Posts Tagged ‘Stanley Park’

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/

Harbour Air Vancouver city tours and excursions

Wednesday, March 30th, 2016

The Spring Weather is kicking in bang on time and we are now entering the tourist season of 2016 in Vancouver. If you are visiting for a few days and would like to see quite a lot of the city and its surrounding areas you may want to consider using Harbour Air Seaplane tours for time, convenience and the incredible views. With sunny skies and very comfortable temperatures you can hear and see the seaplanes being very active around the city – so why not join in on the fun?

HARBOUR AIR SEAPLANES
Harbour Air consists of a fleet of DeHavilland Turbine Single Otter, DeHavilland Turbine Twin Otter & Beaver seaplanes that will life you off into the skies from the gorgeous Coal Harbour that is nestled between Canada Place and Stanley Park. The planes will take off over the waters of the Burrard inlet – they can fly you to 9 different locations including Victoria, Whistler and a few other locations on Vancouver island and the greater Vancouver area.

VANCOUVER PANORAMIC CITY TOURS
Departing from downtown Vancouver’s bustling Coal Harbour with a loop over the city and Stanley Park before landing back in front of the iconic Vancouver Convention Center.

Daily, operating year-round
20 minutes with a 10-minute flight
$85.00 (includes taxes and fees) Per adult
$49.00 (includes taxes and fees) Per child

VANCOUVER CLASSIC PANORAMA
Our most popular tour of the city and North Shore Mountains. This ideal introduction to seaplane aviation departs from downtown Vancouver’s Coal Harbour and includes a complete aerial view of the city and surrounding parks and beaches. The exhilarating spray of the water is always a highlight during take-off and landing.

20 minute tour
Daily, operating year-round
$119.00 (includes taxes and fees) Per adult
$65.00 (includes taxes and fees) Per child

For further information on flights to Whistler, Victoria & the lower mainland click here! http://www.harbourair.com/book-a-flight/routes-schedules/

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

Big Bus Hop on Hop off Winter Hours & Vantage Whistler Winter tours

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

The BIG BUS Hop on, Hop off sightseeing tours have officially switched to their Winter hours and routes as of mid October 2015.

The frequency of these tours will be every 60 minutes every day with the first buses leaving at 9.15am and the final routes at 3.15pm. The closest stop to the Sunset Inn and Suites will be on Burrard Street outside the Century Plaza hotel pick up stop #16. The first Bus arrives at this stop at 10.16am.

Rain or shine Big Bus have a great reputation for an easy no fuss tour that enables you to see the very best of Vancouver and you will be fed plenty of information about Vancouver. Tickets can be purchased directly at the Hotel with payment by credit Card only.

About Big Bus Hop on Hop off
The Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing Pass is a fun and flexible way to see the best of Vancouver! Check out their Live Bus Map to find a stop near you. http://westcoastsightseeing.com/live-bus-map/ Our buses are equipped with GPS so you know exactly where we are in the city!

Cruise and choose from over 20 stops at world-class attractions. Enjoy a birds-eye view of Vancouver at your own pace, complete with one-of-a-kind commentary.

Included with your Hop-On, Hop-Off Sightseeing Pass:
Mix it up! 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
Vancouver’s only company with convertible, clear-top bus covers for stunning views rain or shine

For further information on their city tours click here: https://westcoastsightseeing.com/hop-on-hop-off/

VANTAGE WHISTLER TOURS
With the Winter season soon knocking on our doors it is time to look north and towards Whistler – Canada’s premier Ski resort – one of the best ways to enjoy Whistler and this Winter wonderland is by using Vantage Whistler tours!

Vantage Whistler offers daily sightseeing tours from Vancouver to Whistler. We provide hotel service, pick up and drop off at your downtown location. Experience 6 stops on our tour, which include Prospect Point in Stanley Park, Cypress Mountain, Porteau Cove, Shannon Falls, Brandywine Falls, and Whistler Village. Spend over 4 hours of free time exploring Whistler which is full of great attractions. The tours are commentated and include complimentary snacks and drinks. And if it happens to rain on the day of your tour, we also provide you with an umbrella. The duration of the round trip tour is approximately 11 hours, starting at 8:00am in Vancouver and returning by 7:00pm. We provide all tours using Mercedes-Benz Sprinters. We also keep the tour groups to a maximum of 11 guests per bus, offering a more private tour experience.

