Archive for the ‘Stanley Park’ Category

Making a short visit to Vancouver? We will show you what to see!

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

The Cruise-ship season is soon to be in full swing in Vancouver which means the city has a large influx of tourists coming and going from Canada Place. If you happen to be travelling to the city from a cruise lets us help you see the best of Vancouver in a day or so as you maybe on a whistle stop tour between sailings.

DAVIE STREET & VILLAGE
Davie Village has a wealth of great restaurants, bars and cafes to choose from and is by far one of the most colourful districts in all of Vancouver – it is also officially designated as the Gay District of Vancouver hence the stunning array of colour and the famous Rainbow Crosswalk at the intersection of Bute and Davie (which is currently being transformed into a plaza named after a Davie Village icon Jim Deva.

STANLEY PARK & THE BIKING THE SEAWALL
Stanley Park is a gorgeous wooded forest and Park that completely dominates the centre of Vancouver. At 400 Hectares it is bigger than New Yorks Central park and is home to a vast array of incredible Gardens, Sporting facilities an outdoor pool, playparks for children and the natural Fauna and Flora that make the park come alive.
In the Summer time it is a great place to take your family to explore the dense forest and you can also check out the many beaches that can be found following the Seawall that encircles the outside perimeter.
Stanley Park is also home to the world famous Vancouver Aquarium which is home to the rehabilitation of the beloved Beluga Whales

The Seawall itself is a great way to explore the majority of the city and along the way you will be able to come across some notable features of the city such as Granville Island, Science World, the Totem Poles of Stanley Park, the Inukshuk and the Vancouvers most popular beaches such as English Bay. The best way to explore the full 22km wall is by bike rentals.
English Bay Bike Rentals: http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

BIG BUS CITY TOURS
This is an excellent way to sight-see around the city and to take in all the major attractions. Big Bus have an excellent reputation and the Big Bus staff are incredibly knowledgeable and fun! They offer 1 day and 2 day passes where you can Hop on and Hop off at your leisure. Tickets can be purchased directly at the Hotel, ask the staff about discounts!
Website: http://bigbus.ca/home/

GRANVILLE ISLAND
A cultural hub that lies in the heart of False Creek. Granville Island is home to Vancouver’s largest Public Market which has a huge array of colourful stalls, unique homemade products and the very finest in gastronomic delights. All fresh from the ocean, the oven or the field. Try closing your eyes right now and imagine the rich aromas permeating from the lavish displays. Shimmering seafood, warm baked goods, plump fruit.
There is also plenty of dining out options, entertainment in the form of Theatre, comedy and Arts – it is also a huge hub for busking to delight the masses as they meander around the Island.
Website: http://granvilleisland.com/

CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE
Built in 1889, Capilano Suspension Bridge stretches 450 feet (137m) across and 230 feet (70m) above Capilano River and has created a whole complex within the rain forest canopy that is found located above the river half way up the mountainside towards Grouse Mountain. In the last few years the area has expanded so now we have a daring cliffwalk path that leads you out over the canyon close to the steep Granite cliffs that create the towering gorge that has been cut and eroded by the river over thousands of years. There are also treetop viewing points dotted all over the park.
Website: http://www.capbridge.com/

BIG BUS HOP ON & HOP OFF CITY TOURS WITH WESTCOAST SIGHTEEING TOURS

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

BIG BUS HOP ON HOP OFF TOUR VIDEO

April 15th is the beginning of the Spring schedule for the Big Bus hop on hop off city tour. April is typically when all the major tours will now be up and running, we will like to introduce to you the Big Bus and Westcoast sightseeing tours that will take you around Vancouver.

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

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

Please speak to the front desk about special offers and you can purchase your ticket with us at the hotel, the bus stop is literally a 30 second walk away from us on Thurlow St and the this stop opens up again on April 15th. Until then the stop is at the Century Plaza hotel on Burrard Street which is under a 10 minute walk away

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For further details please click here: https://westcoastsightseeing.com/

Discover the local wildlife of Vancouver

Wednesday, February 17th, 2016

If you have been following our posts lately on Facebook and Twitter you will have noticed that the various local wildlife of BC have been causing a stir as of late. First off we had a guy in his car have an encounter with just not one Cougar but three in the Comox valley on Vancouver island. Meanwhile just off Ogden Point in Victoria a Sea-lion was spotted wrestling with an Octopus which is actually a common part of the Sea-lions diet, but what made this extra special was that it had actually been filmed which has not been captured too many times before. Then to end it all – we had some amazing footage of a Momma Bear with her three cubs frolicking on a roadside in British Columbia.

