By Sheliza Mitha
Harrison Hot Springs was the perfect destination when my book club decided to turn our monthly dinner meeting into an overnighter. We knew Harrison would meet more than a few requirements to accommodate our hectic schedules – especially considering it was within easy driving distance from our homes in Burnaby and offered us a chance to take a break from our over-scheduled lives.
Upon arrival at the edge of beautiful Harrison Lake, the five of us were ready to let the festivities begin. Another time of year, this would have had us taking full advantage of the lake by renting some bumper boats or power boats, seadoos and even banana tube rides… or simply lazing on the lake’s sandy shores. Instead, we did something just as fun and local: tour the old-fashioned Kilby Historic Site.
About 22 kilometres southwest of Harrison Hot Spring’s city centre, Kilby is billed as “BC’s Museum of Rural Life.” This official BC Heritage site presents a living history of the early 1900s – complete with a 1906 General Store, a museum, post office and the truly one-of-a-kind Manchester House Hotel, along with a working farm and other attractions.
Here, we enjoyed an informal tour of the various intricate displays and structures while learning about the lives and lifestyles of rural existence more than a century ago. This literal walk through the past gave us the distinct impression that time travel might actually be possible. We made sure to end our visit in the delightful gift shop, and stopped at Kilby’s charming café for a fresh cup of coffee roasted (by the way) in a circa 1919 flame roaster.
With our visit to Kilby completed, it was time for us to check in at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort for our schedule-free afternoon and evening of lounging and soaking up the resort’s numerous hot springs and pools (five altogether, including an adult-only section). Of course, there are other ways to take advantage of Harrison’s mineral-enriched hot springs; the other most convenient of which might be considered the Harrison Hot Springs Pool, located just off Harrison’s Esplanade Avenue (the town’s main street and adjacent to the beach).
Dinner here presents many options, including the popular Black Forest Restaurant that serves up notable German fare such as steak and schnitzel or Morgans Bistro with its creative West Coast entrées and beach views… among others. Alternatively, you’ll find an array of casual dining options – including the Red Fort Restaurant featuring globally-inspired cuisine and views of Harrison Lake or the family-friendly Village Pizzeria (to name just a few).
For our evening repast, we ventured to The Copper Room inside the resort. This elegant throwback to the days of big band and intimate tables that sprinkle the edge of the dance floor offered the perfect opportunity to dress up and feel like we were headed for a night on the town, but with the comfort and ease of not having to actually step off the property.
The following morning had us checking out and checking back into our lives. But before doing so, we took one last opportunity to explore the many quaint local shops along Harrison’s main Esplanade Avenue, and took some time admiring the spectacular and jaw-dropping water and mountain views surrounding us.
Eventually and inevitably, we made our way back to the car – reluctant but ready to tackle the realities and responsibilities of our regular non-holiday lives. But for now, Harrison Hot Springs had done its job and helpfully provided us with that ever-elusive respite to refresh, relax and rejuvenate.
For accommodations in the area check out the Lodging and Camping tabs at https://www.travel-british-columbia.com/
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Published: April 19, 2018
Sheliza is a freelance writer and editor who enjoys blogging about her family’s adventures throughout British Columbia. For the latest on food and travel, connect with her on Twitter via @shelizawrites or visit her at www.copyprose.com.
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