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Vancouver

Hike & Bike With Into the Wild

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Cycle through scenic Pitt Meadows with Into the Wild

Cycle through scenic Pitt Meadows with Into the Wild

Wild about the great outdoors? There’s a tour for that, with Into the Wild. First stop: Lynn Canyon Park. It’s only a short drive, but it might as well be a world away as towering buildings give way to towering trees, a suspension bridge and breathtaking waterfalls. After a leisurely lunch, the tour heads to the scenic valley of Pitt Meadows. The wide-open spaces are perfect for exploring by bike, and are surrounded by picturesque mountain peaks. Want to take your explorations further? Try multi-day or private tours. It all adds up to one great escape.

Skyride Surf Adventure at Grouse Mountain

By SHERI RADFORD

Skyride Surf Adventure  at Grouse Mountain

Skyride Surf Adventure at Grouse Mountain

Even if you’ve already visited Grouse Mountain, there’s a brand-new reason to return: the Skyride Surf Adventure (to Oct. 10, 2016). Six guests at a time can ride up the mountain on top of the Skyride gondola. Unobstructed views in every direction guarantee an unparalleled experience—and magnificent photo ops—during the 1,610-m (one-mile) ascent. (But those with acrophobia might want to skip this one.) Activities galore await at the peak. Visit Grinder and Coola, two orphaned grizzly bears who reside in the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife. Watch raptors in action at the Birds in Motion show. See log rolling, axe throwing and more in the suspenseful—not to mention hilarious—lumberjack show. Soar high above the mountain on a paragliding flight or helicopter tour. Step inside a wind turbine at The Eye of the Wind. The only challenge? Trying to fit everything into a single day.

Outdoor Eating

When the weather’s warm, there’s plenty to adore about the great outdoors. Savour the sunshine and dine alfresco with these options

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Mexican-themed fare at Tacofino. (Photo: KK Law)

Mexican-themed fare at Tacofino. (Photo: KK Law)

Creative Carts
Food carts are on a roll, with new four-wheeled eateries taking to the streets all the time. It’s a veritable moveable feast, featuring “à la cart” cuisines that hail from all corners of the globe. At the forefront of the street-food trend is Japadog, known for serving hot dogs trimmed with toppings such as bonito flakes, shredded seaweed or miso mayo to celebrities like Ice Cube, Anthony Bourdain and Mark Zuckerberg. Tacofino’s White Lightning makes waves with Baja-inspired tacos and burritos stuffed with crispy lingcod or pork al pastor, and brightened with salsa fresca, chipotle mayo and avocado. Chef Vikram Vij, famed for his trail-blazing bricks-and-mortar restaurants, makes crave-worthy Indian flavours mobile—try the butter chicken schnitzel, sold through the window of Vij’s Railway Express. Read more…

The SeaWheeze Half Marathon

By SHERI RADFORD

The SeaWheeze. (Photo: Lululemon)

The SeaWheeze. (Photo: Lululemon)

One of the world’s prettiest half marathons, the SeaWheeze (Aug. 13) winds around spectacular scenery such as the seawall and Stanley Park. The race sold out months ago, but there are still ways to participate in the weekend’s fun. Tickets are available for the Sunset Festival in Stanley Park, featuring outdoor yoga and a concert by Chromeo. And as you’d expect of any event organized by Lululemon, cute apparel is for sale—meaning both you and your credit card can get a workout.

Sunday Seafood Boil at Boulevard

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Sample seafood at Boulevard's Sunday Seafood Boil

Sample seafood at Boulevard’s Sunday Seafood Boil

Tie one on—a bib, we mean—because things are about to get messy. Boulevard’s popular East Coast–inspired Sunday Seafood Boil Series returns for its second year, after proving to be a smashing success. A bounty of clams, crawfish, Dungeness crab and mussels are piled high on butcher’s paper and served family-style alongside corn on the cob, potatoes, bacon cornbread and blueberry pie. A glass of bubbly beforehand kicks off the nautical-themed feast. Grab a few friends and get crackin’, Aug. 14, 21 and 28.

5 Places to Find Your Bliss

Want to practise your downward-facing dog and warrior poses in the great outdoors? Grab a yoga mat or beach towel and head to these picturesque spots for alfresco asanas and seaside savasanas

By SHERI RADFORD

Free outdoor class in Jack Poole Plaza, part of the SeaWheeze

Free outdoor class in Jack Poole Plaza, part of the SeaWheeze

Kitsilano Beach
WHERE  Near Cornwall Ave. at Arbutus St., between the pool and tennis courts
WHEN  To Aug. 31: M/W/F 7 p.m., Tu/Th 9 a.m.
WHY  Spectacular views of the ocean and downtown
COST  Free, but tips are welcome
INFO  www.facebook.com/kits.space Read more…

Fun on the Water

From jet skiing to kayaking to fishing, Vancouver is a water sports paradise

By LUCAS AYKROYD

Jet skiing fun on the calm waters near downtown with Vancouver Water Adventures. (Photo: KK Law)

Jet skiing fun on the calm waters near downtown with Vancouver Water Adventures. (Photo: KK Law)

Long known as the Gateway to the Pacific, Vancouver is the place to play this summer for those eager to hit the water. And the ocean is just the beginning.

