By Destination British Columbia December 14, 2017 #php comments_number('0 Comment', '1 Comment', '% Comments'); ?> #php echo wpb_get_post_views(get_the_ID()); ?>
December is always a good time for reflection—and to catch up on the blur that was the previous year. In case you missed it, some cool things happened in BC travel this year. Here are eight worth noting for your 2018 trip planning.
Following its debut in 2016, the BC Ale Trail added eight new routes in 2017. These include Penticton and Kelowna in the Okanagan and the Cowichan Valley/Nanaimo/Parksville Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island. In Squamish, there’s now a Squamish Ale Trail, and east of Vancouver there’s the Fraser Valley Ale Trail. Vancouver itself now has an official ale trail, as does Vancouver’s North Shore. The suburbs of New West, Delta, and Surrey are also mapped out for beer lovers. Check out all 15 ale-trail options.
On October 23, reservations opened for Vancouver’s two newest hotels, the JW Marriott and the Douglas. Both are under the roof of Parq Vancouver, which is named for its city-block-sized roof garden. Located downtown next to BC Place Stadium, the complex also houses a casino, eight restaurants and lounges, and a spa.
In July, SilverStar Mountain Resort (near Vernon) opened Beowulf, a 35-kilometre (22-mile) cross-country trail that takes riders along mountain ridges and through the forest. Near Kelowna, Big White Resort opened a new mountain bike park last summer, and on Vancouver Island, Mt. Washington Alpine Resort’s bike park reopened after a three-year hiatus.
Last May, an iconic Victoria landmark emerged from extensive renovations with a brand new look and feel. The Fairmont Empress retains its regal heritage but now has a more modern flair, with a swanky lobby and the hip new Q at the Empress Restaurant and Q Bar, along with sleekly renovated guestrooms.
At Mineral Mountain Ziplines at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, you can now zipline below the headwall of the Rocky Mountains. Also newly opened in 2017, Valley Zipline Adventures at Radium Hot Springs offers eco-adventures for all levels.
Last May, the V2V Empress made its first trip between Vancouver and Victoria harbours. The new high-speed passenger service takes about 3-1/2 hours and conveniently sails between the Vancouver Convention Centre and the Steamship Terminal in downtown Victoria, right across from the Parliament Buildings.
As of December, the company has relocated its home port to the Steamship Terminal in downtown Victoria. Check the website for a new schedule of service.
The year 2017 marked the 75th anniversary of the Alaska Highway’s construction as part of the US war effort. Synonymous with grand adventure, the Alaska Highway is one of North America’s most iconic road trips. If you didn’t get around to making the trip in 2017, the open road still awaits. From northeastern BC’s Mile 0 at Dawson Creek, the route stretches 2,451 kilometres (1,523 miles) to Fairbanks, Alaska. Hop on a motorbike, pack up the car, or make that RV trip a reality.
It was party, party, party on July 1 as Canada celebrated the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation in 2017. While the festivities are over, the 150 theme continues to be useful for trip planning in 2018. Check out the top five things to do in BC under $150, the top 5 scenic drives in BC (which each feature a spectacular 150-kilometre (93-mile) stretch), and the Top 5 Ways to Spend a Week in BC.
Opening image: The Fairmont Empress hotel on Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Photo: Reuben Krabbe
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