We have tons of lovely activities to do this Christmas! And to get you into the wonderful holiday spirit, enjoy this video from our friends at Vancouver’s Best Places.
Grouse Mountain at Christmas
Our favorite activity at Christmas! There’s just so much to do at Grouse Mountain, with skating, reindeer, gingerbread houses, sleigh rides, the light tunnel and meeting Santa. And of course, there’s skiing, snowshoeing & snowboarding. DEFINITELY not to be missed.
Vancouver Christmas Market has been a beloved holiday tradition for locals and visitors alike for almost a decade. The Vancouver Christmas Market features more than 80 huts of sweets, treats, and treasures in authentic German-style. It’s located downtown right by the waterfront at Jack Poole Plaza. It’s a nice walk from any of the hotels in downtown Vancouver.
During the holiday season, the Bright Nights Christmas Train and Stanley Park Train Plaza sparkle with three million twinkling lights! This is one of the best & most affordable Christmas activities to do in Vancouver. Donations at the front gate and a portion of ticket sales go to the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund, to help burn survivors and their families.
Wish to explore other attractions? Check out our VanPass voucher promo which grants you immediate access to 20 Top Vancouver options, such as: VanDusen Garden, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Stanley Park Horse-Drawn Tours, Sea to Sky Gondola, and many others!
Bright Nights is open Thursday, November 29 to Saturday, January 5.
Singing Christmas Tree
The Singing Christmas Tree is a free event which takes place over the course of six days (leading up to Christmas)! It involves a cast, choir and support staff of over 250 volunteers, and the stage features a giant Christmas tree with 10 levels from which over 80 members of the choir perform! The show involves singing by the choir, solo performances, mini-skits, acrobatics, dancers and even people floating down from the ceiling.
Singing Christmas Tree performances in 2018 are on December 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16.Here is more information on what to expect. Hope to see you there!
Wine lovers! Are you ready? With more than 160 participating wineries and nearly 725 select wines to sample from, the 2019 Vancouver International Wine Festival (VIWF) will soon be here before you know it! With an expected attendance of 25,000+ to the 2019 edition, now is the best time to secure your accommodation for what’s expected to be a fun-filled festival.
To help you celebrate, StayVancouverHotels is giving away FREE International Festival Tasting tickets with your hotel booking — LEARN MORE HERE!
VanWineFest is considered the premiere wine festival in the Western Hemisphere and has been rated the #1 Food, Wine & Hospitality event in Canada for the last six years in a row. Designed to be informative, educational and entertaining, this celebrated fête is organized by people who love wine for people who love wine. This is a wonderful opportunity to drink and mingle with owners, producers and winemakers from around the world, a fantastic 8-day event not to be missed!
The theme for VanWineFest 2019 is California, with 53 Californian wineries participating. Attendees and participants will get to enjoy and learn about ~ 750 wines at the International Festival Tastings. There will also be an additional 550 special wines to be experienced during 54 events held at the iconic Vancouver Convention Centre and 20+ venues around the city.
The Vancouver Convention Centre is an architecturally stunning building – perfectly situated along the gorgeous Vancouver waterfront and within walking distance to many of Vancouver’s excellent hotels and picturesque landmarks. The venue is the world first double LEED Platinum certified convention facility, an achievement in environmental sustainability and leadership.
Insider Tip: Extend your stay for the HSBC Canada Sevens rugby tournament at BC Place Stadium. Beginning November 9th, you’ll be able to gain exclusive access to Sideline & Reserved sections by using promo code: RUGBY2019. CLICK HEREto get your premier tickets which are only available for a limited time – so don’t delay!
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.
Contest alert! Whether you’re a visitor to Vancouver or local resident, you have the exciting chance to win a $50 Visa gift card plus $50 VanPass voucher through our Exploring Vancouver Photo Contest. The rules are simple – just snap an image of your favourite Vancouver attraction, and upload it here along with your name and email address. And if you’re in need of some inspiration on where to capture the perfect shot, keep reading on for our picks on 10 picturesque Vancouver landmarks!
Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, which opened its doors in 1916, is known widely as the ‘Castle in the City’ and reflects the metropolis’ timeless luxury. With a storied past and striking façade that features a chateau-style, green-clad copper roof and gargoyle statues, the hotel is an architectural landmark located right in the heart of downtown. In a cityscape dominated by sleek, modern buildings, The Fairmont’s European flair stands out as a beautiful piece of history.
Chinatown Millennium Gate. This towering entrance to one of the largest historic Chinatown neighbourhoods in North America is a must-see. Inaugurated by former Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien in 2002, the Pender Street landmark is best viewed and photographed standing well back as its elaborate decorative features are most prominent on the terracotta roof. On its eastern face, the gate bears Chinese characters reminding onlookers to ‘remember the past and look forward to the future’.
