In September, Nathan and I went on a road trip with his family through beautiful British Columbia! Nathan had never seen Vancouver Island, I hadn’t spent much time there since a family trip during my childhood, and my mother-in-law wanted to visit Tofino, so away we went with two of Nathan’s aunts along for the fun!
2 vehicles, 10 days, 5 cities, 2 ferry rides, 1 waterfall, 1 redwood forest, 4 goats on a roof, 5 beaches, 3 wineries, 4 family size bags of peanut M&M’s (my road trip snack) and 5 bags of beef jerky (his road trip snack), 1 season of the Serial podcast, 8(?) bottles of wine (I lost count), and endless laughter equals one whirlwind of a trip that I’ll not soon forget. As we experienced so much during those 10 days, I’m going to write separate posts for each place to go more in-depth and share bunches of photos, but for now, here’s the highlight reel!
Sitting on top of the world at Big White Ski Resort
We stayed at my family chalet in Big White Ski Resort just outside of Kelowna for a few nights, and discovered that the resort opens a chair lift in the summer for easy access to hiking trails at the top of the mountain. A quick 10 minute ride up the Bullet chair lift resulted in breathtaking views of Rhonda lake and the mountain range in the distance. It was absolutely stunning and worth the trip, despite warnings of bears in the area! If you’d ever like to visit Big White, my family’s chalet is available for rent!
Walking below the giants at Cathedral Grove
Cathedral Grove, located in MacMillan Provincial Park on Vancouver Island, is home to a forest of Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar trees over 800 years old, 250 ft tall and 29 ft in circumference. It’s definitely a tourist hot spot, but there is something so magnificent about the stillness. We found ourselves whispering as we walked along the trails, in awe of the sheer size and age of the trees. I may have hugged a tree or two.
Inhaling the ocean spray on the Wild Pacific Trail
There are some places that stay with you long after you’ve left. Just south of Ucluelet is a small loop of the Wild Pacific Trail, a walking trail along the shore, overlooking the jagged rocks and the wild ocean. The fog rolled in as we listened to the clang of the bell and dull moan of the horn from the nearby Amphitrite Lighthouse. It’s hard to describe what I felt, standing there. Calm. Content. Connected. There’s nothing like the ocean to make everything melt away.
Watching the sun set on Frank Island, Tofino
During our stay in Tofino, we rented a beautiful cabin across the road from Chesterman’s Beach, a surfing hot spot and an incredible place to catch a sunset. As the sun sank into the ocean on our last night, we watched a pod of whales play on the horizon, jumping, spouting water, flipping their tails. It was my only whale sighting during our trip, and it could not have been more perfect. We ventured to Frank Island, a small rocky jut-out in the middle of the beach only accessible at low tide, to watch the last of the light slip away.
Night-time strolling through Victoria’s Inner Harbour
Our stay in Victoria’s Inner Harbour was short and sweet. We spent the evening doing a bit of shopping, and after I experienced a particularly bad reaction to dinner and took a quick nap to sleep it off, Nathan and I enjoyed a slow night-time stroll along the water. We walked arm in arm passed the Parliament building, the Fairmont Empress, and the wharf. The air was warm, the buildings were lit up beautifully, and the reflections on the water were magical. There’s nothing more romantic than that!
There you have it! A highlights reel from our road trip through British Columbia. Stay tuned for more detailed posts including my favourite places to stay, eat, shop, and see!