BC Getaways

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  • