Fall is perhaps one of the most underrated times of the year for travel.
It’s a time when cities are embellished by the bright hues of surrounding nature the weather is temperate enough to enjoy roaming outdoors (but without the crowds), yet cool enough to nuzzle inside a cute cafe with a seasonal latte.
With every changing season in BC, there’s new opportunity to rediscover our beautiful backyard as it transforms in tandem with the weather and breathes new space for exploration. More than ever, it’s paramount we do so responsibly — but so long as we all play it safe, there’s more than enough room for us all to adventure.
Whether you’re looking for a change of scenery or to immerse yourself in what west coast cities have to offer, we’ve joined forces with Destination BC. Here are six suggestions to make your urban getaway dreams come true.
Explore the North Shore
See what Vancouver’s North Shore is all about. The skyline, waterfront, and mountainscape views are a trifecta to be marvelled.
Hop on a bike from Reckless Shipyards and cycle your way along the North Shore Spirit Trail all the way to mesmerizing Deep Cove. Hit up Lonsdale Avenue’s brewery district on the way back to celebrate BC Craft Beer Month the best way you can: with a chilly pint.
Explore downtown by taking the SeaBus across for a walking tour that’s spooky-season approved. Journey through cobblestoned streets on The Lost Souls of Gastown tour to learn about this Victorian neighbourhood’s mysterious past.
Embrace fall foliage in the capital city
Adventure awaits in breathtaking Victoria where the city becomes even more enchanting thanks to the vibrant fall foliage. Experience one of the world’s most iconic hotels by booking a stay at the Fairmont Empress. From there, you’ll also have easy access to The Butchart Gardens’ autumn display via BC Transit (bus #75) or by taxi.
Go for a stroll through the University of Victoria Campus, one of the best spots for admiring the changing leaves. Grab a latte and an apricot tahini doughnut from Discovery Coffee before visiting the Royal BC Museum where you can immerse yourself in the iconic art of Emily Carr in the Fresh Seeing – French Modernism and the West Coast exhibit, on effective October 22.
Explore the charm of Victoria’s neighbourhoods by bike with The Pedaler. Venture over to Fernwood, a quaint residential area loaded with seasonal markets, cozy eateries, and parks. Afterwards, check out the cool, industrial vibes of Rock Bay and sample Driftwood Brewery’s new seasonal Sartori Harvest IPA.
Cozy up with the mountains
You might think winter when you imagine Whistler, but only if you’ve never seen it shine during the fall months. Stay at the Listel Hotel where you’ll be at the heart of Whistler’s dazzling art and culinary scene.
Soak up a century of images at Audain Art Museum’s extended photography exhibition (on until October 18), or experience the pièce de résistance that is Whistler from above on a helicopter excursion. You can also explore Whistler’s vibrant art scene while sampling canapes and drinking BC wines on the Whistler Wine Walk, happening each Friday evening in October.
You’ll also find fall colours on the trails of Whistler Mountain Bike Park (open until October 12). Later, you can hit up the Scandinave Spa Whistler for some much-needed rest and relaxation before heading to Alta Bistro for dinner on the heated patio.
Devour dumplings with a side of nautical history
Richmond will find its way into your heart through your stomach. Whether you’re curious to learn about dumplings or just looking to eat some, the Dumpling Trail will have you thinking you’re on the other side of the Pacific.
If you’re looking to explore the coast while you munch, you can get a chef-curated picnic pack from the Fairmont Vancouver Airport (now until October 15), equipped with everything from artisan cheese to a bike rental for exploring the West Dyke Trail.
Get nautical during an overnight at the newly renovated Steveston Hotel, the perfect jumping-off point for experiencing bustling Richmond and historic Steveston Village. Take in the sunset from nearby Garry Point to put a cap on a perfect weekend getaway.
Drink in panoramic views and seasonal brews
Adventure seekers will find their fill in Kamloops’ outdoor-fueled terrain. In addition to housing Canada’s most expansive municipal bike park, the area’s arid climate is ideal for year-round biking. Bring your bike and experience the region the way it was meant to be seen: on wheels.
Hang your hat at the Delta Hotel by Marriott Kamloops, where you can take in scenic views of the Thompson River Valley. If you’re in search of more panoramic vistas, you won’t have to look far. Take a hike in Peterson Creek Nature Park or Battle Bluff and you’ll find stunning views overlooking Kamloops Lake.
Quench that post-hike thirst (and rejoice in BC Craft Beer Month) with a brewery crawl. Start at Kamloops’ first-ever microbrewery, The Noble Pig, before making your way to Alchemy Brewing and Red Collar Brewing Co. for some seasonal ale.
Make for the golden hills
Between its rolling hills, stunning orchards, and fall yellow highlands, a trip to Kelowna can feel like stepping into a surrealist painting. Peer at the reflection of the surrounding trees with a paddle on Okanagan Lake or giddyup on a horseback ride through parts of the hills you can’t reach on foot.
The region’s agriculture is just as abundant during the fall harvest season, which means farmers markets galore. Head to McMillan Farm for family-friendly apple and pumpkin picking, or to get lost in the corn maze (on until October 31).
Plan an intimate wine tasting experience at one of the region’s many wineries — it’s a great (and delicious) way to learn more about this special region. Once you’re ready to call it a day, get a dose of lakeside luxury at the historic Hotel Eldorado.
Make the best of the fall season by experiencing all our beautiful province has to offer. Get trip planning ideas, see what’s open, and learn what you need to know before you travel in BC, at ExploreBC.com.