Whislter, BC

When I was in middle school (about 15 years ago), my parents and I went up to Whistler, BC for a weekend. They bought a timeshare, and neither of us have returned since.

Initially, my husband and I originally planned on bringing our mountain bikes up. But as I was doing research about mountain biking in the area, I got a little intimidated by the Whistler Bike Park. It looked pretty technical, and way above my skill level. As soon as we drove into town, I knew that not bringing the bikes was a mistake. There are miles (or should I say kilometers) of paved and gravel biking trails. Everyone there was biking! I was constantly reminded that I left my bikes at home. So if you’re not an aggressive downhill rider, here is some information about biking trails in the area. There are a lot of paved trails for road bikes too. Don’t make the same mistake that I did!!

Whistler valley trail

Lost Lake trails

In the summer if you buy your gondola pass 5 days in advance, you get a second day for free.  Luckily we saw that deal exactly five days before our trip.  We spent two days up on Whistler and Blackcomb Mountain. First we rode up to the top of Whistler Mountain. Then we rode the chairlift up to the peak.

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We then rode of the peak to peak gondola. That was a really cool ride!!

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At Blackcomb, we rode the chairlift down to the upper village.

Since we didn’t have our bikes, our weekend activities included shopping, strolling through the village, and watching the hawks game at a sports bar.

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We were in town for two of the summer concerts. We went to one of the concerts. The band was really fun and I really enjoyed it.

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Whistler is such an awesome place to visit year round. This is a place I’d like to visit every couple of years. Maybe next time I’ll come up during winter and go skiing (another thing that I haven’t done since middle school).

Lynn Canyon Park & Suspension Bridge

One popular attraction near Vancouver, BC is the Capilano Suspension Bridge.  It’s probably really cool, but in general I tent to avoid these kinds of tourist attractions. I  just checked the website, and the cost for an adult to cross the bridge  is currently $31.95. Yet there is another suspension bridge in the same area, that’s free!

Lynn Canyon Park is a 670 acre park that features miles of trails, and a 50 meter high suspension bridge. The bridge crosses the Lynn Canyon with pools of water below.

I visited the park on a cold January day in 2012. There were several other visitors on the bridge that day, but I was able to snag a couple of moments alone. I would imagine that this is pretty busy during the summer  months. I’d love to go back to visit the area during the summer to do some hiking.

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More information:

Lynn Canyon Park

Lynn Canyon Ecology Center

Granville Island Market

One of my favorite places in the city of Vancouver, BC is Granville Island. Which isn’t really an island. It’s basically a peninsula across False Creek from downtown. Originally it was called “Industrial Island” but because it is located under the Granville Street bridge, the name Granville become more popular. Whenever I visit, I always have stop by Granville Island Tea Company for some freshly steeped tea. The easiest way to get there is to hop on the water taxi. For those of you with children, they have a whole building called the “Kids Market”.

The whole area is full of unique stores and art galleries. One of the stores is Ten Thousand Villages, and it’s all fair trade merchandise. The items below were made in the Philippines. If you are looking for a unique gift, you should check out the website.

The rest of the pictures were taken inside the public market.

More information: http://granvilleisland.com/public-market

Day-trip Victoria Activities

There are so many different activities and attractions in Victoria, BC . Some activities require more time and travel, like Butchart Gardens for example. On our most recent trip, we visited many attractions that can easily be visited on a day-trip up to the city.

Walk around Chinatown.

Victoria’s Chinatown is small compared to other major cities, however it is the oldest in Canada (and 2nd oldest behind San Francisco). Common tourist attractions are Fan Tan Alley and the ornate gate, (The Gate of Harmonious Interest).

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Fan Tan Alley

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The Gate of Harmonious Interest.

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Walking around the harbor

Often there are a lot of cool boats docked along the harbor. During the peak tourist season, you can take a harbor tour. We took the Gorge Cruise, which was really interesting. During the summer, the company also has a water taxi service with late night pub crawls, and a boat ballet.

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Moped Rentals

We rented mopeds, and drove up the coast. It was such a fun way to see more of Victoria and Vancouver Island. Since we were traveling off-peak season, traffic was really light. We drove up to Oak Bay Park. I would highly recommend this as a way to see more of this beautiful area.

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Fisherman’s Wharf

This is a little water village that’s about a 15 minute walk from downtown. You can also take a water taxi to get there.  The restaurants are open mostly during the summer months,. You can also watch as fishing vessels come in with the day’s catch.

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For more information visit Tourism Victoria

A Victorian fall

I just returned from a weekend trip up to Victoria, BC. I’ve been to Victoria a handful of times, but my visits always occurred during the summer months. We booked our trip back in August when a family owned timeshare had a special on the resort. We took the Victoria Clipper from Seattle on Saturday morning and we returned Monday night. Our hotel was about a five-minute walk from the ferry docks on the harbor near Fisherman’s Wharf.

We were incredibly lucky to have the sun out all weekend. Although I loved Victoria before the trip, I had no idea how amazing fall is. First of all, the city is way less crowded. Many of the tourist type activities were closing down  though like the water taxis and restaurants at Fisherman’s Wharf. But other than that, it is a perfect time to visit.

Fall foliage

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The ivy on the Empress Hotel was bright red

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I’ll be adding a few more posts about different activities that we did. Almost all of the trips I blog about, I come home with the desire to do the exact same trip the following year. I sure love this part of the world.