Posts Tagged ‘Whistler’

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

In just a matter of weeks the Bears begin to wake up from their hibernation.

Friday, March 21st, 2014

When you come to visit British Columbia you are not only visiting some incredible terrain that encompasses impressive mountains, deserts and a stunning coastline, you are also visiting Bear country.

BC is home to the most populous of bears in all of Canada, roughly half of all Black Bears and Grizzly Bears that are in Canada actually reside in BC, in fact, the majority of the world’s Grizzlies live in Russia and this corner of Canada and of course neighbouring Alaska.
If you are thinking of coming to visit this part of the world at the end of Spring and into Summer, than there is a very good chance you will get to see some of these stunning creatures as they forage for food after their long slumber. These bears will be mighty hungry and probably looking a little thin due to their long period of inactivity.

The bears typically are in deep hibernation during the dark winter months of November and April, it is not the same sleeping time for all the bears as this depends on their location and habitat, that will dictate the length of rest they need to undertake, for example, the bears that live on Vancouver Island and the more southerly coasts of BC will likely have a shorter hibernation period, this is due to the weather not being half as cold or severe and therefore food is more accessible for a longer period of time.

The Hibernation process for the bears is quite an incredible feat. The bears generally make Dens within or close to trees, leading up to the hibernating time the bears will eat as much food as they can so they can pack on the weight so they are able to shut down for the winter. Many of the bears will not even eat, drink, urinate or defecate for a few months and their heart rate can even drop as much as 50 beats a minute to as little as just 10 beats, (which seems pretty crazy), so of course their oxygen intake will drop dramatically and they will likely lose around at least a quarter of their weight due to abstinence of eating and drinking, which again seems crazy, but that is how these creatures roll!!!!

So come May and certainly June and July the bears will likely be out in force ready to fill their hungry bellies on Berries, Salmon and whatever else they can get to sustain themselves. As these are quite cute looking we must also take due care as these creatures as cute as they maybe are an apex predator and all due respect must be given to them, so we advise that if you want to witness the bears in their natural habitat, there are some tours that will specifically help you out with that.

Watching Bears in the wild – Tour Operators
The habitats of the bears in the wild is actually surprisingly close to us, from the North shore mountains of North and West Vancouver you are beginning to live in bear country. If anything, we have been imposing ourselves to their homes hence the reason we see them wandering around the north shore suburbs! So there are a few ways that you can see the bears in person….

Grouse Mountain – Vancouver
A popular destination just a 45 minute journey from downtown Vancouver – in the summer months this is a great place to visit for incredible scenery, hikes and more……they are also home to a couple of bears in their long term home, the poor things are not fit to live in the wild, so they now reside at the top of Grouse mountain quite literally living the high life!
Website: http://www.grousemountain.com

Ocean Adventures Charter Co – North Vancouver
These guys will get you to see the very best that the wilderness has to offer in this part of the world, from Bears to Whales and awe-inspiring First Nations culture, amidst BC’s most spectacular landscapes.
Website: http://www.oceanadventures.bc.ca

Whistler Discovery Tours – Whistler
‘Exclusive Land Rover Excursions’. Our year-round scenic private/semi-private eco-tours will take you to areas rarely seen by most Whistler visitors: Morning/Evening with the Bears, Ancient Rainforest/Eagle Viewing Experience, Hidden Glacier Lake Hike/Snowshoe.
Website: http://www.whistlerdiscoverytours.com

Bike, Bus and other Tour Operators…

Monday, March 4th, 2013

One of the regular questions we receive at the hotel is “What is the best way to get around Vancouver?” We have decided to explain how it all works and what are the best options are for you to see the city with the least amount of effort while being informative and as fun as possible.

Using the vehicle may not be the best option within the downtown core, however, we do recommend using the vehicle to go further afield if you are feeling adventurous and will like to go your own way, please make sure that you ask us at the Front Desk for advice and pointers on how to get from A to B.

We will like to introduce you to Tour Operators that will do the hard work for you and really make a day trip work, so you don’t have to get lost and figure it for yourself.

Vancouver has multiple options for you to get around the city, the most obvious being the Public Transportation of either Bus, Skytrain and of course Taxis. The bus and the Skytrain are run by Translink (who also run the Seabus from Vancouver to the city of North Vancouver at Lonsdale Quay). Taxis are everywhere, so when ordering they are usually at the hotel in under 5 minutes.

http://www.translink.ca/

What is so good about the Translink company running the bulk of the public transport is its efficiency, one ticket will last you 90 mins which means you are able to transfer on any mode of transport they offer within that hour and a half, and with Vancouver being a smaller city in consideration, that ticket will get you quite far at a very small cost.

