Happy New Year! If you’re anything like us, you are all “party-ed out” and are looking for active things to do this first month of 2016. While resolutions and goals can be made at any time, the beginning of the year is a great time to hit the reset button and refocus on the things that are important to you, that will feed your soul. Let us help, we’ve got great suggestions on how you can stay on track while exploring Vancouver’s North Shore!


Photo: Snowshoeing on Mount Seymour – Jenny Lee Silver via Flickr

Go Snowshoeing
Snowshoeing is the perfect winter sport for everyone. As a matter of fact, if you can walk, you can snowshoe!  It’s great exercise and snowshoes are affordable to rent if you don’t have your own. All three North Shore mountains have scenic snowshoe trails where you can explore on your own with the self-guided trails or join in on a guided snowshoe tour. Discover the magic of trekking past alpine lakes through old-growth forest with spectacular views. And if you really want to get your heart pumping, consider tackling Grouse Mountain’s Snowshoe Grind, a 4.3 kilometre (2.67 miles) trek with an elevation gain of 215 metres (705 feet).

Enjoy a comforting cup of tea
It’s a well-known fact that we are a society of coffee lovers and we usually don’t have to look far to get our caffeine fix. But sometimes, a comforting cup of tea is the perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, and Vancouver’s North Shore has some wonderful tea shops, where you can find unique and familiar blends of tea to take home, or enjoy in the shop. Take a pause, wrap your hands around a warm cup of tea, close your eyes and relax! Here are a few of the fine tea merchants on Vancouver’s North Shore: Murchies Tea & Coffee (West Vancouver @ Park Royal and North Vancouver on Lonsdale), Davids Tea (West Vancouver @ Park Royal and North Vancouver in Edgemont Village), Blue Teapot (Lonsdale Quay) and Tea Time (Lonsdale Avenue).

Quarry Rock, Deep Cove, Hayley Bouchard

Photo: The View from Quarry Rock, Hayley Bouchard via Flickr

Hike to Quarry Rock
Deep Cove may be famous for its quaint village and sea kayaking opportunities, but it’s also home to an impressive lookout known as Quarry Rock. Located along the eastern end of the expansive Baden-Powell Trail, it’s only a half hour drive from downtown Vancouver and takes approximately two hours to do. Known by some as a “Grouse Grind alternative”, Quarry Rock is actually a relatively easy walk, and families are often spotted making the trek. The hike is doable during winter months and offers a spectacular view as the reward for completing. Want to make it a little harder? Feel free to run the trail!

West Vancouver Seawall

Run (or walk) the Seawall
Time to get serious about fitness? Why not exercise with a spectacular view? The popular West Vancouver Seawall, which stretches from Ambleside to Dundarave, is a favourite among walkers and joggers. At almost 2 kilometres long, with sweeping views of the Lions Gate Bridge, Stanley Park, English Bay and Vancouver’s West Side, it’s the perfect length for a quick run or walk.

Mindful Dining
January is the perfect time of year to pause and really think about what you’re eating. Mindful dining and organic lifestyle choices are becoming more and more the norm in today’s society and there are a growing number of North Shore restaurants that are striving to serve healthy food that is delicious, responsible and affordable. Check out our recent post on Mindful Dining and start enjoying the world of juicing, raw food and organics.

Become one with Nature
Did you know that North Vancouver is home to a 300-acre conservation area that is one of the best birding locations in the region? Well known for its abundance of wildlife, the Maplewood Flats Conservation Area is a birders paradise. Over 230 species of birds have been spotted in this area and on the second Saturday of every month you can enjoy a free interpretive nature walk with legendary Lower Mainland naturalist, Al Grass. The perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature!

Dine Out!
The Dine Out Vancouver Festival, produced by Tourism Vancouver, is Canada’s largest restaurant festival and attracts thousands of diners annually.  Now in it’s 14th year, Dine Out participants select from a diverse array of restaurants, each offering unique three course prix-fix meals at $18, $28 or $38 per person. There will be plenty of North Shore restaurants to try and participating restaurants will be revealed on January 6 when the festival opens for reservations.