Website: http://www.vantagewhistler.com/

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/

Popular Vancouver events that are FREE!

Friday, June 19th, 2015

There are many events and festivals to enjoy and it all starts this weekend as Summer is really here folks, plus the weather is playing ball too! Get out there and enjoy it as these events are FREE!

CAR FREE DAYS – VANCOUVER June 20th & 21st.
West EndSaturday, June 20th, Noon-6pm from Davie to Robson on Denman Street: Fun for young, old, families, couples and single folks, which includes music, artists, artisans, and lots of local community groups.

Commercial Drive – Sunday, June 21st, Noon-7pm from Venables to Grandview on Commercial Drive: Roller disco, parading drummers, healing gardens, DJs spinning beats, and all your friends and neighbours hanging out.

Main Street – Sunday, June 21st, Noon-7pm from Broadway to 30th on Main Street: Mini-festivals, community-supported stages with dozens of bands, multiple kids zones, artisan markets, roller derby, skateboarding, parkour and more!

Website: http://www.carfreevancouver.org/

National Aboriginal Day Celebrations – June 21st
Saturday, June 20, 2015 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Join us for a day of celebration that kicks off with a traditional Coast Salish welcome, followed by a variety of Aboriginal performances, including traditional dances, storytelling and more. National Aboriginal Day is officially designated on Sunday, June 21, 2015 to coincide with the summer solstice. This is a special opportunity to celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada.

Website: http://www.canadaplace.ca/Events/National_Aboriginal_Day_Celebration

Vancouver International Jazz Festival till July 1
While not all of the events are free, a majority of them are, giving you access to some of the best jazz acts in the city! There are endless options for free performances, including Blue Moon Marquee, Rumba Cazalda, and Karin Plato Ensemble.

Website: http://www.coastaljazz.ca/

Vancouver Buskerfest – Friday, June 26 to Sunday, June 28
Featuring astonishing and Diverse Street performers from all around Vancouver and all around the globe deliver comedy, circus, music and mayhem on Downtown Vancouver’s main entertainment area that is Granville Street.

Website: http://www.vancouverbuskerfest.com/

Canada Day at Canada Place – July 1st
Canada Day at Canada Place is a celebration that brings communities together to share our special bond of living in one of the greatest country’s in the world and celebrating our freedom, values and diversity. It all ends with a fantastic spectacular Fireworks display.

Website: http://www.canadaplace.ca/

Canada Day at Granville Island July 1, 10 a.m. to midnight
Canada Day on Granville Island is an all-ages event that goes from morning until late! This year, they’ll start with a pancake breakfast, then continue with jazz festivals, a street festival and a parade. The team at Granville Island encourages you to bring your kids!

Website: http://granvilleisland.com/top-things-do-kids-summer-granville-island

Stanley Park Free Outdoor Movies July 7 to August 25
The Evo Summer Cinema Series at Stanley Park is back for another year from July 7 to August 25. Expect classics like Jurassic Park, The Breakfast Club and Harry Potter. Don’t forget to arrive early to get a good spot since upwards of 5,000 people attend each screening

Website: http://www.freshaircinema.ca/summercinema/index.html

Fresh off the Cruise ship – Welcome to Davie Village and the West End.

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

The Cruise-ship season is now 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 we will like to tell about the local area that the Sunset Inn and Suites is situated in, we will also help you out on how you can occupy your time before checking into the room, it is likely you will be checking very very early – so let us show you around Davie Street and Davie 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.
When visiting this neighbourhood, we suggest taking time to wander and meander through the different streets as it is impressive to see how the area changes. Street by street, block by block, you will see the colours, style and shape of each building and apartment look very different from the next one. The trees and various other types of flora are absolutely stunning, especially at this time of year with the Spring colours in full bloom showing an impressive natural display.

