Monday, September 10, 2012

Dog Beach Review: Whistler

One of the best things about Whistler, (in my humble doggie opinion) is that there is an abundance of dog beaches to enjoy. My favourite was Lost Lake, which is a pleasant 20 minute walk from the center of Whistler Village. Canine Cove, the off leash dog beach is part way up the east side of the lake, about a 5 minute walk on a gravel path from the visitor drop-off lot.

Lost Lake has a dock, a few yards off the dog beach, with a ramp so dogs can easily get up and down. There's also a waste bag dispenser and garbage can right at the beach so dog owners can help keep the beach clean and enjoyable. The beach has some shade during the day and there are two benches for people to sit on while they watch their furry friends swim. The lake boasts some gorgeous mountain views and while it's a popular destination with locals and tourists alike, it's surprisingly peaceful.

While we were in Whistler, Dad and I also visited Alta Lake. Alta Lake is a 10 minute drive from Whistler Village. Once you park, it's a 2.5 km walk on a paved path from the parking lot to the dog beach. The dog beach is to one side of the people's swimming area. The downfall of this lake is that there were signs warning of "swimmer's itch", so we only went there once. (Who wants to get that?!?)

There are a few more dog beaches we didn't get the chance to visit, so we'll check them out the next time we're up in Whistler.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Hotel Review: Summit Lodge & Spa, Whistler

 Photo credit: Summit Lodge & Spa

In mid-August, when my Mum was taking a photography course, I got to go with her and Dad. We stayed at the Summit Lodge & Spa. Originally, Mum was going to make the trip alone, but then decided Dad needed a getaway too. She was really happy to discover the Summit was listed as dog friendly and I could join them at no extra charge. You can learn more about their pet policies and perks here.

When we checked in, there was a dog shaped chalk board at the front desk, listing all the names of the dogs in residence. There were about 25 dogs listed! WOW! Mum just had to fill out a short form with my name and her contact info and we were good to go. They gave us a room on the 2nd floor.

 Photo credit: Summit Lodge & Spa

Our room was very comfortable with a kitchenette, sofa, fireplace (which we didn't use because it was summer!) and a private balcony. There was lots of room for me to stretch out. My Mum and Dad brought my bed from home and my food dishes, but if they'd wanted to, they could have arranged to have the lodge provide these things for a small fee.

I really liked the balcony. As long as I was good and didn't bark, Mum let me hang out out there, watching the world go by. It was Crankworx weekend while we were up there, so I did alot of people watching.

When I had to go out, there was a really nice green space right behind the lodge. Throughout Whistler there are lots of dog bag stations and garbage cans, making it easy for dog owners to leave no trace and be eco-friendly. Whistler is after all, so beautiful and we want to help keep it that way!

Our room was really quiet, but we did hear one naughty dog barking in the hall in the middle of the night. Luckily that didn't last very long and everyone went back to sleep.

The staff were really thoughtful. I left a pile of cookie crumbs on the carpet and the cleaning staff came in while were were out and tidied it right up for us. The front desk staff gave me cookies too! Everyone was helpful and smiling and made me feel right at home.

I'm giving Summit Lodge & Spa a big paws up for it's dog-friendly accommodation. Mum and Dad say that we'll be staying there again, the next time we take a trip to Whistler. Hooray!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Whistler: Dining With Dogs

Hello Everybody! I'm back from a family vacation in Whistler, BC, Canada, so I have lots to share with you dog lovers out there about how dog friendly Whistler is! Today I'm going to talk about restaurants.

On our first day there, we had lunch at The Brewhouse. My Mum got the recommendation from Tourism Whistler that this place was dog friendly. It's located right next to the Olympic Plaza.

The Brewhouse had a nice big patio with plenty of shade and umbrellas and the hostess was happy to seat us where I could be comfortable. She even greeted me when we first arrived with a cookie. Nice!

Dad looped my leash around the patio railing and I lay down for a rest while they had lunch. I was so quiet and well behaved, I don't think anyone even noticed I was there. The waiter was really nice to me. He immediately brought me a bowl of cool, fresh water. Now that's service!

The lunch smelled delicious. My Mum shared some of her Thai chicken salad with me. I love pea pods! Dad had a salmon salad which must have been really good-I didn't even get a sniff of his!

The Brewhouse gets a huge tail wag for being dog friendly. Clearly they've figured out that if I'm happy, my mum and dad are happy too. THANKS Brewhouse for your kindness! The Brewhouse is our first choice in restaurants when visiting Whistler!

Whistler in general is an easy place to dine with your dog. We also ate at:

Avalanche Pizza: Mainly a take out business, so you can eat your pizza wherever you want. The owner came out to chat and give me pats. The pizza was fantastic-I got to have nibbles of it.

Splitz Grill: Known for it's amazing BBQ style hamburgers and deep fried pickles. I taste tested the burgers and Mmmm! Mum & Dad got take out and we ate at our hotel, though they did have patio seating around back with umbrellas where I would have been welcome.

The Old Spaghetti Factory: Dad checked the day before we ate here to see if there was a patio because it wasn't obvious where it was. They did have one, so we had dinner here on our last night in Whistler. It's in a charming little courtyard and I was quite comfortable there. Again, I was so good, I don't think anyone noticed I was there. The waitress, who was from Australia was very friendly. I had some of Mum's chicken and some of Dad's steak. Yum!

Just about every restaurant in Whistler Village has outdoor seating during the summer and even if they don't, you can usually get take out and find a quiet spot to eat. There are tables and benches everywhere and failing that, lots of green space for a picnic. There are a wide variety of eateries to choose from and as long as your dog is quiet, well behaved like me and leashed, they are welcome to join you for dinner.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Woof & Welcome!

Hi! I'm Indiana Jones (Indy for short) and this is my blog. I decided that it might be a good idea to start one and share the place I've visited that are dog friendly in British Columbia. I know lots of people like to travel with their dogs-after all, we're an important part of the family too!

When my mum and dad first started taking me on vacation, they spent alot of time looking for places to stay where I'd be welcome. Some of the hotels and B&B's said they were dog friendly, but when they read the fine print, it turned out they were really only mildly dog tolerant

One place insisted that dogs had to be kept in a kennel when cleaning staff came in to tidy the room. My mum thought this was crazy-I'm a Lab and how would she find room for a Lab sized kennel with all the suitcases, in a car?!? Another place said that dogs were not allowed on any furniture in the room and if they found dog hair on the bed or couches, there would be a hefty surcharge. If you have a dog, you know we shed and it's almost impossible not to have dog hair on your clothes, never mind the furniture!

So...I will be talking about some of the places I've stayed and giving my honest opinion of the experience. I'm also going to share reviews of dog parks and beaches I've visited and whatever else pops into my head. *squirrel*

I have an "About" page listed right below my blog banner where you can learn more about me and a "Things I Love" page where I've shared my favourite toys, snacks and grooming products. I'll be adding more info as I go along, but I wanted to get my very first post up.

Welcome to Left Coast Lab! 
Comments (and biscuits!) are always welcome.