One of the best parts about living in British Columbia is, unquestionably, the calm climate and the generous scenery. There are few places in Canada that can boast the quality of temperature that ease through the cooling period before the mild winters in the way Vancouver and its surrounding areas can and with the shifting weather we are welcomed to experience the beauty that each season brings with it.
The warm summer that preceded the fall was pleasant, sure, it was a little dry but with bright sunny days ‘a plenty, well, there sure wasn’t much complaining going on. Let’s get down to the short of it, shall we, and look at some of the best drives you can take with family or friends this autumn for beautiful sights that make trips memorable and your passengers quick on the photo trigger-finger!
It would be a mistake if we didn’t start this list by pointing out that it doesn’t require a long trip out of the cityscapes to get immersed in the changing season and the beauty that goes hand-in-hand with it. If you are interested in a shorter trip and perhaps a light walk, we recommend heading to Stanley Park.
Escape the urban mindset and take in some of the back roads with their low speed limits and tall, sprawling forests. You’ll find yourself brushing off the workweek easily in this natural feature that has received recognition as one of the top parks in the world.
If you’ve lived in Vancouver or the surrounding areas for a while you’ve probably found yourself on the Sea to Sky Highway at least once – whether you were on your way up to the many mountain trails, campsites, concert areas, or Whistler in the winter for sports or to soak in the mountain scenes.
When the seasons start to change and there’s a bit of a bite in the air you’ll find the trip to take on the colour and the energy as nature transforms into a flurry of colour and natural curiosities. Pack a picnic and head off before it gets a little too cold to be inspired and immersed by Highway 99’s proud mountain stretches, ocean and inlet views, and tourist locations along the 124-kilometre stretch of natural beauty.
Like the Seat to Sky Highway, many of the locations and features in British Columbia are really-to-surprisingly well named, and the Sunshine Coast happens to be one of them. Whether you want to spend your time sponging up the scenes of Highway 101.
Or, you know you want to stop along the way at artist studios, artesian eateries, and relax with sights that will remind you why you love to live here. You’ll want to head over to Horseshoe Bay and grab the 40-minute ferry over to Langdale, where your journey really gets started, and from this cute locale you can travel for as much as 157 kilometres of beauty incarnate!
If you’re up for a bit of an expedition, this time of year is definitely one to make your way up towards the Rockies, where you’ll spot wildlife, wilderness, and a horizon that cuts through the cloud cover to the skies above. National Geographic Traveler has called it one of the “20 Drives of a Lifetime” and include Highway 93 that connects Jasper to Lake Louise, running in a way that is inspired by the continental divide in the Canadian Rockies. Sure, the trip is a bit longer but what wonders you’ll experience along the way will certainly make it seem all worth it!
Some of the best memories I have of the interior are of the southern Okanagan's wine festivals of late fall. Conveniently held at the end of October, (I forget the name) in Oliver feels like the "last hurrah" of Summer. I stayed at the Walnut Beach Resort in Oliver, and at the end of October, it was still warm enough to swim in Lake Whatsitcalled (if I got back to the hot tub quick enough).
Although, it may be best reflected upon in the form of a mini-vacation as, depending on your interests and intentions can afford days of your time to fully embrace. With sharp mountains, stunning views, and opportunities for great food and drinks, this is a definite must do for people new or long-term to Vancouver. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore the majestic opportunities of British Columbia’s outstanding, world-class beauty!