The Rocky Mountaineer Train Service to Whistler from Vancouver BC

I recently had the opportunity to ride the Rocky Mountaineer train from Vancouver to Whistler and it is one of those "bucket-list" experiences that I would recommend to everyone. The scenery is spectacular, the service and hospitality second to none, and the food was delicious. It is a three hour ride through some of the most beautiful scenery in the world. You view snow-capped mountains, waterfalls, a deep canyon, and so much more. It is a world class opportunity not to be missed. For a photo pictorial of this experience click here. To read an article published on this trip, click here.

For more information about other exciting places to see,
click here.

Stinking Fish Studio Tour Sooke BC

Metchosin and East Sooke are located in a beautiful coastal area of Vancouver Island near Victoria, BC. Many artists and artisans have chosen to live and work here, finding inspiration amidst the rolling landscape and lush rain forests near the sea. The Stinking Fish Studio Tour features the best of fine art and fine craft on the southern island, surrounded by its natural beauty.

Come explore one of the richest “art trails” on the island – meet the artists, see their work and take some home with you! Admission is free. All are welcome. Artworks are for sale. There will be many surprises in this 10th Anniversary tour so come an immerse yourself in a sea of art! July 24 to Aug 2 - 10 am to 5pm Info phone 250 474 2676.

For more information on Sooke, click here.

Whistler Getaway - Summit Lodge and Spa

When we travel we try to avoid big hotels, so often we stay in bed and breakfasts or boutique hotels. On our last trip to Whistler we stayed at the Summit Lodge and Spa. This small hotel in the heart of Whistler was a great choice. The staff were super friendly, very helpful and extremely courteous. That has to reflect great management. The suite we had was comfortable and viewed a courtyard with a pool and hot pool (Jacuzzi). We took time out to enjoy both.

In hotel dining is available in the
Elements Urban Tapas Parlour. Soft lighting, beautiful suede banquettes and booth seating, open concept show kitchen, copper accents and a soothing cascading water wall provide a relaxing yet upbeat locale. The are well know for their locally inspired tapas, infused martinis, boutique wines. Elements is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and boasts an extensive martini and wine list. We were referred to this restaurant for the great breakfasts and the breakfast was superb.

From the lobby we were drawn to the nearby Spa because of a captivating fragrance. We signed up for spa treatments because they make vacations special. The spa treatments we had at the
Taman Sari Royal Heritage Spa elevated our experience to the luxury level. We considered ourselves spoiled after visiting this wonderful spa. The spa decor was amazing and comforting and the staff did an amazing job.

We have stayed in boutique hotels before and the experience has been great. This is one of the best we have stayed in and it is so close to the action in Whistler. We urge you to give it a try on your next visit to Whistler.
To read more in depth about Whistler visit our travel magazine.

Springtide Whale Watching Victoria BC - at its best

The very first time we went whale watching the three resident pods were all in the same place at the same time, just off Henry Island near Roche Harbour. We could not turn our heads fast enough to see all the action. It was truly amazing. I have said many times that being on an island with out a boat is like being bird poo on a rock. To experience Vancouver Island you need to get out on the water. There is no better way to do that that with a charter like Springtide Whale Watching. They have a large fast yacht with a washroom and plenty of viewing space inside, on the top deck, back deck and bow. They are skilled and knowledgeable, but your still need nature to cooperate. The photo pictorial can be seen at: Click Here

For more information about whale watching in Victoria, click here.

Photo: Orca Girl

Pacific Northwest Raptor Centre Duncan BC

Just one hour north of Victoria in the beautiful Cowichan Valley, you will find the Pacific Northwest Raptor Centre. Captive bred birds like eagles, hawks, owls, falcons, vultures and more, are let go daily to fly. They return to the centre as it is their home. The flights are thrilling, exciting and entertaining. Wh...en you visit the Centre you will get up close and personal with some of natures finest atheletes. Be sure to take in this exciting attraction on Vancouver Island. For more information on Duncan and this attraction, click here. To see a photo pictorial on the Raptor Centre, click here.

Victoria BC at night - lots of fun

When the sun goes down in Victoria, the city becomes magical. It starts with the lighting of the legislative buildings and then a host of interesting things to do. Watch a variety of entertainment on the Inner Harbour Causeway, or poke through the vendors at the night market, or join one of John Adams "Discover the Past" guided tours or... ghostly walks. There is lots to see and do after dark. For everything you want to know about Victoria, click here.

Victoria Harbour Ferry Experience Victoria's Inner Harbour

Victoria Harbour Ferries provide a great opportunity for a marine experience while visiting Victoria. You will get a great tour of our beautiful Inner Harbour and Gorge Waterway. The drivers are all very knowlegeable and give a great commentary throughout the trip. It is a fun and exciting way to see Victoria. You can visit Fisherman's Wharf and have Barb's famous fish and chips and wash that down with an ice cream cone from Jackson's. Or you can go to Spinakers Pub and have some beer from their famous brew pub and restaurant. The complete tour is really worthwhile and there is a version where you can hop on and off as much as you like. Give it a try. You will be glad you did. For more info, click here. For lots of great pictures of the Harbour Ferry experience, click here.

Helijet Service Victoria to Vancouver - Helicopter Travel

We recently flew by Helijet from Victoria to Vancouver and stayed overnight in Vancouver with friends before catching our train to Whistler early the next morning. Flying with Helijet is an experience that should be on everyone’s bucket list. This is such a special experience. It starts when you enter the Helijet Passenger Lounge. The Passenger Lounge offers complimentary beverages and snacks, telephone, television, and wireless internet access. The assortment of snacks and beverages offers healthy options, something for everyone. The crew is efficient, courteous and helpful. They can easily connect you with ground transportation options to meet your needs once you are in Vancouver or back in Victoria. Our bags were checked in and all we had to do was walk to Helijet's Sikorsky S76- Spirit of Vancouver - waiting for us on the tarmac. There is no time consuming security check.

We slipped in the complementary ear plugs and lifted off. As we ascended over Victoria’s Inner Harbour we quickly realized how special this trip was going to be. The scenery was spectacular. Our course to Vancouver crossed directly over Greater Victoria. We flew over Esquimalt, View Royal, Victoria and Saanich and then on to the Gulf Islands, taking pictures as fast as we could! We seemed to be floating over the landscape and then the sea. The ride was incredibly gentle. This is the way everyone should see our beautiful city and the surrounding islands and ocean. It is so beautiful from the air. We feel so lucky to live here.

Give it a try....sooner rather than later. Top photo courtesy of Helijet. To check out more about our trip, go to our Travel Magazine.
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