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Snapshots / Train Travel / Canada Travel / Rocky Mountaineer / Banff Travel / Vancouver Travel / Jasper Travel / → All Tags
The Gold Leaf observation car on the Rocky Mountaineer
Western Canada, specifically British Columbia and Alberta, is mostly comprised of wilderness and small, isolated mountain towns. The major bullet points like Kamloops, Revelstoke, Jasper, and Banff might be well known, but it's the scenery in between - typically tough to access for the general traveler - that does most of the talking.
As far as scenic passenger trains go, the Rocky Mountaineer is Canada’s most luxurious line. Contrary to the government-funded VIA Rail, which features sleeper cars and does a lot of its travel in the dark, the Rocky Mountaineer travels only during the day, stopping in "ports" along the way and putting its passengers up in hotels.
How To Get Tickets To / Vancouver International Film Festival / Vancouver Travel / VIFF / Festival Travel / Movie Travel / Events / → All Tags
Hollywood North's biggest cinematic event of the year - the Vancouver International Film Festival - kicks off later this month with the Wild by Canadian filmmaker Jean-Marc Vallee.
The new movie starring Reese Witherspoon will be the festival's Opening Night Gala while the Sundance grand jury winner Whiplash, starring Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons, will close things out.
Tax day is here, and you're probably excited...but not because you love sifting through receipts and credit card statements. You're excited because you're getting a fat refund. Probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can...like with a little "you did a great job last year" tripa Tax Refund Vacation.
Skip out of Uncle Sam’s jurisdiction and head north of the border to celebrate tax refund season, as this time we’re suggesting a trip to Vancouver. The Pacific Northwest is one of America’s many gems, but Vancouver may just be one of its best assets—just don’t tell that to the folks who call Seattle and Portland home.
Those flying out of New York should be able to score flights somewhere in the $700 region (the nighttime nonstop on Cathay Pacific is our pick), as we tried a couple weekend dates later this month. Folks heading from the left side of the continent will do better, as options from Los Angeles can be had for around $350. If the middle of the country is more convenient, there’s always Chicago; flights out of O’Hare should run you around $500.
The Monday after the Olympics is kind of bummer, and that’s especially the case for those who have been hooked on the sporting events—even with the tape delay—for the last couple of weeks. Thankfully ice hockey has some neat stuff to look forward to, as the National Hockey League is continuing their series of interesting events through the upcoming weekend.
For those that want to continue the celebration of Team Canada and their gold medal win in men’s ice hockey—and women’s ice hockey for that matter—the fun takes place on Sunday, March 2 in Vancouver. This is when the 2014 NHL Heritage Classic does its thing at BC Place, as the Ottawa Senators take on the Vancouver Canucks. The game is played in Vancouver at the home of the area’s Canadian Football League team. Things might even be played outdoors like some of the other league events this year, as the hockey road trip has already included games at Dodger Stadium and Yankee Stadium.
We are suckers for a good airline lounge, as after all nothing is more enjoyable than a few free drinks, a bite to eat, and somewhere decent to sit before our flight. Okay—there are probably better ways to spend our time than at an airline lounge, but we still do get a kick when we have the chance to check them out.
As you probably know access to these lairs of airport solitude are often limited to frequent flyers or those in the upper class cabins, so it’s hardly a warm welcome to one and all. Thankfully the latest lounge over in Vancouver is a little bit different, as the Plaza Premium Lounge at the Vancouver International Airport is open to one and all. However, that assumes that you’re willing to pay for the pleasure to visit.
Seaplanes / Valentine's Day Travel / Vancouver Travel / Harbour Air / Green Travel / Glaciers / Private Jets / YVR / Seattle Travel / Canada Travel / → All Tags
Do yourself a favor this Valentine's Day and skip the expensive dinner, skip the diamond engagement ring. Instead, put airline tickets in the hands of your love, and give the gift of an experience. All this week, we'll be sharing a few of our own recommendations for some of the most romantic travel ideas in this world.
Idea #2: Seaplane flights for two
Please allow us to switch into the first-person for a moment, to describe the most romantic thing we did for ourselves in 2013 and which you, in 2014, should absolutely take under consideration.
There's something innately seductive about Vancouver. Perhaps it's all that fresh air, the surrounding mountains and sparkling harbour, and a summer season short enough to get the entire city out and about in their shortest shorts from July to September. For a frequent traveler like myself, however, the allure is heightened by the delicious tangibility of seaplane flights.
Vancouver is the home base for Harbour Air, the world's largest seaplane airline and also the only completely carbon neutral airline. Their DeHavilland Otters and Beavers buzz Vancouver's shoreline day-in and day-out, flying commuters and residents to Victoria, Nanaimo, Salt Spring Island and Whistler, but it's their extra special offerings you'll want to check out.
