June 30, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Powell River, Sightseeing Tours
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A word of advice - while visiting small islands, teeny towns and remote parts of British Columbia, be sure to bring extra food with you, just in case.
Just as an example, my husband and I kayaked to and around Savary Island
last weekend, and despite much research and preparation, including talking to locals and checking websites, it was not until we landed on shore that we were informed the one general store was not yet open for the summer season. (Did I mention this was June 25?) Also, one of the two local restaurants did not open on Sundays (which we knew) and the other was closed on Sunday nights beyond 6 pm. This last bit we didn’t know until Sunday night because the waitress told us earlier they would be open as long as people were there, which unfortunately was not true. In fact, earlier in the day she had offered to set aside an order of BBQ ribs for my husband, to ensure they wouldn’t sell out before we arrived for dinner. When we got there at 6:30 the pub was still busy, but they informed us the kitchen had closed at 6:00. Hmmm....
Fortunately for us we were staying at a B&B and the gracious hostess offered us leftovers from her dinner party. Shameless plug here for the Savary Island Lodge – Jean is wonderful and the beachfront view from her home is more than worth the trip.
Despite our minor culinary setback, we loved our trip and I highly recommend Savary to anyone. It is an idyllic island completely surrounded by white-sand beaches, located at the south entrance to Desolation Sound
. Overall, a great destination for kayaking and hanging on the beach. Just bring a bit of emergency food to ensure you can leave the island without a bad taste in your mouth.
June 30, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Kamloops, Sightseeing Tours
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Did you know Kamloops
has a Ginseng Spa
? Did you know that within 10 minutes of hopping on a scooter
downtown you can be sightseeing the ranchlands along Hwy 5A? How about coming face to face with a Grizzly Bear cub at the BC Wildlife Park
? Then there is the phenomenal Kamloops Art Gallery
that is currently showing a 20th century Chinese Art exhibit in addition to their impressive permanent displays. Did you know you can step on a heritage steam railway
and take a ride in open air or sit in the 1954 dining car sipping a cold drink in one of the swivel chairs? Ever heard of the Bike Ranch
? It is a new mountain biking park created by the City of Kamloops and offers some pretty heart-pumping terrain with incredible views! Then there is the horseback riding through pine forests, again, only about 10-15 minutes from downtown. There are so many new things being offered in this city for visitors such as the new 90-minute historical walking tour of downtown by Tour With Us
. Ray was our guide and in addition to being a wealth of information, he has the most contagious laugh! Iâ??ve never had so much fun learning history. This gave me confidence to check out the Kamloops Museum
and their â??The Wonderful Writing Machineâ? exhibit where I witnessed kids playing on vintage typewriters â?? something they had never seen or used before! I think they were as surprised to find these archaic machines as I was to discover all the hidden gems this city has to offer. Kamloops really is full of surprises!
June 28, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Armstrong, Festivals & Events
Thinking about spending Canada Day
in Armstrong & Spallumcheen?
Canada Day Celebrations will be held in Memorial Park
and the whole family is invited! Games, food, tea garden, introduction of the 2006 Good Citizens of the Year, hot air balloon rides,
and more offer something for every member of your family. Looking for more of an agricultural experience? Join us July 3-7 for the 25th Annual Okanagan 4H Stock Show
, the Okanagan Miniature Horse Show June 30 - July 25,
or the BC Horse Council Western Heritage Classic July 15th - 16th.
If you are thinking about joining us, we encourage you to make arrangements for accomodation now. There is a listing of accomodation and services on our website http://www.aschamber.com
or contact us
for a visitor package.
June 27, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Lytton - Attractions
I just read about this and although it sounds kinda kooky, it could be a unique way to spend Canada Day. Hell’s Gate Airtram
in the Fraser Canyon is celebrating Canada Day (this Saturday, July 1st) by breaking their world record of 230 flavours of fudge on site at one time in the Fudge Factory. Sounds like there will be free samples of gooey goodness...
June 23, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Vancouver - Dining
I've found my new favourite restaurant in Vancouver. Located on the south side of False Creek, east of Granville Island and west of the Cambie Street Bridge, you'll find Stamps Landing. And tucked in a corner of this square on the seawall is Ocean 6 Seventeen Restaurant. It's tiny - probably about 45 seats in total - and faces out onto the water just a few feet away, overlooking a marina filled with sailboats. The menu is fresh, extensive, generous and well-priced. However, I haven't explored it as much as I should, because I've gotten hooked on their Squid dish - lightly coated in cornmeal and served with tomatilla sauce. That and a glass of Smoking Loon Viognier out on the patio, and I'm set!!
June 22, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Prince Rupert, Dining
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When asked what makes his freshly-made-at-the-table Caesar salad better than all the rest, Luke replied, “There isn’t a waiter in the world that doesn’t think theirs is the best. They’re all wrong – mine is.” I was dining at the Masthead
restaurant in Cowichan Bay with a bunch of friends, and a few bottles of wine. Turns out Luke’s Caesar has a bit too much anchovy for me, but combined with a local Pinot Gris, I wasn’t complaining. We took turns guessing which movie the pianist was playing his songs from. Was that from a Ginger Rogers movie or Fred Astaire? Ah... Sahara.
More than a few of us commented on how nice it was to get such fine dining in a small town.
