Active & Adventure

Summer In Vancouver: Designer Ice Cream + Liquid Yoga + A Chic Longtable Dinner

Summer 2017 insider must-dos in vancouver canada

[trip style = active + food + wine]

To my sun-seeking soul, summer is the best time to be on the West Coast. During this sacred season, California's weather flirts with Canada's coastline, bringing sun from 6am-10pm, weather that justifies rosé all day and a fashion sense that's more breezy than bundled.  

Other than a few trips abroad in June, I typically reserve July and August for trip styling locally, either on weekend jaunts or staycations. To do this, I try to work fewer hours and extend each weekend because British Columbia is too gorgeous not to explore when it's in full bloom. 

For weekends away, I usually head to the mountains, beeline for the beach or channel my love Palm Springs in Canada's only desert {also a wine region!}. If I stay in the city, I like to bike the world's longest uninterrupted waterfront path, practice pool yoga or eat designer ice cream. {Real talk: Now that I have little stylers, I can't do all of this in one weekend, so I break up the fun throughout the summer.}

Here are a few "very Vancouver," summer-only, Trip Styler-approved happenings going on right now. See you there!

beta5 ice cream socials

Designer Ice Cream
Tucked away in an urban industrial district off Main Street, you'll find BETA5 Chocolates, aka Vancouver's sweetest secret. This summer, Canada's coolest chocolate-, pastry- and ice cream-maker is one-upping its cool-factor by offering designer sundaes that are more art than ice cream. But the cool treats aren't just for Instagram show --> they taste as beautiful as they look given the local dairy, in-season produce and handcrafted toppings that go into each bite.

DETAILS: BETA5's Ice Cream Socials take place every Saturday from 1-5pm during the summer. Want ice cream during the week? It's cool; they've got you covered.

liquid yoga the westin bayshore summer

Liquid Yoga
In an ode to Vancouver's summertime glory—yoga + outdoor pool + sunshine = yes please—head to the Westin Bayshore for Liquid Yoga. Taking place in the waterfront hotel's outdoor pool, participants float on aquamats while they flow through a 60-minute practice in a small-group setting, complete with birds chirping and warm water lapping up against their mat. The only requirement: Know how to swim and BYOBS {bring your own bathing suit}. The setting is so inviting, you'll want to take a dip after class when your hands touch the water during savasana.

DETAILS: Sixty-minute classes take place every Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday at 8am + 9am during the summer, and cost $30 {$20 for hotel guests}. Reserve your spot here.

IMG_5264.jpg

Crab + Lobster Boil
Every Sunday this summer, YEW Seafood + Bar in the Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver is bringing the ocean to you with its Crab + Lobster Boil. Featuring BC-caught Dungeness Crab and Canadian Lobster, as well as a spread of sautéed greens and marbled potatoes, this long table feast offers a coast-to-coast taste of Canada, including BC wine. PS: If you haven't properly celebrated Canada's 150th birthday, this tasteful soirée is for you.  

DETAILS: YEW's Crab + Lobster Boil happens every Sunday night during the summer. Book your seat here. Tickets cost $75 and include wine.

[Photos via @tripstyler, except lead image courtesy of FS Vancouver]

Montana on my Mind :: Whitefish

whitefish montana guide

[trip style = adventure + food/wine]

{Editor's Note: This is the second post in a multipart series on Montana. Don't miss part one.} 

Like the rest of Montana, you breathe deeper in Whitefish, Big Sky Country's prime adventuretown at the cusp of the continental divide. Sure, the far-reaching forests add an oxygen boost to the air quality, but it's more than that. The ultra-kind western hospitality helps, too. As do the 360-degree mountain views, glacial lakes and raging rivers. Mostly, the air up there is filled with a spirit of creativity sparked by a place that fuels passions.

"Take a quiet walk with nature; it will nurture your mind, body, and soul."
- Anthony Douglas Williams  

As I wander our planet, I've noticed a commonality in every area code: Those who are inspired by their environment create well whether that's cuisine, handicrafts or art. Whitefish is a good example of this. The nature-centric activities—cue residents traipsing around town in their fly fishing waders, cycling armor, or hiking boots—encourage a well of inspiration. The result: A cool town where locals live life to the fullest at every elevation. 

Inspired by this place and its pursuits, here are the trip styled spots to stay, shop, sip and eat in Whitefish, Montana:  

 Shop ::  Miakoda  in Stumptown Marketplace. I wanted to buy e-v-e-r-y piece of leather in this shop, though with only a carry-on in tow, I chose something small: A leather necklace. Using local hides in most of her designs, shopgal Alexandra relocated to Montana to explore her passion for leather-making and life in the rugged wild. 

Shop :: Miakoda in Stumptown Marketplace. I wanted to buy e-v-e-r-y piece of leather in this shop, though with only a carry-on in tow, I chose something small: A leather necklace. Using local hides in most of her designs, shopgal Alexandra relocated to Montana to explore her passion for leather-making and life in the rugged wild. 

