Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Travel suggestions from Destination British Columbia, June 2013

(News Release)

Here is a captivating collection of Fresh Story Ideas from Destination British Columbia.

Destination BC is on Twitter. Follow us at @TourismBC.

Vancouver Island: The Pedaler Promises Two-Wheeled Tours of Victoria's Neighbourhoods: Bust out the bike helmet — it's time to two-wheel with The Pedaler, Victoria's newest cycling crew. Set to explore the city's winding Galloping Goose and Lochside trails, distinctive neighbourhoods, breathtaking vistas and burgeoning local food and beverage scene, these guided tours — the only ones of their kind in the city — are sure to be anything but ordinary. During the Beans and Bites excursion, for example, you'll feel an added jolt of adrenalin, thanks to a scenic ride to local shops that reward with delectable baked goods and a few cups of joe. Like beer? Then the Hoppy Hour pedal is sure to please with sips of locally crafted brews between spirited cycles (not to worry if you find a few favourites along the way; your guides can pack your beer purchases on their two-wheeled steeds). For a final excursion, the Castles, Hoods and Legends exploration weaves through the city's historic haunts, taking in an iconic castle, stately mansions and the tallest totem pole on the planet in this the province's capital. All journeys sure to have you geared up.

To read more story ideas from the Vancouver Island region, visit

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast: Break Your Journey at Cottonwood House Historic Site: While the days of prospectors eager to strike it rich in BC's Cariboo region have long since passed, the spirit of that rough-and-tumble era lives on. One such place: Cottonwood House Historic Site. Situated east of Quesnel along the aptly named Gold Rush Trail, Cottonwood House Historic Site stands as one of the last remaining road houses in the province; built in the 1860s, this family run operation offered respite for miners and travellers with accommodation, meals and provisions required along their journey to nearby Barkerville. Today, Cottonwood, a Provincial Historic Site, remains a welcome sight for road-weary travellers: here, visitors can learn more about the Boyd family, partake in a guided tour of the main house with costumed interpreters and take a peek at the spread's heritage buildings, antique farming equipment and resident animals. You can even hop on a horse-drawn wagon ride, stop in at the Gift and Candy Shop for old-fashioned treats or settle in for bigger portions, including thick soups served with cheese biscuits, meat pies and sweet potato cake with a spiked sugar glaze, at the Cottonwood House Restaurant. If you're beat, consider staying the night; with rooms in the heritage Guest House, rustic cabins and even tent and RV sites, there's more than enough incentive to catch some shut eye at this historic treasure.

To read more story ideas from the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast region, visit

Thompson Okanagan: Dip Your Paddle with Northwest Voyageur Company: For early explorers, or Voyageurs, the province's waterways were integral to survival — namely as an all-important mode of transportation and an ideal setting to meet and trade with local First Nations. And today? According to the folks at Northwest Voyageur Company, outside of Kamloops near Sun Peaks Resort, exploration by canoe still ranks as the preferred mode of transport. See for yourself during the crew's Voyageur Canoe Trip, a leisurely summer paddle in an eight-person, nine-metre (30-foot) replica Voyageur Canoe that navigates the waters of McGillvray Lake. Along this journey, a qualified Voyageur guide (in historical costume) will share tales of how early explorers, many from the Northwest Company (a Hudson's Bay Company competitor), helped shape the landscape; you'll even view artifacts from the fur trade era, including beaver pelts, traps and an original map made by explorer David Thompson. (Keep the camera ready, as eagles, beavers, deer and moose are likely to make an appearance.) As an added touch, you can mark your journey's end with a traditional three-course lunch or a four-course dinner at McGillvray Lake Outpost — a fur trader's feast that features, among other nibbles, bison, cedar-planked salmon and warm bannock.

To read more story ideas from the Thompson Okanagan region, visit

Kootenay Rockies: Two-Winged Creatures Rule the Roost in Creston Valley: At the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area, two things are certain: one, a love of the natural landscape is paramount and two, birds of all kinds of feathers call this wetland landscape home. Set in the southeast corner of the province, this ecologically-rich locale provides shelter to over 300 bird species — not to mention close to 60 mammal, 17 fish, six reptile and six amphibians creatures. And it's an area that is well protected, too: conservation and natural species diversity are managed by a small but dedicated team that also focuses heavily on research and education. Translation: there's ample opportunity to learn why wetlands are important, and to unleash the binoculars along the year-round, bike-friendly flat-top dyke trails boasting multi-level viewing towers or along quicker routes that include the short-and-sweet Boardwalk Loop, the cattail-lined Marsh Trail and the wetland landscape of the Wildlife Tree Wander. You can even team up with a naturalist for a guided walk or let them steer the canoe during an informative paddle that includes up-close views of nesting grounds and landing pads (the area is a favoured migration corridor for tundra swans, greater white-fronted geese and other waterfowl). Either way, your perspective is sure to prove spectacular.

To read more story ideas from the Kootenay Rockies region, visit:

Northern BC: Historic Draws Promise Intrigue for All Ages: In BC's north, history doesn't just repeat itself, it's worth reliving. Here follows a few draws that help you do just that:

To start, make your way to Fort St. James Historic Site, northwest of Prince George. Set on the southern shores of Stuart Lake, this draw was once a hub for interactions between fur traders and the local First Nations. Today, hands-on experiences with interpretive guides in period costume include tactile insight into the pelts that paved the way, tests of archery, feeding time for the fort's livestock and even a few historic games. Tug of war or croquet, anyone?

Modern travel will take you further northwest to 'Ksan Historical Village and Museum, a site in Hazelton that has painstakingly replicated many features indicative of an ancient Gitxsan village. Here, you can view cedar longhouses and towering totem poles, or settle in — the smell of woodsmoke in the air — as a narrator describes the many uses of tools and artifacts key to day-to-day survival.

The North Pacific Cannery beckons visitors further southwest to the Prince Rupert area, where the history of a once-thriving salmon fishery, and the diverse ethnic backgrounds of those who called the cannery's remote setting home, promises to intrigue. Designated a National Historic Site, the cannery, which ran continuously for close to 100 years just outside of Prince Rupert in Port Edward, is a quaint location to delve into the fishing industry history, grab a bite at the Cannery Cafe or take a leisurely stroll along the seaside boardwalks.

To read more story ideas from the Northern British Columbia region, visit

Vancouver, Coast & Mountains: Raft, Relax and Repeat at Kumsheen: It's been a wild ride for the folks at Kumsheen Rafting Resort, east of Lytton — an outdoor rafting crew that has, for the last 40 years, taken full advantage of their setting at the fork of the Thompson and Fraser rivers. Here, they revel in big rapids and even bigger adventure that sees adrenalin-seekers splashing down roaring waters during a multitude of rafting excursions. To start, get your feet, er, face wet with the short and sweet Day Trip outing along the legendary Thompson River, complete with a tasty, seasonally sourced lunch at Nicomen Falls. During this ride, your certified guide will navigate through calm and fast-flowing water (40 sets of rapids keep the pace quick) and even fill you in on a few facts and legends of the area. (For variety, you'll find a shorter half-day excursion, the Devil's Gorge Run, along the Thompson and the Full-Day Boston Bar to Yale splash along the lower Fraser River, which highlights the area's Gold Rush heritage and the fast and frothy Hell's Gate.) Add guided climbing and rappelling off a cliff face or kayaking to the mix; you can even swap stories over a home-cooked meal at the Cutting Board Restaurant before overnighting in a traditional teepee or a cosy canvas cabin. And when a new day dawns, one thing is certain: you get to do it all over again.

To read more story ideas from the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains region, visit

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