re you looking for a view from your urban timeshare resort? The picture at the left shows you the beautiful skyline of Vancouver, British Columbia, where WorldMark the Club has its first urban timeshare destination in The Canadian, in floors 19 through 24. The Canadian, of course, is a 32-story skyscraper at the famous Wall Centre in Vancouver.
Beat that for an urban view!
Vancouver, just north across the Canada/USA border from Seattle, is consistently rated as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It is also tops for sightseeing, shopping, dining and things to do, and it is multicultural as well. AND it has a mild climate. All in all a very special vacation destination that has been too often overlooked.
This is a thoroughly urban destination where you can nevertheless enjoy wide-open spaces, sandy beaches, rich rainforest and rugged West Coast mountains. With 1.9 million people, Vancouver is a tourism paradise, beautiful mountains, ocean, forests, and gardens everywhere. You can ski, windsurf, scuba dive or go inline skating. Coming with your family in tow? Visit the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre, Science World and the Kids Only market or take the kids to Stanley Park.
Stanley Park, larger than New York’s Central Park, is located in Vancouver’s West End between Burrard Inlet and English Bay and it stands as one of Canada’s most prime pieces of protected real estate. It comprises about 1000 acres of woodlands, gardens, flowers, trails, lakes, benches and wildlife. Circumnavigate the park via the seawall (a brisk 2-hour walk) or take the road less traveled around Lost Lagoon or Beaver Lake to view the resident geese and raccoons. Stanley Park is home to the Vancouver Aquarium as well as a children’s farmyard, tennis courts, pitch and putt golf course and more, which makes it a great family outing.
And if none of those things excites you, you can enjoy world-class entertainment, fantastic cuisine and some of the finest and most eclectic shopping around.
The Vancouver area is surrounded by some of the most stunning natural beauty in the world. And there are many ways to go about exploring it. By coach or minibus, horse-drawn carriage or helicopter, bicycle or on foot, alone or with a local guide.
And don’t forget the city’s Chinatown, largest in Canada, and third largest on the continent. Vancouver’s Chinatown offers an amazing menu of authentic markets and restaurants and fascinating sights, all within easy walking distance of downtown.
Are you a dedicated shopper? New York has Fifth Avenue. Paris has the Champs d’Elysses. Vancouver has Robson Street, Granville Street, Gastown, Yaletown and Commercial Drive, where you can shop with the best of them. From the funky to the sublime, the cheap to the ridiculously expensive, you can find it here.
Robson Street in particular is called “The street that makes the city.” Vibrant and eclectic, this shopping and dining area has been attracting thousands of people to the heart of Vancouver for more than 100 years. The eclectic mix of chic boutiques, high-end retailers, unusual and artistic goods, hip cafes and casual to exquisite dining draws a large diverse group of individuals to one of the city’s famous hot spots. (Back when the European flavor was denser, the street was called ‘Robsonstrasse’.)
If you like to mix a little history and quaintness in with your vacation, Gastown will satify your needs. This area, where Vancouver began, has cobbled streets, fun lighting, a steam clock, shops and restaurants. Gastown is a mix of “hip” contemporary fashion and interior furnishing boutiques, tourist-oriented businesses (generally restricted to Water Street), restaurants, nightclubs, poverty and newly upscale housing. In addition, there are law firms, architects and other professional offices, as well as computer and internet businesses, art galleries, music and art studios, and acting and film schools.
Popular annual events that take place on the cobblestone streets of Gastown include the Vancouver International Jazz Festival and the Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix international bicycle race.
Maple Tree Square is the original point for all Vancouver street addresses. The Gastown area was designated a Provincial heritage site in 1971. It’s a thorough pleasure to visit.
Do take the time while in the area to visit the beautiful city of Victoria, the provincial capital of British Columbia at the tip of Vancouver Island, and a delight to all the senses. This is a city of flowers, elegant, sophisticated and charming. It is best known for its formal flower gardens, quaint tea rooms and collection of eclectic shops. The inner harbour, one of the most romantic and exciting scenes in Victoria, bustles with marine traffic by day and is aglow with the lights of the majestic Parliament Buildings by night. Visit castles, museums, art galleries, stroll through beautiful Beacon Hill Park or take a narrated, horse drawn carriage ride. Stop by Fan Tan Alley in Victoria’s Chinatown, the narrowest street in Canada.
WorldMark by Wyndham, WorldMark’s first urban destination, occupies 6 floors of this highrise building (19 through 24) for its members to enjoy. The units in this building are compact, sleek and modern with ceiling to floor windows in living, dining and bedrooms. There is lots of storage space and magnificent views of the city from every window.
All units have fully-equipped kitchens with microwave and dishwasher, washer and dryer, gas fireplace, cable TV, VCR, stereo system and telephone. All units are non-smoking. As of early 2012 there is no WiFi, but each unit has high speed cable to connect to your laptop (for a small fee). Guests at this dual-affiliated RCI Gold Crown (WorldMark Vancouver) Interval International Premier (WorldMark The Canadian) resort also have the ability to make use of the health club across the street at the Sheraton, and there is an indoor swimming pool and spa for those days when you don’t feel like going anywhere.
It’s close to the groceries, movie theater, restaurants, bus/train stops, shopping malls, etc.
Its central location in the heart of downtown makes it an ideal base for exploring not only Vancouver, but the areas surrounding it as well. You can even take a day trip up to Whistler to ski or explore if you want, and still be back in time for dinner at one of the enticing restaurants in Chinatown or Gastown or Little Italy.
All in all, this is a resort destination that you shouldn’t miss. You’ll really like it— I guarantee it!
Some Web sites to explore for more information:
- http://www.vancouver-bc.com/ –In Vancouver, a guide
- http://www.discovervancouver.com/ –The best for complete info, including news
- http://www.robsonstreet.ca/ –Go shopping on Robson Street!
- http://www.biv.com/ –Business in Vancouver
- http://www.vancouvertourist.com/ –An excellent guide
- http://www.vanmag.com/ –Vancouver Magazine
- http://www.vanaqua.org/ –Vancouver Aquarium, great site, kid friendly
- http://www.vancouver-chinatown.info/ –Vancouver’s Chinatown
“On the Road” is a compilation of destination ideas, resort reviews, videos and more gathered from a variety of sources that includes our readers.
The purpose of “On the Road” is to showcase some of the magnificent places in the world to visit, to give you an idea for someplace to go that you might previously not have thought of or known about. In most cases, but not all, we have provided a brief overview of a timeshare resort in the spotlighted area. Most of those resorts are either RCI Gold Crown or I.I. Premier quality. However, these resorts are not usually theonly timeshare resorts in the area; be sure to check in your exchange catalog for a complete listing of available resorts. Check it out— enjoy yourself, go somewhere new this year!
Readers are encouraged to contribute their own stories and photos. Email [email protected] and put “On the Road” in the Subject line so we’ll know what it’s about.