Archive for the ‘BC Travel’ Category

Summertime is Driving Time

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

Summertime is the season for driving vacations.  A great way to decide where to go and what to see and do on your road trip is to check out some suggested driving routes.

The Hot Springs Circle Route takes you through the Kootenay Rockies region and features numerous hot springs, outdoor adventure and railway history.  If you’re a railway buff check out Cranbrook’s Canadian Museum of Rail Travel or the Revelstoke Railway Museum.  You will find hot springs at Fairmont Hot Springs, and the natural Lussier hot springs nearby, Radium Hot Springs, with one of the largest pools, and Ainsworth Hot Springs, where you can explore a cave that’s part of the hot springs.  The town of Golden is situated on the Columbia River, North America’s largest wet land, and features white water rafting on the Kicking Horse River, plus Canada’s highest restaurant, the Eagle’s Eye.  Check out the 3 Valley Gap ghost town near Revelstoke, or the SS Moyie, the oldest surviving sternwheeler in the world in Kaslo.  Hopefully you brought your bikes to explore some of the trails in the area such as the Galena Trail near New Denver.  Take a free ferry across Kootenay Lake from Balfour to the artists’ community of Crawford Bay, and end your circle route by visiting the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area, a refuge for more than 250 species of birds.

Soak away your troubles in one of the Kootenay region’s many mineral hot springs

The Lakes & Trails Circle Route takes you through Cariboo country with its ranches, lakes, rivers and the history of the gold rush.  Start your travels in Kamloops, a bustling city where the North and South Thompson Rivers meet, home to the annual Kamloops Pro Rodeo.  Near Cache Creek you’ll find the historical Hat Creek Ranch, while near Williams Lake you can learn about the Shuswap nation at the Xat’sull Heritage Village.  Visit the historic town of Barkerville, a gold rush town where life in the 1800’s is recreated.  With so many lakes in this region, there are big opportunities for canoeing and fishing, like the 12-lake canoe chain at Moose Valley Provincial Park, and some of the best fly fishing in North America at Little Fort.  The city of Prince George is the major center in this part of BC.  Visit the artists’ community of McBride, where you can not only go heli-skiing in winter, but heli-hiking in summer.  Two major provincial parks in the area are Mount Robson and Wells Gray.  Mount Robson is the highest peak in the Rockies and the park is largely an undisturbed wilderness.  It is also the headwaters of the Fraser River and features the Berg Glacier.  Wells Gray Provincial Park is known in particular for Helmcken Falls, one of Canada’s highest water falls which you can enjoy from the Helmcken Falls Rim Trail.  On your way back to Kamloops turn off to check out the all-season resort at Sun Peaks.

Chemainus murals on Vancouver Island

Explore the southern BC Coast by taking the Coastal Circle Route.  The first of four ferry rides on this route takes you from Vancouver to Victoria on Vancouver Island.  Make sure you buy the Circle Route ticket at your first ferry.  On the way to Victoria stop in Sidney by the Sea, “book town BC”, and then plan to enjoy the famous Butchart Gardens.  Victoria highlights include the Royal BC Museum, the inner harbor, and whale watching trips for orcas and humpback whales.  Driving up the east coast of the Island you’ll come to one of BC’s newest wine regions in the Cowichan Valley,  the “City of Totems” in Duncan, and the world’s largest outdoor murals gallery in Chemainus.  Explore Nanaimo’s waterfront and grab some lunch at the Dinghy Dock pub, a floating pub in the harbor.  Your second ferry ride will take you back to mainland BC, to Powell River on the Sunshine Coast, where you’ll want to catch a movie at the Patricia Theatre, the oldest, continuously operating movie theatre in the country.  A side trip to Lund brings you to Desolation Sound, considered some of the world’s best cruising waters, and yes, you can take a cruise here.  Your third and fourth ferry rides will take you down the Sunshine Coast back to Vancouver.  Along the way plan to check out the Skookumchuk Narrows near Earl’s Cove for spectacular tide changes, and follow the Purple Banner Route for the many artist studios you’ll find here on the Coast.

