All Things Great about Western Canada


There are many things I love about my neck of the woods – having grown up in Alberta and gone to British Columbia for University, I can honestly say this area of the world is amazing and one of a kind. For lovers of all things outdoorsy, this is your heaven.

While there could be many more places on this list, here are a few of my favourite haunts:

Kananaskis (K-Country) – less than one hour from the bright lights of Calgary, this is a mecca for hiking and skiing enthusiasts. Some memorable hikes for me, in no particular order:

  • Mount Yamnuska
  • Mount Fairview
  • Mount Indefatigable
  • Little Elbow Falls
  • Nihahi Ridge
  • Powderface Ridge
  • Ribbon Creek Trail

Mount Fairview

Mount Fairview

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Banff (and surroundings) – Banff town center will inevitably be packed with tourists. But try going for a snowshoe or a short hike up Sulfur Mountain. You’ll quickly be away from the crowds. The Banff Springs Hotel is always worth a visit too.

Sulphur Mountain Hike

Sulphur Mountain Hike

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Fernie and Golden, BC – both places are a goldmine of hiking and cross-country skiing trails, not to mention the wildly popular downhill ski resorts

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Kelowna, BC – for seriously hot temperatures in the summer, water sports, and fine wine.

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Kelowna Wineries

Kelowna Wineries

Emerald Lake Lodge, BC – this secluded, beautiful, and romantic lodge is worth the pricey rooms for the ambiance and environment. It’s got a killer restaurant on-site, and is a very nice reward for those who have just completed the famous Burgess Shale hike from nearby Field.

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Skiing at Emerald Lake Lodge

Skiing at Emerald Lake Lodge

Vancouver Island and Victoria – the site for my University degree and the home of my grandparents, I had fallen in love with Vancouver Island from a young age and will never stop loving it. Victoria is just such a fabulous city, offering a university campus literally 10 minutes from the beach, a downtown with wonderful restaurants and funky bars, and various unique neighborhoods scattered around. Whether you’re in the mood for a proper British high tea at the Empress hotel, a picnic on the sand, a coffee in one of many hipster high-brow coffee joints, or a kayak on the inner Harbour, you can do it all in one day. Victoria is ever changing, with new places to go popping up all the time, but here are my favourites (if they still exist!):

WALKS/HIKES

  1. East Sooke Park
  2. Finlayson
  3. Goldstream Park
  4. Strathcona Park
  5. Beacon Hill Park

RESTAURANTS/CAFES/BARS

  1. 5th Street Bar and Grill
  2. The Reef
  3. Rebar
  4. Canoe
  5. Olive Olio’s
  6. Blighty’s Bistro
  7. Wildfire Bakery
  8. Cascadia Bakery
  9. Stage
  10. Little Jumbo
  11. The Mint
  12. Foo

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Hiking at East Sooke Park

Hiking at East Sooke Park

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Waterfall North of Victoria

Sunset in Victoria Inner Harbour

Sunset in Victoria Inner Harbour

Beacon Hill Park, Victoria

Beacon Hill Park, Victoria

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The Gulf Islands – A short ferry ride from Vancouver, Victoria, and Nanaimo, one can access the beautiful string of islands off Mainland Canada. I’ve only been to a handful, but these little land masses are breathtakingly beautiful, calm, and in some cases very secluded. For a vacation really “off-the-grid”, go to Thetis Island, offering little in the way of modern attention-distractors, and in place of it, crashing waves, rocky beaches, beautiful lush forests, blackberry bushes aplenty, and overall a serious break from the grind of working life. For a little more business, head to Saltspring – I’ve spent a long weekend on a farm here (Bullock Farms) and it was a totally different but great vacation. I highly recommend it.

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    Fresh farm breakfast on Saltspring Island

    Fresh farm breakfast on Saltspring Island

    Farm animals on Saltspring

    Farm animals on Saltspring

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Categories: Active Weekends, Good drinks, Running around cities, Running on beachesTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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