You can check out the footage of all these amazing moments here.
A trio of Cougars: http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2016/02/vancouver-island-cougars-video/
A Sea-lion and Octopus wrestle: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/seal-wrestles-octopus-in-rarely-captured-scene-in-b-c-waters-1.2952020
Momma Bear and her Cubs: https://www.facebook.com/getbearsmartsociety/videos/10151117963329632/

THE MOST EASILY SPOTTED URBAN ANIMALS OF VANCOUVER
It seems hard to believe that there is so much wildlife within Vancouver and the surrounding areas that it surprises many of our guests who come to stay with us at the Sunset. The most easily spotted creatures are undoubtedly the city Squirrels, Crows, Birds of Prey and then the Skunks! We will break down the most popular animals that can be spotted around the city.

Squirrels
The most common squirrel in urban B.C., the Eastern Grey Squirrel, is actually an import from eastern Canada which was released into Stanley Park in 1909.
They were then introduced to Vancouver Island in 1966. Eastern Grey Squirrels are much larger than native squirrels, are either grey or black in colour, and flourish in urban environments.

Skunks
Notoriously famous for their distinctive bushy tail, black colour with white stripes and of course their smell if perturbed Skunks are everywhere throughout Vancouver- it does surprise many of our visitors as it is not an animal you would expect to reside in the city, but reside here they do and are guaranteed to be spotted everywhere especially after dark.

Raccoons
As well as the Skunks – you could easily say that these are their cousins or nemesis of the skunks, you will likely see just as many of these creatures as you would of them. Famous for their bandit like stripe across their eyes these cuties are one of the most intelligent urban species just getting by day to day just like us. Do not be surprised to see them anywhere in the city, sometimes you will even catch them down by the sea fishing or just enjoying a bathe!

Crows, Bald Eagles & the Great Blue Heron
Crows are everywhere in the city and love them or loathe them they really are a fabric of the Vancouver society. They get a special mention as the crows are easily spotted when they are travelling too and from their roost in the Burnaby area around Sunrise and Sunset, we mention this as it is one of the largest and most spectacular murder of Crows around and if you can see it you will certainly not forget it, this so called train of Crows can add up to a few thousand so keep your eyes out for this daily occurrence. Click here for footage over Commercial Drive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_QuEjaG4Ghs

Bald Eagles are also everywhere and the best time to catch them is in the Spring and early Summer during Fledgling season although they can be spotted all year round. Vancouver is a prime area for spotting all kinds of Birds of Prey as we are lucky enough to be located in one of the busy migratory paths for these mighty and majestic birds.
In the 1960s only two pairs of bald eagles were nesting in the City of Vancouver – one pair in Stanley Park and one near UBC.
These large aerial predators nest in the forests of Stanley Park and throughout the greater Vancouver area and beyond, also they can be found in large trees on the waterfront. From their nests they overlook soccer and baseball games, arts venues, parking lots, picnics, houses and streets.

Stanley Park is home to one of the largest urban Great Blue Heron colonies in North America. They have been nesting at their current location behind the Tennis Courts at 2099 Beach Avenue since 2001 and have been documented nesting in various other locations in Stanley Park as far back as 1921. Today, sightings of these majestic birds in and around the park are common place.

You will certainly see them at the Waters edge picking for fish and you can actually get very very close to them if you are quiet and still, it is quite the sight to watch them as they effortlessly pick out the fish. We encourage every one to check out the Herons at the Tennis courts as it is a breathtaking site to witness. The best time of year to see them nesting is during Spring and early Summer!