 Shop ::  Meriwether of Montana , a cheeky-cool gift shop — so popular they are now selling their wares across the country — with campy mugs, handkerchiefs, and humorous keychains with inscriptions such as "Humble with a dash of Kanye," scattered throughout the store. 

Shop :: Meriwether of Montana, a cheeky-cool gift shopso popular they are now selling their wares across the countrywith campy mugs, handkerchiefs, and humorous keychains with inscriptions such as "Humble with a dash of Kanye," scattered throughout the store. 

 Shop ::  Harlow . If I lived in Whitefish, I'd buy my entire wardrobe here. When I visited, I became a regular stopping in to chat with staff and try on the gorgeous garments ranging from Mother Denim jeans to Free People dresses to Cleobella bags.   

Shop :: Harlow. If I lived in Whitefish, I'd buy my entire wardrobe here. When I visited, I became a regular stopping in to chat with staff and try on the gorgeous garments ranging from Mother Denim jeans to Free People dresses to Cleobella bags.   

 Eat ::  Sweet Peaks . Sweet Peaks is delicious in every way from its local dairy and oh-so Montana flavors. Hello huckleberry, and cardamom plum swirl, my mouth was VERY pleased to meet you. 

Eat :: Sweet Peaks. Sweet Peaks is delicious in every way from its local dairy and oh-so Montana flavors. Hello huckleberry, and cardamom plum swirl, my mouth was VERY pleased to meet you. 

 Sip ::  Spotted Bear Spirits . Enter the bar of my dreams with its leather-bound menus, wildflower-filled vases and ultra-local spirit{s}. Stop in for a sip of their vodka, gin or  liqueurs , or stay awhile and have a craft cocktail or two. Cheers.

Sip :: Spotted Bear Spirits. Enter the bar of my dreams with its leather-bound menus, wildflower-filled vases and ultra-local spirit{s}. Stop in for a sip of their vodka, gin or liqueurs, or stay awhile and have a craft cocktail or two. Cheers.

 Stay ::  The Firebrand Hotel . Located in downtown Whitefish, this property is the newest and most boutique addition to the town's growing list of accoms.  

Stay :: The Firebrand Hotel. Located in downtown Whitefish, this property is the newest and most boutique addition to the town's growing list of accoms.  

[Photos taken by @tripstyler—except lead and firebrand courtesy of town/hotel—when I visited Montana in partnership with Expedia. As you know, I only write about what I LOVE.]

Montana on my Mind

montana

[trip style = adventure]

{Editor's Note: This is part one of a multipart series on Montana. Check out part two about Whitefish, the state's creative-cool adventuretown.}

Despite its A-list appeal {you KNOW a ton of celebs have estates in Montana, right?}, you don't see too many photos of Big Sky Country splashed across the media, like St. Tropez or Capri. Why? Well, it's very hush-hush. When heads of state, CEOs and stars arrive, they don't parade around in paparazzi-ready outfits or fancy wheels; instead they "get lost" in Montana's 94,109,542 acres of rolling hills, dude ranches and snow-capped peaks. 

Many travel stories talk about the merits of getting lost, proclaiming this is when you'll "be found," or find what you're looking for; rest, relaxation, insight, love, etc... At the risk of being cliché, I had a sense of that foundness. I found peace losing myself in Montana's natural state pairing straight-up nature and good country folk.

Unhindered by mega-cities or shiny anything, I saw why Montanansboth the born and bred and those who've relocated for a reality check and resthave a deep reverence for their stomping grounds. Sure, private jets come and go, but Montana stays the same, and that's its magic.

Here are a few highlights from my trip a few months ago.

[Photos taken by @tripstyler when I visited Montana with a group of travel writers from around the world. As always, I only write about what I LOVE, and I'm already planning my next trip to Glacier Country with the rest of Trip Styl'in crew. Yahoo!]

Scenery + Sizzle: Zion National Park x Vegas

Zion National Park + Trip Styler

[trip style = steal + active + adventure]

A few months ago, Mr. Trip Styler and I jet-set to Utah {by way of Vegas} for the weekend on an Expedia x US National Parks assignment. 

Our mission: Zion National Park, aka, the perfect trip styled fit since I've had my eye on Utah and its epic national parks for a long time. And, with Vegas being the closest gateway city, the woodland was easy to reach, and BONUS, allowed us to pair a side of sizzle with our trip into the sticks.  

Our five-day, four-night adventure saw us spending three nights in Springdale, UT—a small town cozied up to Zion's South Rim Entrance—and a final night in Vegas. Our plan: Go nuts in nature, followed by a bit of pool time under the desert sun.

Trip Styler Tip: Vegas has a number of non-gaming hotels sans smoke and slots, so YES, it is possible to relax to the max in the Glitter Gulch. My favorite trip style = luxe address: The Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, a hotel that redefines Vegas-chic. 

Here's a rundown of our highly-recommended getaway blending two trip styles I'm crazy over: active/adventure + luxe. {See more photos + hiking suggestions and a stylish packing prescription in the Expedia Viewfinder.}

[All photos taken while on assignment for Expedia x US National Parks' Centennial celebration. Mandarin Oriental pool photo via hotel website. Note: This trip is highly recommended, and if you're a longtime TS reader you know that I reserve the best for TS, and only my hottest picks are published.]

