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 Travel Article Travel Article Archive  
January 2010 Email this to a friend

Vancouver

The wilderness is so close to civilization.

By Staff reports

Odyssey, Vancouver

We Have
166
Photos From
Vancouver!

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NOTE: This is an archive Vancouver article. For an updated and expanded article click DailyXtraTravel

The "City of Glass" is a place of stunning vistas set between mountain ranges and the Strait of Georgia. Vancouver has the high-energy buzz befitting a city of post-modern condo towers, high-tech industry and two decades of heavy immigration from Hong Kong and Taiwan. But visitors can tune into a laid-back west coast vibe as they commune with nature and cruise the parks and nudist Wreck Beach. Top-notch skiing, hiking, camping and surfing are nearby.

Neighborhoods
With rainbow banners and pink bus stops, the West End's "gayborhood" of Davie Village contains most of the city's gay clubs, bars, lounges, cafes, and restaurants. Handsome guys can often be seen holding hands as they make their way down the streets.
The second gay district is Commercial Drive. Locally known as "the Drive," it has lots of inexpensive ethnic restaurants, interesting shops and several women's hangouts.

Bars & clubs

1181 (1181 Davie) plush lounge open nightly -five with DJs, chill-out zone, good martinis, retro films, pop art, shirtless Friday beer boys, local artists, and hot men.

Celebrities (1022 Davie) 19-plus dance club, big-name DJs, special events, guest celebrities, nude shadow box dancers, entertainment, and shows. Upstairs cruising area for guys.

Club 816 (816 Granville) after hours electronic dance music club, Thursday through Sunday nights.

Fountainhead Pub (1025 Davie) casually cruisy upscale neighborhood bar in the heart of Davie Village with covered patio, for ages 19-up. Games, TV sports, pub food at reasonable prices, and a good selection of microbrews.

Lolita's South of the Border Cantina (1326 Davie) Mexican restaurant, happy hour bar, delicious margaritas.

Numbers (1042 Davie) three bars on five levels, diverse crowd of ages and types,, friendly staff. Numbers Idol contests with cash prizes and other entertainment.

Odyssey (1251 Howe) every night dance club with contests, Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday drag shows; Thursday exotic male strip and shower sessions. Lots of special parties and performances; outdoor patio.

Oasis (1240 Thurlow; up) ultra lounge and tapas bar, cozy heated patio, extravagant menu, impressive martinis, live music, DJs with different themes each night.

The Junction Public House (1138 Davie), newly renovated former Pulse, neighborhood pub/club, video sports bar and cafe. Dancing on Fridays through Sundays.

PumpJack (1167 Davie) leather events, motorcycle club,contests, puppy and underwear parties, see-and-be-seen windows. Big screens for the games, Sunday keg parties.

Score (1262 Davie) bar and restaurant, sports TV, good selection of beers and mixed drinks, food, large patio.

Gyms

Denman Fitness (1731 Comox St) fun, positive alternative to high-pressure clubs, custom programs to fit your needs.

Spartacus Gym (1522 Commercial Dr) gay- owned and frequented workout facility on "the Drive."

Saunas

Fahrenheit 212 (1048 Davie) huge gay play space, full gym, steam rooms, hot tub, porn, internet, cheap memberships.

Hastings Steam & Sauna (766 E Hastings) Finnish traditional sauna, open since 1926, diverse crowd, men-only area.

M2M Playspace (1210 Granville) open 24 hours, edgy, hard-core alternative crowd, rooms, slings, steam, visitor memberships.

Steam 1 (430 Columbia; Westminster) rooms, communal showers, sauna, play area, internet, gym, relaxed, good-looking crowd.

Streamworks (123 West Pender) new outpost in the chain of five superb gym/sauna/bathhouses for men 18-plus, open 24/7 with the finest of steamy facilities and play spaces.

Accommodations
Blue Horizon (1225 Robson; 800-663- 1333) near shopping and dining, close to Davie Village, downtown, Stanley Park.
Nelson House B&B (977 Broughton, West End; 866-684-9793) bright and cheery B&B, near English Bay, Granville Island, Davie clubs.
Pacific Palisades (1277 Robson; 604-688- 0461) 233 suites, dinner until midnight, pool, spa, steam, hot tub, massage, fitness rooms.
Sunset Inn & Suites (1111 Burnaby; 800-786- 1997) quiet West End, near urban attractions, balconies, English Bay views.
Sandman Inn and Suites (1160 Davie; 604-681- 7263) luxury suites, penthouses, hot tubs, balconies, water views, pool, spa.

