Want a Canadian reprieve from the harsh Manitoba winter? Westjet.com offers bargain flights to Abbotsford BC. Taxes included, as low as $207.
Current temperature in Abbotsford is merely -4C.
1) Rent a car.
There are lakes, resorts and towns; wineries, national parks and historic sites abound. There’s literally something worthwhile to visit every 20 minutes, so you’ll want to stay mobile and cover some ground. The highway 97 north from Kelowna is double lane to Vernon and then single lane (with passing lanes) to the Trans-Canada and Revelstoke. I found it beautiful driving in the sunshine. Though I’m sure it would be more challenging in the winter and poor weather.
2) Stay flexible.
Don’t over-plan or over schedule yourself. There is something around every corner that you’ll want to stop and see. For example. We had no idea that we wanted to go to a Kangaroo Farm. But when one of the tourism kiosk volunteers told us about it, and it was only 10 minutes away we decided heck ya! And now we’re going to recommend it to everyone we meet. Kids and youth admission is just $5, adults $10, or if you arrive before 10AM, everyone is just $5. (Cash only and at the gate. No advance tickets)
3) BC… Bring Cash
Roadside stands, u-pick fruit, and places like the kangaroo farm were cash only. And things in BC tend to be a little bit more expensive than on the prairies. For example, gas. In Winnipeg it was 96.9 cents per litre. In Kelowna 1.14 and in Revelstoke 121.9 on the same day.
4) Save room for fruit and wine in your baggage allowance.
You don’t have to worry about packaging, or even making a stop on your way to the airport, YLW has it all conveniently inside the departure lounge. Once you’re past security, you can pick up a couple bottles of regional wine. They’ll even pack it in a carry-on approved box. (Bottle packs for 2 or 4)
If you’ve been considering a trip to British Columbia this summer, or you have teens in your household, chances are you’ve already heard about the newest social media sensation… The Revelstoke Mountain Pipe Coaster.
It’s a summer must-see in the mountain resort town.
In a nutshell, you buy a ticket, ride the gondola up the mountainside for about 5 minutes then board your own solo mini-car for the ride down. You can control your own speed with a handheld lever brake. There are twists and turns on this 2-3 minute (1.4 km) ride down the mountain.
There is a on-car mount available for your Go-Pro. This YouTube video shows the experience. A must-see! The views, and setting sun on the landscape are stunning.
Cost for the ride is $19 or two trips down the mountain for $29. The response has been overwhelming. While the ride anticipated about 300 people a weekend, in fact they are seeing up to 1000 riders per day right now.
Travel tip: Go early in the day, OR send a scout up to the ticket office to purchase tickets and then return with your riders hours later at your scheduled time. Wait times in the afternoon can be up to 3 hours. Ticket sales cut off by 5 pm and the ride closes for the day at 8pm.
While you’re up at the resort, do enjoy the sunshine and incredible views from the Rockford (restaurant) patio. It is all-ages and family friendly.
Read more at their site. And receive live updates on the line-ups and wait times. Revelstoke Mountain Resort
See the run from the coaster itself. Video courtesy of my son & his GOPro.
I love to travel with my kids and take every chance I get. You see, I feel like there’s a pending expiration date. I really feel like our time together is limited. Right now my son is 14, but I know it won’t be long before he’s 18 and an adult and travels exclusively with his friends, or (gasp) a girlfriend. So, I’m honestly making a conscious effort to spend time with him now.
This takes me out of my comfort zone. A lot. It’s a constant challenge to plan and search out things that would appeal to him and his teen sense of adventure. I know it’s a time in their lives where they push boundaries, but I can tell you, that as a parent, I feel like I’m the one constantly outside my comfort zone.
Like today. Where truthfully, I’d rather be sitting on a patio sipping a cocktail and reading, I found myself looking at bike rentals, white water rafting brochures and considering ziplines. Yikes.
I’m not telling you that I’m going to do all these things. And I have no interest in being the coolest mom on the planet. BUT, I do want to show my son how to travel and explore.
Here are 3 ways in which I achieve my goals without having to do it all.