TOUR OPERATORS

BIG BUS SIGHTSEEING TOURS.
As for sightseeing and a tour that will be fun and engaging, you will need to look no further than Big Bus. We have been recommending Big Bus for many many years, we strongly feel that they are one of the best ways to get yourself around Vancouver, they have great knowledge of the city, they are fun, engaging and above all very experienced within this industry. Their routes pretty much hit every major attraction within the city, such as Granville Island, Gastown and Stanley Park.

http://bigbus.ca/home/

There are various tours that they have on offer, the most popular being their Hop on Hop off excursions, you have an option of 1 day or 2 day passes, the best thing about Big Bus is that you can Purchase your ticket directly with us at the Front Desk as the stop is literally just around the corner from us, no more than a 30 second stroll on Thurlow Street. Perfect!

LANDSEA TOURS AND ADVENTURES.
For travelling further afield such as Whistler and Victoria, we will recommend Landsea Tours & Adventures. Landsea Tours are perfect if you have a limited amount of time, and are looking for a day trip to Whistler or Victoria or even the North Shore of Vancouver. The tours will come directly to the Hotel and from here, they will whisk you away to your destination where they will set the agenda that you get to see the major hotspots and have time to sight-see and explore the destination for a few hours.

The Victoria trip also includes the Famous Butchart Botanical Gardens, we highly recommend that if you need to visit Victoria and the Gardens, please consider this tour option, as it will be more productive to let Landsea tours set up your trip, whisk you away from your doorstep with less fuss and more to see!

http://www.vancouvertours.com/

ENGLISH BAY BIKE RENTALS
Located close to English bay on Davie St (a wee 10 minute walk down the hill) You will find these guys! They have a large stock of different bikes to suit your needs that you can use to get around the city, ask the Front Desk so you can get a discount voucher.

http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

Just remember, you can purchase your Big Bus and Landsea Tours at the front desk, we can also point you in the right direction for Limo Services if there are 5 or more that would like to travel together…

And so it begins – The snow is here, lets hit the slopes!!!

Wednesday, December 19th, 2012

It seems like that Vancouver is in for a dollop or Snow over the next day or so and we all know what that means – Ski season is well and truly underway!

It tends not to snow too much in Vancouver, but when it does – it really is a stunning sight, especially if you manage to get a rare glimpse of the sun that catches the glistening snow sparkling off the mountains that tower over the city.

Vancouver is spoiled for choice when it comes to Winter sports, and the choices come from 3 stunning peaks to use as your outdoor adventure playground during the winter Season.

On any of the 3 mountain resorts in the area you will be able to enjoy Skiing, Snowboarding, Snow Shoeing, tubing and a whole lot more….
There has been plenty of precipitation falling over the last few weeks (which is normal for this time of year) So whats falls as the wet stuff down at Sea Level, is almost certainly falling as the white stuff at the top of the peaks. To date, roughly up to 300cm of snow has accumalated on the mountain tops, in the last 24 hours alone there has been up to 10cm, and that amount is set increase dramatically over the next few days.

GROUSE MOUNTAIN
Nestled in between Cypress and Seymour, Grouse mountain is by far one of the more popular destinations to visit when it comes to Winter Sports. It is in a great location as this is the mountain that sits directly over North Vancouver and dominates the city skyline to the North of Vancouver itself. Along the way, you can even stop off at the Capilano Suspension Bridge, where the whole area is currently illuminated for the Festive Season. Capilano Canyon Lights runs until January 5th and illuminate the bridges and park from 4pm till 9pm.
At Grouse there is a fantastic restaurant that overlooks the city, an open are Ice rink, and the slopes here are suitable for beginners and the more experienced.

Mountain HighlightsThe Theatre in the Sky, Snow Limo and Mountain Ziplines.

http://www.grousemountain.com/#tickets-passes

http://www.capbridge.com/explore/canyon-lights/

Mount Seymour
This is a great place for any beginner to come and learn to Ski as it offers shorter runs to practice and learn, it also has a great rugged feel to it, so if you are searching for the quintessential ‘outdoors’ adventure, Seymour is the place to be.

