Snow ghosts may be on display around Vancouver in winter, but the city will be anything but a ghost town come February, when people from around the globe head there for the 21st Olympic Winter Games (February 12 to 28, 2010). If you’re ready to celebrate in this glorious, exciting city, here’s where we recommend you go.Yes, all of Vancouver’s top hotels are already sold out for the Games, but you can still get a room and ticket package through CoSport, the Games’ official hospitality provider (cosport.com). Want to stay three nights at the Marriot Pinnacle Downtown, complete with breakfast; a choice of tickets to curling, snowboarding, figure skating, or ice hockey; and a ticket to a medal ceremony? It’s yours through CoSport for $3,863 (though inventory is changing as you read this). Or, rent a house, condo, or apartment. Plenty of locals flee the scene, leaving a place for you. Search for your home away from home, offered by Breakaway Vacations and EMR Vacation Rentals, at 2010destinationplanner.com.
Vancouver is famous for its great dining establishments, and for bona fide West Coast cuisine, try these top eateries: At West Restaurant (westrestaurant.com), the finest local ingredients and innovative dishes have earned it recognition in Vancouver and around the world. Enjoy local oysters and salmon and a raw bar with deservedly celebrated sashimi at Blue Water Café (bluewatercafe.com). And Tojo’s Restaurant (tojos.com) has reputedly the finest sushi outside of Japan.
Edible British Columbia (ediblebritishcolumbia.com) is offering culinary tours of Granville Island during the Games. The tours will give you a fun -- and tasty -- inside look at West Coast cuisine. They’ll also host your after-hours dinner at the famously fresh Granville Island Public Market.
After the crowds leave, enjoy the Paralympic Winter Games (March 12 to 21). Stay at the charming The Listel Hotel (thelistelhotel.com), don’t fight for a table at MARKET by Jean-Georges at the Shangri-La Hotel (shangri-la.com) or DB Bistro Moderne (dbbistro.ca), and check out the best in local music at The Railway Club (therailwayclub.com).