When you see a fabulous deal, you have to jump on it, if you possibly can. The under $200 flights to Kelowna were too good to pass up. And while I absolutely couldn’t get the time off work at spring break, my son could. (He has a fabulous boss!)
So, he went snowboarding in the mountains of British Columbia.
In an effort to include me (and the readers of SheTalksTravel.com), he’s shared some fun helmet-cam GoPro video that he shot.
He followed his friend down the mountain at Silver Star Ski Resort in Vernon. Not bad for a couple of novice snowboarders, and a helmet cam.
This clip is a little longer and shows more of the scenery at Silver Star Mountain Resort. It was taken by my older son, on a snowboard, as my youngest skis and blazes the trail.
Absolutely a fabulous hill. Great for the novice skier and beyond. Really great conditions for end of March. Top marks to Silver Star Mountain Resort, from my correspondent!
Ps. I will follow up soon with recommendations for hotels in the area and a few more of the fun photos he took.
Guest post from The Thirsty Tourist
Stanley Park is located in downtown Vancouver, a short 30-minute drive from the airport. This makes it a great day-trip for those travellers who have a layover at Vancouver International Airport. All you would need to do is rent a car or take public transportation to the park.
History of Stanley Park
Stanley Park is the most famous green space in Vancouver and is a park that tends to make the news quite regularly. As Stanley Park is right along the coast of Vancouver and the Pacific Ocean, it has had some historical storms that have swept through the park and caused significant damages. One famous account is Hurricane Freida from 1962 which toppled over 3,000 trees. In 2006 another storm swept through the park and uprooted 10,000 trees.
Earlier this year Stanley Park also made the news for the wind and water damage caused to the Seawall.
More recently, one of the most famous photo points in the park, a 30-meter tall hollow cedar tree, was damaged beyond repair by a fire that started within its base. This is quite sad, as the tree was one of the oldest trees in the park at over 800 years old. The best part of this landmark was that you could stand in the hollow base and get a good photo-op. My parents and I shared a great one here. Over the years, this tree has had many iconic photo-shoots.
The Best Ways To Experience Stanley Park
A Scenic Route
Along the Stanley Park loop there are many places you can pull off and enjoy some scenic attractions. My favourite attraction is the Totem Poles. To me, they are not only beautiful and a rich piece of history, but bring back childhood memories of when I first visited the park as a child.
As an avid photographer and hiker, I can easily spend all day at Stanley Park. The park is an escape from the hustle and bustle of the downtown metropolis of Vancouver – it is a green space that offers amazing views of the skyline. In addition to the seawall path, a paved walking and biking path that surrounds the entire park, there are several hiking paths that are scattered throughout the park. Two of my favourite spots to visit along the seawall route are the Second and Third beach locations where the ocean meets the white beach sand. As the weather in Vancouver is often rainy and windy, it’s not the best place to stretch out with a swimsuit, towel and a good book year round – but you can definitely do this in the summer months.
For families visiting Stanley Park, one of the main attractions is the Vancouver Aquarium. In addition to seeing an amazing underwater world, there are many galleries and exhibits to enjoy. This is more of a pricey entertainment stop, as the tickets can run upwards of $15-30 per person for admission. As Stanley Park is free admission, families might enjoy the large outdoor playground and seasonal entertainment such as the spray parks or the large heated outdoor pool. A family favourite is the Stanley Park Train, a miniature train that circles 2 Kilometers of track in the park. The Train schedule is seasonal and often themed around holidays such as Halloween, Christmas, and Easter.
Great Photographs and Memories
As a Vancouver resident, I endorse Stanley Park as my day trip of choice. With so much to see and do, I have been to Stanley Park four times within the last year. I have shared my experiences with my husband, parents and even with friends visiting the city for the day. Stanley Park is definitely unique; a rainforest and ocean green space in the heart of a major city. I love that you can just get away from it all and unplug for a few hours, without actually having to leave Vancouver.
About the author:
Carolynne, aka The Thirsty Tourist is a storyteller, an avid traveller and photographer. Cat lover. Carolynne is the the owner and founder of The Thirsty Tourist blog. When she is not travelling, exploring, or enjoying backyard adventures, she resides in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and 4 pets