For further information on the local wildlife check out the Stanley Park Ecological Society website: stanleyparkecology.castanleyparkecology.ca

Christmas season at the Vancouver Aquarium

Thursday, November 26th, 2015

The Vancouver Aquarium will be open all through the festive season and Santa will be taking a dip among the marine life as he travels the globe throughout December. Here are the events at the aquarium between now and January 3rd.

SCUBA CLAUS!
Did you know that Santa is quite an excellent swimmer? If you didn’t you do now and you can witness this firsthand at the aquarium. You will get an excellent chance to wave hello to Santa as he makes his annual visit to Vancouver – you can watch him take his daily dive among the gorgeous Beluga Whales and other aquatic friends.

CHRISTMAS TREE POWERED BY ELECTRIC EELS.
How cool is this – the aquarium came up with this genius idea that puts the Electric Eels to work albeit in a festive mood – these are remarkable animals and of course it is all in the name, these Eels have the ability to produce electricity, the power they can create can be up to 600 volts of electricity! Ouch.
Fear not – these Eels want you to enjoy the season just as much as they do and they will harness their power to light up the Christmas tree – making this a must see unique holiday display.

THE POLAR EXPRESS 4-D EXPERIENCE.
If you have never experienced 4-D now is your moment at the Aquarium. This has been a staple over the last 10 years and has wowed the audiences that visit the aquarium. If you are a thrill seeker then this is a must for you, so hop on and enjoy this incredible ride – you will feel the rumble of the train, be among magical falling snow with the scent of hot chocolate making this feel very festive indeed!
Experience the Youtube trailer here:dmO-4wXgB9Y

CANADA’S ARCTIC GALLERY.
Time to bundle up and visit the the far north of Canada albeit under water in the frigid waters of the Arctic. The tour will highlight what the exhibits and inhabitants of this world, you may have a chance encounter with the feeding animals, you can test your cold tolerance and experience the freezing temperatures of these chilly waters. Tours are daily.

BECOME AN ANIMAL TRAINER!
If you are a true animal lover then this is the job for you! Put on those rubber boots, grab yourself a bucket filled with yummy fish and you are ready for a fantastic animal encounter. You will be up close and personal with beluga whales, dolphins, Sea lions and Sea otters.

For further information on the Vancouver Aquarium click here: http://www.vanaqua.org/

Urban Wildlife in Vancouver

Saturday, August 15th, 2015

Vancouver is highly rated as one of the most stunning cities in the world to visit and it is very hard not to see why. The city is situated in a temperate rainforest that encompasses much of the Pacific Northwest and is greeted by vigorous weather systems that barrel in from the massive Pacific Ocean for 9 months of the year. Due to this and the large mountains that greet the weather Vancouver and Vancouver Island is an area that has incredible dense forests and amazing fauna that is home to some incredible wildlife.

Nature in the city – meet your fellow neighbours!
It is not unusual for a guest to come in from sightseeing and being quite surprised and astonished at some of the animals that they have just spotted in the city – to many of us it is just a normal every day occurrence, however, we really do appreciate and love the diversity of the local flora and fauna that makes up the fabric of the city. So let us introduce to you the local wildlife of Vancouver.

Skunks, Raccoons and Squirrels
These animals are everywhere and are easily spotted all year round but more especially in the Summer months and after nightfall – however, if these creatures are hungry enough you will catch them in the daytime too. It is likely you will see a skunk more regularly than a Raccoon and when you do you will probably see a few as they tend to wander around with their young.
We do not advise that you feed these animals, they are cute but there is always the possibility that they may bite and Skunks are famous for spraying an oily substance that smells like an awful strong stench of Sulphur and marijuana – not a great smell. They are harmless overall though, so if you wish to have a peak of them you can do so but give them their space as they go on their merry way.

There are so many Squirrels here it seems unreal, you will always catch them scurrying around the streets and up the trees – they are pretty tame overall and have really worked out how to live in harmony in the city.

Bald Eagles, Crows and Herons
These birds are by far the most noticeable of all the animals in the city all year round – the Bald Eagles are certainly more noticeable in the Spring and Summer months due to the Fledgling season where they have many options to hunt for food and this can easily be seen when you are out and about in the city. One of the signs that there is a bald eagle not too far above you is when you hear the Seagulls and Crows crying out a warning cry to each other as they are fearlessly protecting their young from being prey, if you hear this commotion look up – it is almost guaranteed that a large bald eagle or other type of Bird of Prey is about to swoop down and feed itself and its own chicks.

