Taste Handcrafted Traditional Spirits
I stumbled across Liberty Distillery with my brother in June of 2014, while we were visiting Granville Island. We stopped in purely out of interest and instantly fell in love. The atmosphere is perfect, like you've walked back in time to a saloon, with the gorgeous wooden bar and lots of wood and metal. We browsed for a little before my brother approached the bar and ordered a sample of their Railspur No 1 White - an unpaged Whiskey. He really liked it, and decided to order one of their handcrafted cocktails. We liked it so much that we had to purchase a bottle of it, where we tried to reproduce the delicious pineapple, jalapeño cordial that starred in their cocktail! It was a neat place to visit while at Granville Island. So if you're into spirits - definitely drop in for a taste, or take one of their distillery tours on the weekend!Related to:
- Luxury Travel
Visit Maplewood Farm with the Kids
When we moved to BC and I decided to stay at home with our daughter, I was on a mission to discover a variety of kid friendly activities that her and I could do together. In my searches I came across Maplewood Farm, located in North Vancouver. It's exciting that the farm is located in a suburban setting, but is still fully functional. It's an exciting and educational experience for the kids. A great way for them to get outside for some fresh air and exercise, along with a way to explore and learn - there is over 200 domestic and farm friendly animals here. There's so much to do from riding a pedal tractor or going for a pony ride, feeding animals and seeing different farm demonstrations! It was great when we visited in early 2013 and I'd be more than happy to take my girl back again! If you are looking for a family friendly experience that the kids will love, I definitely recommend taking them to the farm for the day!Related to:
- Farm Stay
- Family Travel
Vancouver Christmas Market
If you're in Vancouver during the lead up to Christmas time, we highly recommend visiting the Vancouver Christmas Market. This outdoor market is set up just like a little German Christmas Market and we love all of the delicious food options! We usually wait until their Groupon deal comes out to buy tickets so we can save a little bit of money on entry, plus get a free carousel ride for ourselves and our daughter (The carousel is her favourite part). If you're into food and neat gift ideas, this is your place! I love grabbing a mug of mulled wine and sipping on it as we stroll from booth to booth.
I highly suggest visiting in the afternoon, or early evening during the week (if you can) to avoid the largest crowds. You won't need more than an hour or hour and a half to do the whole thing, unless you really take your time! But if you're in the city and want to feel in the Christmas spirit, than be sure to swing by this market!Related to:
- Family Travel
- Arts and Culture
Visit Bloedel Conservatory
The Bloedel Conservatory is a small round building located in Queen Elizabeth Park. I had read another Mother's review of it online and figured it would be a great place to spend an afternoon with our daughter, who was almost 2 at the time.
We made our way there on a cool April afternoon, and enjoyed walking around Queen Elizabeth Park for a little while before we headed into the conservatory. It's definitely a great place to head on a cool, drizzly day - it's so warm and humid inside, just the right change after being in the cool weather.
If you enjoy birds and plant life - this is the perfect place to visit when in Vancouver. It's pretty easy to get to, admission is inexpensive and there is a lot of beauty to take in. I enjoyed look at all of the beautiful flowers and plants, while my little one couldn't get enough of the birds. I think we walked around the whole place three times before I had to drag her out to go and get some lunch. We'll definitely head back, not only for the conservatory - but also for some time exploring more of Queen Elizabeth Park.Related to:
- Family Travel
Capilano Lake & Cleveland Dam
If you are visiting Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and have some time after that you may want to drive up the road a little ways and visit the Cleveland Dam and Capilano Lake. From here you have a great view of Capilano Lake and the Lions Mountains.
The Lions are a pair of pointed peaks consiting of the West Lion with an elevation of 1,646m (5,400 ft) and the East Lion with an elevation of 1,606 m (5,269 ft). This mountain is visible from many areas, but the best view is from Capilano Lake by the Cleveland Dam in North Vancouver. This beautiful lake accounts for about 40% of Greater Vancouver's water supply. The southern part of the lake is within the Capilano River Regional Park and this is where the lake is separated from the Capilano River's southern portion by the Cleveland Dam.
The Cleveland Dam was first conceived when the region was first settled and there was a need to ensure the surrounding population had a dependable water supply. With a booming population, it was apparent that a large scale project needed to be undertaken to provide the surrounding residents with a clean and plentiful supply of water from a nearby source. In 1954 the Cleveland Dam was successfully completed several km/mi up from the mouth of the Capilano River. This tall concrete monolith has since then served to hold 40% of the water used by the city of Vancouver, relying on water from mountain rivers and streams that run into the reservoir above the Capilano River. The Dam allows foot traffic which provides an amazing view on both the north and south face, seeing the immense water system held back by the dam as well as the thundering falls (or trickling depending on weather and rainfall) with a four story drop to the river below.
