the Parliament Buildings, Empress Hotel and more of Downtown Victoria’s vibrant harbour front during your free time to explore.

Landsea Tours:

Whale and Dolphin watching season has begun in spectacular style!

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

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

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

This link has some great footage of the Whales and Dolphins that were in the Howe Sound recently courtesy of the Prince of Whales whale watching operation.

And some more from the CBC News Website:

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

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

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

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

Phone: (604) 274-9565 Website:

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

Toll-free 1-888-383-4884

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

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

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:

Grouse Mountain Website:

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:

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:

Queen Elizabeth Park:

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…

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:

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

Sandbar Restaurant

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

Gastown Website:

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

Capilano Suspension Bridge Website:

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:

High Tea at the Empress Hotel Victoria

Landsea Tours