Mountain HighlightsSnowshoeing and 2 for 1 Discover lessons

http://www.mountseymour.com/home

Cypress Mountain
Cypress mountain was used during the 2010 Winter Olympics for the alpine events. Cypress Park has some more challenging slopes so if you want to test yourself this is the place to be.

Mountain HighlightsSnow Tubing and Snowshoeing.

And of course – WHISTLER
Th gem in the crown during the Winter season is Whistler Blackcomb and Whistler Village.
A beautiful Alpine Village that was home to the majority of events during the 2010 Winter Olympics, this really is the place to go if you are a Winter Sports junkie.
Located a couple of hours north of Vancouver, there are many ways to get here, and we feel that one of the better ways is to use Landsea Tours. Landsea tours will pick you up at the hotel and take you for a full day out to Whistler, where you can participate in sight seeing and some skiing too. It is designed for tourists so you don’t have to figure out where to go or what to do as they have your itinerary set. Speak to the front desk and we will book the tour. Payment occurs on the day on the bus, either by Cash, Debit or Credit.

Mountain Highlights- Peak to Peak Gondola and Whistler Village

http://www.whistlerblackcomb.com/

http://www.vancouvertours.com/

How to get around Vancouver?

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Big Bus, Land Sea Tours, Translink, Butchart Botanical Gardens

One of the regular questions we receive at the hotel is “What is the best way to get around Vancouver?”, and “Where can we park our vehicle?”. We have decided to explain how it all works and what the best options are for you to see the city with the least amount of effort, and something that will also be informative and as fun as possible.

Using the vehicle may not be the best option within the downtown core, however, we do recommend using the vehicle to go further afield if you are feeling adventurous and will like to go your own way, please make sure that you ask us at the Front Desk for advice and pointers on how to get from A to B. A day trip on your own clock to Whistler or Victoria can be achieved, however, we will like to introduce you to Tour Operators that will do the hard work and really make a day trip work, so you don’t have to get lost and figure it for yourself.

Vancouver has multiple options for you to get around the city, the most obvious being the Public Transportation of either Bus, Skytrain and of course Taxis. The bus and the Skytrain are run by Translink (who also run the Seabus from Vancouver to the city of North Vancouver at Lonsdale Quay). Taxis are everywhere, so when ordering they will literally be at the hotel in minutes.

What is so good about the Translink company running the bulk of the public transport is its efficiency, one ticket will last you 90 mins which means you are able to transfer on any mode of transport they offer within that hour and a half, and with Vancouver being a smaller city in consideration, that ticket will get you quite far at a very small cost. For further details on the pricing and zoning areas, we will be more than happy for you to come to the front desk for directions and pointers…we will also happily provide you with change as paying on the bus you will need coins. The Number 6 Bus is available right around the corner, this will take you to English Bay heading out West, or Eastbound through the heart of the downtown core and Granville Street.

Big Bus Sightseeing Tours.
As for sightseeing and a tour that will be fun and engaging, you will need to look no further than Big Bus. We have been recommending Big Bus for many many years, we strongly feel that they are one of the best ways to get yourself around Vancouver, we are confident that you will come away from their tours with great knowledge of the city, and above all an unforgettable experience, they are fun, engaging and above all very experienced within this industry. Their routes pretty much hit every major attraction within the city, such as Granville Island, Gastown and Stanley Park.

There are various tours that they have on offer, the most popular being their Hop on Hop off excursions, you have an option of 1 day or 2 day passes, the best thing about Big Bus is that you can Purchase your ticket directly with us at the Front Desk (we will need your credit card) and the pick up stop is literally just around the corner from us, no more than a 30 second stroll on Thurlow Street. Perfect!

Landsea Tours and Adventures.
For travelling further afield such as Whistler and Victoria, we will recommend Landsea Tours & Adventures. Landsea Tours are perfect if you have a limited amount of time, and are looking for a day trip to Whistler or Victoria or even the North Shore of Vancouver. The tours will come directly to the Hotel and from here, they will whisk you away to your destination where they will set the agenda that you get to see the major hotspots and have time to sight-see and explore the destination for a few hours.

The Victoria trip also includes the Famous Butchart Botanical Gardens, we highly recommend that if you need to visit Victoria and the Gardens, please consider this tour option, as it will be more productive to let Landsea tours set up your trip, whisk you away from your doorstep with less fuss and more to see!

There are a few more options, but for now, we feel that these options will be sufficient and enable you to sightsee and explore with the least amount of fuss.

We look forward to hearing about your experiences, please feel free to write in and explain what the tours had to offer and why you would use them again.