Wherever you chose to go on your summer driving vacation, find our BC Bed & Breakfasts as your preferred accommodations.  Your hosts will be able to give you even more information about what’s special in their area.  And wherever you go, enjoy beautiful British Columbia!

Eat, Drink and Be Merry!

Monday, January 15th, 2018

After the busy holiday season, where food usually plays a major role, the new year starts off with some more food and drink festivals to tempt your palate.

Victoria hosts its 13th Victoria Whisky Festival at the Hotel Grand Pacific, from January 18th through the 21st.  Unfortunately for those who do not yet have tickets, the event is sold out.  If you are interested you must think ahead to the 2019 event, with tickets on sale on very specific days in November 2018.  If you’re a whisky aficionado, you may want to check out specific tastings next year such as “Glenfiddich Distillery “Unlearn Whisky” Grand Tasting, the Glenrothes Distillery Grand Tasting, the Tomatin Distillery Masterclass, the Bruichladdich Distillery Masterclass, and the Whisky and Chocolate Masterclass, and many more.  Packages are available which bundle several Masterclasses of your choice together, in addition to the Consumer Tasting event.  A special rate for attendees is available at the Hotel Grand Pacific, or book a great Victoria Bed & Breakfast.  The TLC Fund for Kids and the Victoria Crime Stoppers are benefiting charities of this year’s event.

With Victoria sold out, why not make your way up to the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island where tickets are still available for their Whisky Festival, happening Feb. 2 + 3, 2018.  Whisky paring dinners featuring Jameson and Glenlivet, as well as masterclasses and a Grand Tasting still have a few tickets available, but they too are going fast.  While you’re there, spend a day on the slopes at Mount Washington!

BC Distilled Festival hits Vancouver in April

Looking ahead to February, the big event in Vancouver will be the Vancouver International Wine Festival, now in its 39th year.  The festival started in 1979 with one vintner and about 1000 attendees, and is now considered Canada’s premier food and wine event with over 25,000 attendees.  Its charitable partner is the Bard on the Beach Theatre Society. Winery dinners, brunches, tastings, seminars, minglers and wine and food grazings are all part of this spectacular event.  The wines of Spain and Portugal are heavily featured this year.  While some events are sold out, others still have tickets available.

After whisky and wines, its the turn of artisan distilleries at the BC Distilled Festival which takes place on Saturday April 14th at the Croatian Cultural Centre in Vancouver.  This is the fifth annual celebration and tastings of British Columbia’s premier artisan distilleries, and it is the largest spirits event in Canada exclusively for local distilleries.  BC Distilled supports the Pacific Assistance Dogs Society as their charitable partner.

Dining in Prince Rupert


Along with all the liquid libations festivals, Dine Around events are happening all over BC during January and February.  In Victoria, Dine Around and Stay in Town Victoria, runs from January 19th to February 4th.  Vancouver’s Dine Out Vancouver Festival also runs from January 19 to February 4.  The Kelowna campus of Okanagan College hosts the kick off to Dine Around Thompson Okanagan on January 16th.  The Cowichan region on Vancouver Island, between Victoria and Nanaimo, hosts Dine Cowichan from February 24 to March 12.  All festivals offer specially crafted 3-course meals at different price points and unique culinary events to tempt your taste buds and explore foods from around the world and very close to home.

Savour the flavors in your back yard, sip the wines and whiskys from around the world, and enjoy getting out and about in British Columbia these winter months.

Christmas in Victoria

Saturday, December 9th, 2017

With its mix of old and new, oceanfront and green spaces, Victoria is a very popular destination any time of year.  But there’s something extra special about Victoria at Christmas time.

While not located in downtown Victoria, Butchart Gardens is a magical place at Christmas.  The Gardens welcome you with the lights of the Twelve Days of Christmas while carolers stroll the gardens.  Or bring your skates to take a turn around the outdoor skating ring.  If you’re twelve or under, make a paper snowflake and exchange it for a cup of hot chocolate in the Coffee Shop.

