Photo: jmv

Travel bloggers the world over are in for a treat.

I AM ORIGINALLY from Vancouver, BC, so obviously I was pretty stoked when, during the last hours of TBEX 2010 in New York, it was announced that Vancouver would be the site for the event next June.

What is TBEX?

Don’t feel bad if you don’t know. I didn’t until a few months ago. TBEX is Travel Blog EXchange, a “community of new media travel writers” founded by Kim Mance,who also edits the online magazine Galavanting.

For the weekend of June 26-27, around 300 travel bloggers gathered to listen to experts talk about travel blogging, to network, and to, well, party.

TBEX 2011 will be in Vancouver, Canada

Since I grew up in Vancouver, I thought it would be a good idea to share some insider tidbits in anticipation of your visit next year.

First, some random facts:

  • The 2010 Winter Olympics were held in Vancouver. Did I mention that Canada won the most gold medals (14) in the 86-year history of the Winter Games?
  • The population in Vancouver proper is 578,041 (Metro Vancouver: 2,116,581).
  • Stanley Park is 10% larger than New York’s Central Park.
  • As of 2010, it has the 4th highest quality of living in the world, according to Mercer.com.
  • Nelly Furtado was born and raised in BC’s capital city of Victoria on Vancouver Island, about a two-hour ferry ride from the city.
  • It is a.k.a. Hollywood North due to the large amount of television shows and movies filmed there.
My picks for eats

Sushi. My favourite when I lived there and possibly even better when I returned for a visit last February:

  • Hoshi Sushi – On West 12th near Macdonald, in Kitsilano.

The Eatery / Photo: iwona_kellie

Another solid choice is The Eatery. It’s more funky with loud music and unique sushi creations. A good place to go with some friends.

Tapas. Head to Bin 941 in the city. It’s cozy, stylish, and damn good.

Fish and chips. Find the tucked away Go Fish, near the entrance to Granville Island. It’s the best I’ve ever had. Anywhere. Part of the fun is finding it.

Hangover breakfast. Can’t beat the one at Milestones. Order the prime rib hash — tender slices of beef over pan-fried potatoes, sweet onions, bell peppers, and roasted corn in a special hash seasoning. All topped with two poached eggs and real hollandaise sauce.

Don’t forget to order a caesar to go with that.

Other cool tips

One way to get under the skin of a city is to read through the local free newspaper (and I’m not talking about Metro or 24 Hours). In Vancouver, this is the Georgia Straight, which was founded as an anti-establishment alternative newspaper in May 1967. Real Vancouver.

I lived across from and loved Kitsilano Beach. But let’s be honest: it’s for posers. Head over to Spanish Banks for some long stretches of sand and lots of volleyball nets. Awesome views of the downtown skyline too, perfect place to watch the sun settle.

Take a walk over the Burrard Street bridge for views on the crescent beaches of English Bay, the docked sailboats in the marina, and the little False Creek ferries puttering back and forth across the water.

Keep your eyes on the calendar for the Commodore Ballroom. It’s the best live venue in the city, possibly the country. I saw Weezer there a few years ago. It was unbelievable.

Finally, win a 7-day whitewater rafting trip in BC

Atlas Obscura is holding a contest where you can win an adventure package in British Columbia. The deadline for entry is July 11, 2010. From the website:

Your trip begins with a spectacular scenic flight over the glaciated Coast Range into Chilko Lake Resort, on the edge of a glacial lake, and ends one week later at historic Gang Ranch on the Fraser River, the lifeblood of Canada’s largest river system. After snapping some victory photos and exchanging high-fives, it’s time for one more chartered flight back over the stunning Coast Range.

Photo: CGehlen

To enter the contest, simply add your email address and postal/zip code in the link provided above.

Resources for your visit

Miss604 – THE source for all things Vancouver.

Translink BC – How to navigate around Vancouver by public transport.

Tourism British Columbia

Vancouver Accommodations

Vancouver Hostels

Couchsurfing.org – Find free accommodations and get an insider’s perspective on the city.

COMMUNITY CONNECTION

Vancouverites, let’s hear it. I know I missed a ton of great things to do and see in Vancouver. What are your favourites? Please share below!