Cozy Fall Getaways in British Columbia

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Having trouble letting go of summer? Just because the temperatures are dropping doesn’t mean it’s time to hunker down for the winter. With autumn colours at full blast, weather still good, and harvest events on, fall is a great time to check out some of what the province has to offer.

Imagine exploring the beauty of the great outdoors and the charms of a small town during the day and coming back to the comforts of a mountain retreat, a luxury lodge, or a roaring fire in a cozy cabin. If this BC staycation sounds like an inviting way to cap off the summer and brace yourself for winter, read on.

Lund Resort at Klah ah men

Lund Resort at Klah Ah Men

Located on the Sunshine Coast north of Powell River, the Lund Resort at Klah ah men is a historic seaside lodge inspired by the art and culture of the Tla’amin Nation. This Indigenous resort is also home to a gallery where you can immerse yourself amongst local Coast Salish art.

Zodiac and kayaking tours of Desolation Sound are perfect to experience in autumn, as well as guided day hikes on the Sunshine Coast Trail and nature packages, including an October Forest Discovery Package to learn about the hidden secrets of the temperate rainforest.

Pick up a blackberry cinnamon bun at Lund’s Nancy’s Bakery and then head into Powell River, a historic mill town with entrepreneurial spirit. Check out a film at Canada’s longest-running movie theatre, The Patricia, and be sure to sip something seasonal at Townsite Brewing.

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Luxury Cabin at Rowena's Inn on the River

Rowena’s Inn on the River at Sandpiper Resort

In Harrison Mills, a grand, storied English-style manor stands on the banks of the Harrison River. Rowena’s Inn on the River at Sandpiper Resort has stately rooms as well as cabins for your cozy fall enjoyment. The cabins come with heated-slate floors, deep-soaker jacuzzi tubs for two, and wood-burning fireplaces depending on the type of accommodation you decide to book for your vacation.

The 18-hole Sandpiper Resort Golf Course is open all year and enjoy an in-room spa service when you are done with your day exploring the area.

Time your stay with the Fort Langley Cranberry Festival (Oct. 12) or the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival (Nov. 16 and 17) to celebrate fall in the Fraser Valley.

Salmon fans can also visit Weaver Creek Spawning Channel, located between Mission and Agassiz, in mid-October to view spawning activity.

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Cowichan River Lodge | Veronique Gagnon

Cowichan River Lodge

Cowichan River Lodge offers the perfect autumn home base for exploring the Cowichan region of Vancouver Island, or if you’re an angler, a variety of fishing packages. The Cowichan River teems with rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout, steelhead and salmon (all fishing on the Cowichan River is catch and release).

Chemainus River Provincial Park and the 750-hectare Cowichan River Provincial Park provide easy nature walks for enjoying fall colours.

The nearby town of Duncan is perhaps most famous for its distinctive hand-carved cedar totem poles, which are on public display in parks and downtown streets, but most don’t realize it is also home to one of the largest farmer’s markets in BC.

One could spend days exploring the many farms, wineries, cideries, breweries, distilleries, artists and artisans that dot the fertile landscape of the Cowichan Valley. Visit in November for Cowichan’s Eat. Stay. Play. to attend the region’s many culinary events that celebrate the harvest season.

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Cowichan River Lodge | Veronique Gagnon
Cowichan River Lodge | Veronique Gagnon
Quaaout Lodge | Andrew Fyfe
Experiencing Quaaout Lodge

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Quaaout Lodge & Spa

In Secwépemc Territory, on the shores of Little Shuswap Lake northeast of Kamloops, stands the Quaaout Lodge & Spa at Talking Rock Golf Resort.

Stroll the quiet sandy beach or take in the views of the lake and mountains from your own private balcony or patio. Upgrade to get an in-suite jacuzzi and fireplace, or treat yourself at the lodge’s Le7ke Spa, inspired by First Nations design and decor traditions. Then, enjoy a locally-inspired meal overlooking the lake at Jack Sam’s.

