Posts Tagged ‘Victoria’

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/

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: http://www.guidebc.com/

Hellsgate Tours: www.hellsgatejetboattours.com

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: http://gulfofgeorgiacannery.com/visit-us

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 – HOP ON HOP OFF CITY SIGHTSEEING.
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: www.bigbus.ca

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.

ENGLISH BAY BIKE RENTALS
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: http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

Please click the following link for the Vancouver Bike Tours website for booking information if you wish to join a tour. http://biketourvancouver.com/tours-offered/

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.

VANTAGE WHISTLER TOURS
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.

Website: http://vantagewhistler.com/

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: http://www.vancouvertours.com/victoria-tour

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. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=731808353525929

And some more from the CBC News Website: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/dolphins-orcas-delight-watchers-in-vancouver-squamish-1.2574894

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

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: http://www.whalesvancouver.com/

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

Phone: (604) 274-9565 Website: http://www.vancouverwhalewatch.com/index.html

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

Toll-free 1-888-383-4884
info@princeofwhales.com
website http://www.princeofwhales.com/

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

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

NORTH SHORE MOUNTAINS AND ACTIVITIES IN SPRING
Some of you may have heard that Vancouver just received a considerable amount of snowfall over the weekend although accumulations were at a premium in the downtown area, this was not the case for the rest of the greater Vancouver area. This comes as welcome relief for the Ski hills of Cypress mountain, Grouse mountain and Mount Seymour as the snow pack was looking a little thin up till this point, but with 3 days of constant snowfall it was the giddy up that the Ski hills sorely wanted.
This makes for excellent news for anyone who wants to see us in the Spring, and like we had mentioned in the first installment of this blog, in the Spring season you can get a few hours of Winter sports in – whether that be skiing, snowboarding or Snowshoeing, and then back down to sea level, you can enjoy a walk around the sea wall without feeling too cold, that sounds like a win win situation for us. It may also increase the chances of a late season for the hills, if we are to look at how last years season transpired, the hills were able to keep open until the first week of May, we are keeping everything crossed that this will happen again this year!

Grouse Mountain
This is one of the best seasons to visit Grouse and its not just for the Sporting activities which of course is the big draw up here. Grouse Mountain is home to many animals that cannot live in the wild due to injury or that fact that they were unable to learn the skills required to survive in their natural habitat. Grouse is home to many creatures who are now in a safe and comfortable environment where they are well looked after – you too can visit them when you are up there and as it is the spring season if they are the hibernating type of critter, they will be ready to wake up. The animals that you will get a chance to see are Grizzly Bears, Gray Wolves, Owls and the visiting Hummingbirds to name but a few.

Grouse Mountain endangered wildlife refuge: https://www.grousemountain.com/wildlife-refuge

Grouse Mountain Website: https://www.grousemountain.com/

Whale Watching
Whale watching season begins in March and typically runs till October. The Georgia Strait is in the direct path of these large mammals and have been wowing people for many many years. The various types of Whales that you can expect to see are Orca’s (Killer Whales), Gray Whales and various Dolphins which are the most common sightings. IOn some occasions we may even be treated to a visit from these amazing animals close to the Vancouver shoreline itself a very rare occurrence! A few years ago a single Gray Whale decided to meander its way up False Creek for a few days at a time, our guess is that there was a great deal on Fish at the Granville Island Market and the Whale wanted to see what was happening, and who can blame it?

There are various ways to watch the Whales with guided tours, we recommend Wild Whales Vancouver down at Granville Island, you can also make a reservation at the Front Desk at the Sunset Inn and Suites.

Wild Whales Vancouver: http://www.whalesvancouver.com/

VANCOUVER GARDENS
As you will have read in the previous Blog article before we wanted to share with you the sights that Vancouver has to offer when the plants and trees start their blooms. If you are into trees and plants then we highly recommend that you visit the local gardens in the area, and even take the trip over to Victoria to see what they have on show.
Queen Elizabeth Park – Van Dusen Gardens
Queen Elizabeth Park is located in the central area of Vancouver, its location is fantastic due to its elevation, you will find the park is on a hill that overlooks the entire city with unobstructed views of the Mountains and beyond. Van Dusen Gardens is such a delight for all plant lovers, the gardens are to be found among an abandoned quarry with some interesting geological features.

