Hidden Gems: Inside the Sanctuary at Hastings Park (PNE)

The Sanctuary at Hastings Park. Photo © Dana Lynch

You can be forgiven for not knowing about the Sanctuary at Hastings Park; it’s the definition of a “hidden gem“. Tucked into the middle of the Hastings Park / PNE complex and surrounded by dense foiliage, this wildlife habitat isn’t easy to find if you don’t know where to look, especially if your main visits to the grounds are trips to Playland or to the annual summer Fair at the PNE. (Heck, if you’re new to Vancouver, you may not even know that the PNE is part of Hastings Park!)

Because it’s not well-publicized, this divine little spot is both a sanctuary for wildlife—106 species of bird have been spotted here—and a sanctuary for people, too: with so few visitors, it’s easy to feel completely alone with nature here.

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Hidden Gems: Inside the Sanctuary at Hastings Park (PNE)

Unleash your Inner Artist!

While I am creative, in that I write and pretend that I am amazing singer…. I am most definitely *not* an artist. I can’t for the life of me draw, paint, sculpt or do any of what I consider the really cool arty stuff. If I could, I would most definitely be entering the Vancouver Police Museum’s t-shirt design contest.

For details click here: http://contest.vancouverpolicemuseum.ca/

I am a big fan of this museum. I consider it one of Vancouver’s hidden gem’s. For starter’s it is located at the old Coroner’s Court. And who doesn’t love learning about the criminal history of somewhere? So cool. They also have a fantastic Sins of the City walking tour where you can learn exactly where all of Vancouver’s deep dark secrets are hidden!

Vancouver’s Top 5 Secrets: Tour Group Insider Tells All

Urban Adventures' Bike Tour

We all know that Stanley Park is stunning. And the Grouse Grind is amazing. And nothing beats a Saturday at Granville Island Market. But there’s a lot more to Vancouver than that. To dig deeper and find some real hidden gems in the city, I’ve enlisted the help of Urban Adventures, a unique group that offers walking, biking and hiking tours around Vancouver.

“You can do lots of tours, but not many people let you get off the beaten path like we do,” says Blaise Sack, the veteran guide who designs and leads Urban Adventures’ outings. Trips range from a two-hour tour of Gastown and Chinatown (a bargain at $25) to their newest excursion, a five-hour bike tour around Stanley Park and into Granville Island and Olympic Village ($75).

After leading hundreds of tours around the city, Blaise has accumulated a treasure trove of hidden gems. Here are some of his most coveted Vancouver secrets.

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Vancouver’s Top 5 Secrets: Tour Group Insider Tells All

Top 5: Top 5 Reasons to Love Trout Lake

A boy and his dogs, Trout Lake, Vancouver

A boy and his dogs, Trout Lake, Vancouver

It may not have the grandeur—or the fame—of Vancouver’s two world-class parks, Stanley Park and Queen Elizabeth Park, but John Hendry Park, home of the serene and lovely Trout Lake, is definitely as beloved by locals, especially those with little kids and dogs.

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Top 5: Top 5 Reasons to Love Trout Lake

Vancouver Hidden Gems: La Casa Gelato

La Casa Gelato at night

La Casa Gelato at night

What is it that makes a gelateria one of the Top 5 Interesting Things to Do in Vancouver? If you’ve been to La Casa Gelato before, you know the answer to that: Pear Gorgonzola gelato that tastes like real Gorgonzola, wasabi gelato, black sesame gelato, even curry gelato.

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Vancouver Hidden Gems: La Casa Gelato

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