Short of running rampant through sewers and subterranean tunnels with half-historian/half-rat hybrids, walking tours are the best way to really get to know the ins and outs of a city. Learn the lay of the land without mutant interference with today's Groupon: for $12, you get admission to the Gastown & Chinatown walking tour from Vancouver Urban Adventures (a $25 value). The tour lasts approximately two hours.
Guests will get an up-close look at two of Vancouver's most treasured shark-free neighbourhoods, peppered with interesting anecdotes and facts offered up by a knowledgeable tour guide. The first part of the tour leads urban adventurers through the cobblestone streets and historic architecture of Gastown, Vancouver's birthplace. Highlights of the Gastown stretch of the tour include the mythical "Blood Alley" and the largely bloodless Steam Clock, as well as art galleries and shops. Toast the ghost of "Gassy” Jack Deighton, the neighbourhood's namesake, with a tasting at the Irish Heather, which also marks the halfway point of the tour.
During the second leg of the tour, guests will explore one of the largest Chinatown neighbourhoods in North America. Amidst the bustling market and medicine shops lining the streets of Vancouver's Chinatown, you may find a holistic cure for your body's humour imbalance and chronic tea-drinking habit (cure: more tea). Architectural highlights of Chinatown include the Han Dynasty Bell, a replica of a Han Dynasty noisemaker unearthed in the early 1980s, and the ornately arranged Millennium Gate. Douse innards in tea with a tasting at Ten Ren Tea, and, for an additional fee, visit the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Chinese Garden, home to a bounty of botanical beauties.
Whether you're visiting Vancouver during a break from your ego-wrestling career or you're a lifelong resident looking for a chance to try out your new hydraulic calf muscles, the Gastown & Chinatown tour from Vancouver Urban Adventures is an ideal way to learn more about the city.
Since 2004, SNOWBUS's fleet of 56 comfortable passenger coaches has shepherded skiers and snowboarders back and forth between Vancouver and Whistler Blackcomb. The route schedule allows mountaineers to hitch a ride out of Vancouver, schuss and slalom to their heart’s content at the world-renowned resort, and hop back aboard a bus for their trip home. The service gives downhillers a way to circumvent the hassles of dealing with traffic and parking, and enables them to partake in après-ski revelry without fear of drinking and driving or drinking and cartwheeling back to Vancouver.
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