Taking in the sockeye salmon run, one of the largest in North America on the Adams River in Tsútswecw Provincial Park, is only minutes away and is a major fall activity in the Shuswap. It is always worth a visit in fall to witness this ancient and memorable homecoming.

 

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Lizard Creek Lodge

Lizard Creek Lodge

This mountain retreat at Fernie Alpine Resort is a scenic destination in the fall. Overlooking the Rocky Mountains, the outdoor pool and hot tubs at Lizard Creek Lodge reveal some of the best views in the country.

The changing of the season comes early to the Rockies, where fresh snow meets the golden larches of the alpine. Enjoy the scenery along one of Fernie’s numerous hiking trails, including the Elk Valley Trail, Mount Fernie Provincial Park, and Fairy Creek Falls.

In Fernie, a heritage walking tour takes in the town’s iconic Historic Downtown buildings. The first floor of the Fernie Museum also looks back on the town’s history, while the second features work by local and regional artists. Then, cap it off with a seasonal ale at the Fernie Brewing Co., a popular hangout for both locals and visitors alike.

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Fairy Creek Falls | Tourism Fernie
Fernie | Tourism Fernie
Round Lake Resort

Round Lake Resort

Surround yourself with peace and tranquility in the Bulkley Valley of Northern BC. The family-run Round Lake Resort near Smithers is a rustic getaway featuring cabins built in 1960 on 28 acres of forested lakeshore with fall foliage to rival eastern Canada. Resort visitors are encouraged to leave their noisemakers indoors and enjoy the diverse array of birdsong.

Try trout fishing on the lake—boats are supplied (no motors allowed). Also beckoning are fossil beds at nearby Driftwood Canyon Provincial Park and many scenic diversions such as waterfalls, birding meadows, and wildlife.

For town activities, Smithers is 26 km away and boasts a lively cultural scene including live music, an art gallery, museum, and an outdoor Saturday farmer’s market, which moves indoors in October.

 

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Bulkley Valley | Marty Clemens
Smithers | Marty Clemens
Fawn Lake Resort

Fawn Lake Resort

Modern and classic log cabins look out on the South Cariboo’s Fawn Lake at this family-run resort, located in Lone Butte.  Witness fog rolling off the lake across the early autumn frost-covered landscape and listen to the sound of the loons while you enjoy your book next to an open fire.

Fly-fishing and history attract visitors to this stretch of the Gold Rush Trail in summer, but in fall, the area slows down. For some, this is precisely the allure.

You can still venture north to the Xatśūll Heritage Village until early October and learn about the history of the Secwepemc Nation and their traditional way of life. In September, you can still visit 108 Mile Heritage Site, which chronicles the Cariboo gold rush. No visit to the Cariboo is complete without a visit to the Sugar Shack in 70 Mile House for an authentic poutine—perfect for a cool fall day comfort meal.

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Fawn Lake Resort
Fawn Lake Resort
Becker's Lodge

Becker’s Lodge

Built in 1933, Becker’s Lodge is a collection of log cabins and chalets on Bowron Lake, in Bowron Lake Provincial Park in the Cariboo.

Hiking, fishing, kayaking and canoeing are popular activities, and many visitors come to the area to paddle the Bowron Lakes Canoe Circuit, though the season slows down in September.

Becker’s Lodge also serves as a headquarters for those wishing to visit the historic mining towns of Wells and Barkerville, the towns at the heart of the Cariboo Gold Rush.

With more than 125 heritage buildings, period displays, satellite museums, restaurants and shops, Barkerville Historic Town is the largest historic site in British Columbia. While Barkerville slows down after September, visitors are welcome to stroll the historic streets. Better yet, it’s time for a real spooky experience during Barkerville’s two-day Ghostly Hallowe’en event in late October. This is a unique way to experience the ghost town in a season that’s undeniably fitting.

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Barkerville | @chillsoill
Bowron Lakes Provincial Park | @ajwells

Header image: Cowichan River Lodge

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