4 British Columbia highway journeys to think about whereas the US-Canada border is open

Editor’s observe: Well being protocols in each the U.S. and Canada, in addition to steering on the border, stay in flux, as they’ve all through a lot of the coronavirus pandemic. Although the U.S. Division of State has not issued up to date steering after urging potential U.S. guests to Canada in August to “reconsider” their plans as the country faces a “high level” of infections — accompanying that message with a Degree 3 “Rethink Journey” advisory — the land border between the U.S. and Canada might be fully reopened in both directions as of Nov. 8. All the time familiarize your self with native well being laws earlier than touring.

It’s been a protracted yr and a half, and maybe one of many stranger realities to cope with throughout the pandemic has been the abrupt and strict border limitations from Canada.

No extra dalliances with Seattle’s twin city of Vancouver, no procuring at a 30% low cost, no nature escapes in northern territory. However that’s over now, as Canada has reopened its borders to vaccinated Americans, and our border is open to all fully vaxxed Canadians beginning Nov. 8. It nonetheless comes with restrictions — finest to verify the B.C. travel guidance earlier than you head out — however what higher solution to have fun the border opening than with an all-Ameri-Canadian highway journey?

Earlier than you journey, know that Canada nonetheless has restrictions for visitors that you need to be conversant in earlier than heading out this fall. Protected travels!

Oliver and Osoyoos

The Indigenous-inspired restaurant The Bear, The Fish, The Root & The Berry serves several Okanagan wines, including bottles from Nk’Mip Cellars, the first Indigenous-owned winery in North America, in Osoyoos, B.C. (David McIlvride)

The route: It’s about 20 minutes longer than taking Interstate 90, however taking Freeway 2 east means you possibly can cease for a brat in Leavenworth on the best way. Observe Freeway 2 to U.S. Route 97 northbound, proper round Wenatchee. This highway will take you straight into Osoyoos, on to Oliver, and all via the Canadian Okanagan if you happen to select to go additional.

Once you’re there: Fewer than 10,000 individuals stay inside these two small neighboring cities, and within the Okanagan, Canada’s solely desert, the daytime highs within the 70s and 80s permit for mountaineering, kayaking and fishing effectively into fall. The shoulder season additionally means fewer crowds, which is nice for exploring the world’s 40-plus wineries. Kismet Estate Winery presents excursions of its winery and vineyard, however even higher, pair one among their rosés or pinot grigios with one thing spicy from their on-property Masala Bistro. Osoyoos can also be house to the primary Indigenous-owned vineyard in North America, Nk’Mip Cellars. Benefit from the view of the valley from their patio and cease by the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre to be taught extra in regards to the space’s distinctive habitat and the Okanagan First Nations individuals who settled within the space. 


A climber rests while scaling a rock wall at Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park in British Columbia. (Kari Medig / Destination BC)

The route: The identical as Oliver and Osoyoos, however preserve heading north on 97 via B.C.

Once you’re there: If Oliver and Osoyoos are recognized for wine, Penticton needs to be recognized for its brews — a lot in order that Lonely Planet named it Canada’s “craft beer capital” in 2020. Cannery Brewing presents every thing from lager to stout, and when you discover a brew to like, take house a can or 12 — their colourful labels are a souvenir by themselves. To fill your hours earlier than the barhopping begins, go on an journey. Lease an e-bike at Freedom Bike Shop and journey the Kettle Valley Rail Path, the place you’ll roll previous vineyards and excessive above Okanagan Lake. Little Tunnel makes a very good midpoint, though the entire path extends for 400 miles. Want extra? Six miles south of Penticton is a beloved climbing space referred to as Skaha Bluffs, with routes from entry-level climbers to professional ones. These new to the game can e book a guided tour via Hoodoo Adventures. When you’ve conquered the crags, refuel on the lakefront with a cake-topped Mason jar stuffed with ice cream at The Peach Ice Cream Shop.


Two hikers ascend a trail just outside of Squamish in British Columbia, about four hours north of Seattle by car. (Hubert Kang / Destination BC)

The route: Candy and easy: Take Interstate 5 north to B.C. Freeway 99. It’ll take you about 4 hours.

Once you’re there: The sheer granite face of Stawamus Chief Mountain rising above Howe Sound is strictly the type of dramatic panorama that makes the Pacific Northwest so beautiful. Squamish has made a reputation for itself as a climbing mecca, however there’s loads to do even when battling gravity isn’t your concept of enjoyable. Fall is a superb time to attempt your hand at fly-fishing — a number of outfitters supply guided excursions, together with Chromer Sport Fishing. Take a brief stroll off the freeway to Shannon Falls Lookout for views of the 1,105-foot waterfall, after which head to the can’t-miss Sea to Sky Gondola, which helps you to climb 2,900 toes with out breaking a sweat. (FYI: The gondola is closed for annual upkeep however reopens Nov. 19.) A number of extra trails department out from right here if you happen to’re within the temper to hike. Like just a little historical past? Children could have a very good time studying to pan for gold and driving an underground practice on the Britannia Mine Museum. (On-line reservations inspired.) Cease for wood-fired pizza at Backcountry Brewing when tummies begin to rumble.

The Sunshine Coast

Persephone Brewing Company is one of several brewing companies worth stopping at along the Sunshine Coast on a driving tour of British Columbia. (Courtesy of Destination BC)

The route: It’s a couple of five-hour journey to your start line on this journey, if ferries and worldwide checkpoints are in your favor. Journey north on I-5 and cross the border into Vancouver, then head west on B.C. Freeway 1 to Horseshoe Bay and catch the ferry to Gibsons, the place the Sunshine Coast freeway begins.

Once you’re there: How far you resolve to go depends upon how a lot time you might have. You possibly can technically drive from Gibsons to Lund and again in a single, lengthy day, however you’re higher off slowing down and having fun with what the coast has to supply. For a brief journey, preserve Gibsons as your house base. Spend your afternoon strolling up the 434 steps at Soames Hill Park for views of the neighborhood and Howe Sound, kayaking round close by Keats Island (climate allowing), or sampling your manner via the native breweries (similar to Persephone Brewing Company) and cideries (like Banditry Cider). The subsequent day, head north towards Pender Harbour through a detour on Redrooffs Street simply after Sechelt, which supplies glimpses of the water between candy coastal homes. Stretch your legs at Francis Point Provincial Park through a 30-minute hike to the lighthouse there. Proceed on previous Ruby Lake to Earl’s Cove, the place you possibly can catch a ferry to proceed on the freeway. As a substitute, head again towards Sechelt for lunch, stopping by one of many dozens of artwork galleries you handed in your manner out ( has a useful map for his or her “Purple Banner” artwork tour). | 4 British Columbia highway journeys to think about whereas the US-Canada border is open


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