Are you looking for an adventure in Vancouver? Do you want to experience the beauty and diversity of the Canadian wilderness? If so, you should definitely visit Grouse Mountain, the peak of Vancouver.

Vancouver is one of the best cities in BC, thanks in part to the beauty of Grouse Mountain. Grouse Mountain is more than just a mountain. It’s a year-round destination that offers something for everyone, from outdoor enthusiasts to wildlife lovers to foodies.

Grouse Mountain is a very family friendly destination. Kids will love everything from the lumberjack show and the grizzly bear sanctuary in the summer to skiing and snowboarding, tubing, and skating in the winter.

Visiting Grouse Mountain is one of the best ways to spend your day in Vancovuer. We’d recommend planning to spend your full day here, or at least 4-6 hours at the top exploring. If you want to do activities like skiing or ziplining, you can easily spend even longer!

In this article, we cover everything you need to know about visiting Grouse Mountain, including how to get there, what to do there, and where to eat there. Whether you are a local or a tourist, you will find Grouse Mountain to be an unforgettable place that will make you fall in love with Vancouver.

Quick facts about Grouse Mountain

Whether you’re visiting Vancouver, or have lived here for years spending the day at Grouse Mountain is one of the best things to do in Vancouver. It doesn’t matter what season you are here, Grouse Mountain offers something for everyone. This family friendly destination is one of the best mountains in Vancouver.

Where is Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain Address: 6400 Nancy Green Way, North Vancouver, V7R 4K9

Grouse Mountain is in North Vancouver, about 15 km from downtown Vancouver. It’s part of the North Shore Mountains, which are a subrange of the Coast Mountains that run along the western edge of British Columbia.

Grouse Mountain hours

The Grouse Mountain Skyride operates between 9 am to 9 pm daily. Grouse is open year round and is worth visiting any time of year. The attractions at the top have different hours so it’s important to plan your day accordingly. We recommend going in the morning or early afternoon to make sure that you have time to do all the fun activities at Grouse Mountain.

Best time to visit Grouse Mountain

Winter at Grouse is a completely different experience than the summer.

The best time to visit Grouse Mountain depends on what kind of activities and experiences you are looking for. Grouse Mountain is a destination that offers something for everyone, from outdoor enthusiasts to wildlife lovers to foodies. Here are some general guidelines for choosing the best time to visit Grouse Mountain:

  • If you want to enjoy winter sports such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or ice skating, you should visit Grouse Mountain between December and March, when the mountain is covered with snow and offers a variety of trails and slopes for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. You can also experience the Peak of Christmas celebration, which features festive lights, Santa’s workshop, reindeer, and sleigh rides.
  • Summertime at Grouse Mountain features hiking up the Grouse Grind trail, you should visit Grouse Mountain between May and October, when the trail is open and safe for hikers. You can also enjoy other summer activities such as ziplining, paragliding, mountain biking, or exploring the wildlife refuge.

Want to see the stunning views of Vancouver and the surrounding regions? The Skyride gondola or the Eye of the Wind viewing pod is the place to do it.

How high is Grouse Mountain?

Grouse Mountain height is 1,231 m (4038 ft) high and has a vertical drop of 365 m (1198 ft). It’s one of the highest peaks in the North Shore Mountains, which are part of the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains. Grouse Mountain is also known as the peak of Vancouver because it offers spectacular views of the city and the surrounding region.

Grouse Mountain tickets

We recommend booking your Grouse Mountain tickets before you go to make your day easier. Your ticket costs $80 CAD ($60 USD) for adults with children and seniors getting discounted rates.

Tickets include roundtrip access to the Grouse Mountain Skyride (Grouse Gondola) as well as many different activities at the top including the Peak Chairlift (summer), wildlife refuge, lumberjack show, and more.

If you are a local to Vancouver, you can enjoy discounted prices.

Grouse Mountain weather

The weather on Grouse Mountain varies drastically during the winter and summer. Summer on Grouse is from June to August with an average temperature around 16 C – it can still get chilly at night so bring a jacket, or at least a sweater.

Grouse Mountain in the winter is another story. The average temperature is around -2 C at the base but can be 20 degrees cooler at the peak. If it’s windy and nightime you could be looking at close to -30 degrees with windchill.

Grouse Mountain and other popular BC mountains like Big White Whistler and more

The cool thing about this ski mountain is that it has live webcams that allow you to see the weather in real time. The weather Grouse Mountain has on a daily basis changes within minutes. It can go from sunny and beautiful to foggy and raining in a matter of minutes. The chalet Grouse Mountain webcam gives you a look at what’s happening on the mountain before you leave.

You can even see what’s happening in the bear habitat on the Grouse mtn webcam!

Gear Rentals

If you don’t have your own ski or snowboard and want to try out the sport you can rent the gear at Grouse Mountain. We recommend getting there early in the day because they could sell out throughout the day. If they do, you’ll have to wait until someone returns their rental. You can rent everything from skis, to snowboards, ice skates, and more.


Whether you are looking to go hiking in the summer or skiing in the winter, you need a place to store all your stuff. Luckily, there is a bag check at Alpine Guest Services in the Peak Chalet. There are also lockers on site for $2. There are limited available and they are rented on a first come first serve basis so be sure to pack light and get there early.

If you are biking to Grouse Mountain, you can lock up your bicycle at the bike racks located at the base of the mountain by the gondola.

How to get to Grouse Mountain

One of the best things about Grouse Mountain is its location. It’s so popular because it’s so close to Vancouver.


Grouse isn’t like the other Vancouver ski hills – it doesn’t have a windy, sketchy road to get to the slopes. Instead, Grouse Mountain parking is at the bottom of the gondola which saves you having to brave the treacherous part of the drive.

Downtown Vancouver to Grouse Mountain it’s a 12 km drive that usually takes around 25 minutes.

Taking a shuttle or bus

One of the easiest ways to get to Grouse is by taking a shuttle. This saves you the hassle of driving across the bridge and to the North Shore. Taking the free Grouse Mountain shuttle in the summer is the best way to get to the mountain. The shuttle runs between Canada Place and Grouse Mountain and has multiple departure times between 9 am and 6 pm. This shuttle cannot be booked ahead of time and runs on a first come first serve basis.

You can also take public transit to the mountain. You will start by taking the Vancouver SeaBus from Waterfront Station to North Vancouver and then take Bus #236 to Grouse Mountain.

Taking a taxi

You can book a taxi or uber from anywhere in Vancouver to get you to the the Grouse Mountain gondola. This is definitely your most expensive travel option but a good way to get direct access to the mountain.

Booking a tour

If you are visiting Vancouver, taking a tour to see the area is a great way to visit Grouse Mountian.

    1. Enjoy the best of North Vancouver with this Grouse Mountain and Capilano Suspension Bridge combo tour. Entrance fees to the Capilano Suspension Bridge and the Grouse Mountain Skyride as well as round trip transportation from your Vancouver hotel are included in this $224 CAD ($168 USD) price tag.
    2. If all this sounds good to you but you want a private tour with just your group, you can book that as well.
    3. If you’re visiting Vancouver on a cruise ship, this cruise day tour will pick you up from the cruise ship harbour and take you to all the Vancouver highlight points including a stop at Grouse Mountain.

