We are so excited for this year’s JFL NorthWest, Vancouver’s Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, which returns to our city this month from February 14th – 23rd, 2019. Attendees can look forward to 10 days of stand-up, podcast, improv & hilarious sketch performances. In addition to the comedy-packed schedule, JFL NorthWest will also be hosting the 2nd edition of the Vancouver Just for Laughs Film Festival and 3-Day Block Party.
All of the venues will be easily accessible from any of our fantastic downtown hotels – so don’t delay and reserve your room at StayVancouverHotels.com before they sell out!
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The city of Vancouver boasts beautiful autumns, and is well-known by tourists as an ideal shoulder season destination due to its mild temperature and tranquil atmosphere.
As an environmental gem surrounded by lush forests, towering mountains and the Pacific Ocean, there is no shortage of outdoor activities to participate in this fall.
Walk the Seawall
One of the best ways to take in the changing fall foliage is to walk Vancouver’s tree-lined seawall. Head out on an afternoon stroll through Stanley Park and admire the bright auburn hues that adorn the local tree species of the region.
Run the Trails
Work up a sweat while basking in all of fall’s glory sprinting through Vancouver’s ethereal rainforests. Visit Lighthouse Park for winding trails that feature mossy old-growth forests, or run alongside towering Cedars and Douglas Firs in Pacific Spirit Regional Park.
Bike the Mountains
If you’re an adrenaline-seeker, downhill mountain biking makes the perfect autumn past-time. Just a short drive or bus ride over the Lion’s Gate Bridge, Vancouver’s North Shore area is home to vast mountainous terrain with world-class trails.
Hike the Grouse Grind
Challenge yourself with “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster”, also known as the legendary Grouse Grind. Although the hike takes a whopping 2,830 steps to complete, the striking fall colours along the way and sweeping views of downtown are reward enough.
Paddle the Waters
Vancouver’s pleasant climate makes watersports accessible year-round. Sport some cozy attire and rent a kayak or stand-up paddle board at the city’s famous English Bay Beach, where you can leisurely cruise along the stunning shoreline.
Want to take advantage on some of these local destinations? Our VanPass voucher allows you to choose from up to 20 Top Vancouver Attractions (worth up to $75 in value)! Click here Click here to learn more and see below for some of our favourite recommendations.
Vancouver is known as one of the premier sporting cities in North America. As the celebrated Host City of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, the metropolis’s awe-inspiring natural environment and strong community pride combine for big crowds and electrifying atmospheres at many athletic events. Read on for our round-up of the best annual sporting entertainment that the city has to offer:
HSBC Canada Rugby Sevens Series
Since Vancouver was awarded hosting rights to the HSBC Canada Rugby Sevens Series in 2015, the city comes alive every March with a raucous weekend-long festival complete with outrageous costumes, fan activities and world-class rugby. As one of the most dynamic global sporting events on the market, the yearly series includes ten tournaments held internationally in various host cities, and features 16 of the world’s top men’s rugby sevens teams. In Vancouver, the event takes place at 54,000-seat BC Place, distinguished as one of the league’s largest stadiums.
Want in on some of the action? For a limited time only, Stay Vancouver Hotels is offering Rugby fans select Sideline & Reserved tournament passes, plus a free $25 e-card bonus gift from Amazon. Learn more here before passes sell out.
Bank of Montreal (BMO) Vancouver Marathon
Internationally recognized as one of the top destination marathons in the world, the BMO Marathon is lauded for its unique route that features 70 percent shoreline views – including sweeping ocean vistas, snow-capped mountain ranges and blooming cherry blossom trees. The marathon embraces all fitness levels with Vancouver’s only marathon, a fast half marathon, 8KM race, relay and kids run. Since its inauguration in 1972, which hosted just 32 finishers, the event now sells out annually with over 17,000 participants hailing from 65-plus countries.