Some of the trees at the Festival of Lights at Victoria’s Bay Centre

Downtown Victoria has a magic of its own, presided over by the Christmas lights at the BC Legislature.  The Festival of Trees lights up The Bay Centre with its 25th annual display, with more trees featured at the famous Empress Hotel.  Vote for your favorite tree and make a donation to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.  Another great display of lights can be found at the docks and on the boats along Wharf Street and at Fisherman’s Wharf.

Kids young and old will enjoy Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase at the Parkside Hotel on Humboldt Street.  Both amateur and professional bakers take part and in honor of Canada 150 the theme this year is “Celebrating Canada”.  The charity benefiting from all this baking is Habitat for Humanity.  If bigger is better, check out the Candy Wonderland at the Fairmont Empress where they have a life-size gingerbread house, and you can decorate your own!

Centennial Square will once again have its ferris wheel, along with entertainment, food vendors and the big guy himself.  What a great way to see all the lights around downtown Victoria!  Every Tuesday and Wednesday during December you can enjoy classic Christmas movies under the stars at the Christmas Starlight Cinema at the Delta Victoria Oceanpoint Resort.  While admission is free, donations to Santa’s Anonymous are encouraged.  A life performance of A Christmas Carol is showcased at historic Craigdarroch Castle starting on December 15th, but tickets go fast for this one.  You can also take the kids to Craigdarroch Castle for a Kid’s Christmas at the Castle on December 16th.

The seasonal lights at the BC Legislature in Victoria

And of course Christmas is not Christmas without music.  There are many life concert and performance events around the capital city, starting with the Victoria Symphony’s Christmas Pops concert(Dec. 8, 9, and 10) and their performance of Handel’s Messiah (Dec. 15 and 17), and ending with a Viennese New Year’s.  Another very popular Christmas concert and toy drive is put on by the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy at the Royal Theatre on December 11-13.  In the courtyard of the Greater Victoria Public Library you can drop in to hear Choirs in the Courtyard on multiple days during the month of December.

A great way to take in the festivities around downtown is to join the walking tour of “Christmas in Old Victoria” on weekends during December. Tours start in front of 26 Bastion Square and run from 10:30 – 12:00.  Another way to see all the lights and decorations and hear the music around town is to take the free horse-drawn trolley rides on the weekends.  These rides are free, compliments of the Dowtown Victoria Business Association.  Two trolleys will circulate on a pre-set route between 12 – 2:30 pm.  It’s a great way to rest your weary feet and enjoy all the Christmas magic in Victoria.  Happy Holidays to all!

#Explore Vancouver Island

Saturday, September 16th, 2017

Relax and take your time when exploring Vancouver Island!  This westernmost part of Canada and the largest island on the west coast of North America, is all about its laid back life style, small communities, artisans, vineyards, wildlife and outdoor pursuits.

Great ocean view of the Sansum Narrows while hiking on Vancouver Island

Southern Vancouver Island south of the town of Ladysmith is located below the 49th parallel, has a temperate to warm climate and is home to one of BC’s newer wine regions.  Not only is the south island home to wineries, but distilleries and many craft breweries have flourished here as well.  The main wine region in the Cowichan Valley, between Victoria and Nanaimo, as well as the Saanich Peninsula and expanding up Island to the Comox Valley have all seen a growth in the wine industry, with small family owned wineries producing award-winning wines.  Specialty food producers and organic farms have embellished the Island’s “foodie” reputation, showcased by festivals such as the Savour Cowichan Festival running from September 29 – October 8, 2017.

As surrounded by the ocean as it is, Vancouver Island is of course a water sports paradise.  Both Campbell River and Port Alberni call themselves “the salmon capital of the world”, attracting avid fishing enthusiasts.  Boating and kayaking opportunities are everywhere and the island’s west coast, especially between Ucluelet and Tofino offers fantastic surfing, while the Cowichan region’s Nitinaht Lake is a unique spot for great wind surfing.