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

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

In our next post we will inform you of all the major events that will be happening in Vancouver during March

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

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visiting the capital of BC Victoria.

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

While you are enjoying your visit in the area of Vancouver it is worth it to check out the Capital of BC which is Victoria. Ideally spending a few days in our area and then a quick overnight stay will work, however, there are excellent day tour options to get you over to Vancouver Island as well as the Seaplanes.

HOW MUCH TIME DO WE NEED?
A day trip to Victoria is feasible but you must plan this trip carefully to ensure that you get to see the very best of what Victoria has to offer, so we suggest that you get up early and leave as late as possible. Public transportation is available, so here are the best options for getting there by yourself.

GETTING TO VICTORIA VIA PACIFIC COACH-LINES)
We can book you an early morning excursion with Pacific Coaches, picking up at (8.30am) at The Sandman Hotel entrance on Davie St which is directly behind us.
These reservations can be made via the Front Desk with further information from the staff if required.

Alternatively you can head down to MAIN ST STATION and get the next available bus to Victoria if you wish to depart later in the day. Order a Cab via the front desk at the hotel, it will then be a short 10 minute Cab ride to the Station costing roughly $12.
Proceed to the Pacific Coach line desk and here you can purchase your ticket and jump on the Bus. The Bus will transport you directly to Victoria town center. The trip includes the Ferry Journey.

Pacific Coach lines Website: http://www.pacificcoach.com/

FINDING YOUR OWN WAY TO VICTORIA via TSAWWASSEN FERRY TERMINAL
PLEASE NOTE The Journey to Victoria from Vancouver takes roughly 3.5 hours in total travel time even if that is by public transport or if you are driving by yourself.

Public Route
BUS NUMBER 6 (Davie St Bus) ……Catch @Denny’s Restaurant on Davie and Thurlow St. Transfer @Yaletown Station – Catch the RICHMOND SKYTRAIN Southbound to BRIDGEPORT STATION….Transfer to the BUS NUMBER 620 Bus (Tsawwassen Ferry Bus) to the Ferry Terminal Station (Final Stop)
THIS ROUTE IS $5.50 ADULTS $3.75 CONCESSION

FLOATPLANE
A fantastic way to get to Victoria in no time (roughly 30 mins) and a great way to check out the scenery from above.
You can either go there one way, return, or if you are feeling adventurous you can even do a tour of the local skies in the area. It will be a memorable trip that you won’t forget.

Harbour Air who operate from Coal Harbour are your best bet for this kind of excursion.

http://www.harbourair.com/

LANDSEA TOURS
We believe that the most efficient and practical way to visit the main attractions that Victoria has to offer is by using Landsea Tours.
They have a great package deal that picks you up from the hotel, takes you all around Victoria while you get to spend time at the world famous and stunning Butchart Gardens, Museum of Victoria and some time to wander down the downtown core – while you are at it, you should drop by at the empress and experience their famous High Tea.

The tours are a 13 hour day, and will drop you back off at the hotel by around 9pm. Reservations can be made via the front desk at the hotel.

www.vancouvertours.com/victoria-tour‎

Popular Bus Routes & Destinations….

Monday, April 15th, 2013

At the Sunset Inn and Suites we receive many questions regarding the Bus Routes that will get you to the most popular destinations around Vancouver.

Below is a comprehensive list on the more popular routes/destinations that the majority of our guests will want to use, we have split the destinations into 2 parts, the first being destinations within Vancouver such as Stanley Park, Gastown and UBC, and secondly we have destinations in the Greater Vancouver area such as Capilano Suspension Bridge and the Ferry Terminals….we really hope that this will be beneficial for you in regards to getting yourself to your appropriate destination.

PLEASE NOTE Some destinations may require you to transfer a couple of times, the system is very regular and there are announcements so you are awar of which stop to get off and change Buses etc etc.
Prices may change due to busy periods or unexpected events such as Rush Hour, Weekends and Festivals, please double check at Front desk for further information regarding Bus fares around the city or visit the Translink Website here..http://www.translink.ca/

ALL TICKETS LAST FOR A DURATION OF 90 MINUTES AT TIME OF PURCHASE – WHICH CAN HELP ENABLE YOU TO REACH YOUR DESTINATION WITH JUST THE ONE TICKET – Double check with the Front-desk regarding your travel times.