Getting to the top of Grouse Mountain

From hiking to gondola rides, there are many different routes you can take to get to the top of Grouse Mountain.

grouse gondola skyride in north vancouver

Grouse Mountain Gondola (Skyride)

The Grouse Gondola, called the Skyride, brings you from the parking lot to the top of the mountain and is an adventure in itself. With windows on all sides, you can enjoy 360 degree views of the ocean, forest, and downtown Vancouver. If you’re visiting in the summer you can try the Skyride Surf Adventure where you ride on the roof of the Skyride with the wind in your face enjoying the unobstructed views.

The Skyride runs every 15 minutes.

Hiking up the mountain

The Grouse Grind is the most famous trail on the mountain. It’s accurately coined Mother Nature’s Stairmaster and takes you to the top of Grouse Mountain – you will want to prepare for a climb!

This is a one way hike as you also can’t climb down the mountain. You will need to buy a download ticket which is a one way ticket down the gondola for $20. Climbing the Grouse Grind Vancouver is one of the best hikes in the city if you want a good workout with hugely rewarding views.

Some common questions about the Grouse Grind:

  • How long is the Grouse Grind? This steep hike is 2.5km (1.5 miles) in length. The Grouse Grind elevation gain is steep at just over 800 meters (2,624 feet). Don’t be fooled by the short distance, this climb is straight up and considered a difficult climb. In fact, there are 2,830 stairs to climb on this hike.
  • When does the Grouse Grind open? That depends on the city of Vancouver. Be sure to check before you go to make sure the trail is open for your hike. This area receives a fair amount of snowfall in the winter months so it’s safest to bet on this being a spring to fall workout.
  • How long does Grouse Grind take? That depends on your fitness level. We’d say to bank on the hike taking between 2-2.5 hours.
  • How hard is the Grouse Grind? Well, it ain’t easy! If you’re new to hiking, we wouldn’t recommend it. The hike is considered difficult and requires a good amount of cardio endurance and strength training to complete. There aren’t mid way facilities so it’s important you dress appropriately (good hiking shoes) and pack water and energy bars.

There is a lesser known trail that runs parallel to the Grouse Grind called the BCMC trail. It is worth noting that there are 160 markers on this trail. While these aren’t evenly spaced and don’t showcase any new achievement, they can give you some orientation to how far you are into your hike.

Things to do on Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain is a 4 season destination offering fun things to do year round – there is never a bad time to visit. But depends on what kinds of activities you are looking to do. If you want to go skiing or snowshoeing or enjoy some Christmas festivities, visiting Grouse Mountian in winter is your best bet. If you want to do some great hikes, zipline through the mountain and enjoy an ice cold beer on a patio, summer in Gouse is ideal.

There are many activities that are included in your Grouse Mountain admission ticket.

What to do on Grouse Mountain in the summer

1. Visit the wildlife refuge

We LOVE supporting ethical wildlife refuge centers that work to provide a safe haven for rescued animals. Grouse Mountain is a native area for bears to explore and is home to 2 rescued grizzly bears: Grinder and Coola. There are bear viewing areas where you can bring the family to see how the bears interact. Their enclosure is large with lots of room to roam the forest and ponds inside.

You can watch the Grinder and Coola from anywhere by viewing the Grouse Mountain webcams.

Access, including ranger talks that happen multiple times a day, is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

*As eco tourists, we don’t support typical tourist spots like the Vancouver Aquarium or the Vancouver Zoo.*

2. Play at the Tree Canopy Adventure

One of our favourite things to do at Grouse Mountain with kids is this Tree Canopy Adventure Park. Climb through the treetops as you make your way through this forest obstacle course. Kids will run through nets, and wavy bridges, slide down curly slides. The park is open to all ages but mostly geared towards kids 3-8 years old.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

3. Watch the lumberjack show

A great family friendly activity, take in the show on the top of the mountain as lumberjacks battle it out in an attempt to be the top lumberjack. You will watch log rolling, a tree climb, axe throwing, and more. There are multiple show times throughout the day so you can plan accordingly.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

4. Play in the treetops at the Mountain Ropes Adventure Course

Kids and adults can test their fears at this treetop obstacle course. While Myles is too scared of heights, Samara did her first treetop obstacle course in Revelstoke and loved the thrill of adventure in the treetops. This course is suitable for ages 8 and older and will have you walking on wooden planks suspended up in the air.

You can buy your tickets online for $48 CAD ($ USD) or on the mountain for $53 CAD ($ USD).

5. Take in the views from the Eye of the Wind

As part of Vancouver’s initiatives to be a green city, the Grouse Mountain windmill helps generate the mountain’s power. At the top of the windmill, you will find an observation area that has 360 degree views of Vancouver and is an epic viewpoint. It is the world’s first and only turbine that allows you to climb in and enjoy the views.

Note: The Eye of the Wind is temporarily closed, be sure to check this website before you go if you want to take part in this activity.

6. Go ziplining

If you’re looking for the best views at Grouse Mountain, you have to try ziplining! This thrilling adventure lasts about 2 hours and will have you flying at speeds of up to 70km/hr on 5 different ziplines. We love that they have a dual line system so you can fly with a friend the whole time.

You are required to be within the weight restrictions of 70-250 pounds and be wearing close toed shoes. Tickets are $119 CAD ($88 USD) in person or $114 CAD ($84 USD) if bought ahead of time online.

Going for a hike in BC forest.

7. Go hiking

If you don’t want to hike up the mountain but are looking to get some exercise, you’ll be happy to know there are TONS of hiking trails at the top of Grouse Mountain. Hiking at the top is ideal as you will get a chance to actually enjoy backcountry trails rather than just climbing a bunch of stairs in the forest. The trails are well marked and there are a lot of different areas to choose from.

Climb up Dam Mountain, Little Goat Mountain, Goat Mountain, and Thunderbird Ridge. If you want a real challenge and are an experienced hiker, you can even try your hand at climbing Crown Mountain.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

8. Play disc golf

If you’ve never tried playing disc golf before, Grouse Mountain disc golf course is a hell of a place to start! Their 18 hole disc golf course features epic views of the lower mainland throughout. The course starts at the top of The Cut and is well worth the effort. This is a super fun way to get your steps in!

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket. Bring your own frisbees or get some from Outfitters in the Peak Chalet for $14.99.

9. Ride the Peak Chairlift

For even better views of the city, you can ride the Peak Chairlift to the apex of Grouse Mountain. This open air chairlift takes you 1,250 meters (4,100 ft) above sea level and is a 14 minute ride. You will enjoy unbeatable views of Vancouver set against the Pacific Ocean and find out why it’s called beautiful British Columbia. While this is a great family friendly activity, there is a height requirement of 1 meter (3 ft) tall.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

10. Enjoy a patio cocktail

The only thing better than a cold drink served on a patio on a hot summer day is enjoying it with a view. Both Altitudes Bistro and The Observatory offer patios with unbeatable views of Vancouver’s lower mainland.

11. Go Tandem Paragliding

The most epic way to get to the bottom of the mountain is by paragliding to the bottom. For $229 per person, you can jump off the mountain and glide to the city on this exhilarating ride. This is open to anyone aged 6 and older.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

12. Take in the views from a lookout point

Grouse mountain forest hike in Vancouver

If you’re looking for a great spot to take a photo, you can enjoy the vantage point from any one of the 5 designated lookout points on the mountain.