Old growth tree in Cathedral Grove on Vancouver Island

Also taking to the waters around the island are numerous whale watching boats.  In spring and fall the grey whale migration from Mexico to Alaska, and back, passes along the west coast, offering wonderful opportunities to see these giant creatures.  During summer and early fall, orcas, both resident pods and transient pods are frequent visitors to Island waters.  In recent years, humpback whales have been increasingly visiting these waters as well.  Aside from whales, you can find seals, sea lions, otters, porpoises, bald eagles and a wide variety of birds on your whale watching trip as well.  Wildlife on land that you may run into include deer, elk, black bear, wolf and cougar.  In fact, the cougar population on Vancouver Island is the highest per capita population in the world.

The island offers fantastic hiking trails at all difficulty levels.  The most famous of these trails is the West Coast Trail, a multi-day wilderness trail on the west coast that is a challenge for even experienced hikers.  Generally taking from 5-7 days, reservations must be made to hike this trail.  Recently a third entrance to the West Coast Trail at Nitinath Lake has opened, allowing for a 2-3 day hike.  On the northern tip of the Island Cape Scott Provincial Park also offers a challenging hike, not to forget Strathcona Provincial Park, BC’s oldest provincial park, located mid-Island. Many, many more great trails surrounded by forests and some of the largest trees in the world, or offering spectacular ocean views are found all over the island.  Visit the Avatar Grove near Port Renfrew on the Island’s south west coast to see the largest fir tree in the world and Canada’s “gnarliest tree” and don’t miss Cathedral Grove on the way to Port Alberni for a pocket of old growth forest.

Along the Nanaimo Harbor Walk on Vancouver Island

No visit to the Island is complete without at least a day in Victoria, BC’s capital city on the southern tip of the Island.  Famous Butchart Gardens and the Royal BC Museum are must sees, but wander around the inner harbor and the waterfront to experience the “flavor” that makes Victoria such a great destination.  The Island’s second largest city Nanaimo also offers a wonderful harbor walk with never ending views and funky little eateries on the docks.

Wherever you go, your Vancouver Island B&B hosts are a great resource to point out all the interesting places in their area, so you can fully enjoy a little Island time!

The Shuswap – Your Summer Playground

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Summer time in the Shuswap – a great place to relax and play and enjoy all the things you love about summertime.

Shuswap Lake

The location of the Shuswap region, midway between Vancouver, BC and Calgary, Alberta makes it a favored destination for a lot of folks.  Of course one of the main attractions of the region is Shuswap Lake, one of the most popular vacation destinations in the province with 400 km of shoreline, provincial parks and endless opportunities for all kinds of water recreation.  There are four arms to Shuswap Lake: Salmon Arm (southwest), Shuswap Arm (west), Anstey Arm (northeast) and Seymour Arm (north).  North of Shuswap Lake is considered the North Shuswap, home to many artists and craftspeople. You’ll find extensive hiking and riding trails here and come the fall, the world famous Adams River Salmon Run.

The South Shuswap runs along Hwy. 1 and the southern shores of Shuswap Lake. Everywhere you have awe inspiring views of the surrounding mountains as backdrop to this water playground.  Try boating, kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding, water skiing, swimming, fishing, or rent a houseboat to explore all areas of the lake. The town of Sicamous calls itself the “Houseboat Capital of Canada” with its location on both Shuswap Lake and Mara Lake.  You’ll find organic farms here as well as award winning wineries with cool climate wines.  Of course there are golf courses in the region as well for your pleasure.

From the Sicamous lookout looking down at Sicamous and Shuswap and Mara Lake

The centre of the Shuswap region is the town of Salmon Arm.  With many hiking and biking trails around town, and Canada’s longest wooden inland curved wharf, there is no problem being active even when you’re in town.  Check out the Farmers Markets, any one of numerous galleries and unique boutiques, or find a  spot at a cozy little bistro to enjoy locally grown and organic fresh foods.  If you’re in town around the third weekend of August, you must check out the Salmon Arm Roots & Blues Festival, but be prepared for it to be very busy as this festival attracts up to 25,000 visitors each year.

And while summer in the Shuswap is all about lakes and sunshine, do come back in the winter to enjoy great cross country skiing, snowmobiling and sleigh rides.

There are great Shuswap area B&Bs to make your home away from home while you take your time to explore all the corners and small communities of this northern Okanagan region.  It’s a place to relax and rejuvenate and let your cares float away on the waters of the lake!