Let Stay Vancouver Hotels help you partake in next year’s excitement, with a chance to win free entry to the marathon from now until January 2019. For contest details, click here.
Vancouver Sun Run
The Vancouver Sun Run has been Canada’s largest 10K road race since its inception in 1985, and now holds the title as the third largest timed 10K in the world. Founded by former Canadian Olympians, the purpose behind the Sun Run is to promote the benefits of running to improve health and wellness, as well as support aspiring athletes. Today, over 40,000 runners take part in the race along with 2,500 loyal volunteers who work together to continually bring a healthy, family-friendly event to the city every spring.
Vancouver Canucks, Vancouver Whitecaps FC and BC Lions
Vancouver is also home to three professional sports teams that draw fans in from all over the Lower Mainland and beyond. The Vancouver Canucks are the city’s beloved ice hockey team that regularly plays out of Rogers Arena as members of the National Hockey League. Vancouver Whitecaps FC compete in the Western Conference of Major League Soccer to a boisterous crowd in BC Place, while the stadium also hosts the city’s celebrated football team, the BC Lions.
Young, innovative and situated amongst the world’s most spectacular scenery, it comes as no surprise that Vancouver is recognized as one of the top meetings and conventions destinations in the world. Whether you’re hosting a global conference, intimate incentive getaway or one-on-one meeting, read on and begin planning your next business stay in Vancouver.
Unique Venues: The list of venues continues to grow, with the newest addition including the highly anticipated Parq Vancouver, which opened in late 2017. The destination resort features two luxury hotels (JW Marriott and the DOUGLAS); eight delectable restaurants and lounges; a 30,000-square-foot park (perfect for hosting outdoor minglers and post-conference parties); a spa and casino. Parq also features the city’s largest hotel ballroom, with more than 60,000 square-feet of flexible event space. Vancouver’s diverse mix of venue options includes cultural spaces like the Bill Reid Gallery and Museum of Anthropology, as well as ultra-savvy spaces such as the internationally award-winning, double LEED Platinum Vancouver Convention Centre.
Attractions and Tours Galore: From landmark attractions to interactive walking tours, Vancouver boasts a wide selection of year-round offerings. Increase team morale by making your way to Grouse Mountain, the Peak of Vancouver, where your team can soak up fresh mountain air and epic city views while ziplining between mountain tops. Or opt for an evening of intrigue, and explore Vancouver’s back streets and alleyways on a walking-tour-meets-theatre-piece with the Lost Souls of Gastown.
A True Foodie’s City: Of course, no visit to Vancouver is complete without experiencing the city’s thriving culinary scene. Try Ancora, where diners indulge in Peruvian and Japanese cuisine with a West Coast flair. Celebrity Chef David Hawksworth’s Nightingale and aptly named Hawksworth restaurants are a favourite amongst business travellers, who come for the award-winning, ingredient-led, contemporary Canadian cuisine. Get a taste for yourself and check out why Vancouver is recognized as the top sushi destination outside of Japan, and sample local favourites like Miku Restaurant – the pioneer of Aburi (flame seared) sushi in Canada – and the city staple Tojo’s Restaurant, named one top 1000 places to visit before you die. Looking to cater? From dinner parties to working lunches, Railtown Cafe is a go-to option for many, providing the freshest that Vancouver has to offer featuring seasonal ingredients from local farms and vendors.
With less than a month to go, Vancouver will soon be a buzz as the SKOOKUM festival – one of the city’s most anticipated events of the year – takes centre stage in Vancouver. Held at Brockton field in iconic Stanley Park (September 7 to 9), the event will feature an epic line-up of music, food and art – all held in one of the most spectacular settings in the world. Here’s a look at the three-day event:
Music. The line-up of contemporary artists will blow your mind. In addition to headliners The Killers and Florence + the Machine, the festival will feature performances by Metric, The Arkells, Mother Mother, Chromeo, Cold War Kids, The Zolas, St. Vincent and many, many more.
