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.
Tasked with the preservation of British Columbia’s rich railroading history, the West Coast Railway Association’s train enthusiasts curate and maintain a collection of vintage rolling stock and artifacts. The heart of the 90-piece collection lies in the scenic confines of the West Coast Railway Heritage Park. Visitors are free to wonder the space’s wide-open tracks, visiting locomotives including the Royal Hudson, along with rarities such as an 1890 business car and a gently snoring 1905 sleeping car. A miniature railway affords pleasant rides around the 12 acres of grounds. With many pieces of operational equipment still on hand, the association also offers frequent train tours to destinations across British Columbia.
Rustic wood cabins interconnected by wooden walkways stand amid a network of fountains, mountain streams, and small waterfalls. Dense forest and blooms of emerald ferns spread out in all directions. The train whistle and drum beats echo through the trees. At Klahowya Village in Stanley Park, natural scenery opens up to authentic representations of British Columbia's First Nations and Métis cultures through its attractions, performances, and artisan marketplace. As guests arrive, knowledgeable First Nations guides in native dress usher guests into the park, where they can start by taking in the sights or boarding the miniature covered Spirit Catcher train for storytelling journeys past forest tableaus.
Young dancers and actors in traditional dress stage cultural performances every Friday through Sunday throughout the summer, and coffee by Spirit Bear Coffee Company keeps visitors warm year-round. In the indoor marketplace, First Nations and Métis artisans proffer pieces of handmade visual art, jewellery, apparel, and other crafts. The nonprofit Aboriginal Tourism Association of British Columbia operates the park as part of its aim to create a sustainable and educational showcase of Aboriginal culture for visitors and local residents.
What's proper etiquette for the queen's sommelier? West Coast Wine Education's John Gerum confronted this question head on when he served Queen Elizabeth II. Apparently he made the right choice, as he went on to pour wine for prime ministers, presidents, provincial premiers, and cultural icons during his 20-year career. Gerum's achievement distills three generations of fine-dining experience that was passed down from his father, a chef, and his grandfather, a maitre d'. Wine education was always his passion, so when starting out, he sought personal instruction from the master sommelier Andrew Laliberté and demonstrated a palate refined enough to earn him membership and certification from the International Sommelier Guild. Gerum often merges his know-how with other wine educators to cultivate a roster of classes and hone their delivery. These experts join in delineating scotch terroir and describing the bouquet of a student's favourite pinot-stained shirt with an easy professionalism that has enthralled groups of up to 300 people. They share their expertise with casual drinkers and professionals during two-hour workshops, in consultation for store openings and events, and through appearances on Global TV.
Coasting across the swells since 1981, Vancouver Cruises affixes sea legs to locals and tourists alike while serving up dazzling views of the city and its neighbouring waterways. One of three luxurious boats ferries groups as large as 400 people throughout the popular Vancouver harbour and False Creek waters, including the nightclub-inspired Abitibi, which features large sun decks, and the Queen of Diamonds, which provides 360-degree panoramas of passing sights. Gourmet chefs are on hand on all three ships, accompanying memorable occasions such as weddings, graduations, and company outings with equally memorable eats. During the holiday season, Vancouver Cruises also fuels festive spirits with its Carol Ships rife with decorations and singing.
Cycle BC Rentals & Tours sends adventurers on two-wheeled explorations of British Columbia. Riders saddle up their preferred bicycle, scooter, or motorcycle before shooting down the open asphalt as they visit mountains, gardens, beaches, and castles. Over the years, Cycle BC has compiled their favourite routes—complete with distances, notable sights, and celebrities most likely to be caught hitchhiking—into one extensive online database. Riders can rent adventure, sport touring, or cruiser motorcycles, two types of scooters, as well as electronic-hybrid bicycles that give an extra umph when pedaling up daunting hills.