Best motorcycle routes in the West

head-out-on-highwaySummer definitely brings out the motorcycle enthusiasts and they are very passionate about which routes offer the most for their rides. I learned this little fact while at a recent barbeque where I overheard a group of my friends getting louder and louder; their debate was where the best motorcycle routes were and where to stay.

One of my friends described his favorite ride as being along highway 19A on Vancouver Island, Canada. He specifically mentioned the stretch of highway from Nanaimo to Campbell River, located on the North end of the island. He felt it offered some of the most beautiful views and most importantly, there was hardly any traffic. His favorite part of this particular ride? “On my way back to Nanaimo, there’s a wicked ice cream stand in Bowser.”

Nanaimo, BC motorcycle route

The great room faces the Georgia Strait. Unit ID 208342

One of my personal favorite motorcycle routes is along the coastline on Chuckanut Drive, Route 11, in Washington State. It is absolutely stunning, especially if you’re the passenger since the road is extremely twisty and narrow. If you want to be off-the-beaten-path and away-from-the-mundane I-5 freeway, then take this short drive and step back in time. There are plenty of pullouts to stop to enjoy the view overlooking the San Juan Islands. You will pass limestone cliffs, waterfalls and ride over beautiful bridges covered in moss. And you could even continue on down the coastline and make your way to Oregon and down into California.

Washington motorcycle route

Gorgeous sunset from Unit ID 203533′s deck

A couple of my friends who are diehard tour bike lovers said one of their favorite rides is their Hot Springs trip. Having done this trip at various times throughout the year, in their opinion the best time to go is mid-September. School is back on, there is less traffic on the roads, and the temperature has cooled down enough but it is not too cold. They like to follow Hwy 6, from Vernon, BC, passing through Cherryville, taking the 10 minute ride on the inland ferry across the Upper Arrow Lake and stop and camp at the Nakusp Hot Springs. The next leg of their trip is to cross over into Washington, then pass through the top part of Idaho, next over into Montana and then after 9 hours, finally reaching their destination of Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. Did I mention they were diehards?!

Idaho motorcyle route

Old Schoolhouse – Unit ID 20779

Lava Hot Springs motorcycle route

World famous Lava Hot Springs!



While these are just a few of the many, many, yes, MANY rides that were shared with me, I could keep going on and on with all the great routes that my ‘two wheeled’ friends rave about.

Ultimately, I think Ernest Hemingway said it best: “It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.”

If you have a great motorcycle route to share or plan on taking, we would love to hear about it!

Castles of the world

Whether you are a history buff, a lover of architecture or perhaps a royal family descendant, exploring the World’s great castles has never been easier with affordable accommodations that are unique and provide the comforts of a home away from home.

Ever since your Great Uncle Paddy shared that you are a descendant of an Earl from the infamous Kilkenny Castle in Kilkenny, Ireland, you have been itching to explore your family roots. When travelling in Europe, consider purchasing the popular Eurail Pass, or board a bus, and for the adventurous souls, rent a car and drive on the left side of the road! It is only a short trek from your Youghal, Ireland, accommodations to the grounds of Kilkenny Castle.

Waterfront Property - Unit  ID 202629

Waterfront Property – Unit ID 202629

Next head off with your Eurail Pass and make your way to Krakow, Poland. Krakow is the second largest and one of the oldest cities in Poland. It is a quick one hour trip to the ruins of the gothic Ogrodzieniec Castle, built in the 14th–15th centuries. This small town of approximately 4,400 people dates its origins back to the 11th century. The Ogrodzieniec Castle makes this quaint town not only a popular tourist destination but also a sought after spot for filming movies. It has been featured in the heavy metal band Iron Maiden’s video in 1984.

Two-Bedroom Flat Right at the Entrance to the Famous Kazimierz!

Two-Bedroom Flat Right at the Entrance to the Famous Kazimierz!- Unit ID 205560

While most of us generally think of Europe when castles are mentioned, what about Asia? The Himeji Castle, high a top a hill, is one of the finest examples of Japanese architecture. The Himeji Castle became Japan’s first registered UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. With Japan’s world-renowned public transit system, the largest metropolis in the world is at your finger tips: make Tokyo your base for adventures.

trendy and up-town mid-Tokyo neighborhood

Trendy and up-town mid- Tokyo neighborhood Unit ID 204922

Rounding off your great castles of the World tour wouldn’t be the same without a visit to the mystery shrouded Hogwart’s Castle in Orlando, Florida. There is something for everyone; old, young and for those of us who just want to act our own shoe size for a day or two. Shop, play and explore secret chambers before you board your ride. After a fun filled day come back to relax in your spacious self-catered Orlando, Florida home to unwind in the pool.

close to golf

Games room, pool, spa, can sleep 16! Unit ID 13715

While these examples of magnificent castles are merely a drop in the bucket, Owner Direct Vacation Rentals has accommodations in all corners of the World to cure you of your castle fix. Do you have a favourite castle and experience to share?

