This category covers places to stay, things to do, ways to get there, excursions, tours, getaways, along with shopping and eating while on vacation.

Bald Eagle - Shutterstock

It’s Eagle Counting Time In Brackendale

The place to be this coming Sunday is Brackendale, B.C., for the 26th annual bald eagle count.

Bald Eagle - Shutterstock

 

MUST SEE B.C. | Most of us, consciously or not, keep a running record of places we must absolutely see before our particular shot clock runs out. Chances are many of these destinations are the same: Paris, Prague, Katmandu. Probably not Brackendale, B.C. Exoticism requires distance, or so we imagine, and Brackendale is way too close to home to offer anything surprising or remotely unfamiliar.

But what if you could experience something extraordinary close by Vancouver in Brackendale, something exotic that people from other places make an effort to see—wouldn’t you want to experience it too, particularly if it were free? Read more

Chez Panisse

3 Cult Classic Places To Eat In San Francisco

Where you absolutely must go for breakfast, lunch and dinner the next time you visit the City by the Bay.

Tartine Bakery San Francisco

TRAVEL ADVISORY | With so many fabulous restaurants to choose from, San Francisco can be frustrating for tourists who travel to eat. I visit every November, and each time I go I try new places—but first I schedule a return meal at my three favourite eateries. Each one is a bone fide cult classic, and not one need be stratospherically expensive. Read more

Big Sur Highway - Irven Rule

When Nature Calls Big Sur Is The Place To Be

Jump into the wild by cruising Big Sur, one of the all-time great North American road trips.

Big Sur Highway - Irven RuleTRAVEL ADVISORY | Want to drop off the planet for a few days, ditch the cellphone, skip the Starbucks, take a break from recreational shopping? One of California’s most beautiful and elemental places to get away from everything urban in the fall is Big Sur on the central coast. Big Sur isn’t an exact spot on the map, it’s a road trip: 90 miles of two-lane blacktop that zigzag around the edge of the wind-wracked headlands of the Santa Lucia Mountains mere yards, it seems, before they nose-dive into the Pacific Ocean. Cruising along this jagged, Amalfi-like coastline is—to borrow words from hippie vernacular—a mind-blowing head-trip. It’s impossible not to feel spiritual or to reflect on your place in the cosmos when a natural setting this powerful is shoving itself in your face. Read more

Forecourt Fountain - Portland, Oregon

Shop This Town: Great Buys In Portland Now

In Portland, our dollar is high, the sales are ongoing, and the merch is to buy for.

Forecourt Fountain - Portland, OregonTRAVEL ADVISORY | Last week we shared some of our favourite places to sleep and eat in Portland, Oregon. Today we cut straight to the shopping (after a toe dip in Lawrence Halprin’s Keller Fountain Park pictured here, arguably the most beautiful water feature in North America).

Maybe because there’s no sales tax or because Portland’s less than stellar economy means sales are constant, but PDX brings out the shopper in me. What I love about this place is that there are plenty of malls and big box emporiums for those who want them, and lots of indie shopping neighbourhoods for those who don’t.

Here’s where to shop in Portland, Oregon, right now. Read more

Portland, Oregon, White Stag Sign

3 Reasons To Visit Portland Right Now

The perfect last-minute no-brainer getaway. Here are three reasons to go right now.

Portland, Oregon, White Stag SignTRAVEL ADVISORY | Did you get sidetracked and forget to plan a vacation this year? No worries: you’ll always have Portland. It’s the perfect last-minute no-brainer getaway. You could fly, of course, but why not drive? If you leave Vancouver at 6 a.m. and ignore the siren call of Seattle, you’ll be in the City of Roses by early afternoon with plenty of daylight remaining to dive into interesting things.

Here are three irresistible reasons to visit Portland right now. Read more

Harbour-Air

Fun Summer Things You Can Only Do Here

Three once-in-a-lifetime fun summer experiences you really don’t want to miss.

Harbour-AirFly—What could be more B.C. than a floatplane ride? It will give you a bird’s eye view of our unique topography and capture the essence of the place where we live. Harbour Air offers “flightseeing” tours over Vancouver (and Victoria too) that will supercharge your senses. Consider a city look ($99 per person, $289 per family), a fly-to-Victoria-then-ferry-back-to-Vancouver package ($179) or a Mail Run ($185). On a mail run, you ride along with the locals on regularly scheduled service flights from Vancouver Harbour to the villages of the Gulf Islands. This trip is different each time, depending on the day’s pick-up stops.

Harbour Air, 604-274-1277, www.harbour-air.com Read more

Sandcastle - iStock

Rent Your Castle When You Take A Holiday

Rent out your home/castle when you go away—you’ll get both a house sitter and extra cash for your vacation.

TRAVEL ADVISORY | One major perk of being married to a university professor is that we can go on extended summer holidays when school is out. Last summer, our family took off for Europe, spending time in London, Paris and the south of France as well as all over Sweden. It was an expensive vacation, but we were able to offset the cost by renting out our house. For two months, a quiet and incredibly tidy family from Oman enjoyed a holiday in our city while helping us bankroll our good times abroad. We’ve done this for several years now, and overall, the transactions have been smooth. There are a few sites on which you can list your home (do a search for vacation rentals or holiday homes – you’ll have no trouble finding them), but we like SabbaticalHomes.com. Read more

Hydrotherapy

Spa Like A Finn At Scandinave In Whistler

The eco-conscious Scandinave Spa at Whistler focuses on traditional treatments instead of gimmicks—and it costs less, too.

HydrotherapyBACK TO BASICS | Say goodbye to spa therapies that only go skin deep. Thermo- therapy and hydrotherapy, practised throughout Europe, are showing up across the country. These therapies use extreme heat and profuse sweating to flush out deeply lodged toxins, relax muscles and improve heart health. Read more

Spa Salish Lodge

Steal Away: Luxury Hotels for Pennies

Online auction buffs can scoop up ultra luxurious accommodations for pennies on the regular price.

Spa Salish LodgeTRAVEL ADVISORY | Ever dream of staying at a luxury hotel on a backpacker’s budget? Then Off and Away could be for you. This new hotel room bidding site features only the very best properties with all the luxuries and amenities you could ever dream of. What the site doesn’t have is a price tag. Read more