Quirky Attractions in the Kootenays
Unique, historic, and cultural gems to visit.
The drive between Vancouver and Calgary is one for your bucket list. There are a few route options, with plenty to see no matter which way you choose to go. We asked our Facebook fans to list their favourite stops between Calgary and Vancouver via BC’s Crowsnest Highway (Highway 3). The route takes you over the mountains and into the desert, and it ends on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.
You’ll encounter the spectacularly scenic Crowsnest Pass as you head towards the BC border from Alberta. Keep an eye out for Turtle Mountain, which collapsed in 1903 causing the Frank Slide, one of the largest landslides in Canada. The Crowsnest Museum and Frank Slide Interpretive Centre are worth a look to learn more about the rich history of the area.
*Not in BC, but mentioned as a stop by many of our Facebook fans.
Surrounded by towering peaks, the small community of Fernie has enough big mountain adventure for everyone. Enjoy lift-accessed mountain biking at Fernie Alpine Resort, whitewater rafting, and endless hiking trails surrounding the town. Need to rest your head? Island Lake Lodge offers luxury in the mountains, and the Raging Elk Hostel is a good place to meet fellow road trippers. Grab a pint at the Kodiak Lounge and share stories of the road.
In need of some vitamin D? Stop in Cranbrook, home to the most sunshine in BC. Golf fanatics will enjoy the options, with more than six courses easily accessible from town. Don’t miss the Interpretive Centre at St. Eugene Golf Resort to learn about the heritage and culture of the local Ktunaxa First Nation. Take a trip to Fort Steele Heritage Town to see blacksmiths at work and catch a show at the Wildhorse Theatre.
Osoyoos is a summer playground. Bask in the sun, jump in the lake, and snack on fruit from roadside stands. Don’t miss the Nk’Mip Desert and Cultural Centre and Desert Society Osoyoos to explore cultural exhibits and learn about desert wildlife. Check out the wineries around town and north towards Oliver, Okanagan Falls, and Penticton. Looking for adventure? Grab a bike and explore the Kettle Valley Rail Trail.
Just before you reach Vancouver, take a break at Manning Park. Explore the many hiking trails, or nestle into a cabin at Manning Park Resort. Hop in a canoe, pack a lakeside picnic, cycle the trails, or spend a peaceful afternoon fishing. Hiking enthusiasts will enjoy backcountry trails to stunning meadows and peaks. Pack a tent, relax, and stay a while.
Things To Do
BC offers a wide variety of nature trails for people of all mobility levels. Here are 10 hiking trails to explore when accessibility is a consideration.
Adventure & Outdoors
Want a unique experience? Here are 10 Indigenous experiences to consider for a getaway.