A great vacation idea: Catch a Broadway play or musical

This way to the theatre

London, England #205337 Wimbleton, England #204608 Las Vegas, NV #206475 Downtown Vancouver, BC #205096

Some of us love the theatre and try to take in a play or show whenever possible. Others need to be gently pushed to “to give it a try”! Years ago my gentle pushes paid off when I convinced my other half to take in a show. It was a dinner theater production, but that was my strategy: The ‘dinner’ was my leverage and I figured he would appreciate having the excuse card (“I went because of the food”) in his pocket should he ever have to tell his buddies about it.

Fortunately, he’s never used that card. In fact, I receive random texts every so often from my husband that are all in caps so that I know he’s serious, saying, “WICKED IS COMING TO VANCOUVER, WOULD YOU LIKE TO GO?” I smile to myself over what I have unleashed!

The majority of us immediately thinks of New York City when considering a Broadway show. Not only can you enjoy an authentic Broadway experience, you can shop, take in the sites and experience the sounds of New York City while staying in your home away from home.

Lovely 2BR apt in Brooklyn Historic Neighborhood 20mins from the CITY

Lovely 2BR apt in Brooklyn Historic Neighborhood 20mins from the City – Property ID 207480

All Broadway tickets for musicals, plays and even for off-broadway showings can be found through; you never know what movie star you may get a chance to see!

In the hip and trendy city of Vancouver, BC, theatre abounds with world renowned shows. With Owner Direct Vacation Rentals offering a wide variety of accommodations guaranteed to suit everyone’s needs, taking in a Broadway play or musical should really be on your list of “to-do’s”.

Million Dollar View - Downtown Vancouver - Unit ID 123023

Million Dollar View – Downtown Vancouver – Property ID 123023

What about skipping across the pond to London and spending the evening listening to all the greats by the Beatles?! Featuring “Let It Be” at the  Savoy Theatre, this theatrical musical concert will be a sure hit for everyone. Check out the London Theatre Guide for all listings and to purchase tickets.

Wonderful Covent Garden one Bedroom Flat in the Center of London - Unit ID 205337

Wonderful Covent Garden one Bedroom flat in the Center of London – Property ID 205337

So with that, I challenge anyone who has not yet had the opportunity to go to a play or a Broadway show to step out and do so. You will be pleasantly surprised. I wonder if I’d be pushing my luck if I sent a text to my husband saying, “THE OPERA LA TRAVIATA IS PLAYING, WANNA GO?”

For all of your vacation needs, pop by and visit Owner Direct Vacation Rentals.


Pet friendly vacation rentals for you and your furry friend

Pet friendly vacation homes

Scottsdale, AZ #205534 Croatia #204904 Big White, BC #202059 Vancouver, BC #205479 Sun Peaks, BC #203919

It used to be very difficult to find accommodations that opened their doors to the furry members of the family. Thankfully this has changed! Many vacation home owners have dogs of their own or have simply realized that welcoming pets is a great way to attract a wider range of guests who plan their vacation getaways to include their dogs and cats. As dog lovers, we know that our furry friends love the snow, those great beach days and long hikes just as much as we do, and quite frankly the vacation would not be the same without them. No longer is it necessary to leave our four-legged friends behind, only to worry about them and wonder whether they will forgive us after we return. Here are some great pet friendly vacation rentals to get you started. The snow has started to fly, xc ski areas are opening and the downhill resorts are not far behind. Check out this great dog friendly condo up at Big White Ski Resort, located just outside of Kelowna, BC, Canada.  There’s room for everyone to warm up beside this fireplace.

Dog Friendly Big White Condo

Property ID 202059 - Dog friendly Big White condo

Along one of the most amazing coastlines in the world, we found a fantastic “let your tongue hang and chase the waves” beach for Fido by using a private path from this Arch Cape, Oregon unit. Located just 4 miles up the road from Arch Cape is the world-famous Cannon Beach, which is one of the most dog friendly towns along the coast of Oregon.

Unit ID # 207799 - Arch Cape, Oregon

Property ID # 207799 - A dog’s dream beach!

