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5 Ways to Embrace Spring in BC

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From nature walks to coastal exploration, there are countless ways for BC locals to explore our home province. Embrace spring in BC with these must-do experiences.

Sunshine Coast | @braybraywoowoo

Take a Road Trip to Somewhere New

Plan a spring road trip and you’ll see BC through fresh eyes—with the added bonus of getting ahead of the summer rush.

Escape to the Sunshine Coast for a relaxing early-spring getaway. The 180-kilometre (112-mile) stretch of coast along the Salish Sea boasts a budding craft beverage scene, outdoor activities, and a thriving arts community.  

Witness the rugged and untamed side of southern Vancouver Island by driving the Pacific Marine Circle Route. This coast-to-coast journey features ocean viewpoints, Indigenous totem sites, beaches, and rainforest. 

Once the snow begins to thaw in the Cariboo, road trip along BC’s iconic Gold Rush Trail. Towns flourished along the mighty Fraser River in the late 1800s as frenzied gold prospectors clamoured to strike it rich. Today, you can follow in the footsteps of the trailblazers as you venture through historic gold mining towns; enjoying craft breweries, outdoor activities, artisan eateries, and small-town charm along the way.

Note: While BC’s south coast is generally clear of snow at this time of year, you may encounter winter conditions farther inland. Winter tires are required until April 30 when travelling on BC highways.

Wild Pacific Trail, Ucluelet | Tourism Vancouver Island/Ben Giesbrecht

Get Your Nature Fix

Longer days and warmer weather mean more time outside. Optimism is in the air as we find ways to rejuvenate in nature. 

Absorb the power and energy of the temperate rainforest with a mindful hike through Vancouver Island’s network of parks and trails. Cape Scott Provincial Park in Port Hardy, the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet, and Elk Falls Provincial Park near Victoria are just a few forest bathing hideaways

Explore the desert grasslands of Kamloops with a hike through Kenna Cartwright and Valleyview nature parks, which are perfect for all hiking levels.

Appreciate the raw and untouched nature of the Great Bear Rainforest and gain a greater understanding of what “wild” truly means. Take a wildlife tour out of Bella Coola or visit the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary for unprecedented bear viewing.

In late spring, make your way to the Kootenay Rockies to forest bathe in the Ancient Giant Cedars near Kaslo, or have a healing soak in the restorative waters in the unique cave at Ainsworth Hot Springs. This is a site of cultural significance to the Ktunaxa Nation, who call it Nupika wu’u or— or “spirit waters.” 

Always check trail conditions before you head out, and no matter what outdoor activity you are planning, be prepared. AdventureSmart and Leave No Trace are great resources to help you get informed before heading outdoors. Follow the three Ts—trip planning, training, and taking the essentials.

Ganges, Salt Spring Island | Harbour Air Seaplanes

Explore BC’s Coastal Towns

The shoulder season is a great time to travel to BC’s charming coastal towns. The coast is dotted with seaside hamlets and villages, each with their own unique cultural influences, markets, art galleries, and culinary scenes. 

Stay in Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast and go hunting for hidden waterfalls, rainforest hikes, expansive ocean views, and cider tastings.

Take a walk along the wild coastlines of Ucluelet or Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island. 

Or, slow it down in the artsy and laid-back town of Ganges on Salt Spring Island. Outdoor-minded foodies will enjoy hopping between vineyards, hikes, farms, and markets.    

Discover adventure, culture, and nature with a late-spring trip to Prince Rupert, or Skidegate in Haida Gwaii. As many BC locals can attest, visiting this part of Northern BC is a transformative experience. With unparalleled opportunities to learn about Indigenous culture and intimate wildlife viewing tours, this is one trip you’ll never forget.

Richmond Dumpling Trail | @monkeyeatsworld
Cowichan Valley farmers' market | Graeme Owsianski
Salt Spring Vineyards, Salt Spring Island | Lyndsey Eden

Become a Locavore

There are numerous ways to celebrate the culinary diversity of our province this season—and becoming a locavore is one of them. Take in local markets, restaurants, vineyards, cideries, and craft breweries throughout BC. 

April is BC Wine Month, though you can sip and explore your way through British Columbia’s five wine regions all season long. A few highlights include Clos du Soleil in the Similkameen Valley, Ripples Winery in the Fraser Valley, Garry Oaks Estate Winery on Salt Spring Island, Averill Creek Vineyard in the Comox Valley, and Indigenous-owned Nk’Mip Cellars in the Okanagan Valley. 

Pair your next adventure with a craft brewery tasting along the BC Ale Trail—the East and West Kootenays have an outstanding selection to choose from.

As if there weren’t enough reasons to indulge, May is Eat Drink Local Month, inspiring residents to dine at local restaurants and eateries. A few hot spots to check out include Richmond’s Dumpling Trail and the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, which has a bounty of artisan distilleries, wineries, award-winning breweries, and farm-fresh cuisine.

Meanwhile, farmers market season kicks off throughout the province at this time of year, offering an opportunity to meet and support local growers and artisan food producers. 

 

Victoria cherry blossoms| @emgemstone

See BC in Bloom

Go blossom hopping in southern BC. From cherry blossoms to daffodils and tulips, BC residents love our spring bloom just as much as visitors do. After all, the spring flowers are the first sign that spring is here.

Time your next visit to Victoria with the arrival of the spring blossoms and turn it into a flower-filled getaway. In our province’s capital, you’ll find colourful blooms near the BC Parliament Buildings, Royal Roads University, Abkhazi Gardenand The Butchart Gardens.

Head on a photo walk or casual bike ride through city streets in Vancouver, taking in the sweet scent of the pastel cherry blossoms as their delicate petals sway in the breeze.

Wander through VanDusen Botanical Gardens or Queen Elizabeth Park for their many themed displays and activities to see a larger variety of spring blooms. Round out flower season with a visit to the Fraser Valley Tulip Trail.

Title image: The Butchart Gardens | @a.spargo

WRITTEN BY: Amber Turnau

From: Squamish
Amber is a freelance storyteller and outdoor adventurer who has spent nine years living in the beautiful Sea to Sky Corridor. When she's not writing, she spends her spare time snowboarding, hiking, biking, and SUPing her way through the wilds of BC. Fun Fact: she spent the first seven years of her life living on a sailboat and travelling the world with her family. Now, she has the best of both worlds, splitting her time between ocean and mountains—and loving every minute of it.

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