I first fell in love with the west in Jasper, Alberta when I called its Canadian Rockies home for the better part of a year.
I was working at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge and living in one of Canada’s longest log cabins in their staff accommodations where running into an elk was a valid excuse for being late to work. It was a fun, adventure-filled summer. It also remains the reason I can’t drink whisky sours.
Other than a quick working weekend in Calgary, last week was the first time I flew back west, only this time I made it a bit farther to beautiful British Columbia.
We arrived in Vancouver on an overcast Friday morning, grabbed our rental Jeep (which I fell in love with quickly) and slowly made our way North on the Sea To Sky highway, which is a stunning, eye-opening drive in itself. On one side, you have mountains shooting up at a steep incline, and to the other, you’ll spot tall islands peppering the turquoise water.
Before heading to our Airbnb in Whistler, we stopped in Squamish for some Copper Coil jambalaya lunch and celebratory local cider. What else can I say about Squamish other than I absolutely love it?! It reminds me of Jasper, but with an additional dose of variety (in shops and stores, neighbourhood flavours, amenities, and nature) and adventure (mountain biking, climbing, hiking, waterfalls, trails, kite surfing etc).
Not only is Squamish home to the granite monolith Stawamus Chief, but it’s the last Northern stop of Howe Sound, so it’s not uncommon to spot orcas or whales in the sound. Not only is the downtown filled with indie cafes, shops and rainbow cross-walks, but a quick bike ride North and you’ll find Brackendale (boasting North America’s most significant bald eagle population). Or if you head up the range East, you can window-shop million dollar modern Valleycliffe homes perched on the mountain.