Photo Galleries / Neighborhoods / Tours / Walking Tours / Cafes / Lounges / Bars / Restaurants / Vancouver Travel / Canada Travel / → All Tags
Vancouver’s Main Street feels like a microcosm of the entire world with its resident population spanning social groups and cultures. The street itself is lengthy, slowly unfolding from the night markets of Chinatown to the hip digs of a nouveau-retro tiki bar.
To begin, the area from Mount Pleasant down to Broadway is rife with indie coffee shops, one-off clothing stores, watering holes and, increasingly, craft breweries like the Main Street Brewing Company and the soon-to-be open Brassneck Brewing.
Keep moving south and you enter what feels like the main drag of a small town in the 1960s. There are antique and thrift stores galore, hip eateries and specialty bakeries. This Main Street area is way off the beaten path, so tourists and solo travelers would be best to venture here with a progressive dinner-type tour with Off the Eaten Track.
Wine / Wine Travel / Wine-Tasting / Wine-Tasting Travel / Vancouver Travel / Vancouver / Bars / Canada / Canada Travel / → All Tags
You may not be able to order a kegger of wine from this Railtown working winery, although restaurants can, but what you can order is a tasting of some really good B.C. wine that’s on tap.
The Vancouver Urban Winery is, first and foremost, a commercial winery that manufactures, packages, imports and distributes wine for multiple brands (including their own Roaring Twenties label, which you can buy by the bottle from their on-site store). In addition, and this is where it gets interesting, the Winery takes in kegs of wine from B.C. wineries and packages it for distribution to restaurants and bars in big steel tanks and—ta dah!—this is how you get wine-on-tap.
But why should you, the visitor with a jam-packed schedule, take time out of your busy day to visit the winery? Well, first off, it’s a cool place to hang out. The owners and sommeliers are all around the 30-years-old mark and you can feel the unbridled enthusiasm yet laid-back vibe of the place. There are comfy chairs to chill in or you can set yourself up at the bar if you’d like some interaction with the hopping bartenders. When we were there, it was open mike night with some pretty good singers doing their thing.
Click on the headline to get to the photo gallery!
Jaunted On Location / Photo Gallery / Art / Art Travel / Architecture / HotelChatter / Art Galleries / Architectural Travel / Canada / Canada Travel / Vancouver Travel / Exhibitions / History / Museums / Museum Travel / → All Tags
Ah, hotels. If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re already a believer in the power of hotels for good. In them, a conversation can be started between strangers from opposite ends of the world; an idea can be sparked over breakfast and a changing streetscape; a restless soul can be momentarily at peace during a detoxifying herbal wrap; and more visceral needs can be sated with a special someone in the privacy of a room of one’s own.
Happily, we’re not the only ones who think this way. The Vancouver Art Gallery has opened their Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life exhibition and you have until September 15 to check it out. It explores the hotel from the beginning –- when it was simply a utilitarian place to rest your head –- to what it is today: a center of design, a social hub and, sometimes, a destination unto itself.
The Grand Hotel exhibit is broken down into four themes: Travel, Social, Design, and Culture. Here’s our take on what these themes mean. It’s a bit esoteric but that’s art, right? (If you’d like to see how these themes play out in real life, check out our sister site HotelChatter.)
Flight Reviews / Cathay Pacific / First Class Travel / JFK / YVR / In-Flight Comfort / Photo Gallery / Seats / Vancouver Travel / Luxury Travel / → All Tags
Flying long-haul in First Class is a dream for many, a reality for only a few. Among first class cabins, Cathay Pacific’s suites are widely considered the sine qua non for comfort and serviceand as tickets can fetch $15,000 for a return between New York-JFK and Hong Kong, they’d better be.
We’ve previously taken you inside the Economy, Premium Economy, and brand new Business cabins on board Cathay, and now we can tell you first-hand what flying First is like. And no, we did not win the lottery; there are ways to make this work without maxing out your credit cards, even without leaving North America.
Twilight Travel / Vancouver Travel / Food Travel / San Diego Comic-Con / Comic Cons / Celeb Travel / → All Tags
This week marked the beginning of the end for the Twilight cast as they officially began promoting the final movie in the series, Breaking Dawn Part 2.
The cast was in San Diego yesterday for their last Comic-Con panel and press conference. And since the films are winding down they were eager to reminiscence about the movies, and the fun they had making them.
Canada Travel / Train Travel / VIA Rail Canada / Winter Travel / Train Stations / Vancouver Travel / → All Tags
Above: A scheduled stop in Blue River.
We already showed you where we slept and what we ate on the VIA Rail Canada journey from Vancouver to Jasper, but we still have so much more to show you. (Yes, we're clearly totally sold on train travel.)
To round out our coverage of the trip, we put together a gallery of highlightsa grab bag of views, glimpses of other parts of the train, and shots from Vancouver's Pacific Central Station.