Prince George: The Hub of Northern BC

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

Prince George is considered the hub of Northern BC, yet if you look at the BC map, it’s not even half way up the province if you’re counting from the US border. This “northern capital” city, with a population of around 74,000, is not only the center for culture and shopping, but has a huge wilderness area right in its backyard, with endless opportunities for exploring and outdoor activities.

The Prince George Civic Centre

The name Prince George comes from the original Fort George trading post founded by Simon Fraser, whose name was later attached the the river that links Prince George to the rest of the province.  The city is home to a multicultural population, as well as the University of Northern British Columbia.  Museums such as The Exploration Place and the Central BC Railway and Forestry Museum allow you to delve into Prince George’s history.  Don’t miss Mr. PG, at the junction of Hwys. 97 and 16.  Now a fibreglass and steel figure, he was originally a wooden figure to celebrate Prince George’s forestry background as part of a float in the 1963 Grey Cup parade.

Use Prince George as your home base for day trips in the region.  North of the city you’ll find the Huble Homestead Historic Site at the Giscome Portage.  Closed after World War I, in 1983 plans and fundraising got underway to restore the former cabins and store, and it has become a very popular attraction.  Visit the Ancient Forest Recreation site, a unique inland wet temperate rainforest in the watershed of the upper Fraser River.  This easy-moderate hike includes a waterfall and a beautiful section of boardwalk.  A local hiking group called the Caledonia Ramblers has published a “Hiking North Central BC Guide” covering other favorite hikes in the region, including everything from moderate to more challenging hikes such as Fang Mountain, and also organizes weekly hikes, and snowshoeing trips in the winter.  The Otway Nordic Ski Centre just west of Prince George has its network of 55 km of trails open in summer for hikers and bikers, while during winter it offers groomed trails, night skiing, snowshoeing trails and a world class biathlon facility.

Expect to see the unexpected in Prince George – at the Aberdeen Glen

Hiking in the Ancient Forest near Prince George

There are 120 parks in the Prince George area alone to explore, or you can take guided tours to visit known wildlife viewing sites, or go fishing, or hunting.  Combine your outdoor exploration with some great art galleries in the city, great eateries, some shopping and return to your hosts at the Prince George B&B you checked into the day before.  Not only do they offer great hospitality but they can help you plan your next day’s activities to fully enjoy your time in this “northern” city!



Enjoy Summer in the Kootenays

Monday, June 12th, 2017

Beautiful Kootenay mountains and wildflower

British Columbia is, among other things, known for being an outdoor paradise, and the Kootenays Rockies region certainly fits that bill.  Small towns are scattered among the many lakes and rivers, waterfalls, mineral hot springs, wildflower meadows and snowy mountains.  Your outdoor adventure is waiting here for you!

Four of Canada’s national parks are located in this part of British Columbia: Glacier National Park, Mount Revelstoke National Park, Yoho National Park, and Kootenay National Park. Glacier National Park near Golden is Canada’s second oldest national park and is considered the birthplace of mountaineering in North America, as in 1888 two Brits completed the first recreational technical climb in the Selkirk Mountains.  A number of years later Swiss guides that were provided to the guests of the Glacier House Hotel in Roger’s Pass established a network of trails that are used by climbers to this date.  Great Bed & Breakfast accommodation can be found in Golden and Revelstoke as your starting point to explore this park and others.

Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National Park

Hiking, mountain biking, canoeing and kayaking, white water rafting on the Kicking Horse River and horseback riding, bird and wildlife watching, all provide many outdoor adventures in the summer. Kootenay National Park is particularly known for its wide variety of ecology and climate, from arid to mountain peaks.  You’ll find a cold mineral spring at Paint Pots, to mineral hot spring pools at Radium Hot Springs.  Enjoy two great interpretative trails at Mount Revelstoke National Park, the Giant Cedars Board Walk and the Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk, and alpine meadows covered in wildflowers.  Yoho National Park features 28 peaks that are over 3000 meters high as well as Takakkaw Falls, one of Canada’s highest water falls.  Explore the more than 500 million year old Burgess Shale fossil deposit and beautiful Emerald Lake and the Natural Bridge.  Of course all national parks are free to explore this year in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday!

