Grouse Mountain to open Saturday for Skiing and Riding!

Grouse Mountain opening 2014

Image courtesy of Andrea Schaffer | Flickr.com

If you’ve been itching to get into a pair of ski or snow boots and blast yourself down the mountain, the long wait is over. Grouse Mountain is officially launching their 88th winter season this Saturday, November 15th at 9:00am.

“But, it hasn’t snowed!?” you may be asking yourself… Well, Grouse Mountain is the proudly armed with the North Shore’s largest snowmaking fleet, which means that with all this cold weather, the snow guns have been put to task creating blankets of fresh snow for eager skiers and riders.

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Grouse Mountain to open Saturday for Skiing and Riding!

Destination BC Launches Revitalized Tourism Brand Celebrating Super, Natural British Columbia

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Destination BC’s revitalized Super, Natural British Columbia® brand, focuses on nature at its core and showcases the unique beauty and power of the British Columbian wilderness.

Fairmont Vancouver Airport hosts two unique ‘Room & Bird’ packages for nature lovers

The Fairmont Vancouver Airport goes to the birds with their new 'Room & Bird' packages.

The Fairmont Vancouver Airport goes to the birds with their new ‘Room & Bird’ packages.

Located where high fliers – large and small, human and avian – gather daily, the Fairmont Vancouver Airport is hosting two unique birder-friendly packages.

It’s only natural that the Fairmont Vancouver Airport has organized two bird-based getaways. The hotel is located in the Fraser River estuary – home to the Pacifc Coast flyaway, a popular stopover for birds migrating from over 20 countries and three continents. Waterfowl and shorebirds from breeding grounds in Siberia, Alaska, Yukon, and other arctic and prairie areas all stop to refuel in the area on their way to warmer wintering grounds.

Dubbed their ‘Room & Bird’ packages, the number one ranked Airport Hotel in North America will entice naturalists and birders alike with two exclusive, field-trip based birding stays at the hotel.

Partnering with local conservation group WildResearch and Swarovski Optik, the two birding vacations include guided trips, use of luxury binoculars, accommodation at the hotel and meals.

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Fairmont Vancouver Airport hosts two unique ‘Room & Bird’ packages for nature lovers

Vancouver’s Best Pumpkin Patch? You Make the Call!

untitled-7For the next two weeks or so, you’re going to be seeing a lot of pumpkins for sale.

They’re in every grocery store, usually not far from the check-out counter so you can make an impulse buy on the way out.  They come in all shapes and sizes – from 20-pound monsters to petite little gourds meant for centrepieces.

But true Halloween fans know there’s only one real way to pick out a pumpkin: by wandering through an honest-to-goodness pumpkin patch.

Now, you’re unlikely to find many pumpkin patches in downtown Vancouver.  In fact, you have to expand your search radius quite a bit before you get to pumpkin country. Head east to Pitt Meadows, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, even Surrey – These are all prime pumpkin towns, with plenty of farmland and open spaces.  To the south, Richmond, Delta and Ladner aren’t slouches either in the pumpkin department.  (This handy list of corn mazes is a good indication of where the pumpkin hotspots are.)

In fact, when you get down to it, the Lower Mainland offers a veritable cornucopia of pumpkin patch options, which is why I need your help: Do you have a favourite pumpkin patch in or around Vancouver? If so, let us know by leaving a comment below. 

I’ll get things started with my personal favourite, the Westham Island Herb Farm, in Delta. Continue reading:
Vancouver’s Best Pumpkin Patch? You Make the Call!

Finding the Best Stargazing Spot in Vancouver

NightPhotoClass-52If you’ve ever looked up at a night sky from downtown Vancouver, you’ve probably noticed a lot of nothing.  Even on a clear night, you’re unlikely to see stars.  The city lights are just too bright for stargazing.

So what’s a star lover to do? Get out of town.

There are some incredible starscapes out there. The key is finding a dark place, far from the ghostly glow of city lights, which can carry for miles and miles.  The usual suspects for great Vancouver views – like Cypress Mountain and Mount Seymour – won’t do because the sky is still too bright. But one of the most popular spots for hobbyists and amateur astronomers – and people who just like to spot the Big Dipper – is Porteau Cove Provincial Park, approximately one hour northwest of Vancouver along the Sea to Sky Highway.

I checked out Porteau Cove on a recent night, which happened to correspond to forecasts of Northern Lights … the wavy green streaks in the night sky common at higher latitudes and on rare occasions even visible in the Lower Mainland.   Continue reading:
Finding the Best Stargazing Spot in Vancouver