Pack your bags, because it’s time to hit the open roads and see all that beautiful British Columbia has to offer!
Whether you’re a daytripper or a long roadtripper, and whether you want to venture near or far out, here are some ideal and convenient road trip ideas and destinations for your local travels in B.C. this summer.
BACKCOUNTRY TRAVEL WITH FAROUT WILDERNESS
Taking in nature. Photo: FarOut Wilderness.
For a stress-free and safe camping experience in some of B.C.’s most beautiful backcountry spots this summer, try out overlanding with FarOut Wilderness.
Ideal for travellers that do not have access to their own 4x4 off-road vehicle and camping gear, FarOut Wilderness allows you to venture beyond B.C.’s provincial park campgrounds. Expect to explore on unpaved forest service roads, find local hidden gems and camp out in the secluded wilderness. Do all of this at your own pace and on your own schedule.
With flexible pick-ups and drop-offs in Vancouver and Victoria, FarOut Wilderness’s overland vehicles are fully insured and come with all the necessary equipment for off grid travel. Even more, the FarOut team will handle all of the logistics and create a personalized itinerary for you! This gives you more time to get out mountain biking, climbing, surfing, hiking, or simply just soaking up the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
For more info, visit faroutwilderness.com.
INTERCITY BUS TRAVEL WITH EBUS
Down to go on a road trip but not so down on the idea of having to do the driving and navigating along the way? If you’d rather just get to your destination with safety and ease, hop aboard Ebus!
Ebus offers a number of scheduled routes for reliable bus transportation across B.C., connecting Metro Vancouver with the Fraser Valley, the Okanagan, and the Southern Interior.
Ebus has pick up locations in Vancouver and Surrey, with stops in Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Hope, Merritt, Kelowna, and Kamloops along their B.C. route. As well, bus fares are both affordable and refundable, making Ebus a cost-effective alternative to driving your own car. It also doubles as a green alternative by helping to take more cars off the road!
Sit back, relax (with free wifi) in an air-conditioned and safely clean vehicle, and enjoy riding along B.C.’s highways with comfort and confidence!
For more info, visit myebus.ca/bc-locations.
THE SOUTH OKANAGAN
Naramata Bench, KVR Trail. Photo: Destination BC.
A 4-hour drive from the Lower Mainland along Hwy 3 or the Coquihalla Connector, the South Okanagan has been a popular destination for generations of B.C. families and travellers, with the region’s wide open spaces, fresh air, low traffic, and overall feeling of relaxation.
The South Okanagan consists of 8 communities from Peachland to Osoyoos along the HWY 97 corridor — including Peachland, Summerland, Penticton, Naramata, Kaleden, Okanagan Falls, Oliver, and Osoyoos. Each community is in close proximity to each other, making the South Okanagan the ideal destination to do small circle routes and explore the entire region.
A haven for outdoor experiences, the South Okanagan offers an abundance of activities, such as hiking trails, biking trails, kayaking and canoeing, stand up paddleboarding, power boating, swimming, rock climbing, and golfing.
With over 200 wineries and vineyards, South Okanagan is home to a handful of key wine regions in B.C., including Bottleneck Drive in Summerland, Naramata Bench Wineries Association, the Heart Of Wine Country between Skaha Bench and Okanagan Falls, and Oliver Osoyoos wine country, which features the new, first of its kind District Wine Village.
World Class wines foster world class cuisine, and in the South Okanagan, fresh seasonal flavours bring out the rich agriculture of the region. As you drive along the roads, don’t forget to stop at a community farmers market or one of the many fruit stands to bring some of the South Okanagan tastes home with you.
From weekend getaways to longer stays, there is so much to see and do. You’ll find that multiple trips to the region are needed to take it all in!
For more info, visit visitsouthokanagan.com.
Skaha Lake Park. Photo: Visit Penticton.
Once you arrive in Penticton, you’ll find that the South Okanagan city is accessible without the use of a motor vehicle by foot, pedal, and paddle, reducing fuel emissions and opening up the opportunity for exploration.
You can easily walk around the downtown core to the nearby beach, cafes, and restaurants. With only 7 km separating Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake, Penticton is a popular destination to explore on bike. The KVR Trail between Penticton and Naramata is another must-do trail. Plus, with access to two freshwater lakes, spending the day in or on the water is a given. Grab a kayak, canoe, or stand up paddleboard and explore the shorelines, or choose to leisurely “float the channel”, relax on the beach, and go for a swim.
Boasting a long history of agriculture and winemaking, Penticton has over 80+ wineries within 20 minutes of the downtown area. Access to fresh local ingredients, incredible culinary talent, and collaboration with local wine makers, and craft producers has shaped Penticton to become one of Canada's best kept culinary and wine destinations.
Penticton is also known as the ‘Craft Beer Capital of Canada’ by Lonely Planet’. With 7 breweries and an 8th brewery under construction, Penticton is on top of the list of most craft breweries per capita than any other Canadian city.
Public consumption of alcohol is allowed on over half of Penticton’s public beaches, so grab a bottle of wine or a 4-pack of craft beer and enjoy drinking responsibly on the beach while taking in the sun and the views.
For more info, visit visitpenticton.com.
OAK BAY IN VICTORIA
Photo: Oak Bay Beach Hotel.
For a luxurious, comfortable, and truly breathtaking seaside experience, hop on the ferry to Southern Vancouver Island and book a stay at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel in Victoria.
Located on a stunning stretch of coastline, the picturesque resort is the perfect base for your Vancouver Island adventures, which can range from scenic bike rides to hiking in the rainforests. You can go for a swim at Willows Beach, or take a 10 minute drive to Victoria’s downtown centre and the scenic Inner Harbour.
Oak Bay Beach Hotel’s oceanfront accommodations will allow you to check into a paradise of your own choosing, with over 100 furnished and spacious rooms and suites with residential, marina, or panoramic Pacific Ocean views.
Experience the ultimate in rejuvenation and relaxation at the award-winning Boathouse Spa and at the three outdoor mineral pools situated on the edge of the Salish Sea, with Victoria's only licensed oceanfront pool deck.
For more info and reservations, visit oakbaybeachhotel.com.
STEVESTON HERITAGE SITES IN RICHMOND
Britannia Shipyards. Photo: Steveston Heritage Sites.
For a fun family day or memorable date that’s fascinating, educational, and within a half an hour drive from downtown Vancouver, check out the 3 newly reopened Steveston Heritage Sites in Richmond.
Among the oldest shipyard buildings in B.C., Britannia Shipyards is an authentic representation of a once thriving, multi-ethnic community of canneries, boat yards, and residences. Tour buildings that date all the way back to 1885 and experience a bygone era when fishing and boat building were flourishing industries on the Fraser River.
The London Heritage Farm site contains the historical London Farm House, one of the earliest farms in Richmond. You can explore the Victorian home that has been fully restored and furnished to illustrate rural life in Richmond between 1890 and 1920, as well as enjoy viewing the beautiful perennial and community gardens.
The Steveston Museum preserves and promotes the rich history of the Steveston Village. Check out the Japanese-Canadian exhibit at the museum’s Japanese Fishermen’s Benevolent Society building, and the post office services in the main museum building. Surrounding the museum is the remodelled Town Square Park, which combines the traditional English Frontier Garden-style with a Japanese-inspired aesthetic.
Throughout the summer, visitors can look forward to new exhibits, interpretation and live demonstrations, kids’ activities, and the Salty’s Lobster Shack food truck at Britannia Shipyards.
For more info, visit www.richmond.ca/culture.