Summer is definitely my favourite season. There are so many different things to do, the days are long and warm, and luckily I live in such a beautiful area. BC summers are amazing, we really have so many opportunities around here!
The summers in British Columbia are filled with a huge variety of activities, whether you like crazy adventures or more relaxing endeavours, you can be guaranteed you’ll find something amazing to fill up your days.
At the beginning of every summer, I try and make a list of things to do. This year I decided to get some input from my friends of their fav things, hoping that I got some fresh ideas!
So here’s my list for this year, some of my favourite things, some of my friend’s favourite things and some stuff that I’m really looking forward to trying!
Biking the Vancouver Seawall
This is one thing I have never done, and I’m not sure why not! The Vancouver Seawall is a hugely well-known attraction for both locals and tourists alike. The 28km ocean front trail is the perfect place to bike, run or walk. You get the most gorgeous views and is an easy, flat trail…perfect for an afternoon casual bike ride. This is definitely one thing I’m going to try and do this summer and I’m sure it won’t disappoint.
Boating on Shuswap Lake
So Shuswap Lake during the summer is pretty well my second home. Almost every weekend is spent out there boating and camping. This is added to my list, but for me, it’s really a no-brainer. However if you’re visiting British Columbia for the first time or haven’t been to this area before…Go to the Shuswap! There are so many great places to check out, I love the floating restaurant in the Narrows (not gonna lie one summer I had a terrible nightmare I worked there and they wouldn’t let us leave), the Cinnemousun camp site (boat in only and awesome), and jumping off the cliffs at Copper Island.
I know there are quite a few different places you can rent boats for the day, or even kayaks or paddle boards! Check out Shuswap Marina just outside of Sorrento.
Floating on Johnson Lake
If you haven’t seen photos of Johnson Lake you are missing out. This gorgeous crystal clear blue lake will make your Instagram dreams come true. According to the internet, the reason that it’s such a beautiful colour is the presence of limestone. It has a campground and resort, and with no internet or cell phone service you can basically escape and pretend you’re somewhere in the Caribbean. Bring up a kayak or paddle board and some lunch and you’ll be set for the day.
Checking out the waterfalls in Wells Grey Park
If hiking is your jam, you need to check out Wells Grey Provincial Park outside of Clearwater, BC. Filled with waterfalls, wildlife, (mosquitoes depending on what time of year you go), and over 5000sq/km to explore. If you’ve ever seen a photo of a waterfall (minus Niagara Falls of course) in Canada, it`s likely it`s Helmcken Falls. I know this is a summer to do list, but seriously, Google photos of Helmcken Waterfall in winter, it`s amazing. There are tons of different options for walks depending on your ability level and lots of stuff to see, definitely don`t miss Wells Grey!
Wine tour through the Okanagan
So I would say this is probably my favourite option on the list. I`m not sure if it`s well known if you`re not from British Columbia but we have a fantastic wine region. There are so many amazing wineries to check out, I feel like I`ve barely scratched the surface. I would recommend the area outside of Penticton, Naramata. The views of the lake are stunning and the wine is amazing!! Be prepared to come back with a serious amount of wine. A few of my favs are Lang Vineyard (their Marechal Foch is unreal), Monster and Ruby Blues is fun too.
That being said there are great wineries all over BC, Kamloops has some, Kelowna is very well known (Summerhill is fantastic) and even Vancouver has some!
Camping on Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island is one of my favourite places in the world. If I didn`t live here I would definitely be down on the island (and still hope to be one day!). There are so many amazing places to spend a camping weekend, it`s hard to narrow it down. Tofino is a great place to spend some time, with great camping, surfing, good food and a fun hippie vibe, bonus it`s fairly easy to get to.
If you want to get a little bit more off of the beaten track there are plenty of small islands to check out too! I love Texada Island (which you can ferry to) and I`ve gotten lots of recommendations that Hornby Island is a good camping spot too.
Okay, so this is most definitely a friend recommendation. BC, especially around here, is fuuuuulll of lakes, many of which are well known for fishing. Honestly, from Kamloops you can`t go half an hour in any direction and not hit a small lake. You can go for an afternoon or evening, make a weekend out of it, or if you’re feeling really flush, go to a destination fishing lodge!
I’ve spent a few weekend fishing trips in both Campbell River, at Painter’s Lodge, and also the Haida Gwaii islands. Ocean fishing is amazing and even if you strike out on the fishing front, the scenery is amazing and it’s such a great experience.
Some of my friend’s favourites around here (at least the ones they’d share with me, apparently fishing lakes are secret?) are Roche Lake, Black Lake, and Scuitto.
This is huge in BC, I’m not sure if it’s popular other places in the world. If you’re not lucky enough to know someone with a boat on the Shuswap, or if you just want to spend a great weekend on the lake with your friends – rent a houseboat!
Houseboating is a great way to get everyone together and some of the boats are super luxury (who doesn’t want to hot-tub whilst floating on the lake??).
I haven’t houseboated since I was a kid and did it with family, but it’s def on my list to get my friends together to do…maybe next year! Most of the rental companies are based in Sicamous, and generally, most people stay up in the North East area of Shuswap Lake. Whether you’re into a quiet weekend with family, a wild bachelor party or somewhere in between, I guarantee you can find that in a weekend out there on a houseboat.
So there’s my quick list, of course, there are so many other things to do in British Columbia in the summer months, these are just a few of my top favs.
What are the summer highlights of where you’re from? Have you done any of the things I’ve mentioned? I’d love some new recommendations!!