It’s the end of August and what have you accomplished? Chances are your tropical vacation is over and you have no more seasons of your favourite show to watch on Netflix. As the summer slowly starts to fade, so do hopes, ideals, and aspirations. Soon it’s easy to just sit at home and wait for the rain to start again. But wait! Summer isn’t over yet! There are still things that need to be accomplished before the eight months of gray settles over the city. Here are some ideas to get you started:
1) Go Blackberry Picking
Late summer is the ideal time for blackberries and Vancouver possesses an overabundance of the delectable, juicy fruits. Some recommended places to find these underrated berries are Pacific Spirit Park, UBC Farms, Jericho Beach, and near the Fraser River. Be sure to either bring gloves or be prepared for some war wounds because the thorns are sharp, persistent, and difficult to avoid. If you’re feeling like a regular Martha Stewart, why not impress your peer group by making a variety of jams, pies and ice creams made from the fruits of your labour?
2) Take Advantage Of Farmers Markets
“Farmers markets,” you scoff whilst picturing vegans, drum circles, and people using words like “patchouli.” While all these assumptions are probably correct, that doesn’t make farmers markets any less enjoyable. Picture a community coming together and selling food, homemade soaps, and other goods. Now add more hair. There are gatherings like these in almost every Vancouver neighborhood and they continue into early October. For dates and locations, check out this site. (www.eatlocal.org.)
3) Walk the Entire Seawall
Measuring 22 kilometers in length, the seawall is one of the most popular locations in the city for biking, running, walking, rollerblading, and pretending to be more athletic than you actually are. Pack a picnic, bring along some friends, and embark on a scenic journey along the waterfront of this majestic city. Although it’s a bit of a lengthy journey, the sights both on and around the seawall make up for it.
4) Tour Vancouver’s Ice Cream Parlors
It has, at one point, been the dream of every child to only eat ice cream for a day. Now that you are a mature being, capable of making your own questionable decisions, it’s time to make that dream a reality. Travel around the city with nothing but delicious frozen treats as your only sustenance. There is a plethora of great parlors to choose from. Some recommended locales include Earnest Ice Cream, Casa Gelato and Bella Gelateria.
5) Go Swimming At Mystery Lake
Located on Mount Seymour at the end of a short, easy, and well-marked trail, Mystery Lake is one of the most underrated lakes in the Vancouver area. Surrounded by cliffs perfect for cannonballing and found in the middle of a forest atop of a mountain, this somewhat chilly lake provides a great place to spend a really hot day. Make sure to bring bug spray for the mosquitoes and flies and use the same safety precautions as you would any other hike. Both the trail and the lake are dog friendly, so there really isn’t any reason to not go.
6) Have A Picnic At the Top of the Chief
The Chief is one of the most well known hikes around Vancouver and although it is a bit of a drive to actually get to the mountain, it is gas money well spent. As for the hike itself, it is fairly novice and most people could accomplish it. However it’s always important to be safe and well prepared. Bring along some fancy Whole Foods-esque fare, some good company, and a can of bug spray in order to get the optimal experience.
7) Take A Tour of Vancouver’s Outdoor Pools
Sadly enough, it is the time of year when outdoor pools will slowly start to close and resume their positions as venues for various acts of hooliganism. Complete with fresh air, Speedos, and the daring risk of a sunburn, outdoor pools are breeding grounds for both fun and various bacteria! Vancouver is host to five of these magical places and each is just as wonderful as the last. Spend a day getting pruney at each of the lovely locations, which are listed here. (http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/swimming-pools.aspx.)
Before laying down at the beach is swapped with curling up in front of the fire, take a break from your end of season hibernation and experience the last few moments of sunshine. Although catching up on Breaking Bad may seem enticing, wait until October. When the rain begins and you still have another season to go, you’ll be glad you did.