Food. Celebrating the diverse culinary offerings of Vancouver, the festival’s impressive menu of food offerings will include a Long Table Dinner Series situated among the trees of Stanley Park; grab-and-go picnic baskets prepared by acclaimed Vancouver eateries like Hawksworth Restaurant and Honey Salt; plus a selection of food and drink from the city’s top restaurants, breweries, distilleries and wineries (ranging from Kissa Tanto to Vijs).
Art. In addition to a stellar line-up of music and food, attendees will be treated to a one-of-a-kind art experience. The roster is set to include large collaborative murals, interactive installations, unique sculptures, and communal art activities. View the full list of artists here.
Location, Location, Location. Held in Stanley Park, attendees can take advantage of their natural surroundings by embarking on a pre-or-post tour of the park’s many attractions and sites. Whether you take a walk along the stunning 10-kilometre seawall, bike through the park’s network of 27-plus kilometres of forested trails, or relax oceanside at one of the many sandy beaches, you’ll quickly see why it’s recognized as one of the greatest urban parks in the world.
Want to Go? Now’s your chance! From now until August 22nd, you can enter to win (2) SKOOKUM Passes & a 1-night stay at the Fairmont Waterfront by entering in our exclusive giveaway @ http://svhskookum.hscampaigns.com/. Sign-up, share with a friend & wait to hear for the winner – it’s that simple!
FREE Gifts! Check out the SKOOKUM Deal at StayVancouverHotels.com. You’ll receive a free $25 iTunes gift card; a $50 VanPass voucher for a single-night booking, or $75 for a multiple-night booking, and gain access to 20 of Vancouver’s top attractions and sightseeing tours.
Surrounded by lush green mountains and the brilliant blue waters of the Pacific, visitors will be astonished upon docking at Vancouver’s award-winning Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal, celebrated as one of the most picturesque in the world. Centrally located in the city’s downtown core and within walking distance or a short drive away to a variety of major attractions, cruisers can easily fit in an array of exciting sightseeing adventures no matter how brief or lengthy their stay in Vancouver.
FlyOver Canada.Canada Place’s premier attraction, FlyOver Canada, is situated just a few steps off of the ship and serves as a great start to a day of exploring. Offering the nation’s only 4D flight simulation, prepare to be wowed by a virtual journey across the country that comes complete with breathtaking sights, smells and sounds.
Vancouver Aquarium. A hop, jump and skip away from Canada Place, the stunning Stanley Park and its renowned Aquarium are must-see attractions during a visit to Vancouver. Providing a fun and educational experience suitable for the whole family, the Vancouver Aquarium contains incredible aquatic life, interactive and educational displays, and Ocean Wise conversation experts who work tirelessly to protect oceans worldwide.
Granville Island. Next, make your way to Hornby Street in False Creek and hop aboard the AquaBus to travel by boat to Granville Island. Enjoy getting lost for hours in the world-famous Public Market, and explore the hundreds of local vendors distributing delicious food, colourful produce, handcrafted products and artisanal gifts. After, take a walk along the stunning seawall, and breathe in the fresh ocean air.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Hail a cab or hop on a free shuttle to North Vancouver for some true outdoor adventure. A short 20-minute drive from downtown, the Capilano Suspension Bridge stretches 450 feet across and 230 feet above Capilano River, promising both a thrilling and scenic excursion. In addition to the bridge, visitors can also enjoy Treetops Adventure (a series of suspension bridges throughout the rainforest) and Cliffwalk (a cantilevered walkway jutting out from a granite cliff face).
Grouse Mountain. Explore North Vancouver deeper by taking a quick five-minute drive from Capilano Suspension Bridge up to Grouse Mountain, the Peak of Vancouver. One of the city’s premier attractions, Grouse features sweeping views of downtown Vancouver and an array of memorable summer activities that range from hiking, mountain biking, grizzly bear-watching, dining and more.
