Last week, CBC Radio invited British Columbia Magazine to share some budget-conscious spring-break travel ideas on their B.C. Almanac program. The half hour flew by as I chatted with host Mark Forsythe and listened to some great tips from callers.
As I said to CBC listeners, B.C. residents can view local travel as an opportunity, not a hardship, during these economically uncertain times. Travellers come from around the globe to enjoy what we have right on our doorsteps.
In our magazine’s Spring 2009 issue, international publishing sensation Nick Bantock—creator of the Griffin & Sabine books—demonstrates just how rewarding local travel can be on a whimsical tour of Saltspring Island, his Gulf Island home. Don’t miss the chance to enter our Saltspring Getaway Contest!
Here are some other ideas we shared on B.C. Almanac. There are exciting opportunities for every budget and in every region of the province—and plenty of good reading here on our website for even more ideas.
- Quirky alleyways of Victoria’s Chinatown are fun to explore with children; small imported toys for pocket change.
- Great deals on Victoria hotels; check in with Tourism Victoria online.
- Intriguing shores . . . for beachcombing and viewing eagles, seals, otters.
Vancouver, Coast, and Mountains
- Vancouver: Daytrip to Granville Island’s sensory-rich public market on the fun little False Creek Ferries.
- Walking the Seawall is always free. Give the kids coloured pencils to makes sketches of the Stanley Park totem poles.
- XÁ:YTEM Longhouse Interpretive Centre in Mission: tours, workshops, pithouses, Transformer Stone.
- Check out Hostelling International Canada‘s selection of budget B.C. accommodation. We also hear good things about The Upper Deck Guesthouse hostel on the Sunshine Coast.
- At Big White and Silver Star ski hills, purchase adult accommodation and lift tickets during spring break, and children 12 and under can ski for free.
- Cross-country ski or snowshoe on the Kettle Valley Rail Trail.
- Look for Ogopogo, the Loch Ness-like monster of Okanagan Lake. Bring binoculars.
- Nakusp Hot Springs is open year round. Cheapest dip? Wednesdays, $4/person. Bring a self-contained camper for off-season stays, just $18/night.
- Two-night family packages at Fairmont Hot Springs; $368 for two adults and two children—includes “eco-adventure” activities such as wildlife tracking and snowshoe fondue.
- For snowshoeing, skiing, or winter camping, B.C. parks around the province offer a cheap and satisfying family outing.
Cariboo Chilcotin Coast
The Cariboo-Chilcotin region has some of B.C.’s best cross-country skiing. Historic Barkerville is closed in winter, but the restored buildings of the old townsite make for an intriguing ski destination.
Northern British Columbia
- Just outside of Prince George, Sugarbowl-Grizzly Den Provincial Park is a premier backcountry skiing and snowshoeing destination.
- Check out the Ski and Stay in Spring packages at Hudson Bay Mountain in Smithers, promising “sun, snow, and savings.”