Crows are everywhere in Vancouver and they are one of the most respected and revered creatures that many of us have a love hate relationship with. There is a fantastic phenomenon that happens daily in Vancouver which involves thousands of Crows heading to and from their roosting spot in Burnaby. The murder of crows is quite the sight to see and happens at Sunrise and Sunset every day – if you have a keen eye you will spot the spectacular ‘Crow train’.

Check out this Video of the Crows going home: https://youtu.be/IhVdcjyKdSU

The other gorgeously majestic Bird to spot in Vancouver is the Great Blue Heron. The Herons you can find wading in the shallow waters at pretty much any Beach in and around Vancouver and soaring smoothly in the skies above you. For a better sighting of these birds you need to head to Stanley Park near the Tennis courts, here, the Herons have been nesting at this site for quite a few years and there are roughly around 80 nests at top of the trees and the months of April to June are the prime time to catch them rearing their chicks.

For further Animal watching head to the Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park where you can see all the above creatures but lots of Ducks, Canada Geese, Turtles and plenty of people if you like to people watch!

For further information on Vancouver wildlife check these sites out.
Stanley Park Ecological Society http://stanleyparkecology.ca/

Vancouver Aquarium http://www.vanaqua.org/

Cool photos of a Bald Eagle and Crows

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

As I was walking to work on Saturday I could hear quite a din being stirred up by a group of Crows…it was quite evident that something was spooking them as they were cawing quite loudly and dive bombing at something. As I was approaching the intersection of the street my sight was a lot clearer as to what was going on. Directly opposite me on the top of a 3 story apartment building stood a large and very intimidating bald eagle that for the most part was not too perturbed by the 4 or 5 crows that were spooked by it.

April and May is a fantastic time to Bird watch as the city of Vancouver is in the thick of the major migration of Birds who are heading North as Spring will transition to Summer time. The sight of such a huge bird of prey hanging out just a few feet above our heads is not an unusual sight in Vancouver. We actively encourage everyone to to keep looking to the skies around them as it is very very common to witness many types of Birds of Prey, Gulls, Corvids, Herons and of course Canadian Geese to name but a few.

As the Summer starts to take hold the birds really are the dominant creatures that reside in this part of the world, it can get quite noisy as there are plenty of them making each and every building, tree and where else they reside as their home, and with that you will always get predators. Listen out to the birds as some of their sounds are major warnings not to their own species but to others that there is an Eagle about to intercept, this is quite the sight above as as it is one of the few times, the Crows, Gulls and Pigeons among others all gang up together to protect themselves from the Birds of Prey.

If you like this, be sure to get down to the Sea-wall and Stanley Park and take time to observe as you will be sure to catch some spectacular nature at work before your eyes.

Check out the Stanley Park Ecology Society: http://stanleyparkecology.ca/

BC GRAND TOURS. CITY SIGHTSEEING & PHOTOGRAPHY TOURS

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They have glowing reviews on Tripadvisor – Click here to see what the people have to say about them http://www.tripadvisor.ca/Attraction_Review-g154943-d7391612-Reviews-BC_Grand_Tours-Vancouver_British_Columbia.html

HAPPY 129th BIRTHDAY VANCOUVER!

Wednesday, April 8th, 2015

April 6th was the official date of Vancouver’s 129th birthday. Vancouver is probably one of the most stunning cities in Canada and of course the world – it is usually rated within the top 3 most liveable cities in the world and it really is very hard to argue against this. We will like to create a list to you as to why Vancouver should be at the top of your destination list.

STANLEY PARK & THE BIKING THE SEAWALL
Stanley Park is a gorgeous wooded forest and Park that completely dominates the centre of Vancouver. At 400 Hectares it is bigger than New Yorks Central park and is home to a vast array of incredible Gardens, Sporting facilities an outdoor pool, playparks for children and the natural Fauna and Flora that make the park come alive.
In the Summer time it is a great place to take your family to explore the dense forest and you can also check out the many beaches that can be found following the Seawall that encircles the outside perimeter.

