20 New Ways to Explore British Columbia in the Summer
A version of this post originally appeared on the Hello BC blog.
Looking for an exciting way to explore British Columbia in summer? Check out this list of 20 new experiences that include adrenaline inducing whitewater, mountain adventures, unique places to sleep, and coastal getaways.
1. Zipline and natural hot springs in the Kootenay Rockies
Opened in July of 2017, Mineral Mountain Ziplines at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is one of the only places in Canada where you can zipline below the headwall of the Rocky Mountains. Also opened in July, Valley Zipline Adventures at Radium Hot Springs offers eco-adventures for all levels.
2. SUPsquatch River Tour in Fernie
For an entirely new level of adventure, surf the rapids of the Upper Elk River on a five-metre paddleboard with Mountain High Adventures.
The ultimate in adrenaline rafting. This tour is heart-racing from the moment you take to the sky, with class four rapids surrounded by towering vertical rock walls.
4. New mountain bike parks
In late July, SilverStar Mountain Resort (near Vernon) opened Beowulf. The highly-anticipated 35 kilometre cross-country trail takes riders along mountain ridges and through the forest. Near Kelowna, Big White Resort opened a new mountain bike park this summer, and on Vancouver Island, Mt. Washington Alpine Resort’s bike park reopened after a three-year hiatus. Finally, children can learn new skills on fun obstacles at Beaver Lodge Kids Bike Park. Be sure to lean out over the Nels Nelson decommissioned ski jump for a breathtaking view of Revelstoke below.
Descend 279 vertical metres on a high-speed rail through the forest. For adrenaline junkies, one ride won’t be enough. Luckily you can purchase a discounted pass for multiple rides.
6. Glacier flight tours
Glaciers cover 3 per cent of British Columbia, representing about 17,000 glaciers. Take in their grandeur from the air with one of many glacier flight tours around the province, including departures from Squamish and Whistler. Whistler also has a popular glacier walk, and the conditions are just right this year for glissading.
7. Have Dinner in the Sky in Vancouver
See the city from new heights. For the first time in Vancouver, you can experience Dinner in the Sky. A unique dining experience where you’ll be lifted 45 metres off the ground by a giant crane. Keep an eye out for the next edition of this unforgettable event.
8. Cruise from Vancouver to Victoria
The V2V Empress is a new service connecting downtown Vancouver and Victoria with daily sailings through the scenic Southern Gulf Islands. Combine your trip with an overnight package and go whale watching, play golf, or have afternoon tea.
9. Kwa’lilas Hotel on Vancouver Island
This unique hotel is an ideal place to stay when exploring Port Hardy and Northern Vancouver Island. Kwa’lilas hotel is located in the traditional territories of the Kwakiutl people and combines chic style with Aboriginal artistic expression.
The newest nano-brewery in Qualicum Beach may just be BC’s smallest. Formerly a tiny home, Love Shack Libations was converted into a hobby brewery and now has a small tasting room serving four specialty beers. It’s also a stop on the new Mid-Island Ale Trail.
11. Retro style on Bowen Island
It’s hard to beat a sunny day cruising Bowen Island on a retro scooter. Explore quiet roads surrounded by nature, beach hop, and discover breathtaking viewpoints. Zoom Zoom Bowen started renting scooters from Snug Cove in 2016 and increased their fleet of scooters in 2017.
This family-owned bed and breakfast recently received Gold Level Certification for Green Tourism. It’s an ideal base to explore Kelowna wine and golf, or relax on the beach. With the delicious home-made breakfasts and cozy décor, you may not want to leave your room.
The Fitzpatrick family has a reputation for producing award-winning wines and their history in Okanagan agriculture dates back to 1913. Their most recent focus is a sparkling wine vineyard overlooking Okanagan Lake. For great food and sparkling wine with a view, visit the FITZ Bistro or The Sparkling Bar.
14. The Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish
The gondola trip to the summit is a stunning ride, but you can also hike to the top with the Rise & Climb group every Saturday morning during the summer. Mountain Top Yoga classes (June to the end of August) and the Mountain Music Series (Friday nights from June to September) are back again this summer. New this year, try your hand at axe throwing with the Axewood Crew, climb the Via Ferrata with Mountain Skills Academy & Adventures, or take the Talking Trees Tour hosted by local First Nations interpretive guides.
15. Top of the mountain glamping at Fernie Alpine Resort
The Lost Boys Alpine Camping experience starts with a ride on the Timber Chairlift. Enjoy champagne when you arrive and your tent already set up. You’ll camp on the mountain, enjoy a guided hike, a delicious dinner, s’mores by the fire, and wake up to breakfast.
16. Northern BC Adventures
The University of Northern British Columbia offers guided educational travel experiences via jet boat. Explore the iconic Skeena or Fraser rivers to visit historic canneries, tour ghost towns, or travel to remote coastal estuaries to view grizzly bears.
17. Go fishing on Shuswap Lake
Bucktail Adventures now offers fishing charters on Shuswap Lake. The covered aluminum boat is the perfect place to spend a day fishing with your friends.
Take a helicopter tour to base camp and explore Hudson Bay Mountain, then settle in for the night in your furnished and heated tent. See for yourself with this virtual tour of the heli-sites and glamping tent.
19. Heart Burn Trail in Whistler
The Blackcomb Ascent Trails are uphill hikes on Blackcomb Mountain. At the top, you have the option to save your knees by downloading on the chairlift. Heart Burn, the third and final trail in the series, opened in July.
20. Road trip the Alaska Highway
Not so new, but noteworthy, it’s a big birthday for the Alaska Highway, celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2017. There’s no better time to road trip one of North America’s most scenic stretches of highway.