Vancouver Weekender: August 5th through 7th, 2011

What’s happening in Vancouver this weekend you ask? Well, first-off, let us fill you in on the forecast courtesy of The Weather Network. We’re happy to report that it’s looking blissfully toasty with highs reaching 25°C (or more) all weekend. Time to break out the bikini or trunks and hustle to the beach indeed! Wondering which one to hit? Take a look at the handy Vancouver Parks Board map that’ll help you make the best laid plans. And check out Vancouver’s own Cuchè Bikinis for some ‘suitspiration.’

Once you’ve beach-bummed it up enough for the day, consider checking out some of these other weekend options…

Looking for a buzzing brunch-spot to help a possible hangover? Check out the fabulous food finds at Opus Hotel’s One Hundred Nights. Always overflowing with a lively crowd, we love the welcoming, eclectic atmosphere of this chic space…not to mention the mouth-watering offerings and extensive selection of signature brunch dishes and a unique twist on Eggs Benny. Who can say no to Lobster and Crab cake Eggs Benedict?

There are still a few tickets available for this year’s Thoroughbred: A Day At The Races taking place tomorrow afternoon at the Hastings Racecourse. This is an event not to be missed and always delivers an amazing day fuelled by fabulous fashion and fascinators reminiscent of the Royal Ascot. If you’re looking for the perfect excuse to don your linen suit and fedora – and are prepared to place your bets with the best of them – be sure to pencil this event in. Tickets are $75 per person and include munchies, complimentary cocktail, prizes and much more. Click here for more info, directions and to check out last year’s party pics if you need additional inspiration…but we’re betting that won’t be an issue.

So hopefully by now you’ve got a pocket full of cash and are running on ‘winners circle’ adrenalin that needs an outlet. Might we suggest you fuel that energy by stopping by the newly opened Verace Pizzeria Napoletana and Enoteca or Gastown’s popular Nicli Antica Pizzeria for a taste of Italian bliss. Verace is the newest ‘kid’ on the pizzeria block in Vancouver (this seems to be an ongoing trend as we know of several others soon to open). Load up on your carbs and bite into the Margherita Pizza or opt for lighter fare like the Salati Assortiti.

Next stop: Head over en masse to catch the finale of this year’s Celebration of Light and join thousands of others in a breath-taking performance courtesy of Canada before the sparks die out until 2012.

Roll out of bed Sunday morning and head over to Grouse Mountain for a sobering trip up the Grind or less-trafficked BCMC trail. Bring a bottle of water and your bank card so you can enjoy a satisfying lazy lunch up top and partake in plenty of additional free activities prior to blasting down on the gondola.

For an alternative athletic afternoon activity, consider heading to English Bay, Jericho Beach or Deep Cove to try out the latest boarding craze – paddle boarding that is. For this plug, we’re going with the picturesque setting of North Vancouver’s Deep Cove and urge you to check out Deep Cove Canoe and Kayak for rentals and availability. When you’re done, simply head over to the area’s long time favourite spot for nosh, Arm’s Reach Bistro and grab a table on their laid-back patio for a lingering lunch or early dinner before you get back into ‘work-mode’ for Monday.