Our neighbor to the north, British Columbia is a prime vacation destination for Angelenos, offering up everything the big city dweller requires for a relaxed and invigorating escape from L.A. Vancouver is consistently ranked one of the best places in the world to visit, and much like our own city, it offers stunning mountain and ocean scenery, an eco-conscious yet cosmopolitan lifestyle and top-tier dining and accomodations. Just north of Vancouver sits Whistler, one of the world’s best known ski resorts. While it’s renowned for its winter fun, Whistler is actually a thriving four-season resort that draws tourists throughout the year.VANCOUVER
More and more discerning LGBT travelers head to Vancouver each year, as the city boasts the largest gay population in Western Canada. Much like L.A., Vancouver has a number of vibrant gay communities and unique gay neighborhoods. The West End
is where much of the LGBT population lives, an area characterized by diverse restaurants, gay nightlife venues and independent and designer storefronts. Vancouver’s Chinatown
is North America’s third-largest, after San Francisco and New York. Gastown
is the city’s most historic neighborhood, complete with cobblestone streets and restored Victorian buildings—a great place for dawdling or dining.
The Boutique Experience
With more than 25,000 hotel rooms, Vancouver has no shortage of luxury accommodations, though the OPUS Hotel
offers the most sleek and stylish boutique experience to the L.A. traveler. Not only is the hotel a mere 32 footsteps from the Canada Line Station (22 minutes from the airport), but it’s the only hotel located in the trendy and fashionable Yaletown neighborhood. The area connotes urban charm at its finest, with converted warehouses that are now some of the city’s most stylish and talked-about boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and lounges. The guestrooms feature vibrant colors, spa bathrooms (I couldn’t get enough of the heated tile floor) and five lifestyle-inspired décor schemes. OPUS is one of the world’s top hotels. opushotel.comAfter-Dark Excitement
After a meal in one of Vancouver’s unrivaled dining establishments, you’ll need to partake in the city’s after-dark excitement. Downtown’s safe, walkable streets ensure an enjoyable experience wherever you go. Celebrities
is a Vancouver institution, the city’s largest gay bar, and one that features a mixed crowd with top DJs and special events throughout the week. Sunday afternoons should be spent at PumpJack Pub
(PJs), a casual atmosphere where friendly leather men and bears meet. Numbers
is another Vancouver landmark, a multi-level space with DJs and events all week long. gayvancouver.net/nightlifeWHISTLER
Located 79 miles north of Vancouver, you’ll find yourself in this mountain resort after a scenic two-hour journey on the Sea to Sky Highway, also known as Highway 99. The route recently underwent a $600 million upgrade, so it’s smooth driving alongside views of the rugged coastline, picturesque waterfalls and glacial peaks. Pacific Coach Lines
offers service between Vancouver’s airport or downtown Vancouver hotels to Whistler several times each day. Feel free to purchase your transportation after disembarking at the airport—you’ll find ticket counters directly after clearing Candian customs. Read more...