Wooden beams form rows of V-shaped pillars that prop up the ceilings on both floors of Takaya Golf Centre's two-tiered driving range, creating a visually compelling, rustic design. Surrounded by a dense forest, the 270-yard range boasts 78 hitting stalls, 58 of which are covered to protect players from the elements and rival golfers who hire a stealthy buffalo stampede to record surveillance. Along with clearly marked yardage signs, the target field sports wide hoops at various distances to emulate greens. After the sun sets over the opposite end of the westward-facing range, Takaya Golf Centre activates its stadium-style lighting to keep practice sessions alive and illuminate woodland creatures' late-night board-game sessions.
Four teaching professionals preside over the centre's practice complex, where they help players smooth out swings in group or private lessons. Those looking for more leisurely activities can putt across the centre's mini-golf course, lounge with a cup of coffee in the TV lounge, or build an indoor fort with the pro shop's selection of hats, tees, towels, and golf balls.
Aerial Kiteboarding's certified instructors teach students how to properly ride kites and kiteboards across snow-blanketed prairies, glassy water surfaces, and expanses of dirt or grass. During snow-kiteboarding classes, instructors use two-line trainer kites to escort students through wind-safety strategies, basic steering and kite control, and snowman avoidance. Students prowl across the ground and through the air in power-kiting lessons and skim the waves in water-kiting lessons. Building on the lessons imparted during basic and intro classes, two- or three-hour lessons guide more experienced kiteboarders through steering, flight control, riding skills, and launching and landing methods. Aerial Kiteboarding supplies all rentals and equipment for its classes and lessons, which run seven days a week depending on weather and the amount of reindeer air traffic. Aside from their flagship kiteboarding packages, the outdoorsy company also features other services such as kayak rentals and scenic boat rides.
Skipper Sergei Rovensky, the mariner at the heart of Bowen Sailing Charters, and other skippers saddle up the 55-foot Valhalla for smooth, recreational jaunts through the neighbouring waters of Bowen Island. The beloved luxury yacht is one of only 250 in the Vagabond series created by English shipbuilder Ernest Chamberlain, whose handiwork was recently updated in 2011 when Captain Sergei gave the vessel a makeover. The renovation preserved the yacht's timeless sailboat elements, such as polished-brass hardware, a classic silhouette, and a porthole eye patch. The Valhalla grants charter groups the thrill of a modern-day sea adventure, sailing to the Octopus Islands and other scenic locales as passengers enjoy the ship's many amenities, such as a flat-screen television, an elegant rosewood dining table, and WiFi. The same teak wood that trims the cabin's interior makes up Valhalla's 47-foot deck, where passengers can cast salmon-seeking fishing lines or leap off into the waves for snorkeling.
Now the only remaining farm on Vancouver’s North Shore, Maplewood Farm—nestled along the banks of the Seymour River—was founded in the early 1900s by Mr. Akiyo Kogo and operated as a successful dairy farm before its designation as a rural heritage site in 1975. Dedicated to introducing visitors of all ages to the inner workings of a busy farm, such as the best time of day to hug a lamb, a team of farmhands circulates about the pastoral 5-acre plot entertaining visitors with educational presentations that include cow-milking demonstrations and the feeding of pigs and horses. Nascent ranchers can commune with nature as they arrange birdseed feasts on the ground for the farm’s chickens and ducks or power a pedal tractor around the grounds. An adorable assortment of livestock hangs around throughout the day, patiently fielding questions on why Old McDonald is allowed to break the ‘I before E’ rule with his cries of "E-I-E-I-O."
From the views of snow-capped mountains and the cascading Granite Falls of Indian Arm to the bustling public market of Granville Island, the Vancouver area overflows with seafaring escapes. Realizing the abundance of sandy beaches meeting lush green forests, diverse wildlife, totem poles, and charming seaside villages, the owners of Lonsdale Boat Rentals decided they needed to give locals and visitors easy access to the region's splendour. To accomplish this, they offer rentals of Hourston Glascrafts, Bayliners, and fishing boats to licensed boaters. They also create customizable sightseeing tours piloted by experienced captains who ferry passengers to Bowen Island for a coffee or to Deep Cove for dinner at a seaside restaurant. To accommodate groups, the team can charter 40- to 80-foot boats, allowing corporate outings, private parties, or the Brady Bunch's family reunion to take place in a scenic setting.
At one time, the Britannia Mine was the largest copper mine in the British Empire. It operated from 1904 to 1974, and over the course of those 70 years, more than 60,000 people of myriad races, religions, and backgrounds made it their workplace.
Today, resting alongside British Columbia's sea-to-sky highway, the mine enjoys retirement as a National Historic Site, and opens its doors to visitors every day of the week year-round. Inside, dozens of exhibits, displays, and hands-on activities keep bygone eras alive, including the award-winning short film, Groundbreaking: The Britannia Mine Story, which details the mine's origins. Perhaps the museum's biggest draw, daily guided train tours head underground to showcase the sights, sounds, and working conditions of the mine. Meanwhile, back above ground, a gift shop sends visitors home with their own little pieces of history.