British Columbia

BC nature scenery by water
Aug19

Thinking about visiting B.C.? We don’t blame you! Here are just a few of the things that we love about beautiful British Columbia.

1. The Hiking Trails

From the Okanagan to the Island, B.C. has hiking trails for all ages and skill levels. Take a family-friendly meander through a wooden grove or challenge yourself with a steep uphill climb! Check out our blog for suggestions of some hikes nearest you. On the blog homepage, search: “Hikes.”

2. National Parks

B.C. is home to some of the most gorgeous national parks in all of Canada. You can birdwatch, picnic, or site-see to your heart’s content. Don’t forget to call or email ahead to ensure that they are open to the public during your day/hour of choice. Make a day trip to the nearest one—you won’t regret it!

3. Budget Travel

B.C. has a perfect blend of flashy cities and small, community-centric towns. That means that no matter what your budget is, you can find somewhere to stay. Also: B.C. has a moderate climate year-round, meaning that you can fill your days with cost-free outdoor activities.

4. The Beaches

B.C. borders the Pacific Ocean and has many lakes and ponds that are safe for a dip. No matter where you stay, you’ll be able to find a waterside spot to soak up some sun. Okanagan Lake is a must-see if you are vacationing in the Kelowna and Vernon area.

5. Tourist Friendly

Not only is B.C. very multicultural but they have a thriving tourism industry. That means everywhere you go you will feel welcomed and taken care of. Our doors are always open to newcomers.

6. Wine County

B.C. wineries have a long history in the province, where the warm weather allows orchards of all sorts to flourish in the summer and autumn months. Book a wine tour to learn more or ask around for the best local picks.

7. Farmers’ Markets

Wine grapes aren’t the only produce that grows across B.C. You’ll find plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables available at any local farmers’ market and even many varieties in common grocery stores, too.

Have we convinced you to try a B.C. vacation? Contact us for details on the best B.C. vacation rentals in the Okanagan Valley and on Vancouver Island. We welcome the opportunity to set you up in a modern, personable cottage or abode of your choosing.

As always: travel safe!

Summer cocktails using fresh fruit ingredients
Aug12

What can take any summer vacation up a notch? Some amazing cocktails (or mocktails if you want)! If you are staying somewhere away from home, like one of our vacation rentals, you will probably want something easy that you can throw together with minimal supplies and prep. So here are 5 of our favourite easy summer cocktail recipes. Mix, stir, blend, and shake away!

1. Jam Cocktails

By Dessert for Two

Pick your favourite jam—and if you are vacationing in B.C., you can probably find something homemade at one of the farmer’s markets. Place a few tablespoons of jam in a jar and add 1-2 shots of vodka and some lemon juice. Shake well before straining and serving over ice. Garnish with fruits and mint according to what type of jam you picked.

2. Easy Pimm’s Cocktails

By Taste.com

Add sliced oranges, lemon pieces, and cucumber to a significant portion of Pimm’s and then leave the whole thing in the fridge to chill for a few hours. Serve the mixture with tonic water, sparkling water, ginger ale, or lemonade, depending on your preference. Add some more fruit for garnish and voila—super easy fruity cocktail. Pimm’s can also be replaced by gin, vermouth, and an orange-based liqueur.

3. Malibu Sunset Cocktail

By The Cookin Chicks

This is a super easy three-ingredient recipe, requiring only Malibu Rum, pineapple juice, and a bit of grenadine. You can add cherries or pineapples as a garnish, but this is wholly optional. Fill a glass with ice and add in the rum and the pineapple juice. For a “sunset” look, pour the grenadine in slowly and watch the colours set.

4. Summer Solstice Wine Cocktail

By Boulderlocavore

What better to drink in Wine Country than a wine-based cocktail? First, combine cherries, peaches, and a Pinot Noir and muddle all the ingredients together. Then, add a few ice cubes and shake. Strain this mixture into glasses filled with fresh ice and top with Italian Soda (recommended: Blood Orange flavor). Try selecting a wine from a local vineyard for a location-specific twist.

5. Strawberry Basil Vodka Cocktail

By Garnish with Lemon

This is the most ingredient-intensive cocktail on this list so save it for a night you are feeling adventurous. You’ll need strawberries, basil leaves, lemon juice, simple syrup, vodka, elderflower liqueur, and prosecco. Muddle the strawberries, basil, lemon juice and simple syrup. Then, add ice, vodka, and elderflower liqueur and shake it. Strain everything into an ice-filled glass and add in the prosecco.

