July 12, 2013

Free Fun in Vancouver

Whoever said, "Nothing in the world is free" clearly has never experienced Vancouver at it's finest-and freest. Wallmark Homes is here to squash that senseless rumor and shed some summer sunlight on the endless fun you can have in Vancouver-all for FREE.

To get you started on your journey of freebies, we'll let you in on an unadvertised, little-known secret of the City: Free Transit! Bus rides on Sundays are free if you're riding with a friend who has a current bus pass. Now that you know how to get there, here's a few ideas on where to go for amazing adventures without ever reaching for your wallet.

Ten ocean side beaches and one fresh water beach make up 18 km of waterfront play-lands that surround Vancouver. Vancouver's beaches feature breathtaking views of water, forest, mountains and the core of downtown . Whether it's handicap accessible accommodations, family friendly swimming with lifeguards on duty or baring it all at the nude beach,  there is sure to be a beach in Vancouver that fits your lifestyle. Seven of these 11 beaches are also dog friendly!

617 acres of second growth forest with most trees aging from 80 to 100 years old, it's no wonder why Lynn Canyon Park has been such a popular destination among tourists and locals since 1912.

Hike through the Baden Powell Trail, one of the most well known hiking trails in Vancouver, spanning over the entire North Shore mountain range. If hiking isn't your thing, you can pack a picnic lunch and take a leisurely stroll over the jaw-dropping Suspension Bridge, through the majestic Twin Falls or take a dip in one of the many pristine swimming holes showcased throughout Lynn Canyon Park. There is plenty of time to explore these amazing grounds as the park opens every day at 7am and doesn't close it's doors until 9pm.

Located next to the Space Centre, the Gordon MacMillan Southam Observatory has been bringing the stars to us since 1979. Admittance by donation (you choose the amount) allows you to freely explore the heavens over Vancouver with their a ½-metre Cassegrain telescope Friday and Saturday evenings starting at 8:30. Star-gazing openings are limited so be sure to reserve your spot by calling (604) 738-2855 or guest services at (604) 738-7827 ext 240 after 8:00 pm.

Since the mid-19th Century, Vancouver has been home to one of the largest, most dynamic Chinese communities in North America. Extraordinary architecture, imported goods, authentic cuisine and live street performances are just the beginning of what can be uncovered when exploring the Chinatown Night Market. Admission is free and open to the public all summer long every Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 6:30pm to 11:00pm.

No visit to Chinatown is complete without a trip to the Chinese Garden. For a mere $10 admission you can stroll through the exotic Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Garden, the first authentic classical Chinese garden built outside of China. If you're on a roll with your "free Vancouver experience", head across the street to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park; a public park with the elements of a traditional Chinese garden, completely free of charge.

Visit Granville Island
Once you experience the charm, timelessness and magic of Granville Island, you may find it hard to believe that it is located just across from downtown Vancouver. The island's  lively entertainment and diverse array of music, the enticing food, exciting attractions and the award winning Public Market day vendors all add to the unique charm of this magical, beautifully preserved island. Admission is free to the Farmer's Market which takes place every Thursday through August and is made up of BC's finest artists, craftsmen and growers.