Cycling Vancouver’s Sea to Sky Highway

Discover Outdoors Sea to Sky Highway6

Horseshoe Bay Photo: Rob Weiss

Cyclists around the world have a love/hate relationship with hills.  For some, hills represent a mental challenge, others are intrigued by the physical challenge and for many it is simply the thrill of the descent after a long, difficult climb.  No matter what draws you to the hills, there is no more desirable, scenic or exciting climb than the Sea to Sky highway.  This demanding ride from Vancouver to Whistler is a visual smorgasbord offering panoramic views of Howe Sound and the Coast Mountains.  Recently, my husband and I decided to test our legs and set our sites on Whistler.

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Cycling Vancouver’s Sea to Sky Highway

Hike Upper Shannon Falls – the Sea to Summit Trail

Discover Outdoors Upper Shannon Falls7

Shannon Falls Photo: Rob Weiss

Do waterfalls capture your imagination?  A waterfall, almost any waterfall, is fascinating mesmerizing, awe-inspiring.  We stand for hours listening, admiring, photographing, painting.  For centuries waterfalls have inspired poets, artists and musicians. Today we post pictures to Instagram and tweet on #WaterfallWednesday.  Personally, I find myself inexplicably drawn to their power and beauty.  Something about the thundering roar of water cascading down a mountain stirs me deep inside and energizes me to follow the trail toward them, as if drawn by their sheer energy.

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Hike Upper Shannon Falls – the Sea to Summit Trail

Paddling in Vancouver’s Backyard – Porteau Cove to Anvil Island

Flickr Damon West

Aurora Borealis viewing at Porteau Cove Photo: Flickr, Damon West

Wild and remote, yet only thirty minutes from Vancouver, Howe Sound is a paddler’s paradise.  Navigating the Sea to Sky corridor from the water is a unique and invigorating way to explore the area, world famous for breathtaking ocean views, spectacular waterfalls, snow capped mountains and Squamish Nation history and culture. My recent adventure to North America’s southern most fjord began at Porteau Cove Provincial Park.  There are two paved boat launches and also plenty of beach area to begin your paddle.  Prior to setting off be sure to check out the Dive Area. Porteau Cove is a very busy diving centre.  Two sunken ships and a series of man-made reefs attract scuba enthusiasts to these waters.  I always enjoy chatting with the divers and hearing tales of the marine live thriving below the surface.

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Paddling in Vancouver’s Backyard – Porteau Cove to Anvil Island

Things To Do In Vancouver This Weekend

Things To Do In Vancouver This WeekendMusic, walking tours, lots of food, and dozens of theatre options will keep you busy in Vancouver this holiday long weekend, Friday through Monday! Happy Thanksgiving!

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Things To Do In Vancouver This Weekend

5 big ways the Olympics have changed Vancouver

Photo: adrian8_8 via Flickr, creative commons

Photo: adrian8_8 via Flickr, creative commons

On Friday, the Winter Olympics officially launch in Sochi. It will also mark nearly four years since Vancouver held the honours of hosting the largest sporting event in the world. We’ll no doubt be watching with trained eyes to see how our successors handle the task. It will also be a good time to take inventory of how the city of Vancouver has changed since those monumental two and a half weeks. Let’s have a look at some of those changes. Continue reading:
5 big ways the Olympics have changed Vancouver

“World’s best train” on a budget: Rocky Mountaineer Rides to Whistler

Photo credit: Rocky Mountaineer

The Rocky Mountaineer train is perhaps best known for its epic routes through the Canadian Rockies.  No less an authority than National Geographic declared the journey one of the “world’s greatest trips.”  Seated inside elegantly appointed cars, sipping wine and nibbling on gourmet meals, passengers soak up some of the most impressive alpine scenery anywhere in North America.

Just one little asterisk:  The trip of a lifetime doesn’t come cheap (the two-day Vancouver-Banff trip starts at US$902).  But even if you haven’t saved up, there’s still a way to get a taste of the Rocky Mountaineer experience, without going too far from Vancouver.

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“World’s best train” on a budget: Rocky Mountaineer Rides to Whistler