Quirky Attractions in the Kootenays
Unique, historic, and cultural gems to visit.
Here in British Columbia, we love a rainy day. It makes the air fresh, the streets clean, and the forests and fields vibrant and green. Best of all, it gives us an excuse to laze around indoors and enjoy a slower, mellower pace of life. Here are five great things to do when inclement weather calls you in off BC’s beaches, trails, and mountain slopes.
In Vancouver, escape the rain to meander among towering totems at the Museum of Anthropology or duck into a matinee at one of Granville Island’s many theatres. For something a little further afield, check out Emily Carr’s haunting canvases at the Audain Art Museum, just one of the stops along Whistler’s new Cultural Connector route.
If ballads and banjos are more your thing, the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame is calling you to Merritt in the Thompson Okanagan. And in funky little Crawford Bay in the East Kootenays, discover an entire village of artisans sculpting, spinning, and forging beautiful things.
On a blustery day, there’s nothing quite so comforting as a warming cuppa, and no better place to enjoy it than Victoria.
The Fairmont Empress serves a famously lavish afternoon tea, but Silk Road and Terroir Tea Merchant also offer an exquisite taste experience, while the London Tube throws an Alice in Wonderland-themed tea party for the littlest travellers.
Tea not strong enough for you? Then check out the many wineries in the Okanagan Valley, artisan distilleries in Vancouver, and craft breweries just about everywhere.
Books and rainy days were meant for each other. Visit the Vancouver Public Library for a free author reading or pick up the latest by one of BC’s best novelists—Douglas Coupland, say, or Man Booker Prize-nominated Madeleine Thien.
Still searching for something to read? Head to Sidney, near Victoria, a village filled with bookstores, new and used, where you’re sure to find just what you weren’t looking for.
There’s no need to brave the elements to enjoy BC’s finest flora and fauna.
Or venture inland to the Thompson Okanagan, where you can learn about Canada’s only desert at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre near Osoyoos, experience life on the range at Historic O’Keefe Ranch near Vernon, or get up close and personal with some of the province’s wildest residents at the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops.
Sometimes the best way to beat the temperamental weather is just to embrace it.
Or simply call it a spa day. Soak in the steamy outdoor pools at Whistler’s Scandinave Spa, Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa, or the seven healing hot springs—including a wilderness spot—on the Hot Springs Circle Route in the Kootenay Rockies.
You might just find yourself wishing the rain would never stop.
Featured image: The Raven and the First Men, a sculpture by Haida artist Bill Reid, on display at the Bill Reid Rotunda at the Museum of Anthropology. Photo:@rieserrano via Instagram
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