August 5 – The Beauty Beneath

Beautiful British Columbia

Today is B.C. Day in my neck of the woods. It is a day to celebrate our fine province with outdoor activities, wonderful food and drink, and great family and friends. With that in mind, here are some of the top attractions in British Columbia. Come by and visit sometime, ya hear!

Whistler

Travelling along the Sea-to-Sky Highway, you will float up through the clouds to the mountain resort of Whistler, which is a top destination throughout the year. In the winter, it is a haven for skiers and snowboarders, who can take to the slopes and enjoy some of the finest white powder this side of Colombia! When summer rolls around, the village becomes a wonderful place for a scenic hike or bike ride, quickly followed by a cold pint amongst some of the finest nature you’ll ever find.

whistler

Grouse Grind

For the outdoor adventurer, the Grouse Grind is something that has to be done to see how you fare against travelers from around the world. The unofficial record stands at 23 minutes and 48 seconds, but most hikers will take about 90 to 120 minutes to complete the trek. You won’t get great views on the Grind, until you reach the top of Grouse Mountain, but it’s the challenge of the trail that keeps people coming back. At least there’s beer, food, and gondolas (for your return trip) at the top as your reward.

Downtown Vancouver

Home to the province’s most famous and desired citizen, yours truly (Mrs. Sip is a close second, however), my suggestion is to ride the hop-on, hop-off bus tour, which visits all the key areas of the core, including Gas Town, Granville Island, the West End, Chinatown, and everything in between. There are also some amazing dining options in the city, including Joe Fortes for seafood; Gotham Steakhouse for, you guessed it, steak; and Tojo’s for sushi.

Downtown_Vancouver_Sunset

Okanagan Valley Wine Country

While enjoying some of the province’s most gorgeous views, you can also visit a countless number of wineries and indulge in tastings that will have you wobbling through one vineyard after another. Over 60 grape varieties are grown in the Okanagan Valley, including a number of German styles, such as Riesling and Gewürztraminer. The region has some of B.C.’s warmest temperatures, to boot.

Stanley Park

This massive park is home to everything from an aquarium to a lagoon, statues to totem poles. It is a serious slice of Canadiana. From Stanley Park, visitors can walk, bike, or rollerblade the Sea Wall that encompasses Downtown Vancouver and enjoy all of the beaches that line the route. At Halloween and Christmas, the Stanley Park train takes thousands of guests through a themed ride that delights children and adults alike.

stanley-park

Sports

While we’ve lost some franchises over time (I never even got to a Grizzlies game in their short time here), the city still has a few offerings, including the beloved Vancouver Canucks (NHL), B.C. Lions (CFL), and Vancouver Whitecaps (MLS). We’re even getting a National Lacrosse League team back in 2014 and for fans of baseball, watching the Vancouver Canadians (an affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays) at Nat Bailey Stadium makes for a memorable evening out.

Victoria

Home to B.C.’s parliament buildings and the capital of the province, Victoria is a 90-minute ferry ride over from the mainland, but it is well worth it. Victoria is the closest you can come in Canada to feeling like you’re in the U.K. (after all, it was named after Queen Victoria), with its afternoon tea service at the Empress Hotel, cathedrals, castles, and gardens.

Drink #217: The Beauty Beneath

The Beauty Beneath Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz Rum (I used Appleton)
  • 0.5 oz Sweet Vermouth
  • 0.5 oz Campari
  • 0.5 oz Cointreau
  • Dash of Angostura Bitters
  • Garnish with Lemon, Lime and Orange Wedges

There are certainly other spots I’ve neglected and, of course, beauty can be found throughout the province. It’s all in the eye of the beholder. I tend to find beauty in the region’s best liquor stores, so to each their own!

Sip Advisor Bar Notes (2.5 Sips out of 5):
This is a strong martini, but that wasn’t a complete surprise. Campari leaves a bitter, lasting aftertaste that takes a little while to get used to and some may never enjoy it. This cocktail earns a barely passing grade because I liked the sweet touch that came through after the strong Appleton Rum, thanks to the Sweet Vermouth and Cointreau.

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