6 inspiring BC experiences to build your fall vacation around

Sep 23 2020, 9:25 am

As temperatures start to cool down and we revert to sweater weather, we’re pondering how to rediscover the beauty of BC this fall.

The sound of rustling leaves beneath your feet on walks through dense forest, delicious seasonal fare served at small-town restaurants, and opportunities to see wildlife navigate a changing landscape are just some of the ways to be charmed.

There are countless reasons to explore the cities and natural wonders within our beautiful province. But since updates are being issued regularly during the pandemic, it’s important to do your research before you depart on a trip in pursuit of safe, responsible, and transformative travel experiences.

Whether outdoor adventure or a cozy cabin getaway piques your interest, we’ve partnered with Destination BC to showcase six inspiring experiences.

Embrace adventure close to home

Destination BC/Jordan Manley

Crafting an autumn bucket list in Metro Vancouver is an easy task. In North Vancouver, discover a fresh perspective of the city as you walk (or cycle) along the scenic North Shore Spirit Trail, stopping at El Dorado Pies and Treats within Lonsdale Quay Market, The Shipyards’ Welcome Parlour Ice Cream, and Moodyville Park en route.

In Delta, the Boundary Bay Dyke Trail invites hikers to join a 20 km gravel path between Ladner and Beach Grove in Tsawwassen. See brag-worthy views and connect to the Boundary Bay Regional Park Trail for a longer hike, visiting the Beach Grove Café for some refreshments before you reach Mud Bay Park.

To take in the sights and sounds of the fall harvest in Maple Ridge, bike the Humble Roots Cranberry Loop. Pro tip: you and your bubble can enjoy tasty local eats during a pit stop at Humble Roots Café and Deli.

Rejuvenate with a forested getaway

Scandinave Spa Whistler/@viranlly

There’s something magical about soaking in a steaming hot pool in crisp fall weather. It’s possible to do this as a guest at Harrison Hot Springs Resort just two hours from Vancouver. Picture outdoor mineral pools (operating at limited capacity) for dips during your stay.

In Whistler, feel invigorated after a visit to the hydrotherapy pools at the Scandinave Spa Whistler (where sanitization has been ramped up). Afterwards, retreat to the Fairmont Château Whistler to finish your blissful stay in luxury.

Craving some fresh mountain air? From the year-round outdoor lodge pool and hot tubs at Lizard Creek Lodge at Fernie Alpine Resort in the Kootenay Rockies region, guests can take in unparalleled views of the majestic Rocky Mountains.

Discover dining inspired by the landscape

Destination BC/Hubert Kang

Off-the-beaten-path culinary experiences are the ones that stay in our travel memories. Planning a trip to Osoyoos? Book a suite stay at Spirit Ridge Resort and dine at the Indigenous-inspired restaurant on site — The Bear, The Fish, The Root and The Berry.

Boundary Country is home to the quaint Blue Mountain Lodge, covering 1.5 acres on Christina Lake. If you stay here, be sure to visit the nearby city of Grand Forks to try signature dishes at The Borscht Bowl, which are a nod to the town’s Doukhobor history.

In Naramata, acclaimed chef Ned Bell cooks up some of the region’s best farm-to-table cuisine at his restaurant located in the Naramata Inn. Book a stay to get a taste of these menu creations for supper.

Explore the province’s natural treasures

Destination BC/Ted Hesser

There’s no shortage of natural treasures to be found throughout BC. One of the most remarkable is the fall larch when deciduous conifers transform with a golden yellow colour. The Kootenay Rockies is also the perfect place to go larch-viewing in BC. Take a guided hike with Playwest Mountain Experience (tours run until October 18) for an unforgettable alpine experience in the Columbia Valley.

In the Cariboo Mountains, adventure seekers hoping to catch a glimpse of wildlife can embark on a walk with grizzlies (yes!). To complete this wild excursion, spend a night or two at the cozy Pyna-tee-ah Lodge.

Road tripping to Kamloops (aka BC’s hoodoo country) gives you another chance to see nearly 200 animals — including bears, cougars, and arctic wolves — at the BC Wildlife Park. After a heart-warming visit to this rescue and rehabilitation centre for orphaned and injured wildlife, unwind at Campbell Hills Guest Ranch.

Soak in the coastal culture

Parksville/@glamouraspirit

This fall, immerse yourself in coastal culture at one of BC’s seaside towns. The historic and vibrant city of Victoria is a special place to do this. Stroll along the Fisherman’s Wharf, taste local fare at Ferris’ Downstairs Grill and Garden Patio, and stay the night at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

Nanaimo is famed for its craft beer, making it an easy choice for brew enthusiasts. When you arrive, book in for a tasting at Cliffside Brewing. Start the next day fresh by taking a relaxing day trip to Gabriola Island (“Isle of the Arts”).

Over in the fishing village of Ucluelet, you can marvel at untouched inlets and archipelagos on the Wild Pacific Trail. Remember to reserve a spot for the trail and book your accommodation ahead of time. FYI, Surf’s Inn Guesthouse is a local gem.

Connect to the land and elements

Destination BC/Kari Medig

Ranch stays and road trips can quickly create a connection to nature. For instance, you can ride the mountainous South Cariboo terrain by horseback with a ranch getaway at Graham Dunden Guest Ranch and B&B.

Just east of Osoyoos, give fall camping a try and sleep under the stars at the rustic Arosa Ranch or stay inside at the B&B. From here, you have the option to visit one of the South Okanagan’s many vineyards mid-vacation and sample exquisite local wines.

Lastly, to go fall canoeing or fishing on placid waters, set out on a road trip along Canim Lake and The Interlakes Loop in the South Cariboo, starting at 100 Mile House. Satisfy your appetite with the best poutine in BC by visiting the Sugar Shack in 70 Mile House.


Make the best of the fall season this year by rediscovering our beautiful backyard while also making sure you travel safely and responsibly. Get trip planning ideas, see what’s open, and learn what you need to know before you travel in BC, at ExploreBC.com.

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