There are picnic benches in this area and from here you can also follow some hiking trails. One of them leads down into the canyon beside the Cleveland Dam and continues to the Capilano Salmon Hatchery in Capilano Regional Park...more on that in another tip.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
- Hiking and Walking
Guided Kayak Day Trip & BBQ with hotel pick-up
This “out-of-town adventure” combines all the aspects we come to expect from Western Canada: awesome mountain & ocean scenery, abundant wild life and a feeling of being somewhere remote.
Yet in this case you are a mere 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver! The location is Indian Arm, Canada’s most southern glacial fjord, which extends for about 20 miles behind the city of Vancouver.
Don’t worry – you don’t have to navigate the city to find the place. Lotus Land Tours picks you up from your hotel or residence anywhere in Vancouver.
Driving there is already an adventure. After crossing the Lions Gate Bridge with it’s spectacular views the bus follows a narrow, switch-back road down the steep mountain to a cute little community at the edge of the inlet, Woodland. It is one of the oldest communities on the inlet that was established at the turn of the last century. Woodland and it’s origin is a story by itself and our guide, Gordon, told us all about it while we were driving.
Once there, we quickly unloaded the kayaks - beautiful, handcrafted wooden two-seat kayaks with open cockpits and a rudder for easy navigation. Gordon gave a quick lesson in paddling skills and boat manoeuvring skills and we were off. Kayaking is a lot easer that generally assumed. The two seat kayaks are stable and safe. You feel that as soon as you sit in them. Two paddlers share each boat and cut the paddle effort in half. At least that is the theory. It was the paddlers in the back that didn’t always pull their weight. It is a fallacy to assume that just because you sit behind your partner, he or she can’t tell when you are not paddling.
The scenery was absolutely stunning. Sitting low in kayaks we meandered through the rock gardens. Arm is unique in that it is connected to the Pacific Ocean but there is no surf. It is safe to travel close to the shore. The water here merely rises and falls, albeit, it does so steeply. The difference between low and high tide is up to 15 feet! Imagine someone pulling out the bathtub plug. Gordon, the fountain of information, explained how all of this affects the critters that live in the intertidal zone.
After 2 marvellous and educational hours we arrived at a tiny marine park island, Twin Island. Covered with forest, the island is barely half a km long. Gordon took us to his favourite picnic site, a little elevated, with a great view of the inlet. Here we were treated to a delectable 3 course meal. Fresh Salas and chips for openers, grilled salmon (yes, Gordon brought the bbq along!) served with fresh roasted corn and a potato salad that was remarked on by everybody We washed all that down with an Apple cider. Desert was fresh strawberries and whipping cream. This was REAL whipping cream. Not the sick stuff that oozes out of a can. All the food is freshly made and served on real plates with real cutlery and real cups.
After a brief post-lunch rest we embarked on the trip home. The back lag of the trip leads along the North shore of Indian arm. This is the developed side, where the affluent have built impressive homes with flown-in jacuzzi’s and landing strips for Para gliders.
Back my home by about 4:00 pm, this was an easy and most enjoyable wilderness experience. a wonderful day trip for both, out-of-towners as well as locals. What a wonderful idea for a company picnic or an anniversary celebration.Related to:
- Family Travel
Sea to Sky RBC Gran Fondo cycling race
When downhill is still uphill – Sea to sky- Vancouver to Whistler BC.
Just finished a quick whirlwind weekend to Vancouver BC over 4 days. A
good friend Joe and I arrived in Seattle and drove to whistler BC
last Friday and arrived at our hotel 11:00pm. I did not really get a
good look at the race route because it was dark. After arrival I
assemble my bike get about 4 hours of sleep and then meet the bus back
down the mountain to Vancouver for the 7:00am start.
The race is 120k (76 miles) and about 3000m (9,000 ft of climbing).
