We all know that British Columbia is full of hidden treasures, that’s why it’s high on Jon Montgomery’s recommended lists of places to explore. British Columbia is special to Jon in more ways than one, it’s where he spent his life’s milestone moments – from winning the gold medal in the 2010 winter Olympics, to getting married to wife Darla, in the Okanagan Valley. Follow Jon’s points of interest and experience the thrills of the ocean views, remote beaches and forests, and limitless recreational activities. For more trip inspiration and RV tips from Jon Montgomery, click here!
Start your visit in Victoria by visiting the world-famous Butchart Gardens, the perfect introduction to the lush beauty that the West Coast has to offer. Next, According to Jon, the Cathedral Grove (a.k.a. MacMillan Provincial Park) is an absolute essential stop before you head to Tofino and on any Vancouver Island road trip. Here, you get the chance to stand next to the oldest and tallest trees in Canada, as old as 800 years old and as big as 75m in height and 9m in circumference! Jon suggests that if the magic of this Grove speaks to your heart, keep exploring and seek out more remarkable stands of old growth rainforests – just be sure to tread lightly when making the trek, the lands are special and hallowed with important cultural significance to both Indigenous and non-indigenous alike. After you soak up the beauty of the Cathedral Grove, Jon recommends experiencing one of Vancouver Islands many hikes, one that remains special to him is Mystic Beach, about 75 km from Victoria, located on the Juan Fuca Marine Trail and known for its stunning view of a waterfall dropping from cliffs, right onto the beach.
How can we not mention Whistler, BC in a Jon Montgomery trip guide? Whistler is where Jon won the gold medal in the men’s skeleton race event at the 2010 Winter Olympics, and where he took his famous triumphant “Beer Walk” through Whistler Village after a fan passed him a pitcher of beer. As North America’s largest ski resort and a year round mountain playground, Whistler is Canada’s fail-proof vacation spot. Whether you’re into hiking, mountain sports, or fine cuisine, Whistler has it _all._ Want to slide like an olympian for the day? Try your hand at the Whistler Sliding Centre. Jon also recommends taking the magical ZipTrek tour to get a birds eye view of Whistler’s beauty, or, if you’re an extreme adrenaline junkie, Whistler Bungee is highly rated by both Jon and Whistler locals. After a day of adventure, unwind at the Scandinave Spa, après at the Longhorn, or enjoy culinary excellence at The Bearfoot Bistro, oh, and they have a vodka tasting room, just saying! Aside from all this, there are countless, and I mean countless, restaurants to choose from!
Ah, Kelowna, Okanagan’s Wine Country. Kelowna is rich in tradition, full of character, and consistently ranked among the world’s best wines at international competitions. There’s something extraordinary about the view of the majestic mountains and lush vineyards in front of you. That’s why Jon decided to get married there, to his lovely wife Darla, in August of 2011 at the beautiful Ex Nihilo Vineyard. Kelowna is known as a jack of all trades when it comes to tourism, offering many activities for the whole family to enjoy on a trip here. Jon recommends golf at Predator Ridge, where every season is peak season. Here, you can also enjoy yoga, biking, hiking, and of course, wining and dining. Another favourite of Jon’s is Sparkling Hill Spa, the wellness oasis where you can experience a cryo-therapy sauna that drops to -120! Last but certainly not least, if you’re a sports car enthusiast, Jon recommends checking out Area 27, a full speed race track formed by Formula One World Champion Jacques Villeneuve.
After your stay in Kelowna, Jon recommends making the 230 km trip over to see Christina Lake. With summers full of sunshine, springs so fresh you can skip the perfume, and autumns that bring a masterpiece of fall colors, Christina lake is known as the year-round oasis of the Kootenays and is well worth the trip. With the constant gorgeous weather, the lake attracts tourist activities such as swimming, boating, canoeing and water skiing. One of the nearby treasures, which you can’t miss, is Cascade Falls, located on the Kettle River, approximately 3 km south of Christina Lake. There are also plenty of options for hiking, mountain biking, beaches and parks. In the winter months, Christina Lake attracts thousands of winter sports enthusiasts from around the world, as it’s conveniently located midway between Red Resort and [Phoenix Mountain Ski Resort, a 45-minute drive to either ski hill.