Restaurants
Cafe Deux Soleils (2096 Commercial Dr) vegetarian restaurant, brunch, poetry slams, live music, open to midnight.
Cafe Luxy (1235 Davie) pasta specials, elegant weekend brunch, good wine list.
Chinatown Night Market (Keefer and Main Streets) weekends through September 6, shop and eat until 11pm.
Coming Home Cafe (753 6th; New Westminster) kitchy uptown cafe, original art, organic coffee and food, wi-fi.
Darryl's Coffee & Native Art Shop (945 Davie) stress-free vibe, hot drinks, ice cream, fruit smoothies, first-nation art.
Delany's (1105 Denman) popular coffee house, one of the best people-watching patios around.
Elbow Room (560 Davie) big breakfasts, 25 omelet choices, great lunch, sandwiches, burgers, or dash of Mexico.
Hamburger Mary's (1202 Davie) 1950s-era diner, breakfast all day, late-night dining, burgers, soup, sandwiches, shakes.
Heritage Grill (447 Columbia; New Westminster) broad menu, crab cakes, salmon, live music, affable Friday night gay crowd.
India Bistro (1157 Davie) meaty or vegetarian meals, lunch buffet, dinner daily, Sunday brunch, eat-in, takeout or delivery.
Melriches Coffee House (1244 Davie) independent cafe, good coffee, homemade food, art on the walls.
Moxies Classic Grill (1160 Davie) under Sandman Inn, modern look, street-side dining, massive bar, killer menu.
Rhizome Cafe(317 E Broadway) queer- friendly, community-minded place, entertainment, films, exhibits, food, games.
Theresa's (1260 Commercial Dr) worker-owned queer- frequented breakfast spot, fresh eggs, organic coffee.
Vera's Burger Shack (1030 Davie) gourmet all the way, with delicious sweet-potato fries and turkey burgers.

Shopping & services
Centre (1170 Bute) gay community resources, support, health and social services, public education.
GayVan Travel Marketing (1808-1150 Jervis) travel planning and area information, knowledgeable gay staff.
Ju Ju Salon and Spa (823 Davie) spa, hair stylists and colorists, full consultations, waxing and facials, ear-candling.
Little Sister's Book And Art Emporium (1238 Davie) gay books, adult toys, erotica, fashion accessories, gifts and cards.
Priape (1148 Davie) sexy underwear, swimsuits, leather gallery, good porn selection.
Top Drawers (1030 Denman, #115) top-name sweats, jeans, T-shirts, vests, accessories, laid-back staff.

Getting here

At Vancouver Airport Station Terminal, catch bus 98B or 496 to downtown Vancouver. Pay on the bus with exact change, $2.50. In late 2009, SkyTrain's newest rapid rail line will link Waterfront and Vancouver City Centre to Richmond and Vancouver International Airport.

Getting around

Translink has SkyTrain, buses and ferries to get you around Vancouver. A fare of $2.50 to $5 gives you 90 minutes of travel around the Lower Mainland. Day passes cost from $7 to $9. Also, two companies operate adorable mini-ferries that ply the waters of False Creek.

Pride Day

Vancouver Pride
Parade from Robson at Thurlow and festival at Sunset Beach wrap up two weeks of events all over town.
August 1, 2010
Vancouverpride.ca

Local media

XTRA! West newspaper, the local gay bi-weekly, is chock-full of current events, news, opinions and listings.

Cruising spots

Central Park, Burnaby. Kingsway at Boundary Rd afternoons/after dark, trails between Kingsway and north duck pond.
Lees Trail, Stanley Park. Popular trail northwest of Second Beach, day or night outdoor sex, avoid tourists.
Kitsilano Pool. The pool, at 2305 Cornwall Avenue, has late night meetings at back of the pool, along the seawall.
English Bay Sundial. At the bottom of Davie and Denman Streets, cruisy late nights at large sundial.
Wreck Beach. Heavy cruising in sandy oasis' upriver.

Top experiences

Sex on the beach. Vancouver's Wreck Beach is one of the world's best places for public sex and clothing- optional tanning. Good marijuana is sold right on the main beach, illegally.
Sensational shopping. For a day of browsing, catch the water taxi to Granville Island at the southern end of Thurlow Street, behind the Aquatic Centre.
Into the woods. Outdoor sex with the smell of cedar in your nostrils can be found on the trails behind the Second Beach pool in Stanley Park.
Floating parties. Cruisey T are one of the best things about being gay in Vancouver.
Air and sea. Take a floatplane ride to Nanaimo (catch it at the Coal Harbour waterfront west of the Vancouver Convention Centre) and come back on the big walk-on ferry (at Departure Bay).

Event planner

May
Cruisey T 2010 Kick Off Party Cruise
Canada's largest floating T-Dance
May 30, 2010
www.cruiseyt.com

August
Vancouver Queer Film Festival
22nd year of queer movies from around the world
August 12-22, 2010
Queerfilmfestival.ca.

January/February 2011
WinterPRIDE
19th anniversary gay ski week events
January 30 - February 6, 2011
Gaywhistler.com


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