How about exploring some of the designated hiking trails for dogs throughout Smoky Mountain National Park in Gatlinburg, Tennessee? While the park somewhat limits where your dog may go, for a real sense of adventure try the Gatlinburg Sky Lift, taking you and your pooch up 1800 ft. over the Crockett Mountain and providing you with the most spectacular view of the Smoky Mountains.

Endless trails - some designated for dogs

Property ID #107489 – Great Smoky Mtns. of Tennessee

While we have showed you just a few of our pet friendly vacation rentals, we want to assure you that finding your ideal accommodations to include your pampered pet is very easy. Simply visit Owner Direct Vacation Rentals, choose your desired destination then toggle “yes” in the search settings option for “pet friendly rental” on the left side of the page. Remember to wag more and bark less!

Great Kitchen Getaways

Great Kitchen Getaways

While it may seem like an odd request for some, a growing trend for many travellers who love to cook is to find accommodations with kitchens that make us feel like we are world-renowned chefs. What more could a “foodie” ask for than a kitchen with personality?

After taking in the sights and sounds of Cape Town and exploring South Africa’s art district with an exhilarating ride in the cable car up to Table Mountain, come home to your state of the art kitchen at your own private villa.

State of the art kitchen

Stainless steel appliances Property ID 66110








Or take an authentic Italian cooking lesson and then use your new culinary skills to prepare an amazing dinner in your own villa, overlooking the ocean on the Amalfi Coast?

An Exclusive Farm-House with a wonderful view of San Gimignano

An exclusive farm-house with a wonderful view of San Gimignano – Property ID 202971

For the adventurous soul looking for an out-of-this-world experience, what about preparing a picnic while up in the canopy of a rainforest? This open-air style home with a kitchen in the treetops will surely surpass your expectations while visiting Costa Rica. After your meal, enjoy a guided tour that is offered on site through the Corcovado National Park.

A view like no other

A view like no other – Property ID 144394










When talking about amazing foods, many think of French cuisine. After shopping the day away at the local markets and bakeries, step back in time and enjoy your cottage in the medieval village of Loire, France.  Relax in the spa-like bathroom while your Coq Au Vin simmers away. After sharing a great meal on the terrace, step into your own private wine cellar to finish the day.

Mingle with the locals

Mingle with the locals – Property ID 202190









Whether your ideal kitchen is modern and filled with state of the art appliances or a cozy kitchen using an old wood cookstove with barely enough room for two, we can probably all recall many great conversations and lasting memories created over great meals.

Start your search with Owner Direct Vacation Rentals for YOUR great kitchen getaway!


Canadian Film Festivals

Have you always wanted to attend a world renowned Canadian film festival but finding accommodations was impossible?

We have great news! How would you like to come “home” to your very own private luxury accommodations, rivaling any posh hotel, after spending an evening rubbing elbows with some Hollywood stars while taking in new and innovative films at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival? We’ve got your covered!

Elegant modern condo #204944

Elegant & modern 1 bedroom condo in the heart of Toronto #204944

Gourmet Kitchen & Private Patio

Gourmet kitchen and private patio – Toronto #204665

Chic 1 bedroom + den condo in the heart of downtown Toronto #204038

Chic 1 bedroom + den condo in the heart of downtown Toronto #204038


Each vacation property offers the ‘home away from home’ experience with that special touch. Simply pack your bags and be sure to bring your camera; you’ll want to snap pictures of this year’s scheduled attendees: George Clooney, Kate Winslet, Sandra Bullock, Colin Firth, Hugh Jackman, Meryl Streep … and the list goes on!

For further information on the Toronto International Film Festival ticket packages as well as the list of films please visit The 2013 festival runs from September 5th through to the 15th.

Of course we would not forget about our West Coast folks! While December is a little ways away, the Whistler Film Festival is an extremely popular event and is being dubbed “Canada’s Sundance”. Last year’s  stars were Harry Potter’s very own Daniel Radcliffe along with film and television actress, Rashida Jones. This year’s Whistler Film Festival takes place December 4th to  8th, 2013.

Luxury Whistler retreat property #205982

Perfect place to share good times with family and friends in Whistler #205982

Private hot tub & free wifi property #206276

Private hot tub & free WiFi property #206276

Huge 2 bedroom with private hot tub on huge deck property #30127

Huge 2 bedroom with private hot tub on huge deck property #30127


To learn more about ticket sales, films and event times, please visit Whistler Film Festival.

As many can attest to, both of these featured destinations, Toronto, ON and Whistler, BC, are exciting vibrant locations that not only offer world class cuisine, arts, theater and diverse cultural experiences but top notch accommodations to suit everyone’s tastes and needs.

See all the accommodations Owner Direct Vacation Rentals  has; there’s one waiting for you!