5 Can’t-Miss Free Summer Festivals in Vancouver

Photo credit: jonrawlinson | Flickr

Photo credit: jonrawlinson | Flickr

Let’s be honest.  For nine months of the year or so, the weather in Vancouver can be a bit . . . cloudy.   Umbrellas are required accessories and you get used to not seeing your shadow for weeks at a time.

But summer changes everything.  For three months, Vancouver is possibly the most perfect spot on the planet.  Long, sunny days.  Warm beach weather.  And – last but not least – a bumper crop of free outdoor festivals.

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5 Can’t-Miss Free Summer Festivals in Vancouver

Swim! Outdoor Pools Open Today in Vancouver

Photo credit: bluegoose0fox | Flickr

It’s that time of year again –  time to officially trade those toques and jackets for beach towels and flip-flops.

Several of Vancouver’s outdoor pools open today, just in time to take advantage of the May Long Weekend.  The Kitsilano, Second Beach, New Brighton and Hillcrest outdoor pools all open for business May 19.

And though the weather might not be exactly balmy yet, don’t worry: All the pools are heated.   So which is the right pool for you?  Continue reading:
Swim! Outdoor Pools Open Today in Vancouver

New Night Market to Open in Richmond this Summer

Photo credit: ARMEN | Flickr

Greater Vancouver’s night market scene just got a little hotter.

A new Asian-style night market has been approved for this summer in Richmond, next to the River Rock Casino (see map below).  The Richmond Night Market opens May 18 and runs through Oct. 8, featuring 88 vendors serving authentic Asian cuisine, plus more than 200 vendors selling merchandise. It’s open Fridays and Saturdays from 7 p.m. to midnight and Sundays from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.

The new market joins the Lower Mainland’s two other existing night markets:  the Summer Night Market on nearby Vulcan Way in Richmond and the Chinatown Night Market on Keefer Street in downtown Vancouver.   The night market phenomenon, which caught on over the last decade, has grown into a summer staple for many Vancouverites: a unique chance to sample authentic Asian cuisine, browse “designer” goods from overseas and take in some live Asian pop or karaoke.

Details about the new Richmond Night Market are still emerging.  But it’s already got a few things going for it.  Continue reading:
New Night Market to Open in Richmond this Summer

Best Vancouver Daytrip? You make the call!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/remyscalza/3629965829/

Vancouver’s short, sweet summer is in full swing.  The beaches are lined with tanned bodies, Stanley Park is full of walkers and bikers, patios everywhere are jammed with diners sipping and snacking in the sun.  But, as beautiful as the city is in summer, some times you just have to get out of town, if only for an afternoon.

So, I’d like to pose the question:  What’s the best Vancouver summer daytrip? Share your ideas by leaving a comment below.

Where do you like to go to get away from it all?  Is there a particular park, a refreshing lake, a quaint town or a secret little beach you like to escape to?  Just one ground rule:  These should be legitimate daytrips – i.e. no more than 90 minutes or so of travel time each way.

To get things started, I’ll share one of my favourite summer daytrips:  a visit to Golden Ears Provincial Park, just north of the suburb of Maple Ridge.

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Best Vancouver Daytrip? You make the call!

Summer Sipping: Best Brewpubs in Vancouver

beer sampler at Dockside Brewing Company

Nothing says summer like a crisp, refreshing pint on a sunny patio.  Vancouver has no shortage of pubs serving a great selection of local and international ales and lagers.  But for the consummate beer experience, head to one of the city’s signature brewpubs, where passionate brewmeisters serve up their latest creations.  Here are just a few local favorites, all of which boast great patios:

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Summer Sipping: Best Brewpubs in Vancouver

Vancouver by Trolley – Stop 16 & 17 (Stanley Park Flag Stops)

While admittedly it’s been a very slow start to summer here in Vancouver, there are plenty of rainy day activities to keep us going through the drizzle, and enough breaks in the clouds to get us out and enjoying the nature surrounding our city.

Last weekend I hopped off the Trolley at The Teahouse in Stanley Park and enjoyed the views from their spacious outdoor patio along with some delicious Sesame Crusted Ahi Tuna followed by a BC Salmon Burger.  While the building itself is beautiful, the view looking over Ferguson Point and onto the ocean is pretty amazing, too. Continue reading:
Vancouver by Trolley – Stop 16 & 17 (Stanley Park Flag Stops)

20-Minute Video Recipes from Top Chefs in Vancouver

Mediterranean Summer Bean Salad

Summers in Vancouver are so brief and beautiful that you have to squeeze every last minute out of them.  All that outdoor activity leaves precious little time for summer cooking.  If you’re not careful, you could end up subsisting on a diet of barbecued burgers, hot dogs and the occasional Dorito.

The solution: a great new video recipe series launched by the Vancouver Sun.  It’s called 20-Minute Menu and features quick recipes from some of the best chefs in the city.

Now, these are pretty much just amateur clips of local chefs whipping up their favourite quick dishes – no slick Food Network productions here.  But I think that gives the whole project a kind of down-home charm.  Plus the recipes are fantastic.

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20-Minute Video Recipes from Top Chefs in Vancouver