There are 2 parts to the ride the giro and the gran fondo. Both are
timed but the giro is a UCI category race. The race starts out great
and smooth. We were in a pack (peloton of maybe 200 riders.) I was
surprised how well this many people could ride together and at the
same speed. It was intense at first but became quite enjoyable. We
covered the first 45 miles with ease. At the mid point there are two
very steep grades and I expected the group to fall apart but it
didn’t! It did finally break up somewhere after that point with me
being one of the first victims. I just know my body and if I kept that
pace I would just hit the wall and it would be all over before I knew
it. I kept control of my heart rate and just kept plodding along. At
times I would get with a group of riders and it would help me recover
and if I felt better I would pull through and help others. (no
attacks) At one point I thought something was seriously wrong with my
bike. I’m heavier than most riders. On down hills I can just tuck and
pass with ease. I noticed other riders gliding. When I would glide I
would always lose ground. I’m looking at my tires, brakes whatever. I
never figured it out until the drive home two days later. It seems
that there were no downhill parts at all on the last 40ish miles of
the race. It was so steep that the lower grades appeared as if we were
going down. I’m really glad we arrived at night on the way in so I
couldn’t really see how the mountain was just relentless. Anyway, I
expected to finish in 5 hours and finished in 4:05! An average speed
of 18.6 mph! I had a little extra motivation at the end trying to
break the 4hr mark. I told my friend Joe to expect me around the 5hr
mark so he totally missed my finish. I was back at the hotel right
after he woke up! I placed 243/1470 male 40-49. The next two days we
did some hikes and glider aerobatics in Pemberton to top off a great
experience in BC. Beer me Aye!Related to:
- Mountain Climbing
- Adventure Travel
Hop-on Hop-off trolley tour
At YVR, you will come across a tourist information counter just before exiting the arrivals hall, where you can buy a ticket for the Hop-on Hop off tour - you can get a two day pass for $34 (the same pass costs $45 in town for 2 days or $38 for a day) - I chose the trolley over the double-decker bus since the former has live narration in English and would be more interesting than a bus and I was told the latter has recorded multi-lingual narration. The two day pass also entitles you to a free ferry ride from Granville Island, which is a great oportunity to see Vancouver from the waters, after which you reconnect to the Red Loop to get back to Canada place (the starting point for both loops)
The Red Loop/Trolley covers Stanley Park plus a view of Grouse Mountain and the Capilano Bridge which you can walk to for a fantastic frontal view from the road side nearby the stop for it. You can do the Blue Loop the same day or the next day or do both twice! Like I did the Red Loop twice since I was falling asleep on it on my day of arrival at YVR (after no sleep due to the time difference)! Sit on the right hand side of the trolley to get great shots!
I took the Skytrain from Days Inn in Richmond to Canada Place - it was a breeze and very strange indeed not to have to go through ticket turnstiles to get on the train with no one checking if you had bought a ticket! ;-) Enjoy Vancouver! :-)
BC Ferries Day Trip
If you are visiting Vancouver a Day Trip on BC Ferries is an ideal way to experience the West Coast of BC. You will see some really spectacular scenery as you sail across the Georgia Straight to Vancouver Island. You may even spot some Orca whales. While you are on board you can enjoy a hot or cold meal in the cafeteria. The sailing time is just over an hour and 30 minutes each way.
Using public transit and going on the Ferry as a foot passenger will allow you to do this easily and at minimal cost. Just use the SkyTrain to get to Bridgeport Station on the Canada Line and there you can take the #620 Tsawwassen bus from Bay #3 for a 40 minute ride to the Ferry Terminal. You can simply enjoy a round trip on the Ferry, or if you get a fairly early start you and Catch a #70 Express bus into downtown Victoria on the other side and spend a few hours exploring BC's capital before making the reverse trip back.
Total cost of the round trip right into downtown Victoria and back including bus transportation at each end is just $41.00 for an adult and less for seniors and children.
For more information and links to all needed resources visit BC Ferries day Trip at Tour by Transit-Vancouver.Related to:
- Sailing and Boating
- Whale Watching
- Family Travel
Vancouver has an active and vibrant gay and lesbian scene. Everywhere there is a week long celebration of different events. Its was July 29th-August 6th 2006. The days vary every year so check out the web site
The parade started at Denman and Robson and worked its way to Beach Avenue endeing at Pacific and Thurlow. Its an amazing event with lots of fun seeing the floats and people.
Its an event not to be missed no matter what your sexual orientation is. Its even fun to bring the kids.
BAR NONE was founded in 1992, is located in the heart of Yaletown at the corner of Davie and Hamilton Street. The interior space has a warm, intimate, familiar atmosphere that captures everybody's search for a feel-good, downtown vibe.
BAR NONE boasts a newly renovated room that coincides with an unforgettable 10 year anniversary. Built around the original post and beam architecture of a converted warehouse, BAR NONE ascends from a history going back to the early 1920's (when the horses that were used to deliver milk door to door) would nestle in for the night under the same roof that exists today.
Presently ....cool, fresh and vintage sounds fill the airways, featuring both live music and the hottest DJ's the city has to offer. BAR NONE has a handsome clientele and superior bar staff that move gracefully about a postmodern setting. The lighting is romantic and the crowd as fashionable as the venue that envelops it.