Stanley Park Totem Poles. As one of the most visited tourist attractions in British Columbia, the Stanley Park Totem Poles at Brockton Point are important symbols of the province’s rich Indigenous history and culture. This remarkable collection of totem poles is made up of nine unique structures that the Vancouver Parks Board has been sourcing from remote locations across BC since the 1920s. Visitors marvel at the intricate carvings and colours, with each totem pole conveying its own distinct story within the art.
A-maze-ing Laughter. When strolling through English Bay it’s impossible to overlook the city’s most recognizable piece of public art, titled A-maze-ing Laughter. The permanent installation created by Chinese artist Yue Minjun features fourteen bronze statues in open-mouthed hysterical laughter, encouraging visitors to walk through the figures and giggle out loud if they wish. The fun-filled environment makes for a great photo opportunity, with the intense comical expressions of the statues perfect for imitation.
Capilano Suspension Bridge. Just a short 20-minute drive from downtown, North Vancouver’s Capilano Suspension Bridge is one of the most popular landmarks in the country. The famous swinging bridge stretches 450 feet across the scenic Capilano River and has been thrilling adventurers for over 100 years. Surrounded by lush greenery and rainforest vegetation, the attraction comes complete with undeniably photo-worthy natural beauty.
BC Place Stadium. BC Place Stadium is recognized around the world as a signature feature of Vancouver’s stunning skyline, and is a place of pride for all British Columbian’s. As a large indoor stadium that is used for professional soccer and football games, it is also an important venue for conventions, concerts and other large-scale events. The structure’s unique retractable roof and glimmering multi-coloured lights make it a photogenic wonder.
Science World. The shiny ‘golf ball’ building that houses Science World is one of the most familiar sights in Vancouver. Originally constructed for Expo ’86, the geodesic dome-style architecture was designed by American inventor R. Buckminster Fuller. Today, this attraction explores all things science with special emphases on the human body and natural environment.
Vancouver Aquarium. Situated in magnificent Stanley Park, the renowned Vancouver Aquarium is the largest marine wildlife museum in Canada. With a global reputation as a top marine science centre, it is home to more than 70,000 animals. Say cheese with the friendly otters, walruses and penguins for a picture-perfect moment.
Gastown Steam Clock. The Gastown Steam Clock is a quirky tourist attraction in the midst of cobblestoned Water Street. Built in 1977, visitors flock to this contraption to catch a glimpse of the tooting steam whistle that sounds every 15 minutes. As one of only six steam clocks in the world, it makes for a great pit stop during a Gastown shopping day.
Vancouver Art Gallery. The Vancouver Art Gallery is a focal point of the city at the central cross streets of Hornby and West Georgia. Originally built as a court house in 1906, the Neo-classical style building was constructed by Francis Rattenbury from England who also designed the Parliament Buildings and Empress Hotel in BC’s capital, Victoria. Adorned with Roman-inspired columns and granite lion statues marking the entrance, this magnificent building truly can’t take a bad photo.
View our online interactive map for more ideas on top landmarks to check out during your next visit. With additional must-sees like Granville Island, the Olympic Cauldron, Canada Place and more, there’s no shortage of sites to take in. Have a favourite that wasn’t mentioned on our list? Tell us – we’d love to hear about your top picks.
To enter Stay Vancouver Hotels’ Exploring Vancouver Photo Contest, click here. The contest runs until Sunday, September 23 at 5pm.
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.
Get ready, Vancouver: Comedian and talk show icon Ellen DeGeneres is coming to Vancouver this fall, and Stay Vancouver Hotels is offering exclusive, pre-sale access to this one-night-only event.
Presented by TD Bank and hosted by the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, the moderated Q&A with one of the world’s most uplifting and inspiring public figures will take place at Rogers Arena on Friday, October 19th.
Known for her kindness, wit and world-renowned sense of humour, Ellen has been the host of her talk show since 2003, which was has been awarded 59 Daytime Emmy® Awards to date – 10 for Outstanding Talk Show/Entertainment, crowning it the record holder in this category.
Tickets for “A Conversation with Ellen DeGeneres” range from $99 to $425, and while sales to the public go live August 15, we’re offering exclusive, pre-sale access to buy a pair of tickets to the event, plus a free $25 Starbucks gift card, when you book a one-night stay through www.stayvancouverhotels.com. These exclusive pre-sale tickets are only available here, and for a limited time only while supplies last. To book, and get instant access to your tickets, click here.
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.