The lookouts:

    • Peak of Vancouver Lookout
    • Georgia Strait Lookout
    • Wilderness Lookout
    • Cascade Mountains Lookout
    • Grizzly Lookout

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

13. Catch a show at the Theatre In The Sky

This year round activity is a great way to learn about the history of Grouse and the mountain culture. The large theatre has comfortable seats and is a great way to learn more about the mountain.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

14. Check out the Birds in Motion

If you are visiting in the summer months you can visit the resident owls and even enjoy a talk learning all about the different birds of prey.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

What to do on Grouse Mountain in the winter

While Vancouver doesn’t consistently have snow, Grouse Mountain makes sure it does. In fact, the mountain actually makes its own man-made snow in order to ensure optimal skiing conditions

1. Skiing and snowboarding

Grouse Mountain is most famous for its skiing and snowboarding. The hill opens in late October (the exact date depends on the snowfall) and stays open until March/April. There are 33 runs, 4 chairlifts, 2 terrain parks, and a snow school for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. You can rent ski and snowboard equipment on the hill as well.

Night skiing is popular in the area with 15 night run trails being available. Practice your skills on any of the 5 terrain parks.

2. Snowshoeing

There are also cross country trails that allow for great snowshoeing. Grouse Mountain has 10 km of snowshoe trails that range from easy to challenging. You can rent snowshoes and explore Grouse Moutain in the snowy forest, the alpine lake, and the wildlife habitat on your own or join a guided tour. You can also rent snowshoes or join a snowshoe clinic at the mountain.

There are so many great BC Mountains to visit from Grouse Mountain to Whistler to Big White.

3. Ice skating

For a great family friendly activity, enjoy the 8,000 sqft outdoor skating pond. Skate rentals are available on the mountain if needed.

4. Sliding zone

Fun for the whole family, rent a sled from the Fireside Hut for $5 CAD ($10 CAD for the year) and race your friends down the two lanes of Sliding Zones.

Note: No outside sleds are allowed.

5. Grizzly bear refuge

The grizzly bears, Grinder and Coola, are residents of the refuge year round which means they are still living here. While the refuge is still open, the bears hibernate as they would in the wild. Allowing the bears to keep to their natural schedule is what we love about this sanctuary. The bears will likely be hibernating between November and March. You can watch the Grinder and Coola as they sleep from anywhere by viewing the Grouse Mountain webcams.

6. Peak of Christmas celebration with Light Walk

Experience Vancouver’s North Pole on top of Grouse Mountain. You can meet Santa and visit his workshop and say hi to his reindeer. If you find yourself here after nightfall, make sure to take a walk through the winter light show. Walk through light tunnels and see Blue Grouse Lake lit up in all its glory.

Access is included with your Mountain Admission Ticket.

There are so many great mountains in BC including Grouse Mountain, Whistler and Big White

Restaurants on Grouse Mountain

At the base of the mountain, you will find a Starbucks to get your coffee fix before you ride up the Grouse Gondola.

The Observatory – a beautiful upscale cuisine with local ingredients and stunning ocean and city views.

Altitudes Bistro – casual vibes with delicious comfort food, local craft beer, and delicious Okanagan wine.

The Rusty Rail BBQ & Grill – smoked BBQ dishes on a patio. Sometimes has live music.

Lupins Cafe – a self serve cafe serving pizza, sandwiches, and healthy food options.

Grouse Grind Coffee Bar – a great place to get your caffeine fix and some delicious pastries.

Beavertails – another great cafe serving right near the Lumberjack Show (near the Rusty Rail).

Where to stay when visiting Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain’s location being so close to downtown Vancouver makes it the perfect activity. If you’re visiting from out of town, we highly recommend finding one of the Vancouver hotels in the heart of the city, close to all the action and the Vancouver nightlife.

Our favourite downtown Vancouver hotels:

One of the best downtown Vancouver hotels to stay at is the Paradox Hotel Vancouver. This upscale hotel has a great location in Vancouver’s financial district close to lots of shopping and restaurants. If you don’t want to leave the hotel you can enjoy the cocktail lounge and fine dining Chinese restaurant in the hotel.

If you’d rather an apartment style accommodations, we love Level Vancouver Yaletown. You will get a taste of downtown Vancouver city life with a downtown apartment. You will enjoy city views from your apartment and a full kitchen to cook. Our favourite part – the rooftop pool! The rooftop here is a VIBE tucked into all the downtown skyscrapers you will enjoy a whole rooftop patio complete with a pool and hot tub.

If you don’t find one you’re looking for, try browsing all the best hotels in Vancouver.

Thanks for stopping by!

Spending the day at Grouse Mountain is one of our favourite things to do in Vancouver. Grouse Mountain is a must visit spot in Vancouver, especially for people traveling with kids. There is tons to do on the mountain and the views of the city are worth the trip in itself!

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Grouse Mountain Vancouver BC offers so many great things to do.
Visit Grouse Mountain BC for one of the best mountains in Canada.
Grouse Mountain BC is a top must visit destination in Vancouver.

British Columbia is the star of Canada being an outdoor haven with lush forests, snowcapped mountains, and stunning coastal cities. If you’re planning a trip to Canada, BC should be at the top of your list! Bursting with natural beauty from the Pacific Ocean to the famous Rocky Mountains, this Canadian province really does have it all.

As is typical in Canada, BC has a large land mass with a relatively small population leaving tons of area for nature and wildlife to flourish – and flourish it does! Lakes, mountains, rivers, oceans, and forests combine to make the province an outdoor playground that is an absolute must see for any adventurous traveler. Exploring the best cities in BC is a great way to really get a feel for all Canada has to offer. Too many tourists restrict their exploration to simply Vancouver or Toronto when really Canada has so much more to offer.

British Columbia is a large province so when planning your trip, you may wonder where are the best places to visit. To help you plan your trip, we’ve listed all the best cities in BC and have given you a rundown of what to expect from each place.

Best cities in BC

1. Vancouver

downtown vancouver skyline

We can’t make a list of the best cities in BC without including the biggest city in the province. Vancouver is one of a kind bustling city set on a picturesque mountain backdrop where urban metropolis meets an outdoor adventure paradise. Whether you are looking to do some great shopping, indulge in some tasty eats, get lost in the forest, or scuba dive in the ocean, Vancouver has it all.

A series of totem poles found at Stanley Park in Vancouver BC with a woman in the foreground

The city’s lush green rainforest does come at a price though. Affectionately referred to as Raincouver by locals, Vancouver receives approximately 169 days of rain a year. It’s best to plan for rain and pack accordingly when visiting.

There are so many things to do in Vancouver, you will have no problem spending at least a week in the city. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you can get lost in the city’s tall mountains and lush forests. The Seawall at Stanley Park, a 405 hectare waterfront park located right downtown, is one of the best areas to explore in Vancouver. That’s the size of 506 football fields!

Downtown Vancouver skyscrapers with an ocean foreground

Walk across one of the impressive suspension bridges or take a gondola ride up to the city’s beautiful Grouse Mountain to meet some bears and enjoy dinner with some impressive views. You can even take to the sea to enjoy Vancouver whale watching and get up close to orcas and humpback whales.

Historic neighborhoods such as Gastown and Chinatown offer a great look into Vancouver’s culture and history. Popular Vancouver attractions like Granville Island house an eclectic arts scene with beautiful ocean views and the freshest seafood you’ll ever eat. This is a great place for a cold beer in one of over 70 craft breweries in Vancouver. If you’re traveling with kids, a trip to Science World is a must!

The Vancouver Public Library is a staple of the Vancouver skyline. This beautiful building is a top things to do in Vancouver BC.

