Vancouver Weekender: August 3 through 5, 2012

On this first weekend of August, our Notable weekender is stacked with options and offerings guaranteed to keep you on your toes with new restaurants open, patios to explore and festivals galore. Read on and take your pick – it’ll be a tough choice.

Come Friday, if you’re not heading out of town for the BC Day long weekend, we’re thinking that you’ll likely want to ensure you mosey your way out to Vancouver’s stunning waterfront to unwind. Take advantage of a the patio and beach scene by hitting up the two-tiered space at recently opened Tap & Barrel (located in False Creek), or head to one of our favourite sun-drenched decks at Monk McQueen’s. Feel like staying closer to the city? Then don your best summer smooth attire and head to The Westin Grand’s Pop Up Patio to take in the city scene.  Chill by the private pool, sip cocktails and mingle with other YPs as you enjoy live DJ tunes and light bites courtesy of resident Executive Chef Matthew Richmond. 

Come Saturday, make it an early start by beelining your way to the Bowen Island Ferry and enjoying a day break from the city. A mere 20-minute trek over will have you feeling hours away and uplifted – we guarantee. Once on the island, enjoy a day of relaxation. Take in the shops, galleries and eateries in abundance.  Rent a kayak or SUP for a few hours and stop at nearby Sandy Beach for some sun and swim time before making your way back to the Mainland.  

Also worth checking out as an alternative day trip: head to White Rock’s 63rd Annual Spirit of the Sea Festival (takes place all weekend along 2km of picturesque waterfront). There will be cultural activities, paddleboard races, music, dancing, a salmon BBQ and plenty more to keep you captivated…and you’ll feel transported to the sunny shores of California to boot.

Saturday evening, chill your grill and let someone else man the BBQ by heading to the 2nd Annual Smoking Sausage BBQ Cook-off hosted by the Mount Pleasant BIA.  All money raised at the event will be donated to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, and $3 will have you sampling the grilled goodness brought to you by various local restaurants (The Rumpus Room, The Cascade Lounge and Rhizome Cafe are just a few participants). After you’ve had your fill, vote on the best BBQ sausage creation and cheers the winner with a beer.

Also taking place Saturday evening is the finale of this year’s Honda Celebration of Light – with Italy gearing up to show the crowd what it’s all about. Lights go down and the show begins at 10pm; we recommend leaving early to score yourself a front row seat. 

On Sunday, grab a bit of brunch at Cafe Medina, HouseXGuest, or stop by Clough Club to try out their Spanish-inspired offerings. Next, swing by recently opened boutique La Differencia to get a quick fashion fix before you head out to enjoy a full day of PRIDE festivities. That’s right – PRIDE Festival is in full swing and with it comes the always-awesome Pride parade (starting at noon, Sunday).   oin more than 650,000 other spectators and participants, bring your dancing shoes and have an afternoon of fun.

Given that it is the long weekend, there’s no reason to end things early. Stick around downtown and head over to the Powell Street Festival or Summer Multicultural Festival taking place on Victoria Drive.

After a day’s worth of festivities, we’re thinking the timing might be right for a bit of beach BBQ time as you take in the summer scene. Pick up some choice cuts at Jackson’s on W. 4th Avenue and make your way to Locarno Beach or Spanish Banks for a night of relaxing.

Come holiday Monday, use the day to re-energize, grab your bike and head for the Seawall, cruise over and explore some of the North Shore trails or simply stay close to home and get geared up for the week ahead. After a sun-drenched weekend like this one, we think you’ll need a little R&R.

Photo courtesy Tap & Barrel