Burgeoning with salmon and sturgeon, the Fraser River, British Columbia’s longest river (at 1,375 km/855 mi), flows into the Strait of Georgia south of Vancouver. Other nearby rivers, creeks and lakes offer recreational opportunities for the whole family, from whooping it up at the famous Cultus Lake Waterpark waterslides to gazing awestruck at turquoise, glacier-fed Garibaldi Lake during a hike.

Ready to make a splash? Multiple options are readily available here.

Read more…

Brunch Bliss at Jam Cafe

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Pulled-pork pancakes at Jam Cafe

Pulled-pork pancakes at Jam Cafe

The name may recall that most basic of breakfast ingredients, but trust us, Jam Cafe is anything but basic. Locals and visitors alike crowd into this all-day breakfast joint for the rustic, laid-back vibe and creative menu of down-home dishes. Hearty options abound, but you can’t go wrong with the blissfully indulgent red velvet pancakes drizzled in cream cheese icing, French toast adorned with crispy fried chicken and pickled cabbage, or pulled pork sandwiched between a pair of fluffy pancakes (pictured). Locally roasted coffee keeps patrons buzzing, but it’s the bacon-garnished Caesars that really have kick. Be sure to save a little room—they also serve lunch.

Shoreside Beach Bay Café

By SHERI RADFORD

Nova Scotia Lobster at Beach Bay Café

Nova Scotia Lobster at Beach Bay Café

In a city blessed with an abundance of great patios, the one at Beach Bay Café manages to stand out. It looks out over English Bay, with its sunbathers, swimmers, kayakers and stand-up paddle boarders. Just as impressive is what’s on the table: seafood such as Nova Scotia lobster (pictured) and prawn ceviche paired with summery cocktails. And if you can’t bear to be even a few metres away from the sand and ocean, the take-out window obliges with fish ’n’ chips and calamari, perfect for a seaside picnic.

Pride & Joy: Vancouver Pride 2016

By JILL VON SPRECKEN

Vancouver Pride Parade. (Photo: Michael Song/Tourism Vancouver)

The Pride Parade winds its way through the West End. (Photo: Michael Song/Tourism Vancouver)

Join a rainbow of revellers at Vancouver Pride. Over the last 38 years, a peaceful protest march bloomed into the city’s most joyful, flamboyant fete. More than 650,000 attend events such as the Davie Street Block Party (Jul. 29, 2016), Pride Festival at Sunset Beach (Jul. 31, 2016) and Pride Parade (Jul. 31, 2016). Absolut’s colourful tribute to diversity is the perfect way to shake things up. Scout out local liquor stores, or visit The Keefer and Royal Dinette for cocktails that capture the pride spirit.

West End Find: La Brasserie

By TIM PAWSEY

The Brasserie Burger. (Photo: KK Law)

The Brasserie Burger. (Photo: KK Law)

In the heart of colourful Davie Village, cozy and compact La Brasserie salutes Franco-German tastes with a weekend brunch of chicken Mornay crêpes, suckling pig with poached eggs, and lamb-cheek sliders. Daily fare yields moules-frites, pan-seared halibut and beer-brined rotisserie chicken. Not for the faint of heart, the Brasserie burger (pictured) teeters, with ground hanger steak, cheddar, bacon and crispy onion, plus truffle aioli. Drinks range from French wines to cava to good beers on tap, plus serious Caesars spiced up with horseradish and a pickled bean. Perfect before or after a trip to nearby English Bay.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com

Terrific Teutonic: Bauhaus

By TIM PAWSEY

Bauhaus. (Photo: KK Law)

The beautiful space at Bauhaus. (Photo: KK Law)

Housed in an impressively restored 1890s Gastown heritage building, Bauhaus is definitely stylin’ and elegant. But it’s chef Stefan Hartmann’s contemporary German cuisine that’s turning heads. The affable chef, former owner of Berlin’s Michelin-one-star Hartmanns, delights with unbridled creativity and impeccably sourced seasonal ingredients. Choices range from classic wiener schnitzel, rib-eye steak or spaëtzle to more modern house-smoked mackerel with apple horseradish. For the full experience, opt for the chef’s tasting menu, smartly paired with wines from a discriminating list, including an excellent selection of German Riesling.

For more by Tim Pawsey, visit hiredbelly.com