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River Rafting - Province of BC

Beat the Heat This Summer in Vancouver, Coast & Mountains, British Columbia

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 Kayak | Photo Province of BC

Kayak Bowen Island

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.

River Rafting | Photo Province of BC

Whitewater Rafting in the Fraser Canyon

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, Kumsheen Rafting, Chilliwack River Rafting

Buntzen Lake | Photo: GoToVan via Flickr

Go For a Swim

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.

Diez Vistas | Photo David J. Laporte via Flickr

Head into the Shade of the Forest

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, the UBC Malcolm Knapp Research Forest in Maple Ridge and Capilano Canyon in North Vancouver.

Rocky Point Icecream via Facebook

Ice Cream and a Walk in the Park

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 | Photo: Alpha Adventures

Stand-Up Paddleboarding (SUP)

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.

Harrison Floating Water Park | Photo: Tourism Harrison

Harrison Hot Springs Water Park

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”.

Sunday Cider via Instagram

Sip a Cold One from a Craft Cidery

Kick back, relax and sip a cold one at a craft brewery. Craft beer has been enjoying a renaissance in the region with over 70 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 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.

For accommodations in Vancouver, Coast & Mountains region and elsewhere in British Columbia go to

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Published: July 25, 2019

About the Author

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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