Davie Village – our local colourful community.
Davie Village is a 3 block area of Davie Street that runs East to West from Burrard St to Jervis St that is jammed packed with amazing restaurants of all ethnicity’s to choose from, there are also plenty of cute small shops to peruse and plenty of Bars with great Patios to choose from.
As we are a full apartment hotel you do have the option to cook using our fully equipped kitchens, the village has a few grocery stores and a great Supermarket to buy excellent groceries.

Take a look at this link courtesy of the West End Business Improvement Association http://westendbia.com/ They have a great colourful website that shows you exactly what Davie street has to offer!

Roedde House Museum and Barclay Square
Coming to visit the famous Roedde House which is part of the Barclay Square complex you will immediately find yourself back in time to the late 1800s era. The house is named after the very first Bookbinder in Vancouver named Gustav Roedde and the house was built in 1893
The house is under the property of the City of Vancouver and way back in 1976 it was decided to be placed under the Heritage building list.
The most unique aspect about this museum is the fact that none of the Artifacts are behind Rope or a Glass box – the idea is that you are literally meant to realistically take a step back in time so you experience the House as it was in 1893.

Barclay Square Gardens
The Roedde House museum is one of a few properties that are built around the gorgeous Barclay Square gardens The gardens are tended by the city and are open for not only the visitors to Vancouver but West End residents alike. The park opened up in 1985 a year before the Roedde House opened for the public – the reasoning behind the park was to encourage more Green spaces in the already congested downtown core, even though there is Stanley Park which is not too far away and is pretty huge, it is still a nice surprise to find a little Oasis among the smaller older properties and the towering high rises.
The museum celebrates its 25th birthday this year. For further information please click here http://westendbia.com/the-roedde-house-museum-turns-25/

The Gabriola House
This was built for a Mr B.T. Rogers who was the founder of B.C. Sugar Refining Co. This Queen Anne style grand mansion, is located on Davie Street and Nicola Street.
This is a gorgeous building that really stands out in the neighbourhood, however unfortunately it is standing derelict at this time with rumours that it will open as a Keg restaurant. Even though the property is currently empty the stunning gardens are still maintained and certainly worth a visit on lovely Summer days.

Beaches & Seawall
Our namesake beach Sunset Beach is just a 5 minute walk down the hill from us where you will False Creek and English Bay meet and as well the Seawall.

The Seawall
The Seawall is one of the most walked, run and biked paths in Vancouver and at 22km long it encompasses Stanley Park, and much of the Downtown peninsula with a plethora of sights to absorb and photograph- one things for sure you will certainly remember this part of your visit.

Balancing Rocks
We suggest that you walk from English Bay back South to South East where you start to follow the seawall along the opening of False Creek towards Burrard Bridge and Granville Island, along this path you will come across some really cool Rock structures balanced on the large boulders and rocks embedded among the pebbles and sand.
Everywhere you go along the beaches in Vancouver, if there are rocks, there are likely to be plenty that are balancing on top of each other, and as much as you may believe that they are glued on, well, you will be wrong, the glue that is holding them together is quite literally the natural force of gravity and the awesome art of balance!

Rock Pools and Sandy Beaches at Sunset Beach.
Further along the Sea Wall you will notice that there are more options to hang out at the waters edge, here the rocks make way for Sandy beaches and large Logs that have been lined up for you to hang out and have a picnic. This is called Sunset Beach the hotels namesake and is the quieter option in comparison to the popular English Bay.
As the Rockier beaches transition to more Sandy style beaches you can easily explore the area with your family, just be mindful of the tides of course. Along the beaches you can come across some cool Rock Pools and see some smaller fish, crabs and all varieties of colour from the Seaweed and Algae that adorn the rocks and pebbles. It is also a great area to watch all the local Birds such as Geese, Gulls, Crows and the majestic Herons, if you have a really keen eye, you may even catch a glimpse of a Seal popping its head up from the water…

So after you have checked in and you have time to kill, leave your luggage with us and get out into the West end it is a great area to explore!

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/

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/