Stanley Park is also home to the world famous Vancouver Aquarium which is home to the rehabilitation of the beloved Beluga Whales

The Seawall itself is a great way to explore the majority of the city and along the way you will be able to come across some notable features of the city such as Granville Island, Science World, the Totem Poles of Stanley Park, the Inukshuk and the Vancouvers most popular beaches such as English Bay. The best way to explore the full 22km wall is by bike rentals. English Bay Bike Rentals: http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/

GRANVILLE ISLAND
A cultural hub that lies in the heart of False Creek. Granville Island is home to Vancouver’s largest Public Market which has a huge array of colourful stalls, unique homemade products and the very finest in gastronomic delights. All fresh from the ocean, the oven or the field. Try closing your eyes right now and imagine the rich aromas permeating from the lavish displays. Shimmering seafood, warm baked goods, plump fruit.
There is also plenty of dining out options, entertainment in the form of Theatre, comedy and Arts – it is also a huge hub for busking to delight the masses as they meander around the Island. http://granvilleisland.com/
You can reach Granville Island using the False Creek Ferries which is a 10 minute walk from the hotel http://www.granvilleislandferries.bc.ca/

CAPILANO SUSPENSION BRIDGE
Built in 1889, Capilano Suspension Bridge stretches 450 feet (137m) across and 230 feet (70m) above Capilano River and has created a whole complex within the rain forest canopy that is found located above the river half way up the mountainside towards Grouse Mountain. In the last few years the area has expanded so now we have a daring cliffwalk path that leads you out over the canyon close to the steep Granite cliffs that create the towering gorge that has been cut and eroded by the river over thousands of years. There are also treetop viewing points dotted all over the park.
Website: http://www.capbridge.com/

CLIMB THE GROUSE GRIND AND VISIT MOUNTAIN
Grouse Mountain did not have much in the way of Snow this year which was a troubling for the Ski enthusiasts, however, as Spring turns to Summer it is time for the Hiking season to begin.
Grouse Mountain https://www.grousemountain.com/

The Grouse Grind
This is a great challenge for any able’d bodied person to use if you are up for the challenge and a great well known hike. This very popular hiking trail is a steep trail that climbs 853 m (2800 feet) from the gate and timer near the bottom of the trail to the “Grind Timer” at the top of the trail, a distance of 2.9 km (1.8 mi), with an average grade of 17 degrees (or 31%) and short sections of up to 30 degrees. The total number of stairs is 2,830. https://www.grousemountain.com/grousegrind

BIG BUS SIGHTSEEING HOP ON HOP OFF TOUR
This is one of the most effective ways to see the best sights of the city, you can Choose from over 20 stops to create your adventure.
Free one-way ferry ride to the public market, galleries and colourful culture of Granville Island
As many as 7 stops in Stanley Park, voted the best urban park in the world
World-class commentary in English, French, Spanish, German, Japanese, Korean, and Mandarin (May 2015)
Vancouver’s only company with convertible, clear-top bus covers for stunning views rain or shine.

For further information read out latest blog on the tour itself http://blog.sunsetinn.com/?p=7098

Great Blue Herons of Stanley Park webcam

Friday, March 20th, 2015

When you come to visit Vancouver during the Spring this is the perfect time for birdwatchers to see the Blue Herons at their one of their regular nesting homes next to the Tennis courts in Vancouver.

THE GREAT BLUE HERONS
These majestic creatures have made a small area in Stanley Park their natural home for nesting and it is in surprisingly large numbers considering the species is dwindling elsewhere.
During March we will see the return of the male Herons, the best place to see them are down by the Tennis Courts on Beach Avenue (Which is not too far a walk from the Sunset) the male herons will return to their designated nests where they will hope to attract the females whom arrive a short while later.

Once they do arrive the usual courtship ritual begins, you can spot this when the couples are in their nests and will cross their bills regularly, together they help maintain their nests (some return to the existing ones and like to modernise and spruce them up too).
Come the end of April and early May you will start to see the chicks hatching from their nests, it is quite a sight to see. This location has been a regular home since 1921 there were many nests across the creek in Vanier Park, but now, only a handful remain.