Discover Revelstoke in the beautiful Kootenays

The Kootenay region not only has spectacular natural surroundings, but lively communities, great eateries, breweries, coffee roasters, unique shopping, arts & crafts and farmers’ markets.  For history buffs, you can visit the SS Moyie, the oldest intact passenger sternwheeler in the world, at Kootenay Lake in Kaslo, or take in the Revelstoke Dam Visitor Centre. Revelstoke is also home to British Columbia’s premier railway museum, while in Castlegar you can learn about the culture and lifestyle of the Doukhobors at the Doukhobor Discovery Centre.  Nelson is a great historic little city with hundreds of heritage buildings, great restaurants and sidewalk cafes, and the most active cultural scene in the Kootenays.

There is so much to enjoy and discover in BC’s Kootenay region this summer.  Book your accommodation at a Kootenay B&B as Bed & Breakfast hosts are always a great resource when staying in an area, as they’ll know all the fine details of what to see and do and how to get there.  Have a great summer in the Kootenays!

Green Tourism and B&Bs

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

Recently our member A View to Remember in West Kelowna received Gold Level certification from Green Tourism Canada, showing a great commitment to not only outstanding hospitality, but also to outstanding environmental practices.  A View to Remember Bed & Breakfast was the very first B&B to receive Green Tourism Certification and they achieved a silver level previously.

Enjoy a delicious breakfast at A View to Remember in West Kelowna

What is Green Tourism certification?  Green Tourism first started in the UK in 1997 as one of the first sustainable tourism rating programs in the world, and has grown to be one of the most sought-after eco-labels and certification programs.  Applying for a Green Tourism certification shows a real commitment to best environmental practices and reducing your environmental impact, as it includes a one-on-one very detailed assessment and comes at considerable cost.  The program offers continued support and information and has certified hotels, whale watching companies, tourism attractions and others.  Members are assessed on a list of minimum standards plus management and marketing, social and communications, energy, water and effluent, sustainable purchasing, reducing waste, travel, nature and cultural heritage, innovation and tourism experiences.

Green Tourism certification logo

With Bed & Breakfasts being in the innkeepers’ homes, this adds another whole level to the process to get a green tourism rating, as the assessment also includes best practices in the home environment.

While not all BC Bed & Breakfasts have gone to the extent of getting a Green Tourism rating, many do operate with policies to reduce their carbon footprint.  Many innkeepers buy locally sourced and organic products for that delicious breakfast you enjoy in the morning.  Many use environmentally friendly cleaning products, lower energy appliances and bathroom fixtures to name a few, and extensively recycle. People who run B&Bs are ambassadors for their regions or cities and want to preserve that environment to continue to be able to share it.  If you book a B&B and the environment is of concern to you, please feel free to ask your innkeepers what they are doing to reduce their environmental footprint.

Out And About This Spring

Monday, April 10th, 2017

Now that spring is finally here, our thoughts are turning to a bit of travel and festivals and events we might like to take in.  Once the temperatures rise a bit more and some sun sticks around, it will be a great time to be out and about this spring.

May 4 – 14 are the dates for this year’s Spring Okanagan Wine Festival.  Special events, tastings and food & wine pairings will be held at wineries and restaurants from Kamloops to Osoyoos in the Thompson Okanagan region.  From a bocce tournament & picnic to a wine tasting & garden party and special events celebrating Moms on Mothersday, the Spring Wine Festival offers a great variety of events.  Don’t forget to check their website on May 4th for the bottle bucket list; visit any 8 participating wineries during the festival or attend a signature event, tag your photo @OKWineFest with the hashtag #BottleBucketList and enter to win great prizes.