Style Guide: Whistler

style guide whistler

[trip style = luxury + active + adventure + weekend getaway + food + wine]

Famous for its winter scene winning Whistler the best ski resort in North America {multiple years running} by SKI Magazine plus a host of other pubs, Canada’s posh peak is packed with hotels, spas, shopping and restaurants fit for outdoorsy types who put as much thought into their snow-tinerary as they do into their summit style. 

To hit the ground running like a pro weekender, we give you our TS-ified stay, play, eat, and shop guide to the West Coast’s most chill address {highlights + extras below, view the full article in the Expedia Viewfinder Travel Blog}. 

--//---> Photos below <---\\---

Stay
From luxury villas to local-flavor inns, and all-the-fixings resorts to boutique hotels, there are nearly 20,000 pillows within 500 meters of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. For an edited stone-and-timber stay so stunning it needs no filter on Instagram, check out Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler Creekside, just a five-minute shuttle (included) to the resort’s epicenter. The all-suite boutique hotel touts a fireplace and double-soaker tub in every room and has enough distractions of the spa and dining variety that you’ll never need to leave the lakeside property, but I implore you to explore the snow-dusted surroundings! 

--//---> We also LOVE: Four Seasons Resort and Residences Whistler <---\\---

Play
Spa: Let’s begin with bliss. While a bevy of spas grace the mountain retreat’s slope-side resorts, the most magical locale to soothe your muscles is under the backdrop of snow-capped summits at Scandinave Spa. Borrowing a page from the Finnish relaxation tradition of hot-cold-relax-repeat, the 20,000-square-foot spa—equally popular with women and men—has created numerous enclaves of hot, cold, and calm with its cedar sauna to its cold plunges, relaxation rooms, and hot pools with cascading water. Best of all, you don’t just look at nature from a window, you’re in it as you walk under evergreen tree branches between plunges. {Suitable for all seasons!}

Ski: In wintertime, everyone from beginner ski bunnies to seasoned ski pros can find something to match their activity level in the diverse alpine terrain. Enter Whistler Blackcomb’s world-class downhill skiing and snowboarding, counting 37 chairlifts and gondolas, and upwards of 200 ski runs, all connected by PEAK 2 PEAK, a world record–holding gondola hanging 1,427 feet above the valley floor.

Do: If you’re inclined to love activities with less slope, check out the cross-country skiing and snowshoeing around Lost Lake, both of which pair nicely with a post-ski vodka tasting at the Ketel One Ice Room, the coldest vodka-tasting room in the world in the Bearfoot Bistro.   

Eat
Dinner: When it comes to noshing, you’ll find a range of options suited to Whistler’s panorama of palates. For a taste of the local haul, from fishing line to field, secure a seat at Alta Bistro. When you arrive, don’t be fooled by the minimalist wood-and-mason-jar decorated environs—the jars aren’t just for show, but rather a working display where preserved provisions hint at the menu’s homegrown brilliance with dishes such as local oysters paired with a preserved berry granita and fresh lemon. 

--//--> For dinner we also LOVE: Bearfoot Bistro and Sushi Village <--\\-

Tapas: A few steps up the Whistler Village Stroll, find Bar Oso, Whistler’s hottest address for Spanish tapas, with a dedicated gin-and-tonic menu. Helmed by Madrid-raised chef Jorge Muñoz Santos, who sharpened his knife in his family’s restaurant before coming to Canada, its small plates like beef tartare and duck liver–topped toasts are significant enough to fill hungry tummies but petite enough to keep you wanting more. All this in a geometric, tile-clad space straight out of Barcelona, which gives your meal an urban upgrade.

Brunch: Since brunch is a big deal during any getaway—especially ones that involve physical activity—I’d be remiss not to mention my favorite meal of the day. Whether you head to the hills or to the spa, start your day with a dose of comfort cuisine at Stonesedge Kitchen. Take a cue from the hungry locals who flock to the woodsy eatery for their hearty breakfast bowls of all four food groups anchored with eggs. Sporting deer decor throughout (figurines are even integrated into the crystal chandeliers), wood furniture, and purposely frayed linen napkins, it reminds you you’re in the heart of West Coast casual.

--//--> For brunch we also LOVE: Crepe Montagne and Elements Urban Tapas Parlour <--\\--

Shop
DIY shoppers and coffee lovers will love Camp Lifestyle + Coffee Co.—an outdoorsy-cool destination shop complete with a campfire and Adirondack chairs that’s a 10-minute drive from Whistler Village. Here, live-edge tables that look as though they came straight from a forest display goods such as clothing, totes, ceramics, beer growlers, pillows, canoe paddles, tents, and chocolate sourced and crafted nearby.

Get There
Whistler is situated 90 minutes from Vancouver or five hours from Seattle by car.

[photos via Tourism Whistler/Mike Crane + Scandinave + Bar Oso + Nita Lake Lodge + Camp]