Hitting the road for a day or two in the spectacular waters of BC’s Harrison Hot Springs is a definite classic getaway option. Whether you’re escaping the city with family, friends, or a special someone, it’s a great place for fun and relaxation.
The road to Harrison Hot Springs doesn’t have to be a yawn, either. There are a few fun spots along the way worth checking out, especially if you are a foodie.
If your trip is more leisurely, and you want to liven up the usual route of taking Highway 1 (Trans-Canada) before turning north on Highway 9, there are a few terrific options for some tasty diversions along the way–including if you want to spend the night somewhere pretty special.
The other day I was flipping channels and landed on some TV chick flick about a wedding…and it was taking place right in the cabin and on the grounds of a place I’d just stayed in! If that doesn’t give you a sense of how picturesque Rowena’s Inn on the River is, well, you’re just going to have to head there yourself.
It’s a historic lakefront property in Harrison Mills, featuring a main house, golf course, pool, beautiful grounds, and luxury rental cottages. Rowena’s was once a family operated resort, and the hotel comes with an amazing backstory.
Whether you’re spending the night or just pulling off the road in search for a nice meal, the Clubhouse Restaurant is serving up fresh, creative, and approachable fare. Using locally-sourced produce and ingredients when possible, breakfast, lunch, dinner, and after golf snacks and drinks are all on the menu.
You can keep it as simple as nachos, or a breakfast sandwich designed to get you on the green ASAP, or you can sit back and soak up the view and enjoy the menu’s little treasures, like the added touch of tangy fried capers in the Caesar Salad, or the decadent Baked Mac and Cheese made with local white cheddar cheese from the Farm House in Agassiz, Applewood smoked bacon, panko, and a crispy pork rind gratin. They even make their own tortilla chips.
Address: 14282 Morris Valley Road, Harrison Mills, BC
Thanks to the Circle Farm self-guided tour program, it’s a breeze to tap into the local agricultural scene, and doing so doubles as a wonderful way to get to know some of the area’s food producers and farmers.
If you like to bring home a taste of where you’ve been as a road trip souvenir, pack a cooler and some ice to bring home some beautiful fresh cheese from Agassiz’s The Farm House Natural Cheeses. After winding your way around some farm roads, pull into their parking lot and take a peek around at the site, and say hello to the animals.
You’re hanging out on a working family farm, and the fresh milk from their goats and cows is what becomes their artisanal cheeses. Grab some samples, watch them making cheese, and then shop for cheese–and other goodies–in the store. The Aged Lady Jane is stellar, and, true confession, it lived in a dark corner of the trunk for the duration of the trip and was perfect when we got home. As a nice bonus, they often have a booth at Metro Vancouver farmers’ markets, so you can get your favourite cheese from the Farm House closer to home.
Address: 5634 McCallum Road, Agassiz, BC
For those who love coffee, art, antiques, and adventure, The Back Porch is the perfect pit stop. The property is fun to roam, and you can look at the antiques for sale, or meet the goats and chickens. There’s an onsite micro roaster where The Back Porch produces their small-batch coffee beans.
Grab a cup, shop for beans, and poke around. You’ll see lots of pottery on site, too–while husband Dan runs the roastery, wife Linda is a potter. Her work is available for sale, as well as plenty of other local goodies and fresh eggs.
Address: 6116 Golf Road, Agassiz, BC
On the Esplanade in Harrison Hot Springs, there’s lots to choose from when hunger strikes. You can ward off the summer heat with plenty of ice cream, and there are lots of casual eateries where you can settle in for a solid meal after exploring the shore, the playground, the water park, and the pools.
Muddy Waters Cafe is a great option right on the Esplanade. They have tons of drool-worthy baked goods, and dishes made with beautiful local ingredients, One standout is their Fraser Valley duck breast sandwich, which comes on toasted cranberry bread, and the side salad is enough of a scene stealer to merit a shout out–so many gorgeous little veggies. They do breakfast, too, if you’re eating early, and they’ve got a full coffee bar as well.
Address: 328 Esplanade Avenue, Harrison Hot Springs, BC