Archive for June, 2014:
So June might be when Vancouver “takes it outside,” but July is when Vancouver takes it to the beach! Three out of four of this month’s picks will leave you with awkward tan lines and sand in your shorts. You’re welcome!
AIBC ARCHITECTURAL NEIGHBOURHOOD TOURS
One of Vancouver’s best deals, the Architectural Institute of BC offers walking tours of some of the city’s most fascinating and historic neighbourhoods throughout July and August. Tours are between 90 minutes and two hours, and cost just $10. Can’t make the scheduled tour? Download a self-guided version here.
Throughout July and August in various Vancouver neighbourhoods
SUNSET BEACH SOCIAL
From the people that bring you Vancouver’s Food Cart Fest comes a new monthly summer event at Sunset Beach in the West End, just down the street from your friends at The Burrard! Free to get in, food trucks galore, a sand castle competition, drag queen contests, hot people wearing next to nothing, and an art market. What more could you ask for? A roller disco, you say. OK, there’s a roller disco as well.
July 11 and August 15 at Sunset Beach
VANCOUVER FOLK MUSIC FESTIVAL
We could try to convince you this folk festival is way different to what you’re picturing. We could mention that hipster faves Great Lake Swimmers and Wintersleep are playing one night. But at some point you would discover JOAN BAEZ is headlining, and all of your stereotypes would revert. So embrace the awesome folky-ness of this festival – pack your hacky-sack, grow some dreads and enjoy an outstanding line-up playing right on one of Vancouver’s favourite beaches.
July 18 – 20 at Jericho Beach Park
HONDA CELEBRATION OF LIGHT FIREWORKS SERIES
If we’re honest, having this annual event in Vancouver has kinda ruined all other fireworks for us. We’re spoilt. Three nights see three different countries (USA, France and Japan this year) compete with astounding displays of fire-power launched right off a barge moored in English Bay, all set to music. Pretty much all of Vancouver heads down to the waterfront to picnic, cruise around and take in the buzz. You might as well join them!
July 26 & 30, and August 2, hondacelebrationoflight.com
At The Burrard, we’re big fans of seeing Vancouver atop a set of wheels, which is exactly why we give all our guests the chance to burn up the bike lanes on one of our Brooklyn Cruiser bikes for free. But the first time you head out, you might want to solicit the services of a pro to show you around the city, pointing out the must-sees, and giving you the gossip on our neighbourhoods, parks and food scene. (Yes, we’ve been known to gossip about a park.)
That pro might well be Josh Bloomfield, founder of Cycle City Tours, a local company that offers a whole suite of biking tours from the highlights-driven “Grand Tour,” through to special interests such as “The Food Tour” and “The Pride Tour.” We asked him for his take on Vancouver from high in the saddle.
Name: Josh Bloomfield
Where do you work and what do you do? I’m the Founder of Cycle City Tours. The basic idea is that we offer interactive tours of the city by bike, with our guide sharing fun stories about places, history, food, culture, etc.
How did you find yourself doing this? It has been quite a serendipitous journey actually. Here’s the short story: I graduated some years ago with a commerce degree, specializing in finance… and really couldn’t see myself pursuing a career in it so I decided to travel. Over several years, I lived in Brazil, Japan and Cambodia and worked various jobs. I taught English in a village in Japan for two years and was given a bike. I got really interested in sustainable travel after seeing the impacts of “mass tourism” in Southeast Asia. Eventually found myself living in Cambodia guiding a 1,000 km bike tour focusing on sustainable development and sustainable travel. When I eventually moved to Vancouver (I’m originally from Winnipeg), I wanted to keep promoting sustainable tourism and bike travel in a small group, as I believe its the best way to get acquainted with a new place. I started CCT in 2011 to offer this type of experience in Vancouver.
What’s the #1 reason for getting on a bike in Vancouver? A lot of people want to promote biking as a sustainable option, which it is. But the true reason to get on a bike is FUN. It’s relaxing and you feel good afterwards.
Morning-after strategy? I’ve given up on heavy drinking… I like to get up early and go for a run or to a yoga class.
Thing that you love about Vancouver? It’s so close to nature. Being able to get over to the forest, mountains, or in the ocean is a real treat (I grew up in Winnipeg, remember?) Getting out in nature is the best way to clear your head and centre yourself. I’m also loving all the new small businesses popping up: food trucks, craft breweries, artisan shops. It feels good to go into a shop and know the staff and enjoy products that people carefully made.
Thing that drives you crazy about Vancouver? Hmm, people always want to rant to me about new bike lanes because I work in the bike industry. Get over it! We need them for more people to bike and feel safe doing so!
Someone’s visiting Vancouver for the first time and has just 24 hours. How would you suggest they spend them? Twenty-four hours is way too short and they’re going to try to pack too many things in. But if that’s all they had, I would recommend taking a bike tour (shameless self-promo) because you can see a lot of the city in a short time.
On the “must do” list: drink a coffee sitting on a log on English Bay Beach, get a pint at a local craft brewery (33 Acres, Brassneck, and Bomber have great tasting rooms), walk or bike through the rainforest in Stanley Park, bike the seawall, and catch a sunset at the top of Grouse Mountain! At night, catch a concert at the Commodore or Vogue and finish the evening with a cocktail overlooking the brick streets of Gastown (too many places to list!)
Backpack or wheelie suitcase? Depends on the adventure.READ MORE
If you’ve been at The Burrard over the past month and in need of caffeinating, you may have noticed a few changes on our street level. We’re excited to welcome the Container Coffee team, who have taken over The Burrard’s café space adjoining the lobby, and will continue to take care of the drinking and snacking needs of our guests and neighbourhood locals. The café is open seven days a week, from 6 am to 8 pm, so whether you’re looking for a latte or a lager, a muffin or a meal, the guys and gals from Container Coffee have you covered. Along with coffee, you can grab a cold-pressed juice to enjoy while you tap away on your laptop, and once the day is finished, treat yourself to a glass of wine in The Burrard’s courtyard oasis.
Vancouver’s Pride Season is coming up fast (the not-to-be-missed Pride Parade is August 3, 12 pm – 3 pm), so it was perfect timing for OutTraveler.com to strut into town, and gather intelligence!
The Burrard is so proud to support Vancouver’s incredibly diverse and vibrant LGBTQ community, so you could have knocked us down with a hot pink boa-feather when we found out we had been included in OutTraveler.com’s gay guide to the city. Along with practical info about where to stay, the guide includes a great list of nightlife options including a couple of our favourites, Celebrities and The Junction; as well as well as sightseeing options for when you put your shirt back on.
We don’t mean to be a nag, but if you’re thinking about coming to Vancouver for Pride this year, you’re going to have to get on it, because rooms are going quickly! Check out our booking page for rates. (Sorry for getting all “Mom” on you there. While we’re at it, make sure you pack sunscreen and stay hydrated.)
Read “A Definitive Gay Guide to Vancouver, B.C.” on OutTraveler.com.READ MORE