Buntzen Lake - GoToVan via Flickr
By Mary Ann Bell
When the local Vancouver forecast calls for soaring temperatures Vancouverites and Tourists go looking for ways to beat the heat and stay cool while enjoying the awesome weather.
Bowen Island is a short 20-minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay and is a perfect kayaking destination. The sheltered waters around the island suit both newcomers and seasoned kayakers and Bowen Island Sea Kayaking offers a variety of tours to suit everyone. In addition to the opportunity to escape the heat, the chances of seeing wildlife and marine life are high – it’s not uncommon to spot seals, porpoises and even Orcas.
With 7 amazing rivers and an awesome selection of rafting resorts, the Fraser Canyon is the ultimate cool off spot. Head out on the river and enjoy the exhilaration of cold water splashing over the edge of the raft. On some trips there’s even the opportunity to jump in, not in the rapids, but in a calm spot and only when your guide says that it’s OK! Some rafting tour companies include: Hyak River Rafting, REO Rafting, Kumsheen Rafting, Chilliwack River Rafting
Snow in summer? You can find it at the summit of Whistler Mountain. “Via Ferrata” is Italian for “Iron Way” and it’s a protected climbing route using fixed cables and metal ladder rungs. This tour combines glacier hiking with mountain climbing and your expert guide will give detailed instructions on how to use the equipment and how best to get up the mountain. This thrilling activity is suitable for guests of all abilities and all technical equipment is included. Via Ferrata Tours are available from Whistler Alpine Guides.
With kilometres of shoreline and countless lakes, there is sure to be a swimming beach to suit everyone. Centennial Beach in Boundary Bay Regional Park, has expansive sandy beaches, clear warm water and a great family-friendly vibe. With about 20 little public beach access points, Roberts Creek promises a quiet beach experience, at low tide, a sandy beach is revealed, and the ocean’s water is warm and inviting. Bunzten Lake, just north of Port Moody, is a BC Hydro reservoir and is a very popular summer swimming spot. The lake is on the cool side (it’s glacial fed) and the water is crystal clear, making it perfect for a dip on a hot summer day.
It may be hot in the sun, but as soon as you enter the woods, you’ll notice the air around you is refreshing and cool. Vancouver, Coast & Mountains is home to vast stands of temperate rainforest. From easy paths to intense trails, you can hike for half an hour or several days, and depending on where you choose, you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the ocean, staggering mountain vistas or the verdant green of the surrounding forest. Some of our favourites include the 180 km Sunshine Coast Trail, Diez Vistas in Coquitlam and the hike to Crown Mountain in North Vancouver.
Nothing tastes better on a hot day than ice cream. Ice cream on the beach, ice cream in the park or, even better, ice cream with a walk in the park at the seaside! We’re partial to Rocky Point Ice Cream in Port Moody. Located at Rocky Point Park, choose your flavour (Maple Bacon – yes, please), and head out for your walk on the pier, or the Trans Canada Trail. The park also boasts an awesome water park for the kids.
Stand-Up Paddleboarding is one of the fastest growing water sports in the world and there are many different locations in the region to give it a try. No experience is necessary to try the sport out and not only will you get a great workout, but every time you fall in, you’ll cool off! Alpha Adventures on the Sunshine Coast offer a Night Light SUP tour, with a chance to paddle through bioluminescence and if you really want to challenge yourself, try a stand-up paddleboard yoga class with Whistler Eco Tours.
For the ultimate cool down, head to Harrison Hot Springs for a day in the water at the Harrison Hot Springs Water Park. Harrison’s own version of the TV game show, “Wipeout”, is located on the water in front of the Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa. A seadoo shuttle takes guests out to the floating fun park for unlimited fun and you will definitely get wet and cool down. Harrison is a glacial lake, so it will be “refreshing”.
Kick back, relax and sip a cold one at a craft brewery. Craft beer has been enjoying a renaissance in the region with over 60 breweries and brewpubs, but cider is starting to make an appearance on the refreshment radar as well with many of the breweries experimenting with apples. 3 new cider varieties to try (growler fills are available) are Vancouver’s Sunday Cider, 33 Acres of Cid3r (from 33 Acres Brewing) and Hopping Mad from Central City Brewers & Distillers in Surrey.
Published: September 1, 2016
As a tourism marketer and community manager for some of British Columbia’s most spectacular destinations, Mary Ann Bell spends her days writing, tweeting and posting! When she’s not online, Mary Ann can be found exploring Vancouver’s North Shore trails with her family and her camera, and trying new restaurants in the hunt for the best taco in Metro Vancouver.
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