SECTION 1 – VANCOUVER DESTINATIONS

TO AND FROM VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (YVR)
To Vancouver
This Route involves 1 transfer. 2 ZONE TICKET
AT YVR SKYTRAIN
Purchase a 2 Zone ticket to Yaletown Station.
Transfer to Bus C23 to Davie and Thurlow St. Walk 1 block South along Thurlow – turn your first right onto Burnaby St and we are the 2nd building along heading West.
Adults $7.75 Concession $6.75

To the Airport
BUS NUMBER C23 Main St Bus…..Catch the Eastbound Bus on Davie & Thurlow St. Transfer @Yaletown Station – Catch the YVR (Airport) TRAIN.
Adults $4.00 Concession $2.75
Vancouver Airport Website www.yvr.ca/

YALETOWN (SKYTRAIN STATION)
BUS NUMBER C23 Main St Bus…. catch the Eastbound bus @Denny’s restaurant on Davie st and Thurlow St
Yaletown Website yaletowninfo.com/

AQUARIUM
BUS NUMBER 19 (Stanley Park bus)@ Georgia St & Burrard St
Go to Burrrad St, catch the Northbound BUS NUMBER 22 (Knight Bus) (Bus stop is by TD Bank on Burrard and Davie) to Georgia St and transfer onto the BUS NUMBER 19 (Stanley Park Bus) to the Aquarium.
Adults $2.75 – Concession $1.75
Aquarium Websitewww.vanaqua.org/

CHINATOWN/CHINESE NIGHT MARKETS
BUS NUMBER 22 (Knight bus) catch the Northbound Bus at Burrard St and Davie St (By TD Bank) the bus will run directly through the Chinatown District.
Adults $2.75 – Concession $1.75
Chinatown information http://vancouver-chinatown.com/

GASTOWN
BUS NUMBER 6 (Davie St bus) @Davie and Thurlow St (Bus Stop by Denny’s Restaurant) The very last stop is @Waterfront Station which is the very beginning of the Gastown District.
Adults $2.75 – Concession $1.75
Gastown Information www.gastown.org/

MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY/UBC (University)
BUS NUMBER 44 (UBC Bus)- Southbound on Burrard & Burnaby St (MONDAY TO FRIDAY ONLY) or BUS NUMBER 14 (UBC Bus) (Southbound on Granville St) WEEKENDS ONLY
Adults $2.75 – Concession $1.75
Museum of Anthropology Website moa.ubc.ca/

QUEEN ELIZABETH PARK/VAN DUSEN GARDENS
This Route involves 2 Transfers
BUS NUMBER C23 (Main St Bus) Eastbound at Davie & Thurlow. Transfer to Yaletown Station/Canada Line (Skytrain) to KING EDWARD STATION BUS NUMBER 33 – 29th Ave Station SOUTHBOUND at Cambie S @ W King Edward Ave
Van Dusen Gardens Website vancouver.ca/vandusen/
Queen Elizabeth Parkvancouver.ca/parks-recreation…/queen-elizabeth-park.aspx

SCIENCE WORLD
BUS NUMBER C23 Main St – catch the Bus at Davie and Thurlow St @Denny’s Restaurant to the final stop, then walk Westbound a couple of blocks to Science World.
Science World Website http://www.scienceworld.ca/

SECTION 2 – GREATER VANCOUVER/NORTH & WEST VANCOUVER DESTINATIONS
These Tickets are classed as 2 Zone MONDAY TO FRIDAYS ONLY
ADULTS $4.00 CONCESSION $2.75
WEEKENDS - Adults $2.75 Concession $1.75
TSAWWASSEN FERRY ROUTE Prices are ADULTS $5.50 CONCESSION $3.75

BOWEN ISLAND
1 transfer
BUS NUMBER 6 Davie Eastbound @Denny’s Restaurant on Davie & Thurlow St – Transfer onto BUS NUMBER 257 (Horseshoe Bay bus) @Georgia St (Heading Westbound)
Transfer to the Bowen Island Ferry @The Horseshoe Bay Terminal.
See BC FERRIES Website for further Ferry scheduling http://www.bcferries.com/
Bowen Island information www.bowen-island-bc.com/

CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE – GROUSE MOUNTAIN – LONSDALE QUAY/NORTH VANCOUVER
This route has 2 Transfers
BUS NUMBER 6 (Davie St Bus) @Denny’s on Davie and Thurlow St to Waterfront Station Transfer to Waterfront Station and catch the SEABUS to Lonsdale Quay
Transfer to BUS NUMBER 236 (Grouse Mountain Bus) to Capilano and Grouse.
Lonsdale Quay Website www.lonsdalequay.com/
Capilano Suspension Bridge Website www.capbridge.com/
Grouse Mountain Website www.grousemountain.com/

LYNN CANYON SUSPENSION BRIDGE/LYNN VALLEY
This route has 2 Transfers
BUS NUMBER 6 (Davie St Bus) @Denny’s on Davie and Thurlow St to Waterfront Station Transfer to Waterfront Station and catch the SEABUS to Lonsdale Quay
Transfer to BUS NUMBER-228 LYNN VALLEY Ask the bus driver for directions and which stop you need to get off to reach the actual canyon.

HORSESHOE BAY (FERRY TERMINAL) – NANAIMO
This route has 1 transfer.
BUS NUMBER 6 (Davie St Bus) – Eastbound @Denny’s Restaurant on Davie & Thurlow St – Transfer onto BUS NUMBER 257 (Horseshoe Bay Bus)@Georgia St (Heading Westbound)
See BC FERRIES Website for further Ferry scheduling http://www.bcferries.com/
Horseshoe Bay Website www.horseshoebaybc.ca/

RICHMOND/CHINESE NIGHT MARKETS
1 transfer
BUS NUMBER 6 (Davie St Bus) ……Catch @Denny’s Restaurant on Davie and Thurlow St. Transfer @Yaletown Station – Catch the RICHMOND SKYTRAIN Southbound to Richmond
Richmond Chinese Nightmarket website http://www.richmondnightmarket.com/

TSAWWASSEN FERRY TERMINAL – VICTORIA
PLEASE NOTE The Journey to Victoria from Vancouver takes roughly 3.5 hours in total travel time.
This Route involves 2 transfers.
BUS NUMBER 6 (Davie St Bus) ……Catch @Denny’s Restaurant on Davie and Thurlow St. Transfer @Yaletown Station – Catch the RICHMOND SKYTRAIN Southbound to BRIDGEPORT STATION….Transfer to the BUS NUMBER 620 Bus (Tsawwassen Ferry Bus) to the Ferry Terminal Station (Final Stop)
THIS ROUTE IS $5.50 ADULTS $3.75 CONCESSION

Your guide to get too and from the Sunset Inn/Major attractions…

Friday, April 5th, 2013

Although we may not be in the actual ‘Downtown core’ – we are part of the downtown peninsula that sets the downtown area apart from the suburbs of the greater Vancouver districts.

This blog will explain how far it is to the major attractions and other popular tourist destinations that you may have to travel through, hopefully this will help with answering any of the questions that are required to help towards planing your trip.

To and from VANCOUVER AIRPORT (YVR)
DRIVING – Upon leaving the terminal, you will be on Grant McConachie Way. Travel over the Arthur Laing Bridge. Stay in the far right lane at the end of the bridge onto Granville Street. Continue on Granville Street. After traveling over the Granville St. Bridge into downtown Vancouver, take the second left at Davie Street. Go four blocks up Davie and turn left onto Thurlow Street. Then take the first right at Burnaby Street. The second building from the corner on the right is Sunset Inn & Suites.

JOURNEY TIME -Around 30 mins

CANADA LINE (SKY TRAIN) YVR
Canada Line: First Train YVR/Airport to Waterfront – First Train 5:07am/ Last Train 1:05am
Canada Line: Frequency
Canada Line schedules provided are estimates only and are subject to change based on operational requirements.
Time of day Canada Line

YVR/Airport – Waterfront Canada Line
Peak Hours 6-7 min. 6-7 min. 3-4 min.
Midday 6-7 min. 6-7 min. 3-4 min.
Evening 12 min. 12 min. 6 min.
Late Night 20 min. 20 min. 10 min.
Early Sat, Sun 12 min. 12 min. 6 min.
Sat, Sun & Hol. 7-20 min. 7-20 min. 4-10 min.
*Please note: prior to 5:30 am, the Cordova Street entrance to Waterfront Station is closed. During that time, Canada Line customers should enter Waterfront via the entrance on Granville at Hastings.
Richmond-Brighouse | YVR/Airport | Waterfront
7 days a week First Train Last Train
Waterfront to YVR/Airport 4:48am 1:05am
Waterfront to Richmond-Brighouse 5:30am 1:15am
YVR/Airport to Waterfront 5:07am 12:56am
Richmond-Brighouse to Waterfront 5:02am 12:47am

