Vancouver is a Two-Climate Getaway
Let’s say you and your Significant Someone are looking for an ideal winter getaway. His idea of the trip can be summed up easily: A vacation is where you go to wear less clothes. Her idea involves a cozy lodge with a warm fireplace and several feet of fresh powder. The two of you have only one vacation break this winter.
No worries, you can have it all in Vancouver, B.C. The Pacific trade winds and Japanese currents provide gentle winter weather to the Vancouver area, suitable for any running, boating, or general sightseeing adventures you might normally have in mind. About two hours away, some of the best downhill skiing and boarding West of the Rockies awaits at Whistler Village.
As with any fly and ski trip, you’ll need to decide whether to bring your gear–which would be optimum for Whistler’s often challenging slopes–or rent, which adds an additional expense, but leaves you free of the checked bags dance if that’s a priority.
Getting to Vancouver most likely involves going through San Francisco, and on to Vancouver non-stop via national carriers such as United or more regional carriers such as Alaska Airlines. Seattle is an alternative hub. Once you arrive and go through customs, you can either rent a car or rely on various public and private transportation options. The good news is both Vancouver and Whistler are doable without a car. Whistler is accessible by both rail and bus, and Vancouver can be traversed on foot, on bike, or by rail, bus and ferryboat.
The majestic Sea to Sky HIghway rises more than 2,000 feet above sea level to Whistler’s alpine village boasting average snowfall of 469 inches, with more than 200 trails and 37 lifts. The highest elevation accessible by lift is 7,495 feet and there are 17 restaurants in the village to take in the jaw dropping views. Two-day, two-night packages are available for as little as $109 per night per person. Check out www.whistler.com for more lodging info.
Photo credit: Houston Marsh
After a weekend of skiing, at least one of you will be ready for Vancouver’s cosmopolitan adult playground. You will probably want to settle in on or close to downtown’s Robson Street which provides all the shopping of Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, with an international flair.
Robson is also just a brisk walk to Stanley Park, a consumer friendly wilderness in the heart of downtown Vancouver, suitable for hikes, bike rides, and family outings guaranteed to work up an appetite. If spectator sports are more your workout, both pro football and hockey teams play downtown, and you can walk to either from Robson.
A few quick tips: You will want a Triple O Burger. For cocktails, try Vancouver’s rooftop bars, which offer scenic views of the city and bay. If you favor Molson’s Canadian, it doesn’t come fresher than in Vancouver, where they brew it. The locals are very friendly, and a request for directions may lead to an hour-long conversation.
Photo credit: Bruce Irschick