Getting around downtown Vancouver is easy. Relatively flat and almost completely surrounded by the ocean, walking around Vancouver is not only easy but offers up some incredibly rewarding views. There is also a Skytrain that connects Vancouver to many of the surrounding suburbs. The Skytrain is a very popular way to get from Vancouver International Airport (YVR) to downtown Vancouver.

2. Victoria

Situated off the coast of Vancouver on Vancouver Island, Victoria is the capital city of British Columbia. The city is known for its historic charm, thriving arts scene, stunning oceanfront location, and funky eclectic vibes. Located on the southern end of the island, Victoria is known for its ideal climate boasting some of the most moderate weather conditions in the country.

There are so many fun things to do in Victoria, you will have no problem filling up a weekend in the city. The Fairmont Empress Hotel is one of the most iconic Victoria landmarks on the island with its impressive ivy covered building being where the British Royal Family stays when they visit.

Home to BC’s beautiful Parliament Buildings and the stunning Butchart Gardens all built around Victoria’s stunning harbor, you will have plenty to explore. If you’d rather have a more nature inspired experience, this is a great place to get lost in the many forest trails or take to the ocean for some excellent scuba diving and whale watching.

If you plan to do a road trip to other popular Vancouver Island destinations, I recommend allowing at least a week to explore the island. While there is public transportation on the island, I highly recommend having a private vehicle and doing a road trip.

More than 31,000 km² (12,400 m²), like the rest of BC, most of the island’s landmass is covered in forested, beach and mountainous landscapes. Other top Vancouver Island destinations include Nanaimo (home of the delicious Canadian dessert: Nanaimo bar), Sooke, and the laid back surfer town of Tofino.

3. Kelowna

Kelowna, our favourite city in the province, is BC’s slice of sunny paradise. Sometimes called Kelownafornia, this city is known for its long hot summers and short mild winters. A must visit for wine lovers and golf pros alike, Kelowna exudes a laid back lifestyle full of sunshine, beer, and good vibes.

Kelowna is situated in the middle of the Okanagan Valley in BC’s interior and is built around the stunning Okanagan Lake. The city is known as an outdoor paradise and is a prime spot for hiking, biking, and watersports. Kelowna is split into two areas: Kelowna and West Kelowna, which are separated by the huge Okanagan Lake.

The city of Kelowna is built for tourism attracting about 2 million annual visitors. It is packed full of fun things to do no matter what season you visit. In the summertime, the city comes to life with patios opening all around the city between May and October to welcome visitors to enjoy a nice glass of vino with stunning lake views. Downtown Kelowna is a hotspot for upscale restaurants, stunning beaches, boutique style shopping, and lots of events.

Kelowna is a city that likes to drink, with more than 40 wineries in the city, visiting some of the best wineries in Kelowna and taking one of the many Kelowna wine tours is a must do when visiting. As is typical with BC, Kelowna also has a budding craft brewery scene. Winter receives far less tourism with the nearby ski hill Big White being the main draw to the area.

downtown kelowna, rhapsody kelowna, kelowna art, sculpture in kelowna

The city of Kelowna is located about 390km (242 miles) northeast of Vancouver. You can expect a beautiful 4 hour drive through the BC mountains to get to this sunshine town. Downtown Kelowna is best explored on foot. If you are looking to get around the rest of Kelowna, you can do so on an electric bike or scooter, private car, or with public transit.

4. Whistler

If you’re looking for a stunning mountain getaway, look no further than Whistler, BC. Whistler is tucked away in the BC mountain coast about 2 hours north of Vancouver. Home to the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler has attracted global attention as being a world class skiing and snowboarding hotspot.

Consisting of two mountains, you will have the choice of exploring both Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Together, the mountains offer 8,171 acres of terrain to explore including 3 glaciers. The side by side mountains are connected by a stunning Peak 2 Peak Gondola that is open year round. Whistler Village is a thriving little mountain town that allows access to this outdoor playground.

Whistler has 2 hot tourism seasons:

  • In the summer months, from June to August, Whistler Village comes to life with mountain bikers, hikers, and adventurers looking to take in the beautiful wilderness of the area.
  • The alpine village is set in its full glory during the winter, with a peak in tourism between December and January, when skiers and snowboarders from around the world flock to the area. The postcard worthy village turns into a snow covered winter wonderland that is truly one of a kind.

No matter what season you visit, Whistler offers so many great things to see and do for adventurers. Much like the rest of BC, Whistler has a small craft brewery scene in a hipster style neighborhood called Function Junction. Trust me, the only thing better than a cold craft beer is sipping one after a long day on the slopes. Last time we were in Whistler we visited the light show at Vallea Lumina which we can’t stop recommending to everyone we talk to.

Winter is one of the best times to come to this snowy village when you can try your hand at skiing or snowboarding down any of the 200 marked runs on the mountains. If you’re not a skier, taking a snowmobile tour is a great way to explore the terrain.

If you’re visiting during the summer months, the slopes turn into epic mountain biking trails. There are many adrenaline inducing Whistler outdoor activities available including rock climbing with Whistler’s Via Ferra experience or swinging through the trees on a zipline adventure.

Whistler Village in winter

With a good mix of top tier luxury mountain resorts and affordable motels, Whistler attracts every type of traveler. Located 120 km (75 miles) north of Vancouver through the stunning BC mountains, getting to Whistler is easy. Whistler Village itself is a very walkable area with most of the shops and restaurants having pedestrian access only. Getting around the rest of Whistler, to the slopes, surrounding lakes, and wilderness trails, is accessible on foot, with private car or public transit.

5. Kamloops

If you’re looking for a slower paced city that will introduce you to all BC’s interior has to offer, Kamloops is a great option. This sleepy town, known as the Tournament Capital of Canada, acts as a great central place to explore some of the best areas in the Thompson region. Kamloops is known for its dry semi arid climate that is surrounded by many great lakes and forests to explore.

The beautiful Thompson River separates the north and south end of the town and flows into nearby Kamloops Lake. Known as the friendliest city in Canada, Kamloops is one of the best places to visit in British Columbia where you can enjoy the welcoming small town vibes.

Kamloops offers lots to see and do being a hotspot for outdoor adventure such as fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and off roading. With a very unique landscape, Kamloops natural beauty feautres dry rolling hills and picturesque canyons. Kamloops is rich in Indigenous culture and history from the Tk’emlúps peoples.

The city has an up and coming brewery scene with a few wineries opening up around town. Downtown Kamloops is lined with restaurants and boutique style shops that can be a lot of fun to explore. Nearby Sun Peaks Mountain is a must visit for epic skiing and snowboarding in winter.

When doing some Kamloops sightseeing, I recommend exploring outside of the city limits as well. There are a lot of great areas to visit within a short drive of Kamloops. The city of Salmon Arm is a popular destination just over an hour east of Kamloops where you will find the stunning Shuswap Lake.

One of our favorite lakes in the area is Johnson Lake, a stunning crystal clear paradise just over an hour north of Kamloops. Wells Gray Provincial Park is another favorite of ours located 90 minutes north of Kamloops and home to 41 waterfalls, lakes, and amazing forest trails. This park is packed full of wildlife. We’ve visited Well Gray 5 times and every single time have seen bears.

Johnson Lake is the clearest lake in Canada and one of the best lakes in BC.

Do you need a car to explore BC?

You don’t need one, but it sure is nice! The best places to visit in British Columbia are not necessarily in big cities. One of our best British Columbia travel tips is to have a private car to explore the best cities in BC. It’s a big province, almost 4 times the size of Great Britain. Traveling between the different cities in the country can take hours and while there are some buses you can take, BC is really best explored with a big road trip.