Book your pre- or-post cruise stay with us at www.stayvancouverhotels.com – we provide the best rates, special offers and packages on downtown Vancouver hotels. Click here to learn more.
Vancouver is situated in a prime coastal location of British Columbia that boasts a remarkable number of neighbouring, tourist-friendly municipalities. From mountainous Squamish and Whistler to the relaxed seaside town of White Rock, day trip destinations are aplenty and can easily be reached by car. Here’s a round-up of some of our top picks:
Sea to Sky Gondola
A cruise along the breathtaking Sea to Sky Highway – renowned as one of the most beautiful drives on the planet – is an awe-inspiring attraction in and of itself. But this legendary route from Vancouver to Whistler is also filled with exciting stops at just about every turn. After an approximate one-hour drive from the city, pull over at the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish and take the scenic 10-minute ride up the mountain to the Summit Lodge. Here, you’ll find yourself at 2,900 feet above sea level, where visitors can opt to take in the astonishing panoramic views with a glass of wine in hand, explore the many hiking trails or take a walk along the suspension bridge.
Conveniently situated next door to the Sea to Sky Gondola lays the base of the towering Stawamus Chief Mountain, known locally as The Chief. This enormous cliff face spans 702 metres above Squamish and is recognized as one of the largest granite monoliths on the continent. The Chief is home to a wildly popular hiking route that is split into three distinct summits, providing an intermediate-level trek complete with chains and ladders to help get climbers to the top. Also offering many rock climbing options, The Chief is the perfect day trip destination for lovers of outdoor adventure.
West Vancouver’s Cypress Mountain is only a 30-minute drive from downtown Vancouver and serves as a year-round hot spot for family-friendly activities. When blanketed in snow during wintertime, it’s a skier’s paradise – and once the sun starts shining, visitors flock to the mountain for hiking, cycling, picnics and wildlife watching. Whether you opt for a challenging hike or bike ride in the rugged wilderness, a quiet afternoon perusing low-key trails or a peaceful setting to have a bite to eat and take in sweeping views of the city, Cypress has something for everyone.
For those searching for a leisurely day trip to kick back and relax, the Greater Vancouver suburb of White Rock provides just that. The area enjoys a welcoming beach town atmosphere and blissfully mild climate as a distinct part of the Lower Mainland that consistently sees sunshine, and offers a variety of activities for all ages. White Rock hosts an array of waterfront restaurants and local boutiques, making it ideal for a day of shopping and dining. After dinner, grab an ice cream cone for a stroll down the seawall and accompanying pier, taking time to breathe in the fresh salt air and appreciate the striking ocean scene.
Ready to hit the road? Visitors who stay at one of Stay Vancouver Hotels exclusive properties will receive an Esso Gas Card valued at $25, and those who book a three-night stay will receive a $50 gas card. To learn more, click here.
When visiting Vancouver, the downtown core offers plenty of perks: it’s incredibly walkable, and guests have the advantage of world-class restaurants, tourist attractions and shopping right at their doorstep. As an added bonus, Vancouver is also home to a number of diverse and vibrant communities located a short walk, bus or taxi away from the city centre. From hip Main Street to lively Commercial Drive, discover downtown and beyond through these unique Vancouver neighbourhoods.
Chinatown. Chinatown is one of Vancouver’s most distinct and historic neighbourhoods, with a universal appeal to locals and tourists along with a growing number of emerging chefs and entrepreneurs. Ever since the first wave of Chinese immigrants settled around Vancouver’s Carrall and Pender streets between 1886-1920, the area has been teeming with life for over a century, featuring a myriad of Chinese-owned and operated shops, authentic markets and busy diners serving up mouthwatering dim sum. Several trendy new restaurants have popped up in recent years in the revitalized community, like award-winning Kissa Tanto and cocktail destination, Juniper. Meanwhile, Chinese eateries continue to thrive: be sure to taste some of the traditional pastries served at family-run New Town Bakery, such as egg tarts and chewy fried sesame balls (jian dui); and don’t miss the savoury lunch and dinner plates at Chinatown BBQ, which dishes out delicious barbecued meats in a warm, inviting setting.