These summer cocktail ideas are sure to add a little spice to your vacation plans.

Don’t have any plans yet? Contact us about our vacation cottages and rentals across B.C. and we’ll help you find the perfect fit.

Fruit smoothie
Jul22

We love farmers’ markets and local produce in B.C. and if you are visiting from near or far you will probably want to get in on this smoothie trend. We always recommend that visitors to our vacation homes and cabins checkout the community markets and U-picks (pick-your-own-produce for a fee), but what to do with all the scrumptious fruit and vegetables you come back with?

Smoothies are super easy, can incorporate many flavors, are flexible to whatever you bring home, and are a super-healthy snack or treat. Here are some in-season flavours to try for July.

  1. Black Cherry Smoothie

Black cherries are just one of the fruits that are in season in July. And cherries are a staple in B.C. orchards. 3 cups of yogurt and 3 cups of black cherries make the basis of this smoothie. Then, add greens of your choice (avocado, spinach, kale) and sweetener (maple syrup, honey, brown sugar).

Try it: Super Heathy Kids

  1. Peach Smoothie

Fresh B.C. peaches are a must-try if you are vacationing anywhere in the Okanagan or on the Island. You’ll find boxes of them at every supermarket and fruit stand—and they ripen quickly, which means you can score a good deal on “very ripe” produce sometimes. Peaches that are slightly soft to the touch are the perfect smoothie ingredient. Try blending them with sliced banana, coconut milk, Greek yogurt, and/or honey.

Try it: Hungry Healthy Happy

  1. Raspberry Smoothie

Raspberries are a U-pick favourite in British Columbia, so you might be able to get them fresh from the bush. Raspberries are a super fruit. They contain vitamins C and E, selenium, beta carotene, and more healthy bits. Blend a handful of fresh, washed raspberries with Greek yogurt, almonds, and a sweetener of your choice.

Try it: Bawarchi

  1. Rhubarb Strawberry Smoothie

Rhubarb is in season mid-to-late summer but most people don’t think to put it in smoothies because it can be quite tart. The strawberries will help balance this out, though. Additionally, you can add a sweetener of your choice—we recommend fresh honey—milk, fruit juice, and additional frozen or fresh mixed berries.

Try it: She Wears Many Hats

  1. Radish Smoothie

Wait, RADISH smoothie?! You heard us right! Radish are in season and are incredible valuable nutrition-wise. Health nuts will love this, as radishes boast being low calorie, have anticancer properties, and are packed with fibre to aid in digestion. Radish smoothies might be new to you so follow the instructions in the below link closely until you get used to the idea.

Try it: Daisy’s Kitchen

 

Are “vacation smoothies” the new travel trend? We’re doing our best to make it so, which is really easy to do when you are surrounded by the orchards and gardens of British Columbia. Not sure how or when to travel B.C.? Contact us for a hook up with stunning vacation rentals in B.C.

fishing gulf islands
Jul23

Fishing on the Gulf Islands

 

The Gulf Islands consist of over a dozen islands in the Strait of Georgia, off the coast of British Columbia’s mainland. The landscape is characterized by dramatic coastlines, beautiful beaches, and a diversity of plants and animals.

As for fishing, the Southern Gulf Islands offer some great salmon fishing year round. May and June are exceptional months for Chinook which are migrating to their home waters at this time. During the summer months and early fall you can catch all species of Salmon. Sockeye, Coho, Pinks, Chinook and Chum all pass through these waters as they migrate to their spawning grounds. The area is also very good for ground fish such as Ling cod and rock fish.

You will need a fishing license to go fishing. You can purchase your non-tidal/freshwater fishing license online through the government of B.C.’s website. In addition, you have to get a special stamp or an additional permit to fish for salmon legally. This is important not only to the continued general health of the aquatic ecosystem, but also for stocking and conservation programs. For all fishing regulations please click here. Of course, you will also need basic fishing tools such as a fishing rod, reel, bait, hook, bobber, and rig!

Tips for Salmon Fishing

 Fishing sometimes depends on luck. Still, there are some tips to fish salmon effectively.

  • Sharpen your hooks

Salmon have a very thick jawline so make sure that hook is razor sharp to increase your chances of a catch.

