The countdown has started for the 2010 Winter Olympics in
Vancouver, British Columbia. With less than five years to go,
Vancouver is in the process of sprucing up and constructing the
needed venues to host the event. The excitement of the pending
worldwide attention is hard for any British Columbian to contain.
Locals know that a cosmopolitan crowd will descend on this
beautiful city, along with Whistler and its ski resorts, and there
are a few places your clients shouldn’t miss.
Grouse Mountain, a short drive from the city, offers guests
skiing and snowboarding. As part of the upcoming Winter Games,
officials invested more than $4 million in a high-speed chairlift,
as well as run improvements and enhancements to snowmaking
Grouse Mountain is unique because it is both ski resort and
wildlife refuge. The mountain is home to two grizzly bear cubs,
Grinder and Coola, and a pack of captive-born gray wolves, now
retired from the film industry. The animals are free to roam the
mountain’s nearly 150 acres as an experiment designed to study the
habitats of these animals in order to preserve them.
On the way down from Grouse, clients will find the Capilano
Suspension Bridge a must-see attraction. The pedestrian-only bridge
connects two cliffs 230 feet above the Capilano River Canyon. A
trip across is not for the fainthearted: The bridge sways and
bounces, but the sight is worth it. The suspension adventure
doesn’t end after reaching the other side. Clients can also take in
the views of the giant Douglas firs.
Vancouver is a diverse, vibrant metropolis that offers a wide
range of experiences to indulge visitors. It is a city of high-rise
apartments housing a hip, urban population. The closeness of these
glass communities, makes the city an easy walk for visitors to
check out the many restaurants, bars, coffee shops and art
galleries. Beyond a brisk city walk, Vancouver also offers many
ways to enjoy the outdoors.
A visit to the lush foliage of Stanley Park is a way to connect
the city’s history and future. The peninsular park separates the
English Bay and the Burrard Inlet and proves to be a fine vantage
point to see the city skyline and the forested mountains, which
will soon serve as Olympic venues.
While at the park, clients should visit the Vancouver Aquarium
and its Marine Science Centre. Large in scale and scope, the
aquarium allows for close encounters with marine life from tiny
tropical fish to a pod of beluga whales. Clients might even get a
chance to feed these gentle creatures.
Vancouver evenings offer many fine-dining venues, but a favorite
among locals and visitors alike is the Irish Heather, an authentic
Irish Pub in the upcoming Gastown neighborhood. Clients should give
the the fish and chips a try while they sip a pint of Guiness or a
dram of good whisky. (The semi-secret whisky house out back is
worth looking into; ask about the Shebeen.) Here, travelers often
let the evening slip into the night over conversations with a few