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British Columbia is Canada’s outdoor playground with almost 64% of the province (95 million hectares) being forest and more than 20,000 lakes. No matter which city you choose to explore, you are guaranteed to get beautiful natural landscapes with plenty of outdoor activities offered. From the urban streets of Vancouver to the wine soaked paradise of Kelowna, BC promises an unforgettable vacation. Now that you know the best cities in BC, all that’s left is to book your trip!

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Vancouver is the perfect blend of urban metropolis and natural beauty. There are so many things to do in Vancouver, it is no wonder Vancouver is one of the most expensive places in the world to live. From downtown Vancouver, you will see beautiful oceanside beaches, lush rainforest and huge glacier mountains. We love this town and think it’s one of the best cities in BC.

Vancouver BC is one of the greenest cities in the world. Vancouver city planners have set a huge priority of keeping this bustling city in touch with nature and you will find many forests right in the middle of town. This Pacific Northwest City receives a ton of rain, on average 192 days of rainfall a year. Luckily, there are tons of things to do in Vancouver even when it rains.

In our completely biased opinion, British Columbia, well Canada in general, is a really cool place. This massive heap of land is home to such a small relative population leaving most of the landmass free to be explored. In fact, only 5% of British Columbia’s land is privately owned. After decades of travelling our home province both together and apart, we have compiled the top 6 unbelievable places in BC.

What does that mean? This province is massively spread out which makes it the perfect place to plan a BC summer road trip.

Also, read about the top US cities that aren’t on your radar but should be.

Coombs – Vancouver Island

The first spot on our list has everything to do with animals (typical us). When making your way to Vancouver Island you will not want to miss this quirky spot. It’s right on the way for those that are making their way to the popular vacation spot, and surfers paradise, Tofino. The closest main city to this stop is Nanaimo. Heading just north of Nanaimo to Parksville this quirky city is about 10km to your west.

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The statue farm next to the goats

A Norwegian couple who immigrated to Vancouver Island is responsible for the hype in this area. They have a market area that they designed to be like their homes were in Lillehammer, Norway. Here, many homes were built into the hills with sod roofs acting as an extension to the land. This feature provided the houses with exceptional insulation bringing forward the eco-friendly green roof. To top it off (see what we did there 😉 ), there are goats on the roof to help “maintain” the roof’s grass levels.

This market is more of a small community. With many stores ranging from fresh fruits, small boutiques and surfing stores, there are many things to do and see. While this is a fun family-friendly place, it is more of a stop-through town than a final destination. We recommend adding this stop to a Vancouver Island road trip.

Wells Gray Park – Kamloops

Check out more about Kamloops here: Epic Road Trip Through BC

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Up close and personal with the falls

Roughly an hour and a half north of Kamloops (around 5 hours north of Vancouver) you will find the small town of Clearwater, BC and the impressive Wells Gray Park. 1.3 million acres of protected provincial park is home to 41 known waterfalls (more are constantly being discovered). In Wells Gray Park you will find all your adventure needs met with expansive hiking and biking trails, massive waterfalls and an immense amount of wildlife.

In fact, the wildlife is so dense in this area you are practically guaranteed to see all kinds of animals – everything from deer, cougars, bears and moose. Wells Gray is a great summer vacation destination as the large lakes and ample tree coverage offer more moderate summer temperatures.

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While the area is packed with beauty, the biggest draw is the many impressive waterfalls. Some are located mere steps from the road offering easier accessibility while others require a dedicated hike to reach. The range of accessibility to the various waterfalls varies as some are much bigger than others. While some offer distant viewing areas, others you can become more intimate with, even climbing behind. Helmcken Falls is one of the main ones in this area and is the fourth largest in Canada. This is saying something if you consider we are also home to Niagara Falls.

We recommend staying in this area for a few days as there is much to do and see. Anything less than this and you’ll surely miss something.

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The view from the lookout point

This area offers everything from hotels, cabin rentals, and quaint B&Bs but the best way to travel is to immerse yourself in nature at a campground. You can even find some free campsites around the park. There are lakes in this area where you can rent water sports like stand-up paddle boards and canoes. Nothing says getting into nature as much as paddling out to the middle of a lake and listening to the eagles and loons. If you are riding close to the shore, you are likely to encounter some even bigger wildlife.


Penticton is the perfect small beach town. Being completely surrounded by lakes, this dog-friendly city is incredibly laid back giving it the ultimate beach bum vibe. With exceptional rock climbing, biking and hiking trails all around, this city offers something for everyone. Penticton is keeping up with the Okanagan vibes, offering many fresh local restaurants and hipster breweries to give you that typical Okanagan lifestyle.

Heading to the Okanagan? Be sure to check out all the best of Kelowna as well.

On the north end of Penticton, you have the massive Okanagan Lake that stretches all the way up to Vernon. While this lake is quite large in size, you will be pleasantly surprised by how warm the water is in Penticton. If there weren’t enough reasons to love the beach, the city of Penticton even sets up fire rings on their beaches to allow you to have a campfire on the beach. Okanagan Lake Beach even has a little slide in the water.

On the south end of Penticton, there is another large lake called Skaha Lake which has a great beach life. If the two lakes weren’t enough, there is also a lazy river channel here that you can float down. They even have tube rentals and shuttle services. Penticton weather is great in the summer and is one of the first places to get warm in BC after long cold winters.

If you like wine, be sure to visit the resort town of Naramata located less than 20 minutes up the lake from Penticton. Here you will find some of the best views in the Okanagan with many amazing vineyards all housing their own impeccable Okanagan views. Along the way, we recommend visiting the many delicious fruit stands – or better yet head straight to the local farms.

Ucluelet – Vancouver Island

Located on Vancouver Island, Ucluelet is a smaller city on the island that often mistakenly gets overlooked by tourists who flock to the nearby beach town: Tofino. While Tofino is definitely worth a visit, Ucluelet has so much to offer it deserves its own shout-out.

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Halfway through the Lighthouse Trail hike

This small coastal town has a laid back homey vibe that we found to be very authentic. The lighthouse loop trail is a must-do hike in the area. Less than 3km in length, this loop hugs the water delivering consistent breathtaking ocean views. A great family-friendly hike offering different routes depending on your family’s needs. As the name suggests there is an iconic lighthouse that you will encounter along your path. With a rocky shore, we recommend wearing solid shoes that will allow you to climb your way all across the uneven terrain.coolest places in bc, ucluelet, lighthouse, light house, shore, ocean, sea

The Lighthouse at Ucluelet

When we visited we spent hours sitting on the rocks watching the waves crash against the shores with the changing times. Pack a picnic and spend the entire afternoon in this beautiful area. This was an experience you will NOT want to miss.

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Another shot of the ocean, cause why not

If you are a fish like us, you may also like reading about our first-time scuba diving in Thailand.


A bit of a drive from Vancouver, this town is located around 8 hours east, situated in an area of BC called the Kootenays. While this destination is quite remote, it is a sweet mountain town that has a lot to offer. Submerged in the outback, it is fairly common to be rewarded with lots of wild animal encounters including bears, vultures and moose.

Nelson is an old hippie town that is truly after our hearts. It has old VW vans everywhere, tie-dye shirts, old Victorian houses and small local businesses. Don’t come here expecting a Starbucks – you sure won’t find one. Instead, you will find tons of vegan and gluten-free health-conscious cafes and restaurants. Rocking a boho-chic vibe, this city is an eclectic haven.

