Circle Tours: Heart of BC

Salmon Arm's beautiful lakefront

Overnight Stops: Vancouver - Squamish - Kamloops - Vernon - Penticton - Vancouver

Arrive in Vancouver (1), Canada's largest western port with its beautiful waterfront and stunning Stanley Park. Explore the cobbled streets of unique Gastown, Canada's largest Chinatown district, and the Public Market on Granville Island. The next day head up the Sea to Sky Highway to Squamish (2) and to Whistler, host to many of the recent 2010 Olympic Winter events, and home to a magnificent Gondola ride. From here, travel north along the first Gold Rush route via Pemberton and Lilloet to the desert plateaus of the Upper Fraser River and the Thomson River. When you arrive in Kamloops (3), you can take in a steam train ride, try disc golfing at the Kamloops Disc Golf Club or visit the B.C. Wildlife Park which features over 65 species of wildlife spread out over 50 hectares.

View of Similkameen Valley After leaving Kamloops, make your way to Vernon at the northern end of the Okanagan wine and fruit-growing district. While in Vernon (4), make a visit to Historic O'Keefe Ranch before stopping in Kelowna, well known for its hot summers and temperate winters. Although Kelowna is the largest city in the Okanagan Valley, internationally-acclaimed wineries and several championship golf courses are only 10 minutes away. Along the drive, enjoy scenic vistas of the 135 km long Okanagan Lake, while stopping at the many fruit stands, or swimming at a beach. Penticton (5) is nestled between two lakes and is a recreational playground offering a variety of water sports from sailing to leisurely rafting.

Okanagan Falls-Vaseaux Lake View From here, you can head west along the southern Crowsnest Highway through the Similkameen Valley and Manning Provincial Park before getting to Hope, which has a massive rock slide at the side of the highway. West of Hope, drive along the Lower Fraser River passing lush and well-irrigated farmlands as you approach the expanding Greater Vancouver (6) area to take in a final day of sightseeing and shopping.

West is best, dude. Hanging out in Vancouver for a few more hours, then we're going up the highway to Whistler, hit the village for Saturday night. Party time! - Ben

Route Map

Fly into: Vancouver (YVR)

Overnight Stops: Vancouver - Squamish - Kamloops - Vernon - Penticton - Vancouver

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