  • Choose the best bait for salmon

The most successful type of live bait for salmon fishing is to use roe (eggs). You can also use Flashtrap spinners, which is an artificial lure very effective to fish salmon.

  • Use a flashy item

Make sure your bait has something flashy attached to it to attract the fish. Salmon prefer low lighting conditions, so something that flashes will attract them in deeper, darker waters.

  • Use a red line

Certain colors disappear completely at deeper depths and the very first color that disappears is red. Your bait will appear more life-like if you use red line.

  • Fish in the clouds

Since salmon do prefer low lighting, overcast days are the perfect days to fish. If it is not overcast, dawn and dusk are optimal times, too. Try to avoid bright, sunny days, as the visibility of the salmon will be greater.

 

As long as you know these tips, you can have fun fishing on the Gulf Islands. Haven’t booked your accommodation yet?  Take a look at our Gulf Islands vacation homes and have a wonderful visit with us!

 

Written by Natsumi Matsumoto

Running
Apr16

Running Events on Vancouver Island

 

If you want to stay active when you are on Vancouver Island, there are tons of run and walk events you can participate in! 

 

Date. 

Name

Distance 

   Run Type                                

Location

5-May

Investors Group Walk For Alzheimer’s

1k, 3k

Charity Walk

Road

Victoria, Nanaimo, Cowichan Valley, Courtenay, Port Alberland, BC

11-May

The Cumby

13k, 25k

Trail

Cumberland, BC

12-May

Oceanside Mother’s Day Run

5k, 10k

Road and Trail

Parksville, BC

19-May

Westwood Lake Triathlon

Varies

Triathlon

Nanaimo, BC

7,8-Jun

Cedar Ultra

Unlimited, 10k

Trail, Relay

Cedar, BC

8-Jun

Vancouver Island Trial Running Series-Nanaimo

10k, 17k

Trail

Nanaimo, BC

8-Jun

5k Foam Fest

5k

Obstacle

Nanoose Bay, BC

13-Jul

Vancouver Island Trail Running Series-Transfer Beach

9k, 19k

Trail

Ladysmith, BC

19-Oct

Vancouver Island Trail Running Series-Mt Tzouhalem

7k, 13k

Trail

Duncan, BC

7-Dec

Santa Shuffle

5k

Road Race

Victoria & Nanaimo, BC

 

These runs have their own mottos, and their courses vary from charity to competitive dynamic races; there are even obstacle course races! If you’re not afraid to get a bit messy you should definitely check out the “5k Foam Fest”, which will be held on June 8th, 2019. This race includes a line up of 22 obstacles per course, with wild themes ranging from the Chamber of Foam to the Spider Web Forest. For more information, please visit the Run Vancouver Island Website.

 

Interested in visiting Vancouver Island?  Check out our Tanglewood Beach Homes & Qualicum Landing Vacation Rentals – and you might just find the perfect place for your next vacation! Contact our reservations team by emailing breakaway@lloydstravel.com or call 1-877-778-6466 – we look forward to speaking with you.

 

Written by Natsumi Matsumoto

Jul16

Introducing Mayne Island…

Mayne Island is in the middle of five large Gulf Islands. The Gulf Islands lie in the rain-shadow of the mountains of Vancouver Island and the Olympic Peninsula resulting in dry summers and mild winters. The climate, nice parks, beautiful beach accesses and hiking trails makes Mayne Island a perfect destination to visit all year round.

Japanese Heritage

Japanese Settlers had a successful tomato business in a greenhouse on Mayne Island until World War 2 when all the Japanese were forced to leave the west cost. Now, in this current location to honour these early residents and their contributions you will find the amazing Japanese Gardens at Dinner Bay Park. The Japanese garden has been developed entirely by local residents and can be viewed year round. During the holidays in December you will find the garden lit up with thousands of lights, and is free to view, although donations are welcome. On Saturday mornings, May through October, enjoy local produce, baking, crafts and other goodies at Mayne Islands Farmers market. The Farmers market is found at the Agricultural Hall in Historic Miners Bay along with a gas station, post office, grocery stores, restaurants and an ATM.

