Accommodations with sun and air conditioning!
By Cazzy Lewchuk, Staff Writer
Vancouver is a beautiful city that we’re lucky to call home. Thousands of people visit our city every year to see the sights and enjoy its attractions, and there’s no better time to do it than the summer. Free from the rain that falls continuously for most months of the year, this season is a chance to truly enjoy what the Vancouver region has to offer.
But like the moon, the sun too has a dark side. Going outdoors is fine for a little while, but pretty soon you’re sunburned, dehydrated, sweating profusely, and wishing for the sweet release of air conditioning (or maybe death). Fortunately, there’s plenty to do that involves enjoying the sunshine and the zest of summer while still allowing for the opportunity to get away from the temperature when needed.
Vancouver Aquarium: Located in the middle of Stanley Park is the Vancouver Aquarium. Many parts of the aquarium, including their major exhibits, are outdoors but several other parts are located inside. You can still see many exciting sea creatures in an air-conditioned indoor environment, including viewing areas for the outdoor pens of dolphins and belugas. As another bonus, many of the shows involve splashing cool water onto the audience as another way of beating the heat. And although portions are indoors, you might want to carry a drink with you as some areas can be pretty hot due to temperatures being maintained for cold-blooded creatures.
Gastown: A historic “vintage” tourist attraction, visiting Gastown involves wandering through several outdoor streets. However, the structure of the area allows most of the walking to take place in the coverage of shade provided by the buildings. And of course, there are plenty of buildings to stop into—restaurants, pubs, and shops, among others.
Commercial Drive: Located in the heart of East Vancouver, this quirky neighbourhood features a long sprawl of beautiful streets. Trout Lake and Grandview Park are two major outdoor public areas to spend the day. Beautiful scenic views and playful people are sure to keep your spirits high. When you can’t stand another second outside, there’s a huge variety of stores, restaurants, and pubs to cool off in.
Breweries/distilleries: In various locations throughout the Lower Mainland, breweries or distilleries offer a firsthand look into where your favourite alcoholic beverages come from. Touring the facilities provides an educational experience for free or for a small fee, and almost always include a sampling.
False Creek: One of the most beautiful spots in the area. False Creek overlooks the water and provides many trails and walkways to look at the view. There are many shaded areas to walk around in or sit and relax, and Science World overlooks the area if you get tired of the great outdoors.
New Westminster Quay: Located a block away from the New Westminster SkyTrain Station and Douglas College, this quay is a beautiful scenic sea walk. It features local art, a spectacular view of the Fraser River, and even a hidden beach area with hammocks and volleyball courts. There’s lots of shade to be found around, but when the temperature gets too high to tolerate, there are also many restaurants and pubs available for indoor relaxation.
Bard on the Beach: Western Canada’s largest Shakespeare festival! Despite the title, all of the theatre productions are actually performed in elaborate tents just outside the beach at Vanier Park. The tents allow for a cool sea breeze to balance the hot summer air, so you can enjoy the sunshine but still stay protected from heat. All the plays are performed by professionals, and usually altered and lighthearted enough to not be off-putting to a Shakespeare novice. The surrounding beach area allows for an outing before or after the play as well.
Movie theatres: When all else fails, Metro Vancouver features a wide variety of cinemas to relax in. You can become immersed in an imaginary world munching popcorn in a large air-conditioned dark room for couple of hours. Various Cineplex locations host the current blockbusters, the Vancity Theatre has independent art films and documentaries, and the Rio Theatre holds late-night cult classics, among others.