BAR NONE is perfect for provate functions, wrap parties or special events. It is located in the heart of Yaletown, the center of Vancouver's burgeoning high tech scene, also makes it the place to be for all young professionals.Related to:
- Business Travel
- Study Abroad
Burnaby Mountain Park
Amazing views of surrounding area atop this mountain park on a clear day, along with a Rose Garden, totem poles and a display of Japanese pole sculptures. Not a place to forget your camera, because there will always be a view you'll want to remember. Even on a somewhat rainy day, the clouds around the mountains make a great photo opportunity. The Japanese pole sculptures are a gift from Burnaby's sister city, Kushiro in Japan. There is a playground for children (and nostalgic adults), restroom facilities, a restaurant and numerous trails around the park. I've seen a person trying a bit of paragliding on the slopes of the park.
The park is not one of the most accessible for visitors, unless you have access to a car or want to make a trek uphill. However, it's something that is not usually on the "things to do" list and a good alternative to the Grouse Mountain gondola for views of the surrounding area.
From Lougheed Highway: On Lougheed, turn north on Gaglardi Way & keep going uphill (turn left at the SFU/Burnaby Mountain Parkway junction), then turn right on Centennial Way.
From Vancouver, Hastings St.: After cross street, Sperling Ave., change to right lane. At first light past Sperling, follow right lane to Burnaby Mountain Parkway. Follow Burnaby Mtn Pkwy and watch for left turn lane half way up hill at Centennial Way.Related to:
- Hiking and Walking
- Adventure Travel
WORK, LEARN AND FUN AT THE YMCA!
The YMCA is a charitable organization that's been a centre of community in Vancouver for over 100 years.
Every year, over 25,000 people participate in YMCA programs and services, including child care, residential and day camps, fitness facilities, team and individual sports and recreation, cardiac rehabilitation, leadership training, employment training, English language classes, and accommodation. As well, over 1,000 volunteers share their time and talents.
Right in the heart of downtown Vancouver (see map), the YMCA offers 113 rooms for short term stay. The hotel offers comfortable, single or twin rooms with daily maid service and a convenient cafe on the main floor. Rooms can be rented nightly or weekly, it is one of the very best deals in town.
Also, they have a good sized cafe, gymnasium (reasonably priced) and a International college for all.Related to:
- Study Abroad
- Work Abroad
- Family Travel
Fishing in BC
It was a tough decision: my wife and I decided to go our separate ways for the day so she could shop and I could fish! But where? Realizing that I had no gear, no 4-wheel drive car, and no boat, I did something I don't usually do: hire a guide.
I paid a visit to Anglers West Fly and Tackle on West Broadway. Real nice guys, they described the local fishing scene candidly and completely. I had a chance to catch steelhead or Dolly Varden trout, neither of which I'd caught before and the latter a true rarity in the States (although once plentiful in the West).
On very short notice, they set me up with guide Andrew Redmond, who picked me up at my hotel precisely on time. He seemed pretty young to be doing this but as we drove to our destination it became apparent he was no stranger to the BC wilderness.
We fished a remote river whose location I'd rather not disclose as it's a pristine and delicate fishery; besides, I couldn't find it agin to save my life. Ask Andrew to take you there:) It was a good 1.5 hours from Vancouver and involved some gravel-road driving and a small section of 4-wheel drive road.
The trip paid off, as you can see from this beautiful, 3-lb Dolly Varden trout. These fish resemble a cross between rainbows and lake trout with silver sides fading to a nice olive green color. The fish was caught on a barbless spoon and released unharmed back into the river.Related to:
Preferred Locations in Vancouver
At the risk of offending several citizens of Vancouver, I'd like to present my tips on where a person, especially a single person, should focus their energies when moving to or just visiting Vancouver.
Like every other big city, Vancouver is now a metropolis, spread out over a wide area. Like many other cities, Vancouver has adopted the "city centre" and suburb configuration.
In my opinion, the southern & eastern suburbs of Vancouver are pretty much like the suburbs everywhere else: practical and utilitarian. Nothing wrong with that but there's nothing much unique about it either. North & West Vancouver are somewhat unique though, especially if you love nature.
If someone wants to really wants to get the "Vancouver Experience" then I'd strongly recommend living in the areas I've indicated in red (or blue for a slightly slower 'West Van' lifestyle).
In the end, there are different strokes for different folks. These are simply my suggestions.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
A contemporary hotel located in the very cosmopolitan Yaletown. Top-notch service from a very...more
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