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TEXAS 2008
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Attractions and Entertainment

VANCOUVER WEATHER
In Vancouver, the average December temperature is 3ºC(37ºF) with an average high of 7ºC(45ºF) and average low 1ºC(34ºF). December is one of Vancouver's rainiest months, so plan for wet weather with the possibility of light snow. For the weather forcast, consult following resources:

Jump to: Sightseeing | Outdoor Rec | Skiing/Outdoor sports


SIGHTSEEING AND EVENTS

Tourism Vancouver has an excellent list of Featured Attractions and Activities.
The following attractions are particularly recommended:
  • Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
  • Vancouver Aquarium- The Vancouver Aquarium's biggest new attraction is a baby beluga whale named Tiqa, born in June 2008. They also feature dolphin shows several times a day, otters, sea lions, and a tropical exhibit.
  • Vancouver Museum/Macmillan Space Center-The Vancouver Museum features the history of Vancouver, as well as a real "live" mummy. Also plan to check out the H. R. Macmillan Space Center in the same building as the museum.
  • BC Ferries-Traveling by ferry is a wonderful way to view the breathtaking coastline of British Columbia. Ferry Services are offered from several mainland British Columbia and Washington State departure points, as well as between ports on Vancouver Island, Victoria, and the Gulf Islands. Schedules and ferry options can all be linked to through this site.
  • Lynn Canyon Park and Suspension Bridge- Lynn Canyon Park and Suspension Bridge is smaller than the more famous Capilano Suspension Bridge but much less crowded and free (Capilano is $28 for adults!). It's also in North Vancouver and not too much farther from downtown then Capilano. Vancouverites pick Lynn Canyon over Capilano any day.
  • Art Gallery-Go and see some art!
  • Chan Centre-There's an operetta on at the Chan center at UBC the week of the conference - and it's easy to get to UBC from the conference hotel.
  • Vancouver Symphony Orchestra-There are a few shows on the week of the conference, so take a look at the schedule.

For more sightseeing tips and suggestions, take a look at the following resources:

Jump to: Weather | Outdoor Rec | Skiing/Outdoor Sports


OUTDOOR RECREATION



Parks Around Vancouver
Get out and explore! The Vancouver area is beautiful, so you just need a good idea: the Parks Canada site lists National Parks and National Historic Sites in the vicinity of Vancouver. The closest National Park is the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, accessible via ferry from Tsawwassen (Tsawwassen is just south of Vancouver). There are a number of provincial parks accessible from Vancouver by car, which are described here.

Beaches
Vancouver Beaches

Bike Rental - Stanley Park
Stanley Park is a beautiful urban park near Vancouver's downtown area. Explore its trails on foot or on a rented bicycle.

Jump to: Weather | Sightseeing | Skiing/Outdoor Sports


WHISTLER & LOCAL MOUNTAIN OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES


WHISTLER

Whistler, the Official Alpine Skiing Venue of the 2010 Olympics, is a world-class ski resort located 2 hours from downtown Vancouver. Whistler technically consists of two main peaks, Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, which you can ski between but are also about to be connected via a new peak-to-peak gondola! There are many winter activities available at Whistler, so check out Whistler's comprehensive information online.
Money saving tips for skiiers/snowboarders: to save money on a one day lift pass (regular price $80 to $89), either try buying it at the "7-11" convenience store in a town called Squamish about 60km south of Whistler (you can see the "7-11" in Squamish from the highway; cost is $78), or buy a one-day EDGE card in advance (Canadian and Washington residents only; $64 if you purchase before Nov21; $76 if you purchase Nov21 or later). If you plan to ski at Whistler for more than one day, it is cheaper to buy your multi-day passes online through the Whistler website than at the ski hill.

Getting to Whistler:
The Vancouver Tourism sites have the most comprehensive information on this topic: for example, here

LOCAL MOUNTAINS

There are 3 local mountain playgrounds within 30min from downtown Vancouver. Sign up sheets will be available at the Conference Registration Table if you'd like to find other activity-minded people to join you, or for creating your own group transportation options.

Cypress
Cypress is the Official Freestyle Skiing (Aerials, Moguls and Ski Cross) and Snowboard (Half Pipe, Parallel Giant Slalom, and Snowboard Cross) Venue** for the 2010 Olympics. Cypress offers downhill skiing and snowboarding (533m vertical drop), cross country skiing and snowshoeing (19km of cross country trails & 10km of showshoe trails), and snow tubing. Cypress closes at 4pm until Dec 14, but starting Dec 15th (weather pending) the downhill, cross country and snow tubing areas are open until 10pm.
Tip for snowshoeing: buy a snowshoe pass if you want to use the trails, but you don't need to buy a showshoe trail pass if you want to showshoe up Hollyburn Mountain for some great views!

Grouse
Grouse offers downhill skiing and snowboarding (384m vertical drop; considered best local night option with main runs open at night from November onward), snowshoeing (4 trails), and ice skating. To reach the base of Grouse, you take a sky ride on a gondola to and from the parking lot.

Mount Seymour
Mount Seymour offers downhill skiing and snowboarding (400m vertical drop; lift passes about $10 cheaper than the other local mountains; check website for start date of night skiing and snowboarding), snowshoeing, and snow tubing (which opens Dec 14).

Vancouver Alpine Club

For adventurous types the Vancouver section of the Alpine Club of Canada has two events happening on Dec 13, a day after the conference ends (both look intermediate in level, and might require skis.)

Jump to: Weather | Sightseeing | Outdoor Rec | Skiing/Outdoor sports

 

 
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