The Road Explorer - Summer 2010 - (Page 17)

destination Vancouver: by Lorraine Williams The City That Renews Itself V ancouver consistently provides new treats for visitors. And this winter it outdid itself as host of the Winter Olympics and Paralympics. With the majestic Rocky Mountains on one side and water on three sides, this city of 600,000 (reaching two million for the Greater Vancouver area) has been blessed. Condé Nast Traveller magazine readers have ranked Vancouver number one in the top cities in the Americas. Its year-round temperature makes it the mildest region in Canada, mainly due to its position on the Pacific Ocean and the prevailing southeasterly winds. Astonishingly, Vancouver has close to 200 parks, including well-known Stanley Park. In 1886, city fathers had the courage and foresight to reserve 1,000 acres for parkland. Since then, it’s been a favourite haunt of citizens and visitors alike. The 8.8 km (5.5 mi.) Stanley Park seawall is one of the park’s most scenic and popular walking/biking/blading routes. Another lesser-known, but exquisite park is the Dr. Su Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden. The city’s spectacular setting can be appreciated atop Grouse Mountain with its panoramic view and the breathtaking Capilano Suspension Bridge, 450 feet across and 230 feet high above the Capilano River. Now that the Olympic Games are over, the city’s not content to rest on its laurels. It’s offering up new and refurbished attractions to delight post-Olympic visitors. The range is wide – from new sporting venues to new hotels and streamlined transportation systems. Last year saw the completion of the Canada Line rapid transit train – The Sky Train – bringing visitors from Vancouver International Airport to downtown Vancouver’s Waterfront Station in just 25 minutes. It’s a great way for people to get around and see various neighbourhoods of the city – whether it’s Gastown, False Creek or Granville Island. You’ll be tempted to get off at several stops to view the initial installations of public art, to which cause Vancouver has committed itself. Cypress Mountain in West Vancouver, site of freestyle skiing and snowboard competitions during the Olympics, boasts fabulous views of the city. Visitors can hike through its beautiful trails in summer. Newly constructed sports venues, such as Hillcrest Stadium Park (the Winter Games curling venue) and the Richmond Oval (the architecturally impressive venue for long track speed skating) are being transformed into sports, recreation and wellness facilities. The Olympic and Paralympic Village in Vancouver, which housed 2,750 athletes and officials, sits on the area known as South East The Road Explorer False Creek. It’s being converted into permanent residential housing, with many condos pre-sold before the games even began. This beautiful neighbourhood, with pedestrian walkways, shopping and restaurants, is becoming a draw for residents and visitors alike. The historic red Salt Building will be turned into a restaurant and bakery over the next year. The main draw for visitors to stroll along the water is a renovated area of sea wall stretching along the north side of the neighbourhood along False Creek. And remember the Photos Tourism Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Cauldron in downtown Vancouver? You’ll still be able to get your picture taken there and also at the remarkable Inukshuk statue (emblem for the 2010 Winter Games) at English Bay. There’s enough to keep anyone busy in Vancouver just walking, biking or taking city tours. Happily, there are always festivals ongoing as well – International Wine Festival, International Children’s Festival, the Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival (2010 line-up includes Much Ado About Nothing, Antony and Cleopatra, Falstaff and Henry V.) Then there’s the Light Up The Sky fireworks fest, taking place several times during July and August, which attracts more than 1.5 million every summer. Whistler Ski Resort, 79 miles north of Vancouver, hosted the Olympic Alpine, Nordic and Sliding events and offers mountain biking, golf, fishing, swimming, hiking and zip-lining in the warm months. After a busy day, Whistler’s fabulous spas offer relaxation. The new 4 km. gondola ride is a must for summer visitors who want to “ride high” above the two mountains. After June 1, visitors can also tour the Whistler Sliding Centre, site of the bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events. As night falls, enjoy a cup of hot chocolate in the same Grouse Mountain chalet where NBC’s Today show did daily broadcasts during the Olympics. Whatever you choose to do in Vancouver, you can’t go wrong, and you’ll he hard pressed to keep up with all the changes designed to keep visitor satisfaction paramount. For further information, contact ■ 17 Summer 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Road Explorer - Summer 2010

The Road Explorer - Summer 2010
Industry Voice
Issues Update
The Road to Gold
Vancouver: The City that Reviews Itself
The Road to Wonder - Niagra Falls
Seaside Rendezvous
Jonview Canada Takes You There
List of Advertisers

The Road Explorer - Summer 2010