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Sheri Radford

Sea to Sky Gondola: Peak Adventures

By SHERI RADFORD

Cool views from the Sea to Sky Gondola. (Photo: Paul Bride)

Cool views from the Sea to Sky Gondola. (Photo: Paul Bride)

Squamish is known as the outdoor-recreation capital of Canada, so it didn’t take long for locals to fall in love with the Sea to Sky Gondola, which opened last summer. Hikers and trail runners adore having a gondola whisk them up to the summit, 885 m (2,900 ft) above sea level, where pristine trails stretch out in every direction. Yogis follow their bliss to the outdoor yoga classes held at Summit Lodge several times each week. Even Fido and Spot are welcome: dog owners trek for several hours along the Sea to Summit Trail from sea level up to the top, then take the 10-minute gondola ride down (only the ride down is canine-friendly). The newest addition to the area is Via Ferrata, which uses metal rungs and cables to create a vertical adventure for climbers. (more…)

Reach the Beach

Ready for a long, lazy day on Kits Beach, First Beach or (for the truly brave) clothing-optional Wreck Beach? Don’t forget these warm-weather essentials

By SHERI RADFORD

A beach chair sporting the iconic HBC stripes

A beach chair sporting the iconic HBC stripes

BEACH CHAIR Hudson’s Bay was established way back in 1670, and it’s been a Canadian mainstay ever since. No patriotic Canuck can resist the iconic HBC stripes on everything from beach chairs, baseball hats and pocket knives to water bottles, patio umbrellas and wooden canoes. (more…)

50 Things We Love About Kitsilano

By SHERI RADFORD

Kids can't resist the allure of Kids Beach. (Photo: KK Law)

Kids can’t resist the allure of Kids Beach. (Photo: KK Law)

1. The elegant, art deco–style Burrard Bridge, which marks the eastern boundary of the Kitsilano area. The region is also bounded by the ocean on the north, Alma Street on the west, and 16th Avenue on the south. (more…)

G&T Design’s Luxe Linens

By SHERI RADFORD

A whimsical throw pillow by G&T Design

A whimsical throw pillow by G&T Design

Beavers and chickens and ravens, oh my! These are just a few of the critters you’ll find screen-printed on earth-friendly textiles from G&T Design, along with moose, pineapples, bicycles and inspirational sayings. Vancouver resident Stephanie McRae uses natural linen to create her vintage-looking pillows, tea towels and napkins, because she likes that the durable fabric is also sustainable. She’s even been known to create custom designs for clients celebrating special occasions. Available at Barefoot Contessa and at Etsy.

Choose Your Own Adventure

Whether you’re a nervous nellie or a thrill-seeker or somewhere in between, there’s an outing to suit your desired adrenaline level

By SHERI RADFORD

Explore Whistler's back country on horseback

Explore the picturesque Pemberton Valley on horseback. (Photo: Mike Crane/Tourism Whistler)

Horseback
Giddy-up! If you feel the urge to saddle up and hit the dusty trail, call Adventures on Horseback—only instead of dusty trails you’ll see postcard-worthy scenery throughout the Pemberton Valley, BC’s very own cowboy country. As you clip-clop along, keep your camera ready for picturesque creeks, tall grasses, roaring rivers and lush forests. Most impressive of all is the snow-capped peak of Mount Currie, rising up 2,591 m (8,501 ft). Surrounded by so much tranquillity and natural beauty, it’s easy to imagine you’ve slipped into an earlier, simpler, quieter time period. Trips can be customized for riders of all levels, from beginner to expert, and even small children. Adventure Ranch also offers equine adventures, complete with friendly cowgirls.

Bike
Summer here is practically synonymous with cycling. At the Whistler Mountain Bike Park, more than 1,507 m (4,946 ft) of sprawling bike-park terrain guarantees a trail for every preference, from gentle and banked to tight and twisty. Over 200 km (124 ft) of the trails are lift-serviced, meaning you can start from what feels like the top of the world and descend on two wheels, fuelled only by adrenaline. Whistler Eco Tours offers a valley bike tour for those who want to keep it peaceful and learn about history, geography and nature while on a bicycle, as well as a single-track tour for more advanced riders wishing to explore rougher terrain. Whistler Electric Bike Tours lets riders take it easy, which is especially appreciated on the uphill sections.

ATV
Do you feel the need to boldly go where no one has gone before? Put the pedal to the metal with Whistler ATV and embark on a bushwacker tour. Deep in the backcountry, stunning views of snow-capped mountains and remote lakes await. If you’re not afraid of heights and want to experience high alpine trails, choose the “top of the world” tour. Or chill out on a leisurely “easy rider” tour, with its gentle trails, perfect for newbie ATVers and families. For even more ATV excursions, call Canadian Wilderness Adventures. In summer, the most popular trip involves riding 1,830 m (6,000 ft) up Blackcomb Mountain, then enjoying live music and wild BC salmon on the Crystal Hut patio, with its sweeping views—a feast for all the senses.

