British Columbia: Whether Rain Or Shine This Idyllic Province Is Home To A Burgeoning Food And Wine SceneAuthor:Lindsey Shook
There’s something different about western Canada. And, just about anyone who has been (or is lucky enough to live there) can tell the difference right away. From the postcard-worthy scenery and luxury lodging options, to a burgeoning culinary scene, British Columbia is quickly becoming a top destination. Whether you’re traveling to Vancouver, the idyllic Okanagan Valley wine region, or looking for a quiet escape in Tofino, Vancouver Island, the right spot awaits for any type of getaway. Check out the full story in our Fall 2014 Issue!
The seaport city played host to the 2010 Winter Olympics and is home to landmarks such as Stanley Park and Granville Island, a public market dotted with specialty food purveyors with everything from locally-grown honey and lavender to pasta and chutneys. Take a guided tour of the island with Edible Canada, or opt for an up-close look at the food truck scene (there’s more than 130 trucks from Korean barbecue to tomato soup and peanut butter-and-banana sandwiches) with Vancouver Foodie Tours. For accommodations, city mainstays range from the Fairmont Pacific Rim with Japanese soaking tubs, to the Rosewood Hotel Georgia with an on-site spa and indoor swimming pool. New, 18-room boutique hotel options include the First Nations Skwachàys Lodge in the Gastown district replete with rooms outfitted with original paintings, Aboriginal art, and a 40-foot-tall rooftop totem pole. For a day trip, head to Grouse Mountain (an easy cab ride from downtown) for ziplining, or go for a hike on the infamous Grouse Grind with 2,830 stairs.
The teeny, coastal town of Tofino (there’s less than 2,000 full-time residents) is considered the top surf destination in Canada. Located approximately an hour-and-a-half by plane from Vancouver, the quiet, seaside community located within the Pacific Rim National Forest has served as the site of films including Twilight Saga: New Moon, and is a prime spot for art galleries and whale watching and bear watching. The area is also making its mark with new restaurants such as Wolf In the Fog headed up by chef Nicholas Nutting with locally sourced selections such as fresh salmon and foraged chanterelle mushrooms from nearby forests. For an even more secluded vibe, make the short 30-minute drive to Ucluelet and spring for a room at newly opened Wya Point Lodge. The 600-acre resort, includes one- and two-bedroom lodges with fireplaces, as well as yurts, and a campground.
A trip to British Columbia, or B.C., isn’t complete without a visit to the area’s wine region. The town of Osoyoos is a must-see with more than 30 surrounding wineries including 8th Generation, Road 13, Hestor Creek, and Stoneboat Vineyards. Reserve a spot on an electric bike tour with Heatstroke Cycle (helmets and bikes are provided). In South Oakanagan, stay the night at the eco-friendly Watermark Beach Resort Hotel with 123 suites complete with kitchens and balconies overlooking Osoyoos Lake.