Vancouver Weekender: August 24 through 26, 2012

We’re sad to even say it, but we’re in the final official stretch of summer…and with that realization, a need to pack in as much seasonal fun as possible this weekend.  This Vancouver weekender aims to do just that – so don’t be surprised if you find yourself feeling quite exhausted after reading it.

Friday, we’re thinking you might want to consider getting out of Dodge and making your way up to Squamish for a day (or weekend) full of outdoor concert fun at the LIVE at Squamish Music Festival. Notable acts such as The Tragically Hip, Chromeo, the Sheepdogs, City and Colour and many more are set to play throughout the weekend. Keep it to nature and squeeze in some festival-style camping (there are still spots available close to the concert site). When you’re not feeling the music, it’s easy enough to head out for a bit of a hike, or into the quaint water-side town for a change of scenery and bite to eat.

Saturday in the city, we recommend checking out the Supernatural Convention that’s back for another year to salute the fans (and there are indeed a lot). Last year, we noted an amusing assortment of hardcore supernatural aficionados who made the trip from all over Canada and the US (and beyond) adorned in a variety of attire… let’s just say that it can make for some great people watching – fan or not. If you’re keen to catch a glimpse of the two easy-on-the-eyes stars of this hit Vancouver-filmed show, head to the Sheraton Wall Centre this weekend.

Also taking place Saturday, the third Annual Steveston Dragon Boat Festival makes worth taking the short drive out to this picturesque part of Lower Mainland a must. There will be plenty of races to catch, local artisan vendors to visit and lots of great food and live entertainment on hand throughout the day. What’s more, Steveston Village is packed with plenty of shops, bakeries, restaurants, boutiques and galleries that are guaranteed to keep you beyond busy.

Once you’ve had your race-day fix, we think you ought to head back into Van and make a pit-stop at one of our favourite new spots to pop open in the last few weeks. We recently paid a visit to the Storm Crow Tavern on Commercial Drive and were totally taken by the laid-back and authentic Medieval feel of this cozy pub. Enjoy sipping your pint from a beer stein while noshing on house-made chickpea fries or dipping into some hearty stew. We think you’ll want to adopt it as your new go-to watering hole when the drizzle-filled days of winter are upon us again.

Looking for a laugh? Head down to the CBC Studio Saturday night to support the Laughter Mission Society as part of the Fringe Mash-up: ‘What’s My Line?’ show uniting actors and surprise humour for a raucous night of fun. Admission is by donation and the show starts at 7pm.

Head into Sunday and make it a day filled with outdoor activities. Gear up with water and snacks and load up with picnic fixings (grab some delicious deli-style sandwiches at the Cardero Bottega en route) and make your way over to the North Shore. Hiking options are endless if you opt to check out Cypress Mountain for a day of adventures. One of our notable favourites is the dog-friendly Cabin Lake Trail, which will give you a near-full day of activity. Another is to make your way to the Yew Lake loop, or simply stick to the Baden-Powell Trail – there are plenty to choose from. 

If you’re not feeling up for as much of a day-long commitment, simply make your way to one of our city’s local beaches, where the water has more than warmed up to suitable temperatures. Ambleside is a great option on the North Shore; Third and Second Beach also offer a bit of a reprieve from the crowds you’ll find at English Bay or Kitsilano – and you can BB-Que things up accordingly prior to making your way home to prep for the week ahead.