This post originally appeared on the Hello BC blog.
Food and drink can offer an enlightening glimpse into a place and its people. Add a keen, local guide to the mix, and your taste of British Columbia may result in a fresh perspective on the province. Here are 10 stomach-pleasing tours that can be done in a day.
Catch and cook your own crab, West Coast style
There’s no better way to immerse yourself in West Coast life than catching and cooking your own dinner. With Swallow Tail Tours, fine dining on the beach is the perfect dénouement to a three-hour dungeness crab adventure that will have you casting your own traps from a dock, identifying males and females (the ladies go back into the water), and preparing your catch with an expert.
Vancouver Foodie Tours, Vancouver
A simple way to enjoy local flavors
If fine dining isn’t for you, opt for a taste of BC’s biggest city during the World’s Best Food Truck Tour. This two-hour walking adventure hoofs through downtown Vancouver in search of West Coast street food, including Japadogs (Japanese-style hot dogs), fish tacos, and spicy chocolate desserts. The best part? You’ll skip the lineups, thanks to your VIP status.
Show your pedal power
This self-guided, one-day exploration of food and farmers each August will help you better understand Pemberton’s agricultural cycle, while you cycle. Traveling approximately 18.6 miles along Pemberton Meadows Road, you can see and sample as much or as little as you like — be it organic fruits and vegetables, homemade treats, or local crafts. As a bonus, you’ll connect with producers on their home turf. Tip: make sure your bike is outfitted with a big basket for your new-found treasures.
Enjoy a taste of local life
Bowen’s proximity to Vancouver means it’s the quickest way to experience island life — including local flavors. The Savoury & Sweet Bowen tour offers leisurely indulgence with guided seasonal sampling of everything from handmade pies to French bistro fare. In all, eight stops — including island restaurants, a heritage orchard, and the self-proclaimed world’s smallest candy shop — pepper this outing that spotlights the best of Bowen.
Relax while you wine tour
Vancouver-based Vine&hops offers the best way to explore the Fraser Valley’s burgeoning wine scene without wheels. You’ll stop at four wineries in six hours — just a hop, skip, and a sip from Vancouver’s city lights — sampling pours at establishments like Chaberton Estate Winery, Vista D’oro Farms & Winery, Township 7 Winery, and Backyard Vineyards. You’ll learn about the wine-making process at Chaberton, enjoy snacks throughout, and settle in during a locally-infused lunch at Backyard Vineyards, your final stop.
Soak up the sun
The Cowichan Valley’s warm, fertile landscape is an ideal setting for wineries, cideries, farms, and cheesemakers. All you need is a guide. Enter Vancouver Island Expeditions and their Taste of the Cowichan excursion that features stops at notable wineries and local producers during a day-long countryside cruise. Sip wine and nibble on artisanal cheese. Savor lunch on a pastoral patio and soak up the sun.
Cheers Cowichan & Ocean EcoVentures, Cowichan Valley
Sip wine, see whales and wildlife
For an unlikely pairing of wine and wildlife, sign up for a Wine and Whales Tour in BC’s Cowichan Valley. Brought to you by Cheers Cowichan and Ocean EcoVentures, this day-long outing features a visit to three of the valley’s top wineries before you set sail on a whale-watching vessel from Cowichan Bay to look out for orca, humpback, and minke whales, alongside stellar sea lions, bald eagles, and more in their natural habitat. Cue the sunset.
Make like a local, hop on a bike
More people per capita ride their bikes in BC’s capital city than anywhere else in Canada, making cycling in Victoria one of the best ways to enjoy a slice of urban life. Eat Drink Pedal’s rolling feast promises four hours of two-wheeling through pretty neighborhoods to sample handmade pizza and ice cream, plus a few surprises. If you want to cruise like the cool kids, consider upgrading your ride to an e-bike.
Take your taste buds for a walk
The sunny city of Kelowna is best viewed from a patio — so say the folks at Okanagan Foodie Tours. During their guided three-hour Patio ‘n Pubs outing (one of three food-focused offerings), you’ll explore the city’s Cultural District and make five stops to sample fare that includes authentic Mexican tacos paired with salt-rimmed margaritas, and steamed pork buns served with craft beer. Bonus? Bellies full, you’ll seek out photogenic city landmarks and hear insider intel about the city and its people.
ACT Adventures, Kamloops
Discover the city’s wild-west past
Since the city’s early Gold Rush beginnings, Kamloopsians have done things their way. It has made for some interesting history — and even better stories — best told by the folks from ACT Adventures. During their Ales and Wines downtown excursion, participants hear tales of the city’s rough-and-tumble past while sampling reds and whites from local wineries and pulls from select craft breweries. All pours are paired with nibbles, including bacon and peanut caramel corn and house-made meats and pickles from local favourite The Noble Pig.