HERON CAM
A Webcam has now been installed at the sight of the Herons nests at Stanley Park near the Tennis courts and went live as of Wednesday March 18th. The heron cam is a remotely controlled wireless camera mounted on the roof of a building near Park Board offices at 2099 Beach Avenue. It gives you a “birds’ eye view” of the drama in the trees.

The heron cam gives you the ultimate close up view of one of North America’s largest urban colonies of Pacific great blue herons. It is a window on the world of these magnificent birds from courtship through egg laying, until the grown chicks fledge in late summer.
Tune in often to watch the drama of new life unfolding in our nests. Spread the word through Twitter using the hashtag #herontalk

The Stanley Park herons typically arrive in February and chicks are generally born in April and in 2014 there were 94 active nests in the colony, producing 131 fledgling herons. The baby birds face predators such as eagles and raccoons before they are able to fly.
Over the past century, the abundance of large trees suitable for Great Blue Heron nesting near foraging areas has declined in some parts of British Columbia because of human population growth and industrialization so this is a great way for the public to be aware of these majestic birds and the fact that they are an endangered species, hopefully this will help raise interest and awareness so these Great Herons do not go extinct.

WEBCAM: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/heron-cam.aspx

STANLEY PARK ECOLOGICAL SOCIETY: http://stanleyparkecology.ca/

Gardens & Parks to visit in Vancouver during Spring & Summer

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

The flowers are responding to the gorgeous weather we are having here on the West coast. This gives us a great opportunity for us to guide you to see where the very best Gardens and Parks are to visit.

QUEEN ELIZABETH PARK – BLOEDEL CONSERVATORY – VAN DUSEN BOTANICAL GARDENS
A jewel that sits in the heart of Vancouver and has incredible views of the city due to is location at 152 metres above sea level, it’s the highest point in Vancouver and makes for spectacular views of the park, city, and mountains on the North Shore.
The gardens and the conservatory is located among an old disused quarry which is now home to an extensive array of incredible plants, flowers and trees for you to absorb. You can also enjoy some great recreational time by playing games at the Pitch and Put, Tennis and Bowling lawn. After all that we are pretty sure you will have worked up an appetite – so try out the Seasons in the Park restaurant for some incredibly good food that is typically flavored and inspired by the Pacific Northwest.
The Van Dusen Botanical Gardens are situated here also – during the month of March Kids are allowed entrance for free!

http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/queen-elizabeth-park.aspx

STANLEY PARK
New York has central park and we have Stanley Park. Stanley Park is huge and right next to the downtown heart of Vancouver with incredible views of English Bay, the North shore Mountains and Bowen island in the distance. The park really makes you understand the complexities of the rain forest area that Vancouver resides in. It is also home to many animals, birds and other incredible wildlife that call this area home. The highlights of the park are the array of trees that make up the park, the Herons nesting site at the Tennis courts and The Lost Lagoon to name but a few.

http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/stanley-park.aspx

DR SUN YAT-SEN CHINESE GARDENS
Right in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and adjacent Sun Yat-Sen Park are the perfect urban oasis.
The stunning Garden is an authentic representation of Ming Dynasty-era tradition and the first of its kind outside China. Be enchanted by the Garden’s winding paths, rocks, plants, and beautiful vistas. In the park alongside the Garden, find peace and tranquility in the unique rock forms, water lily-covered pond, pagoda, and lush plants.

http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/dr-sun-yat-sen-chinese-garden.aspx

UBC BOTANICAL GARDEN & CENTRE FOR PLANT RESEARCH
Located at the historical University of British Columbia Campus these gardens are one of the oldest to be found in Vancouver. During the month of March the Magnolias are what to watch for and my oh my are they responding to the gorgeous weather that we are currently experiencing.

http://www.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/

Cherry Blossoms are blooming 3 to 4 weeks in advance – click on the link to follow the progression of the blossoms http://www.vancitybuzz.com/2015/03/where-to-see-cherry-blossoms-in-vancouver/