As a longtime Vancouver resident, I continue to be enamored by
the city’s close ties with nature. Clients can roll out of their
downtown hotel bed, and within minutes, be cycling around the
famous Stanley Park seawall. Within a 15-minute drive, they can be
ogling massive cedars while hiking in the forests blanketing the
North Shore mountains. Here are some of my favorite outdoor
excursions within a short distance of downtown Vancouver.
When the weather’s good, nothing beats a daytrip to
pastoral Bowen Island. Part of the fun is getting there from
Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver, you board a small ferry for the
short, scenic sail to Snug Cove (tell clients to go as foot
passengers). Grab a cappuccino at one of the cafes, and then set
off for an easy two-hour walk through the forest and around
Before catching the ferry back, chill out at Doc Morgan’s
Restaurant overlooking the ferry dock and picturesque marina.
Clients with a car should head to Steveston, a turn
of-the-century fishing village. You can wander along the waterfront
boardwalk lined with seafood restaurants and gift stores, then down
to the wharf where fishers sell prawns, crab, halibut and salmon
fresh from the boats.
For more exercise, stroll along the nearby dyke trail and spot
turtles sunning on the banks and songbirds in the bulrushes. The
Gulf of Georgia Cannery museum is also worth a visit. Open through
October, it features a model fishing trawler you can walk through
and other displays from a time when 15 salmon canneries operated
along the coast here.
Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is better known, but clients can
step out for free onto the suspension bridge at Lynn Canyon. The
bridge swings 20 stories above Lynn Creek, which smashes its way
through a fabulous gorge in North Vancouver. The surrounding park
offers hiking trails through 100-year-old cedar forests.
There’s also an Ecology Center with a children’s wing featuring
hands-on displays like animal puppets and discovery drawers (guess
the scent from scent bottles and identify different birds’ eggs,
For another taste of the wilderness right in the city,
clients can hike along a three-mile path through centuries-old
Douglas fir and cedar forests at this waterfront West Vancouver
park. Rocky overhangs high above crashing waves are perfect for
soaking up the sun and enjoying ocean views. Don’t forget to see
the 1912 working lighthouse perched on a point at the water’s
|WHERE TO STAY|
Wedgewood Hotel & Spa
The 83 rooms and suites of this boutique hotel were renovated in
May 2005, and four new penthouse suites became available last month
featuring rooftop terraces, fireplaces and heated stone floors.
Summer rates start at about $220 per night. The penthouse suites
are $1,000 and $1,100 (for the larger suites) per night,
Commission: 10 percent
Vancouver’s only “resort-style” hotel, the Westin Bayshore boasts
a heated outdoor pool overlooking Coal Harbor and the North Shore
mountains beyond. Its Seawall Bar & Grill offers alfresco
dining with fabulous water views.
Rates start at $295 per night through October and then drops to
$225. Until Dec. 31, stay the weekend and get a third night
Commission: 10 percent