With a river going through this town and tons of nearby lakes, this is a great summer destination. Nearby you will find a lot of small quaint towns that are also worth a visit. No trip to the area is complete without heading to Ainsworth Hot Springs, a resort offering natural mineral waters and even a beautiful underwater cave you can swim through.

Sooke – Vancouver Island

Another spot on Vancouver Island that we love is Sooke. Located at the southern point of Vancouver Island, Sooke is quite an isolated area of the island with only a few access points that aren’t 4-wheel drive. Well worth the drive, you will be rewarded with many amazing spots driving all around this area.

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Samara trying not to fall into the water

This is another coastal town and has countless pull-offs for free campsites around it. While there isn’t much in terms of city life in this area, this is a great place to escape. There are lots of quaint B&B’s around to stay at in addition to our favourite spot: the Sooke potholes.

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Crystal clear water just urging you to jump in

The potholes are located along the Sooke River. You will find easy walking trails leading up to these stunning rock formations and will be rewarded with crystal clear waters ready to swim through. You will sit in awe when learning that these stunning rocks were formed during the last Ice Age – 15,000 years ago! While the water is admittedly quite cold, the crystal clear waters are the perfect destination on a hot summer day.

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Rock formations at Sooke Potholes

Have you ever visited one of our favourite spots in BC? Tell us what you thought of them in the comment section below. If we missed your favourite spot, let us know about it below.

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Top must see places in BC, Canada #waterfall #vineyard #roadtrip #travel

Top must see places in BC, Canada #waterfall #vineyard #roadtrip #travel Top must see places in BC, Canada #waterfall #vineyard #roadtrip #travel

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British Columbia is one of the most beautiful places in all of Canada. We’re not just saying this because both of us grew up here, we did some thorough exploring before giving this title. After travelling around all of North America we have come to appreciate this part of the world even more than before. A road trip through BC offers some of the most scenic drives in the entire country.

An adventure lovers paradise, this province has everything from stunning coastlines, tall mountains, lush forests and a whole lot of wildlife. Where else can you scuba dive the depths of the ocean in the morning and go skiing in the afternoon? I mean, don’t actually do this because you are sure to get some altitude sickness… but, like, you COULD.

As BC natives and globe travellers, we’ve undoubtedly spent more time in this province than anywhere else and now consider ourselves experts. Below we have put together our favourite road trip through southern BC. This ultimate road trip guide is designed for people who are looking to get away for about a week.

All in all this road trip adds up to about 1,000 km of pure joy and the open road. We recommend allowing 5-10 days for this trip in order to be able to really soak in all the sights.

Read more: Vietnam’s 10 Best Destinations You Have To See

Road trip tips:
  • Best time to ROAD TRIP: Summers are known to be road trip season – and for good reason. This specific route is much better in the summertime. With many lakes, fresh fruit stands, hot summer sun and the best access to wineries, the months of June – mid-September are the best for this kind of trip.
  • The roads are MUCH safer at this time as you will be climbing some steep mountains. Make sure you have a reliable vehicle to take you on the trip. While you can plan a BC road trip in the winter months, it becomes a lot more dangerous with icy, snow-covered roads. Be aware that BC roads mandate winter tires on most highways between October 1st and April 30th.
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The Highway to Kamloops in the winter
  • While the best road trip through BC is in the summer months, be sure to consider the many natural effects that happen in these months. May – June typically experiences a fair amount of flooding. Late July – September typically sees wild forest fires. Be sure to check out what’s going on before you leave as there may be some changes needed to your route. These restrictions often lead to fire bans as well.
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Samara’s Bachelorette Weekend

Starting Point: Vancouver

As most people are coming from Kelowna, let’s start our trip there. If you are coming from out of the province, you will be likely flying into Vancouver’s main airport: YVR (Vancouver International Airport). There are many places you can rent a car or motorhome for this trip.

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Vancouver at sunrise

If you are not interested in renting a car (you really should, it will be MUCH cheaper) there are buses that will take you this route as well but these routes aren’t as affordable and flexible as other parts of the world.

Pro Tip: Skip the expensive and long cab ride from the airport to the city and instead jump on the Skytrain. The Canada Line will take you right from Richmond (the city YVR airport is in) and drop you right downtown for a fraction of the price.


This is a small town nestled in the mountains located about 100 kilometres east of Vancouver. After leaving the hustle and bustle of the lower mainland, Chilliwack will be a welcomed introduction to the huge farmlands and gorgeous mountain views you can expect from the rest of BC.

Chilliwack has one major draw to it: an amazing resort community called Cultus Lake. This area has so much to offer and is a great vacation spot for families. Here you will find BC’s best waterpark: Cultus Lake Waterslides. As the name suggests, there is also a beautiful and warm lake that is a must-visit. Provincial campgrounds and privately owned lakefront cabins, many of which offer AirBNB, are in the area.

Take the Vedder Road exit off of Highway 1 to get to the last rest stop before Hope (another half hour away). You can use this time to stretch your legs, grab some snacks and fill your gas tank. Chilliwack is often home to the cheapest gas in the lower mainland so we recommend taking advantage. For those who aren’t Canadian, you will need to take this time to grab a Tim Hortons coffee. You can’t do a Canadian road trip WITHOUT Timmy’s.

Pro Tip: When driving through the Hope area, be sure to stop at the Othello Tunnels. Some old railway trestles weaving into the rocky landscape have been repurposed into some stunning hiking trails.

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Coquihalla Highway (Hwy 5) in April

Manning Park (PAID)

Distance From Vancouver: 218 km

Just following Hope the road forks allowing you to veer off Highway 1 and get onto Highway 3 which cuts east across the province. Taking this will get you to Manning Park – a small mountain community in BC that sits inside a protected provincial park.

You can find accommodations for the night at Manning Park. This is a popular area for cross country and downhill skiing in winter and a beautifully scenic stop in the summer. Here you will find a mixture of campgrounds, airBNBs, cabins and hotels to choose from. While you may be able to snag something last minute, we recommend booking these in advance as things fill up quickly. Tucked into the mountains, be sure to pack layers no matter when you visit as temperatures can stick quite cool year-round.

The best way to see this area is to get out of your car and explore on foot (or ski). Extensive hiking trails allow you to get deep into the wilderness to explore. Bring your bike along, or rent some cross-country skis, and make the most of this beautiful landscape.

When you’re ready to leave you will want to keep driving east on Highway 3. This road is long, windy and often single-laned but incredibly worth it as you will be immersed in some breathtaking beauty.

Note: If you are wanting a free night of camping try using this area as a place to get out and stretch your legs. Hike the trails and go play outside for a bit before continuing another 50 minutes for a FREE site in Princeton.

Princeton (FREE)

For those of you who are looking to cut some costs and still get a great camping spot on the river, try heading to Princeton for some free camping! This spot has half a dozen campsites all sitting right on the water. You will find fire pits, picnic tables and even outhouses in this area. You can even drive your vehicle practically right on the beach making this spot perfect!

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Our campsite just outside Princeton

Note: Free camping spots all work on a first come first serve basis so you can not make reservations. Don’t worry though as there are many PAID campsites in this area that are just as beautiful so if you can’t score a free site you will have no problem still finding a place to park your RV.

Be warned, the town of Princeton doesn’t offer a ton in terms of city needs – it has a couple of gas stations, a booster juice and a Save On Foods (grocery store) to gather supplies. The real draw here is the outback that you are submerged in, the free camping sites and the many amazing biking trails close by.