Mount Pleasant. Deservedly named as one of the North America’s 15 coolest streets by Cushman & Wakefield in 2016, Main Street is the beating heart of Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant community. Over the past 20 years, the neighbourhood has transformed into a vibrant arts district – complete with quirky independent shops, innovative eateries and hipster cafes aplenty. Check out Front & Company, one of Vancouver’s most popular consignment stores, for both new and used fashion gems; and wander in to the variety of antique shops that line the street for rare vintage finds. Take a break from shopping at 49th Parallel Roasters Café,one of the city’s finest coffee establishments where you’ll find meticulously crafted pour-overs and lattes spiked with housemade, date-sweetened almond milk. Grab a bite at one of the many cool and casual bistros, like Asian-fusion hotspot East is East or contemporary vegetarian favourites, The Arbor and The Acorn.
Commercial Drive. Commercial Drive is applauded as Vancouver’s most culturally rich neighbourhood. Also known as Little Italy, The Drive proudly represents more than 60 years of Italian heritage in Vancouver – and is also home to a more widespread global community with residents from all over the world. Here, you’ll see an old school Italian deli sandwiched between a family-run Ethiopian restaurant and modest Salvadorian café, epitomizing the best of the city’s multiculturalism. The one-of-a-kind district boasts a full 22 blocks for visitors to explore, with more than 300 unique merchants open for business. During a day on The Drive, patio-hop between some of its best sun-splashed terraces, like those of Latin-influenced Havana and beer lovers’ paradise, Biercraft. In between stops, hit up eclectic vintage stores and quaint boutiques like The Found & The Freed and Doctor Vigari Gallery; and when night falls, take in a local slam poetry show at Café Deux Soleils or live jazz music at the Libra Room.
The cosmopolitan destination of Vancouver is home to a unique array of luxury experiences along with some of the most lavish dining, shopping and accommodation options that North America has to offer. If you’re pining for a pampering getaway, it’s time to start planning your itinerary as we reveal our top recommendations on where to eat, play and stay in the sophisticated city of Vancouver.
Vancouver boasts some of the most innovative and highly rated restaurants in Canada, with its culturally diverse and constantly evolving food scene. When in search for the most important meal of the day, settle in at the elegant Chambar, which serves a daily breakfast of modern Belgian cuisine in a refined downtown setting. By the time lunch rolls around, grab a private waterfront table at Peruvian-Japanese hot spot Ancora: here, you can take in Vancouver’s famous views with a glass of Champagne in hand, and treat yourself to premium cuts of sashimi or an exclusive caviar tasting. Pre-dinner, delight in curated wine flights at the romantic hidden gem, Salt Tasting Room, or sip on extravagant herbal-infused cocktails at Botanist, located at the opulent Fairmont Pacific Rim. For a truly memorable night out, savour Vancouver’s renowned Chinese cuisine at Mott 32, the award-winning Hong Kong-based restaurant located at Trump International Hotel and Tower, or spend an evening at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia’s award-winning Hawksworth Restaurant – a true icon of Vancouver fine dining.
Shop until you drop on Vancouver’s Alberni Street, also known as ‘Luxury Road’ and deemed as one of the most prestigious retail addresses in North America. Here, the blocks are lined with lavish storefronts that are home to high-end global fashion brands like Prada, Tiffany & Co., Hermes, De Beers and more. Rest up after shopping at the Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver’s sublime Spa Utopia, which features 11,500 square feet of total indulgence including relaxation lounges, essential oil-infused steam rooms and a lush VIP suite. Top off your itinerary with a once-in-a-lifetime Vancouver Panorama Experience by Harbour Air Seaplanes, and take in breathtaking aerial views of the city via an exclusive flightseeing tour.