TRANSLINK WEBSITE http://www.translink.ca/

TAXI-CAB
You can easily hail a cab at the Airport, the price to get from the Airport is roughly around $35 including Tip. (There are plenty of cabs to be found, just look for the signs to tell you where the pick up station is, any cab will be sufficient for your journey).
CAUTION! A MAXIMUM of 4 PERSONS only are allowed to travel in a Taxi Cab when boarding within the City of Vancouver, even if you were able to fit more than 4 when you were travelling from the Airport. This is a city by law.
PRICE $35 (with tip) TIME 30mins

CRUISE SHIP TERMINAL
It is always best to order a Taxi-Cab at the hotel if you are heading to the terminal – specify that you may want a Van Taxi if you wish to transport lots of luggage.
You can also hail a cab at the terminal as it is in an area where there are lots of hotels and shops etc, so it is a heavy traffic for Taxi Cabs too.
COST & TIME It will take around 10 mins to get too and from the Hotel and Cruise Ship terminal at Coal Harbour/Canada Place and should cost around $12.

TSAWWASSEN FERRY TERMINAL – VICTORIA (Swartz Bay)
The easiest and most efficient way to get to Victoria from the hotel will be to use the PACIFIC COACH LINES at MAIN ST STATION. Order a Cab at the hotel, then it is a short 10 minute Cab ride to the Station costing roughly $12.
Proceed to the Pacific Coachline desk and here you can purchase your ticket and jump on the Bus. The Bus will transport you directly to Victoria town centre. The trip combines the Ferry Journey, read below to see the breakdown of the cost of travel.

ONE WAY FARES (Not Including Ferry prices)
http://www.pacificcoach.com/Bus-Coach-Travel/Crosswater/Vancouver-to-Victoria

And additional Ferry Cost
http://www.pacificcoach.com/About-Us/Travelling-with-Pacific-Coach

GRANVILLE ISLAND
Driving is an option, although we do strongly advise that you get the False Creek Ferry to and from the Island.
BY CAR – The Following link has the directions and map written out so you can print this if you wish to go by yourself https://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&tab=wl&authuser=0

Or you can catch the Cute False Creek Ferry – Just walk South down Thurlow Street and continue along the hill until you reach the SEAWALL
Turn Left on the Seawall and you will walk towards the Burrard Bridge, a few minutes on and you will walk down the path to the Pick up terminal just before you reach the Bridge.

Click on the following link for a Map and Directions – https://maps.google.ca/maps?hl=en&tab=wl&authuser=0

This is the link to the False Creek Ferries – Your destination is The Vancouver Aquatic Centre – http://www.granvilleislandferries.bc.ca/fares_schedule.htm

GASTOWN/CHINATOWN
The best way as it is the most direct route is by catching the NUMBER 6 Bus, you can pick this up outside Denny’s on Davie and get off at the Last Stop outside Water-Front Station at the mouth of the Gastown District.

The schedule for the No 6 bus route can be found here….http://tripplanning.translink.ca/hiwire?.a=iScheduleLookup

SHOPPING DISTRICTS (ROBSON ST & METROTOWN)
Robson St is very very close, just a walk Northbound up Thurlow St and in about 10 minutes you will be in the main shopping district of Vancouver!

METROTOWN MALL
This is the Vancouver/Burnaby area largest Mall and can be easily reached via the Number 6 Bus and then change at the GRANVILLE ST SKYTRAIN (Next to The Bay) Use the King George or VCC Clark trains to get to the Mall.

Metrotown Mall Website – http://www.metropolisatmetrotown.com/

To see the Schedules for the Expo/Millenium Lines – click on the following links. http://tripplanning.translink.ca/hiwire?.a=iScheduleLookupSearch&LineName=999&LineAbbr=999

This link is a detailed map on how to get to the Coal Harbour Cruise Ship terminal
https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=vancouver%20cruise%20ship%20terminal&rlz=1C1LENP_enCA521CA521&aq=f&um=1&hl=en&authuser=0&biw=1360&bih=643&ie=UTF-8&sa=N&tab=il