On your way out of town, be sure to keep an eye out when driving through the tiny town of Keremeos as you will be wanting to take a turn south to head towards Osoyoos rather than directly towards Penticton.

Pro Tip: If you are looking to make this trip a bit shorter, skip over Osoyoos and head straight to Penticton.


Osoyoos is a popular beach town located close to the USA-Canada border. From a wine drinker’s point of view, this town is a MUST SEE. Osoyoos weather is desert-like (read: hot and dry) making it GREAT for growing wine crops.

In Osoyoos and the slightly northern town of Oliver, you will find countless wineries where you can sip on your favourite wines for CHEAP. This area is a great place to gain some flexibility with your road trip as most of the wineries in the area don’t require appointments or reservations and welcome drop-ins. Just keep in mind most are only open from 10 am-2 pm.

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Our secret spot overlooking Osoyoos

Note: Osoyoos isn’t a very dog-friendly city. Most of the beaches don’t allow dogs, there aren’t any dog off-leash beaches and most local restaurants don’t allow your furry friend to join you on the patio. With that being said, there are many great hiking and biking trails in the area for you to bring your pups.

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Biking through the hills in Osoyoos

If you are visiting through the summer months be sure to hit up the MANY fruit stands in the area. Fresh, delicious fruits, veggies and honey are in abundance in the whole Okanagan region. For this reason, buy for the day and then keep driving to the many other fruit stands or U-picks along the way. There are also many campsites around this area if you don’t want to stay in Osoyoos hotels.


One of our favourite cities in the Okanagan, Penticton has that quaint picturesque small-town feel with all the big city conveniences you could need. You’ll find big parks, tons of greenery, off-leash dog beaches and two big beautiful lakes. There is WiFi just about everywhere in this town if you are like us and working nomadically. (Look for the one named Shaw Go rather than Shaw Open).

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One of the many beaches in Penticton

This town is most famous for its lazy tubing down rivers. While there are many places on this trip where you will have the opportunity to laze on a river, this is by far the most popular place to do so. Bring a floaty and jump into the Penticton canal and join the river floating fun. Penticton weather in the summertime makes for floating heaven. You can even rent tubes and get shuttle buses to return you upstream taking all the guesswork out of your experience. They really make it easy to have a great day.

This town is built in between two lakes. The north lake, Okanagan Lake, is a much more sophisticated area. With beachside bars and million-dollar houses, this is the site where you will find expensive 5-star Okanagan resort hotels. At the south end of the city, you will find Skaha Lake which offers a large park and a much more laid-back young beach vibe. You will find more bed & breakfast style accommodations here and places to rent paddleboards, windsurf boards and kayaks.

Get your camera ready and be prepared to make A LOT of stops on the road between here and Kelowna. Your whole ride will be driving alongside one big beautiful lake: Okanagan Lake. There are plenty of spots to pull over along this drive to take lots of photos or stop for a picnic along the water.


While this is mostly a drive-through town you will want to drive REAL slow. This area is absolutely stunning. There are many pull-offs here for you to get the best selfies. Tons of fruit stands give this small town a lazy beach bum vibe that you are sure to love.


Another small drive-through town, Peachland is located a few minutes outside of Kelowna, the next big city. Worth a stop, this small town is small and lazy making it a great spot to stop on your road trip. Rent some paddle boards and head to the beach or lace up your shoes to a secret waterfall, Hardy Falls. We really do love summertime on the water.

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Camping at Silver Lake (beware, there are cows here)

There are some great off roading trails in this area up Brenda Mines Road that can take you to some great lakes and free camping sites. Our favourite in the area is heading to Headwaters Lakes or. Silver lake campground. If you’d rather adventure on foot than by vehicle, head to Pincushion Mountain. This short 3.4km hike starts off with a bang as you climb steep slopes and staircases to tread up the mountain. Keep with it as the steep climb levels off pretty well along the way and delivers some world class views once you get to the top.


Kelowna, our hometown, has turned into a mini Vancouver with all the conveniences you get with a big city, and yet a Hawaii-like tropical feel. Kelowna has the best of every world and is the best summer destination in BC. This lakeside city offers the longest summers in Canada and so much to do.

The city is so full of life and has an unbeatable outdoorsy vibe. Kelowna’s population is growing as many people are moving away from Vancouver’s buzz and Alberta’s flatlands. Think lakeside living, delicious wineries and excellent boutiques… oh and a CHEAPER PRICE TAG.

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You can’t beat the view at the wineries

Soak in Okanagan Lake while searching for the Ogopogo, hike the beautiful hills, indulge in some lakeside dining and take on a wine tour. We specifically loved Quails Gate Winery in West Kelowna. This place is quite upscale and you can taste it in the wines. We also loved Meadow Vista winery. This is a really small winery with honey-infused wines!

This is a great place to visit for bachelorette parties or for fun nights out. Packing your days with tours through the vineyards and your evenings with lakeside restaurants is easy in this area. For those who like some entertainment, Kelowna offers some great nightlife at local hotspots like King Taps, Craft Beer Market, Social 242 and even Gotham nightclub. I had my bachelorette party in the city and there was tons to do!

Lake Country

In between Kelowna and Vernon you will find yourself driving through a city called Lake Country. As the name suggests you’re in store for stunning water views every way you look. This town doesn’t offer much in terms of city life as you will find only a few restaurants that aren’t associated with a vineyard. It does, however, offer some amazing lake country wineries all with their own stunning views. If you are in this area you do not want to miss a trip to Gray Monk Winery. Sitting perched on a cliff-side this winery offers delicious wine and views you won’t want to miss.

When driving through Lake Country the highway takes you past Wood Lake and Kalamalka Lake. When the weather is clear, these lakes glisten with turquoise waters that will have you thinking you’re in paradise. If you have time on your trip, we recommend crossing the hill to the west side of Lake Country where you will find access to Okanagan Lake. Driving down Cars Landing Road will reward you with amazing views and many white sandy beaches.

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One of the many picturesque views in this area


Vernon keeps with the Okanagan trend of offering a ton of sunshine, lakes and laid back vibes. Kalamalka Lake is an absolute must-see when coming to this area. Point your car straight to Kalamalka beach and thank me later! While here, rent some paddle boards or go for a hike through the rocks to find some great cliff jumping. You don’t have to travel far for lunch as you will find some lakeside restaurants and convenience stores to give you fuel. If you have a dog along with you, instead head towards Okanagan Lake’s Kin Beach. They have a dog-friendly section of their beach that your pup will love. O’Keeffe Ranch is a great local farm that offers a ton of activities for the whole family.

For those that are looking to soak in some luxury, we recommend the beautiful hilltop spa of Sparkling Hill. This is a great luxury destination in the Okanagan where you will find steam rooms, saunas, and even an igloo room. If your itinerary allows, we recommend staying at least 2 nights here to be able to fully enjoy the experience and make the most of all the activities on site. They even have dog-friendly rooms!


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The ideal goat setup

Heading north from Vernon you will drive past the small town of Armstrong to get to the town of Enderby. While this may look like just another small town, it packs a punch with tons of things to do. The drive to Enderby will take you past the Log Farm which is a great place to stop, especially for those travelling with kids. This eclectic farm is filled with fun activities your whole family will love. On arrival, you will be greeted by some massive dinosaur statues and a whole array of fun figures. There is also a mini petting zoo on-site with animals that you can pet and feed. The most iconic animals are the goats that have a bridge they can walk over that you drive under as you enter the site. Inside you will find a farmer’s market-style store that sells all sorts of goodies (try the pie!!!).

