Tuesday, June 18, 2013

More travel ideas from Destination British Columbia

Here is a captivating collection of fresh travel ideas from Destination British Columbia.
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Vancouver, Coast & Mountains: Overnight Stays at Fort Langley National Historic Site: For a glimpse into 18th century fur-trade life, few adventures can match a day spent at Fort Langley National Historic Site, east of Vancouver. But what if you wish to linger into the wee hours? You can, thanks to the fort's newly unveiled oTENTik cabin-tents. Exclusive to Parks Canada, Fort Langley's five summertime additions illustrate how Hudson's Bay Company employees slumbered at the fort over a century and a half ago — with a few modern conveniences, of course. With room for six, each blends homey touches with a taste of outdoor adventure (think: camping with comfy bunk beds and a queen-sized bed), and guests can choose their preferred theme throughout the summer months, be it the tartan-swaddled Scottish boat builder's tent or the history-laden comforts of the American prospector's tent. (A supply of cooking equipment and utensils mean you can barbecue out-of-doors and then gather around the picnic table to chow down.) As an added bonus, your home-away-from-home is mere steps away from family fun that includes gold panning and blacksmith demonstrations, and even views of the fort's resident farm animals. Pack your sleeping bag and pillow. www.pc.gc.ca/eng/lhn-nhs/bc/langley/activ/activ16.aspx

To read more story ideas from the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains region, visit www.hellobc.com/vcmbcmedia.

Thompson Okanagan: Stop and Smell the Lavender in Kelowna: In summer, fragrant fields awash in purple make for delightful hands-on exploration, particularly at the three-hectare (eight-acre) Okanagan Lavender Herb Farm. Overlooking Kelowna's Okanagan Lake, the former apple orchard took root with its first planting in 1994, flourishing over the years into fields that feature over 60 varieties of the blossoming herb. It's a bonanza that has spawned a lavender-themed industry: one hectare (three acres) of the farm is dedicated to public space which includes self-guided tours that meander through themed herbal gardens, sprinkled with whimsical vine sculptures, and hand-crafted jellies and bath salts, loose-blended tea, eye pillows and more in the farm's country store. You can gather lavender by the basketfuls in the U-pick bed, sign on for wreath-making and aromatherapy classes, and even wind your way, little ones in tow, through the hedge maze. To end, sips of lavender lemonade or silky scoops of lavender ice cream showcase fragrant flavours, courtesy of the farm's flowering fields. www.okanaganlavender.com

To read more story ideas from the Thompson Okanagan region, visit www.hellobc.com/totamedia.

Two Regions, One Challenge: Hardcore Adventurers Sign on for Mudd, Sweat & Tears: Muddying it up on an extreme obstacle course. Pushing your limits to prove your grit. Sound like a dare? More like Mudd, Sweat & Tears, a tough-as-nails endurance race sure to kick runners, athletes and up-for-anything adventurers into high gear.

As one of the fiercest trends to hit the adrenalin scene, high-octane obstacle-course action throws down in British Columbia this summer with a test of mettle amid the province's steepest and muddiest conditions — namely a demanding five-kilometre (three-mile) or 10-kilometre (six-mile) mud-run obstacle course race. If this sounds like fun, then you'll love the amped-up nature of these timed challenges, which feature ropes, climbing walls, slides, ice baths and trudges through knee-deep mud pits.

While the race series spotlights six events across the country, British Columbia's Vancouver Island and Kootenay Rockies regions play key roles. And why not — they're built for it. You have, on one hand, a mountain-oriented landscape that is home to rushing rivers, thick forests and some of the country's highest peaks; on the other, an Island that showcases pristine shorelines and old-growth rainforests — each a perfect backdrop for hardcore adventurists to take it up a notch.

Set for Fernie Alpine Resort July 6 and Mount Washington Alpine Resort August 17 — both meccas for the ski and snowboard set when the snow flies — each will showcase the area's natural topography to its best advantage: in the Kootenay Rockies, expect steep elevation and climbing walls alongside mud and snow, while Vancouver Island, too, embraces elevation changes alongside cargo net climbs and tons more mud.

And while endurance is key, this test of fortitude is as much a mental game as a physical one; muscle and brain power together will be required to take on some of Mother Nature's biggest natural and man-made obstacles. An added bonus? Your effort helps a worthy cause, as a portion of the proceeds from the Mudd, Sweat & Tears series, founded by Canada's own Adventure Architects, supports the Breakfast Clubs of Canada.

So, forget the band-aids and bring it on ... it's time to play outside. www.muddsweatandtears.com

To read more story ideas from the Vancouver Island region, visit www.hellobc.com/vancouverislandmedia.

To read more story ideas from the Kootenay Rockies region, visit: www.hellobc.com/krbcmedia.

Northern BC: Hike the Metlakatla Wilderness Trail: For thousands of years, BC's northwest coast has been home to Coastal Tsimshian people. It's also home to a stunning trail that traces the forested shoreline of the Tsimshian Peninsula. Set seven kilometres (four miles) northwest of Prince Rupert (a 15-minute ferry ride from the city's port), the Metlakatla Wilderness Trail stretches beyond the outskirts of the village of Metlakatla, one of seven Tsimshian communities found in the province. Here, the 20-kilometre (12-mile) two-footed journey may require reservations, but it does promise a few treasures — that come in threes — along the way: namely a three-kilometre (two-mile) stretch of cedar boardwalk that passes through a lagoon, three engineered suspension bridges and a lookout tower, and scenic coastal shorelines with three sandbars that can be explored during low tide. Along your journey, you may even be inspired to linger a little longer, once you discover the trail is situated along a rich cultural area, identifiable by shell middens and culturally modified trees. And if that's not enough, time spent on the trail promises an occasional sighting of the marine sea life (migrating whales can often be seen from shore), birds and more that also call this land home. www.metlakatlatrail.ca

To read more story ideas from the Northern British Columbia region, visit www.hellobc.com/northernbcmedia.

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast: Cast Your Line at Fawn Lake Fishing Resort: Along BC's famed Fishing Highway (a.k.a. Highway 24), a bounty of rainbow trout is but one of the draws to be found along the famed stretch that promises access to more than 100 cast-friendly lakes. Draw number two: a tranquil spot where you can shine your line, from dawn to dusk, with little to distract you from your occupation. A favourite for flyfishers, Fawn Lake, east of 100 Mile House, is a small but prolific body of water, where leisurely casts can produce rainbow catches that reach 10 to 12 pounds. An added bonus? The resort itself promises a peaceful retreat, complete cabins that are both rustic (read: no running water) and modern (fully equipped with all the comforts of home), decked out with fire pits and picnic tables. (To keep things handy, the resort's own tackle shop offers flies, lures and licences.) You can even change your point of view when you climb the resort's bird-watching tower, a short jaunt from the cabins, for views of eagles, loons, deer and moose. Who knows, you may use your sky-high perspective to discover a new on-the-lake spot that's best to shine your line. www.fawnlakeresort.com

To read more story ideas from the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region, visit www.hellobc.com/cccbcmedia

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