Eager to escape for the day? Look to the rivers and farms of the Fraser Valley, and you’ll find more than pretty landscapes and grazing cattle. Here are six must-have experiences, from filling up on mouth-watering bites right from the source to splashing in the rapids round the valley’s bends and waterways.
You likely know that there’s fresh produce and homespun menus at family-run farms in the Fraser Valley, but did you know that you can combine your culinary cravings with some pretty cool animal encounters? At Taves Family Farm, Saturdays and Sundays are better known as GOATerdays. Pick up an apple cider slushie at the Applebarn for the humans and some grain to feed the animals, then drive down to the goat playground to watch these pampered cuties frolic. Alternatively, ditch the stuffy studio to practise goat yoga at Maan Farms in a fragrant field under the sun (buy your tickets in advance online). Set up your yoga mat in the wide-open spaces (downward goat, anyone?) and cuddle your new four-legged friends in between poses. Before you leave, be sure to see what Mama Maan has whipped up in the kitchen to take home, like butter chicken and chickpea curry best paired with Maan’s own fruit wine.
Krause Berry Farms & Estate Winery’s delectable waffle bar will be operating this summer with outdoor seating, and you can also get your waffle on at their new, old-fashioned drive-in; turn on your hazard lights when you’re ready to order, and the waffles will come to you. Included are fresh-from-the-field seasonal fruit toppings, farm-made berry syrups, and fresh whipped cream (vegan and gluten-free options are available). Post-brunch, swing through Krause’s new Drive Thru and pick up a sweet treat (think: berries, pies, and ice cream) to remind you of your day in the country.
Did you know that the Chilliwack River—just 90 minutes east of Vancouver—is a hotspot for river rafting? Whether you’re a newbie who wants to ease in or a hard-core enthusiast who’s all about the rapids, there’s an experience here for you. To ensure your safety, Chilliwack River Rafting has numerous protocols in place, including a raft for just you and your “social bubble.” So, gather family members or a few close friends and book a day on the water, complete with gorgeous mountain scenery, fresh air, and memories to last a lifetime.
Explore the Fraser Valley on a guided tour with a member of the Stó:lō Nation to learn about the cultural significance of various structures and natural landmarks throughout the region. Your guide will share insights into the living history and traditions of the Stó:lō people, and depending on the experience you choose, you may hear stories, be introduced to traditional language and place names, learn about Indigenous artwork, and more. Destinations range from a 9,000-year-old archaeological site to a newly renovated interpretive centre, and tours operate on foot, by bus, and on the water.
Lurking below the surface in the mighty Fraser River is a prehistoric creature few have seen up close. The Fraser is the only place in BC where you’re allowed to fish for sturgeon, and to protect their numbers, fishing is strictly catch and release. Casting with a guide is highly recommended, and there are plenty to choose from, including the BC Sportfishing Group. No matter which operator you select, you’re in for an exhilarating day on the river—these behemoth fish can be up to three metres (10 feet) in length and weigh a mind-boggling 450 kilograms (1,000 pounds). Start thinking now about where you’ll hang the photo for maximum bragging potential.
The Fraser Valley is home to dairy farms, berry farms, and wineries galore, but did you know there’s also a dedicated BC Ale Trail that spotlights half a dozen craft breweries between Langley and Chilliwack? Choose a designated driver and make a day of it as you seek out some new favourite pours. Book a table on Field House Brewing’s covered patio or grab a Salted Lime Mexican Lager—and a chair—on their drop-in beer lawn. Don’t miss Old Yale Brewing Co.’s Sasquatch Stout, which they boldly declare is “Canada’s best beer.” And IPA aficionados should check out Dead Frog Brewery’s Green Magic. Because who doesn’t need a little magic these days?
Featured Image: Chilliwack River Rafting | Robyn Bessenger/Tourism Chilliwack
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