Luckily for visitors, Vancouver provides a varied selection of luxe accommodation options, all located conveniently in the downtown core. The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, which opened its doors in 1916, is known as the ‘Castle in the City’ and reflects the timeless luxury and history of the booming metropolis. For a prime seaside location and upscale resort-like experience, check in to the Westin Bayshore, just steps away from the world-renowned Stanley Park and seawall. Tucked away on a tranquil downtown side street is the boutique Wedgewood Hotel, a member of the prestigious Relais & Chateaux and one of the only hotels in the city with private balconies that open up to sweeping urban views.
Visitors who book The Luxury Package through Stay Vancouver Hotels will receive a $50 hotel credit (toward food & beverage and spa services used during your stay); free room upgrade; free Wi-Fi; and the best rates at a number of Vancouver’s luxurious participating hotels. Or, try our Discover Downtown Package, where you can choose from a number of top downtown Vancouver hotels and receive a $25 gift card, free room upgrade, free parking and free Wi-Fi.
When it comes to exploring Vancouver, there’s no shortage of tours to choose from. Whether you want to experience the city’s food scene or soak up the top Instagram-worthy locations by bike, here’s a look at some of our favourites.
Forbidden Vancouver: The Forbidden Tour. Delve into the Prohibition era, and uncover the seedy underbelly of Vancouver. This two-hour walking tour takes guests through the alleyways and lanes of Gastown and Chinatown as they uncover the history of Vancouver’s speakeasies, cabarets, opium dens, bootlegging, vice and corruption. This tour is designed for adults, and runs every night until mid-October. Tickets are $28 (plus tax).
Vancouver Photowalks. Whether you’re snapping shots with a DSLR, point-and-shoot or smart phone, Vancouver Photowalks has you covered. With photography instructors as your guide, this two-hour tour takes visitors and locals by foot to a select scenic location as your classroom, with options including Gastown, Stanley Park, Chinatown, Granville Island and more. Guests learn great photography tips and tricks along the way and, best of all, take home some incredible snaps. Click here for tour options, rates and availability.
Cycle City Tours: The Grand Tour. With an expanding network of more than 300 kilometres of dedicated bike lanes, it’s no surprise that one of the best ways to explore Vancouver is by bike. To get a true lay of the land, we recommend Cycle City Tours’ Grand Tour, which takes attendees on an epic spin around Vancouver’s top landmarks and attractions. Highlights include Stanley Park, English Bay, Granville Island, False Creek, Chinatown and Gastown. And while this tour covers lots of ground, this is an easy-to-moderate ride with frequent stops, photo ops and flat trails. This five-hour tour is $89.95 (plus tax), and runs daily, year-round.
Vancouver Brewery Tours . Vancouver’s craft beer scene has boomed in recent years, with more than 45 microbreweries – many less than five years old – within the city limits. Get a taste of this thriving scene for yourself, and book Vancouver Brewery Tours’ popular Brewery Tour. Here, guests experience three breweries – each located in a unique brewery district and neighbourhood – where they receive multiple tastings and behind-the-scenes access. The three-hour tour includes transportation, and costs $79.99 plus tax. To check on availability, click here.
Vancouver Foodie Tours: World’s Best Street Eats. Vancouver might be known as one of the best food cities in the world, but did you know it’s also one of the top street food destinations in North America? Join Vancouver Foodie Tours for a fun and interactive experience that includes tastings at four award-winning food trucks (with delectable eats ranging from Japanese-inspired hot dogs to crispy fish tacos), VIP access (skip the lines and avoid lunch rush!), and introductions to the colourful purveyors behind this thriving community. This two-hour walking tour is $56.99 (plus tax); click here for tour dates and availability.
Do you have a favourite tour that you want to share? We’d love to hear about it. In the meantime, start building your Vancouver itinerary and book a stay at one of our 36 downtown Vancouver hotels or take advantage of the unique offers only available here.