Tops for Shops: Robson Street

By SHERI RADFORD

Ecco's new store on Robson Street

Ecco’s new store on Robson Street

Long considered Vancouver’s mecca for savvy shoppers, Robson Street now ups the ante even more with the recent addition of Ecco (pictured), the Danish brand known for stylish but comfy footwear. The store is mere steps away from the intersection of Robson and Burrard, where you can find well-crafted leather bags at Roots, stylish yogawear at Lululemon, alluring lingerie at Victoria’s Secret, beauty products galore at Sephora, sweet-smelling skincare products at L’Occitane en Provence, and intricately designed greeting cards and gift bags at Papyrus. It’s enough to put a spring in the step of any serious shopaholic.

Healthy Fast Food at Tractor

By SHERI RADFORD

Meghan and Steve Clarke in their new Tractor location,  in the Marine Building

Meghan and Steve Clarke in their new Tractor location, in the Marine Building

Meghan and Steve Clarke had never run a restaurant before—her background is marketing, while his is investment banking—so they surrounded themselves with experts when they opened the first Tractor location two years ago, in Kitsilano. Chefs designed the menu of healthy sandwiches, salads and soups, then a nutritionist reviewed everything. The end result was so popular that the husband-and-wife duo recently opened a second location, in the iconic Marine Building. Right in the heart of downtown, this larger, brighter room serves the same dishes we already know and love: Moroccan chicken stew, roast pork sandwich, kale chicken Caesar salad and more. Who knew healthy eating could be so delicious?

TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival

By SHERI RADFORD

Buddy Guy

Performer Buddy Guy

Summer comes a few days early this year, as the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival kicks off Jun. 18, enveloping the city with cool tunes and hot shows. The hottest tickets? Buddy Guy (pictured; Jun. 19), Erykah Badu (Jun. 23), Pink Martini (Jun. 27) and The Roots (Jun. 30). And because all good things must come to an end, the fest wraps up on Canada Day (Jul. 1).

Sitting Pretty: Vancouver Beach Chair

By SHERI RADFORD

This Vancouver souvenir is as stylish as it is comfortable

This Vancouver souvenir is as stylish as it is comfortable

There’s no better way to soak up some rays than in a folding beach chair from Gallant & Jones. Designed and handmade right here in Vancouver, each one features a frame stained with a natural, eco-friendly oil and a cotton back screen-printed by hand. Bonus: for each chair sold, $10 goes to Covenant House, a local charity that supports homeless youth. Buy online at www.gallantandjones.com.

Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Show

By SHERI RADFORD

An interactive installation at MOV's The Happy Show

An interactive installation at MOV’s The Happy Show

On the surface, Stefan Sagmeister seems like a genuinely happy person, with his quick smile, ready laugh and easy-going charm. In reality, the award-winning designer has struggled with depression, weight gain, alcohol and drugs. He says he developed Stefan Sagmeister: The Happy Show in order “to create something meaningful.” It uses bold design and entertaining information—plus gumball machines, a giant inflatable monkey and quotes tucked away in the downstairs bathrooms—to delve deeply into the universal human desire for happiness. Visitors’ reactions have been unequivocally positive. Sagmeister recounts one with particular delight: “I got a letter from a 13-year-old boy who kissed his first girl—a girl he’d had a crush on for two years—because the show somehow gave him the power to go up to her.” The show has also inspired “many many many marriage proposals.” Catch the wave of happiness to Sep. 7 at the Museum of Vancouver.

Quick Pick: 4 of Our Favourite Things

Along with raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens, these are a few of our favourite things this month

By SHERI RADFORD

Find the iconic HBC stripes on everything from shirts to blankets

Find the iconic HBC stripes on everything from shirts to blankets

STRIPES
Hudson’s Bay was established way back in 1670, and it’s been a Canadian mainstay ever since. No one can resist the company’s iconic stripes on everything from t-shirts, running shoes and onesies to beach towels, lawn chairs and patio umbrellas—and it’s the rare Canadian household that doesn’t own at least one
of their striped blankets. (more…)

FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015 Hits Vancouver

Don your best red-and-white gear and get ready to cheer for Team Canada as FIFA fever sweeps the country

By SHERI RADFORD

Canada vs. Japan, Oct. 2014 in BC Place Stadium. (Photo: Bob Frid/©CanadaSoccer)

Canada vs. Japan, Oct. 2014 in BC Place Stadium. (Photo: Bob Frid/©CanadaSoccer)

From Jun. 6 to Jul. 5, the world’s largest women’s sporting event takes over the country from coast to coast, as Vancouver, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal and Moncton together host the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015. A total of 24 teams are participating, but (we confess) we’ll be rooting hardest for Team Canada to emerge triumphant in the final match, taking place here in BC Place Stadium on Jul. 5. (more…)