Enjoy vineyard dinners at Okanagan Wine Festivals

Victoria hosts the Highland Games & Celtic Festival in May

At Fisherman’s Wharf in Vancouver, Saturday May 13th is the date for their Spot Prawn Festival.  You can’t get prawns any fresher than this when you buy them directly off the boat from the people who catch them.  The feature event is the Spot Prawn Boil, plus there are cooking demos, recipes available for you to try, live entertainment and a kids’ corner.  The festival was founded by the Chefs’ Table Society of BC.  Tickets for the Spot Prawn Boil sold out fast, well before the festival date, so get them early!

Victoria on Vancouver Island hosts the ever popular Highland Games & Celtic Festival on May 20, 21 & May 22 in Topaz Park.  Other events associated with the Festival are happening a full week before the weekend long celebration.  Events include piping & drumming, highland dance and Irish dance, heavy events, whisky school, clan tents and dog events.  Be sure to wear your walking shoes!

As B&B Innkeepers who provide breakfast to our guests, we are often confronted with dietary restrictions ranging from vegetarian to gluten free or certain food allergies.  On May 28th at the Vancouver Convention Centre West, Canada’s premier vegan & vegetarian expo, VegExpo, will take place.  Come and find out what new and innovative products have come on the market, enjoy cooking demonstrations (of course!) and free samples, while the kids can enjoy an interactive kids’ zone.  Over 200 local and international exhibitors are expected.  Last year’s event broke the record for highest attended one day show at Canada Place, with more than 11,000 people visiting.  Some innkeepers may be among this year’s crowd!

Of course our  BC Bed & Breakfast innkeepers in all these cities will be happy to assist you with more information and best transportation options to all of these events, while making your stay an event in itself!

Dine Out and Around!

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

From January into early March many communities have Dine Out or Dine Around events happening to promote their local restaurants, accommodations and attractions.  It’s a great time to explore your local community or take a few days to explore an area not too far away.

Dine Around & Stay in Town Victoria launches with a gala event at the Victoria Conference Centre on February 16.  With 60 restaurants, more than 20 VQA wineries and breweries, this will be a foodie’s paradise!  During the two weeks of the event, which runs through March 5, restaurants will be offering special menus at $20, $30, $40 or $50 per person.  And not only are restaurants getting in on the action, Bed & Breakfasts and hotels are encouraging you to stay a few nights by offering special overnight rates ranging for $89 to $169.  Victoria is a great place to visit anytime of year, and if you come towards the end of the Dine Around & Stay In Town event, you can also take part in the annual Victoria Flower Count!  Since 1976 this fun event to promote Victoria as a destination in the shoulder season and to bring pride to communities has been a great success.  After all, Victoria is not called The Garden City for nothing!  Usually this event takes place in late February, but as even BC’s balmy west coast had quite the winter this year, the Flower Count will happen March 6th to March 12th.

Great food, great company, Dine Around!

If you want to check out the deals and great food in Vancouver at Canada’s largest annual food and drink festival, you’ll have to plan on doing so next year.  Dine Out Vancouver took place from January 20 through February 5. Special fixed price menus at $20, $30 and $40 and dine & stay packages were on offer here as well, as were numerous unique culinary events. Vancouver is such a multi-cultural city and that is definitely reflected in its restaurant scene.

BC’s Thompson Okanagan region also featured a similar festival with over 50 restaurants participating in Dine Around Thompson Okanagan in January.  Menus ranged from $15 to $45, and this being the Okanagan, you just know that many Okanagan wines were on offer.

Cowichan Valley restaurants take part in the first Eat Stay Play!

Back on Vancouver Island, Dine Around Mid-Island takes place March 3 through March 19, a seventeen day event to explore the cuisine in Nanaimo, Parksville, Lantzville and Qualicum Beach. When Victoria’s Festival ends, travel up Island and check out some great places in this region.

Before you get to Nanaimo you must stop in the Cowichan region for a few days for its first ever Dine Around event, Eat Stay Play.  This region, sometimes called “Canada’s Provence” is a real food lovers destination with wineries, breweries, distilleries, specialty food producers and top notch restaurants.  Special fixed price menus from $15 to $45 per person, accommodation at local hotels and Bed & Breakfasts at $69, $99, and $119, and discounts at local attractions, can be enjoyed from February 24 to March 12.

Don’t let the weather stop you.  Get out there and explore culinary BC!