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Lunchtime traffic jam

This tiny town may not look like there is a lot to do, but looks can be deceiving. The town is home to a quaint outdoor flea market where locals sell homemade goods. If you like hiking be sure to check out the Enderby Cliffs. While this hike is longer in duration it offers a good amount of tree coverage and switchbacks help to make it not feel as steep. This is one of our favourite hikes in the Okanagan. Not only are the views from the top of the cliff unlike anything else in the area, the path on the way up makes you feel like you’re trekking through a tropical paradise.

One of the greatest draws to the area for locals is the Enderby river. While Penticton offers a city float, the Enderby river offers a more remote float as you weave leisurely through expansive farmlands on your way into town. If you have to pick just one spot to float down a river on this list, Enderby should definitely be the one! As soon as it turns dark, head to the must-visit Starlight Drive-In Theatre. This is also a great place to do some stargazing on a clear night.

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Samara feeding the goats

If you like wide-open spaces and large lush farmlands this area will not disappoint. Located a short drive from Armstrong, another small town in the area.

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The river that runs through the town

From here you are faced with two options. You can drive north for another beautiful city: Salmon Arm or you can drive west and have a more rural experience in the hills of Falkland.

Option 1: Highway 1 Through Salmon Arm

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The view from the park in downtown Salmon Arm

If you are wanting to stick to the small cities and lake vibes then heading north towards Salmon Arm and driving Highway 1 is the way to go. Once reaching the small green town of Salmon Arm you will be greeted by yet another large lazy lake, the Shuswap Lake. There is a lot to do in this area for adventurers. Some of our favourites are white water rafting, zip-lining or renting some kayaks and paddleboards for a lazy day on the water. In fact, this is one of the more popular spots locals like to hang out.

Option 2: Highway 97 Through Falkland

If you’d rather wind your way through farmlands and have a more rustic nature-filled experience, taking Highway 97 through Falkland and Monte Lake is a great route. There are tons of places to camp in the area as you drive through a couple of small farm communities.

The town of Falkland is known in the area for the annual Falkland Stampede that draws in a fairly big crowd every spring. You will know you have reached the town when you can see their iconic Canada flag displayed up on the mountainside. Hiking up to this flag will lead to some rewarding views. Heading north up Falkland Chase Road will take you to some great outback areas where you can set up camp. On your way, you will pass Pillar Lake, a popular fishing lake.

Further north you will pass through Westwold where you will find the Westwold General Store – try their donuts and thank me later! A little ways further you will find an area called Monte Lake. This area draws a crowd of rock collectors who frequently dig near the lake for precious rocks and gems.

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One of the free campsites along this road


Another great place to float down the river, Kamloops is a town that is almost guaranteed to have sunny weather and a whole lot of wind. There are tons of hiking spots in this area including treks to Kenna Cartwright Park and Peterson Creek. Dog owners will enjoy a trip to Pioneer Park, a large off-leash dog park that even has an off-leash beach.

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One of the many places to camp for free around Kamloops

There are many surrounding areas here that you will enjoy including Paul Lake, Sun Peaks mountain and Harper’s Trail.

Note: If you have some time to spare, driving an hour and a half north to Clearwater will take you to Wells Gray Park. This is one of the best-kept secret places in BC’s interior which we consider a much see! There are so many impressive waterfalls in the area. With camping nearby, rafting and some great places to canoe on the lake, this is a must-see spot for those that can afford the time.

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Our favourite site near Hope


A sharp turn south along the Coquihalla highway will take you to the city of Merritt. This will be the last stop on your travels. While the town of Merritt isn’t packed with entertainment, the surrounding area offers some great backwoods camping.

When heading back to Vancouver, be sure to take advantage of Chilliwack’s cheaper gas on your drive-through – this often saves us about 10 cents a litre compared to prices in the city.


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Lions Gate Bridge connects Vancouver to North Vancouver

If the sudden and crippling burst of traffic hasn’t already shown you, you’re back in the city once again. Be sure to use this time to look over your vehicle as this was a long road trip.

Have you wanted to take a road trip across BC? Tell us your favourite areas in the comment section below.

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These last few months have been well spent. You may have read our recent post about why we decided to settle down for a bit. As much as our soles need to explore, our bodies needed to catch up. Myles was able to devote the time he needed to rehab his body while we escaped winter. With our heart’s longing for more, our brains knew how important this time was for us.

vanlife, camping, Europe, van life, backpacking, travel, road trip, roadtrip

As the days grow warmer we are spending more and more time outside. We are surprising ourselves at how much we missed living 100% of our life outside. It’s not just us, our dogs feel it too. Despite their daily walks and endless love, they are BORED! We are moving into our van in a couple of days and Myles said to me “I can’t believe how much better I feel, I can’t wait to start actually living again.”

Just like that, I knew we made the right decision. Staying still wasn’t lavish but I am so grateful that our admittedly hectic life gives us enough flexibility to move (or stay) how we need to. As hard as it was to give up our life of mobility, I am so thankful that we were in tune with our bodies enough to know what it is we needed.

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As our bodies began to regain their strength we found ourselves turning our talks and dreams into a reality. Lying in bed one night we started with a simple “wouldn’t it be cool to do this extended Euro trip, where we jump from the beaches in Sicily to the islands in Greece?

We can sip wine in Nice and get in a massive food fight in Barcelona (it’s a real thing and we couldn’t be more excited for it!)”. Somehow, this transformed into an overwhelming “holy shit we are moving in less than 2 months.”

I can’t confidently tell you how in less than a month we went from an idea to plane tickets and dog vaccinations. But I can confidently tell you one thing: Always marry someone as crazy as you are. Or don’t and save A LOT of money ;).

I am going to be honest here, Europe has never been at the top of my list of places to explore. I know, the history is amazing. The architecture, the food, the castles, the cobblestone streets… the list is endless. I have travelled to Rome and the Netherlands before and loved both trips.

The vastly different day-to-day life experienced in other parts of the world has always been appealing to me. Asia, Central and South America have always been the areas on my radar. Recently, my wanderlust has skyrocketed and you’d be hard-pressed to find a country I don’t want to visit.

There are 195 countries in the world and I want to explore all of them

The beauty of Europe is the range you can see in a shorter time. On our Canadian road trips, we drive for 6 hours and are still in the same province. In Europe, we could be in 3 different countries. Not ready to give up our time in the mountains and forests quite yet, we will be devoting our next two months to nightly campfires and getting lost in the woods (hopefully not literally FRECKLES). Mid-June we will be ON A PLANE TO… well, who knows.

This is how we see our next few months shaping up. Our plan as of today (keep in mind this changes HOURLY):

  • Throw our pups on a plane
  • Land in EUROPE – we’re thinking London or Amsterdam.
  • Hunt through the streets for a van #vanlife FOREVER
  • Spend the summer driving anywhere and everywhere throughout Europe

*DID YOU KNOW that Sweden has a “Freedom to roam” act. This allows you to camp on ANY land that is not privately owned!! That’s right the stunning mountains, coastlines and archipelagos are all fair game! GO SWEDEN! 🙂

  • Find an apartment in Barcelona for the winter to act as our home base.

*Their winter months average around 16 degrees, we can live with that!

Any advice could not be more welcomed!!!!