 

Beautiful Scenery

If you are one for beautiful scenery, Mayne island is the perfect place to come. At Georgina Point you can find a scenic Lighthouse park. You will see spectacular views right across the strait of Georgia. This lighthouse marks the entrance to the Active Pass and was first established in 1885. This area is now a park perfect for a small stroll, or a picnic watching the harbour seals, seabirds or the boats travelling by. The Lighthouse park is also one of the best spots on the Island to view the pods of Orcas as they travel through the Active Pass almost daily. Just recently established in the Gulf Island National Park Reserve is Bennett Bay Beach and Campbell Point. There is a beautiful scenic trail to Campbell Point and at the end of the point you will find a spectacular view of Mt Baker. Bennett Bay is one of the best Sandy beaches on the island and one of the most popular places to launch small boats and kayaks.

Wonderful Beaches

Mayne Island has 14 beaches that you can access. Many of which are very popular to swim in and the others are great for exploring. Piggott Bay, Bennett Bay and Campbell Bay are great beaches for swimming, and you will seldom find it crowd on hot days. Oyster Bay, Reef Bay, Naylor Road and Seaview Road are great if you’re looking for sandstone beaches and places to look for sea life. All these beaches are a great place to relax and watch the waves come in.


Interested in a visit to Mayne Island?

We have the perfect vacation rental for you: Mayne Island 02

 

Written by Megan Harder

 

Jul30

10 Things to do on Pender Island this Summer

Are you going to Pender Island?  We’ve rounded up the best 10 activities for you to take part in – have a look!

Hiking

Hike the short trail to the panoramic lookout from the top of Mt. Norman – the highest point of Pender Island.  Located on South Pender Island, this short ascent will offer you gorgeous views across the Southern Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands and Vancouver Island.

Walking

Take a walk around Roe Lake – a beautiful freshwater lake that sits in the middle of a forest on North Pender Island.  Why not bring a picnic, sit back and enjoy the tranquility of your surroundings?

Disc Golf

For something a little different, try your hand at Disc Golf.  Pender Island Disc Golf Park comprises of 27 holes which take you through the trees and across to Magic Lake. Be competitive and let the games begin!

Cycling

Though you cannot cycle on any of the trails on Pender Island, it is still worthwhile to hire some bikes and take a tour of the Island. Most of the roads are not that busy but be prepared, they are steep! Burn some calories and explore this golden countryside.

Kayaking

No holiday to Pender Island would be complete without getting onto the water.  The best way to explore the local gems is by kayak.  There are many routes, starting from Hope Bay, you can take that make for interesting day trips!  Watch out for orcas – there are regular sightings all through summer!  If you’re new to kayaking, Pender Island Kayak Adventures offers a range of exciting trips – there’s sure to be one that takes your fancy.

Boating

There are numerous private marinas and public wharfs available on Pender Island – no excuse not to take your boat on holiday with you.  Because Pender Island is situated admist the Gulf Islands National Park, you’re going to want to take advantage of your location at sea.  Days on the boat will certainly get you discovering all the local islands.

Exploring

Discover Roesland park on North Pender Island.  Back in the 1920s, Roesland was a resort and so today, the park is littered with old cottages.  Look inside and make up stories about what would have happened here in the past.  This is also a lovely spot to watch for wildlife.

Scuba Diving

Anyone into diving?  We are and we’ve heard that the Pender Islands have some of the best diving in North America. While most dive companies run out of Victoria on Vancouver Island and so it may be difficult to organize a dive trip, there is always the option to charter your own boat. If you’re a seasoned diver then bring your own equipment (and your buddy!) – some locations, such as Tilly Point Caves, are shore dives so are easy access.  Bear in mind that Pender Island’s dive sites are more suited to experienced divers.

Watching Sunsets

Do you love sunsets? Well we’ve got the perfect way for you to watch one on Pender Island. Take a Sunset Stand Up Paddleboard Tour with Pender Island Kayak Adventures.  We guarantee this will be a magical experience even if you’re not into SUP!

Wine Tasting

Finish off your vacation with a wine tasting at Sea Star Vineyard.  The tasting room is open Wednesdays through to Sundays so make sure you pop in and try one of their vintage wines.  This vineyard is in a picturesque location overlooking the ocean, what could be more romantic?

 

Check out our Pender Island Accomodation and make sure to contact us on 1.877.778.6466 or 604.872.5466 to book your next vacation.

Feb18
Canada’s westernmost province, British Columbia is located between the Pacific Ocean and the province of Alberta. British Columbia has three main mountain ranges and two thirds of the province is covered in forest. BC boasts miles of natural beauty and is teeming with diverse wildlife. British Columbia is also home to the city of Vancouver, which hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics. Continue reading