June 20, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Find more information about Duncan - Museums
If you have read any of my previous entries, you will know I am a big fan of small museums. I walked into another unique one a few weeks ago in Cowichan Bay. I was actually trying to go for a stroll down one of the main piers, but as it turns out the pier is actually the museum.
As I walked down the pier, I entered a series of covered sheds (like small covered bridges). As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so click here
to check it out.
One of the sheds is set up for kids to build their own toy boat to take home. In another shed, I particularly liked the Johnson Outboard motor from 1947 that was on display – very retro chic in a maritime sort of way. At the end of the pier, there is a pavilion that currently exhibits over 30 hand-made miniature boats.
The maritime centre also restores old boats and offers boatbuilding shops, which are held in the onshore workshop. Inside, the smell of freshly carved wood hit me like a winter gale in open water. There, I met Herb Rice, a resident Coast Salish Artist, who was carving elaborate doors for a private home. Cowichan Bay is located on Vancouver Island
, just south of Duncan
June 17, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Atlin, Backcountry Skiing
First, let me apologize for not writing about this months ago, when you could have hopped on a plane and land in Northern BC
immediately. But, perhaps a winter story in summer isn't such a bad idea - it might help cool things down a bit on these hot, almost summer days we seem to be experiencing (yes, I am bragging - it has been tank-top weather here lately). I was flying to the Yukon in March and happened to be sitting by a group of travelers from Switzerland. Turns out they were all heading to Atlin
, (which just so happens to be known as the "Little Switzerland of the North," as I just read on our website) for some spring heli-skiing. They were all decked out in high-end branded downhill ski clothing, i.e., Volkl, and looked like quite sleek and serious skiers (as opposed to baggy-clothed, laid-back boarders). I must admit, it seemed a bit odd to me to see an elite bunch from Switzerland, land of world-famous skiing, head to the most northern point in British Columbia for some snow. I confess that until that day I knew very little about Atlin and their corner of the world. Anyhow, when our plane flew over Atlin, every passenger looked out the window. The view was spectacular. Puffy, white mountains stretched out. Glaciers bounced sunlight right back at us. Snow, snow and more snow. The plane was silent except for oohs and aahhhs. The guy sitting next to me said, "This is a once in the lifetime trip for me, I have always wanted to come here." Looking out at the view, I could definitely understand. In fact, I was half ready to don a pair of expensive sunglasses and join their crew. And now, I suppose, if you so feel inclined, you have all summer and another nine months to plan your trip there too - and save all your pennies. And then, perhaps next winter while you are sipping an apres-ski drink, I will write an
June 17, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Quesnel, Sightseeing Tours
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I was lucky to be invited on the Rocky Mountaineer Vacations train as apart of a FAM tour. Accompanying me, was Quesnel dignitaries, tourism industry people and anyone who had worked with the luxury rail tour company when their quest for an overnight stop began many years ago. The Fraser Discovery Route is one of the newest adventures on the train, it takes you from the beautiful mountains in whistler to the breath taking mountain views in Jasper. Quesnel was fortunate to be a perfect in-between spot to stay overnight. The community has shown a huge appreciation from greeting the train each night to inviting the staff and crew out while they stay here. It is a huge leap forward for tourism here in Quesnel. Back to the train adventure; we were seated in the Goldleaf section with this amazing glass dome as our viewing window, first point of business was a champagne and OJ toast to a great trip. As if that wasn't enough we were served fresh coffee and warm homemade muffins as a starter, then we were directed to the dining cart for scrambled eggs and caviar. Along the way the staff narrated points of interest and many wildlife sightings. It was so interesting to watch the international tourists also on the train, absolutely amazed by the sight of a deer, bear or an eagle flying by. These are things we see regularly yet don't seem to take the time to really stop and watch. Although we only went half way, the day was an indulgence of comfort, friendly service, and high quality food with beauty in every corner. It really was about the journey rather than the destination. Rocky Mountaineer Vacation is a success for a reason, at no time is the guestâ??s needs or desires compromised in any way. In fact before you even contemplate the urge for anything; it is offered to you. I have worked in Hospitality and Tourism for over a decade and I was really impressed at the service and commitment this company has to excellence. If you ever get a chance to go......go, you w
June 05, 2006 | Tips from Us >
Campbell River, Museums
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Although I appreciate both, I prefer hands-on exhibits to formal, hushed galleries. And when I entered the Museum at Campbell River
I was fascinated with the touchy-feely texture and layout of the award-winning exhibit, which is themed around the Northwest First Nations 9,000 year history in the area, with spotlights on the logging and fishing industries.
My family and I started our visit by entering a small, dim lit theatre where a First Nations story was told through a multitude of elaborately carved wooden masks. The Treasures of Siwidi, a story owned by the Kwakwaka'wakw families (I love that name), tells the journey of a young man to the Undersea World where he encountered a host of supernatural creatures.
The rest of the museum is filled with First Nation artifacts and poles, a cross-section of a felled tree, the life size replica of a 1920’s pioneer floathome, a replicated hotel lobby, rowboats, gillnets, tuna cans and more - each room demanding more and more of our curiousity. My four-year-old spent time driving an antique logging truck while my eleven-year-old practiced netting cod, pumping water and ringing the camp dinner bell (the other visitors laughed at all the noise, not something you typically see while taking two loud and rambunctious kids through a museum). Things quieted down a bit as we settled into the art deco theatre to watch historic film footage of the famous explosion of Ripple Rock.
Overall, a highlight of our trip, something not to be missed.