There’s a moment in every conference when the sessions conclude, the lanyard comes off, and the business traveler slips into the city, anonymous once more. If you’re travelling to the 38th SSP Annual Meeting in Vancouver, you’ll have some choices about how to spend your non-session time in one of the great Pacific coast cities. So whether you’re a folder or a roller, a relative newbie or a seasoned road warrior relieved that the conference hotel is in the Marriott-Starwood family, we have a few tips on what to do when you get out of the hotel air and into the June sunshine. (In case you missed it, we also have some tips on how to talk your company into sending you to Vancouver.)
If you have a free afternoon or evening
- Take a walk along the ocean in Stanley Park, located only a few blocks from the hotel and home to forest trails and beautiful First Nations totem poles.
- Find something to bring home at Vancouver’s multi-story Asian markets or at the markets and galleries of Granville Island, where you can also find shops entirely devoted to smoked salmon (among other things).
- Stroll through historic Gastown or get some sun at Kitsilano beach.
- Check out Vancouver’s strong independent comedy scene (stay through Sunday to see the Sunday Service).
- Get some amazing sushi. Kingyo, Guu with Garlic, and Sushi Itoga are all a short walk from the hotel.
If you have an extra day
- Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery. MashUp: The Birth of Modern Culture, an exhibition looking at Picasso, Tarantino, Koons, Eliot, Kruger, Warhol, Duchamp, and many, many others. Runs until June 12.
- Seek out an alternative means of transportation: go for a harbour cruise, check out a fishing charter, or rent a bike. You could even go for a panoramic tour in a seaplane.
- Check out the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia and learn about First Nations history and culture in a beautiful natural setting.
- If you’d rather look at a fish than eat it in smoked or sushi form, visit the Vancouver Aquarium, located close to the conference hotel.
- Visit the VanDusen Botanical Garden or the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.
- Leave downtown and head to the island of Victoria or to Whistler.
- Venture across the Capilano Suspension Bridge (the park also includes a series of suspension bridges through the forest canopy).
Or you could have a glass of wine in the exhibitor hall and head back to your room to order pizza and watch cable while lying on crisp, white hotel linens. There’s something for everyone at the 38th SSP Annual Meeting.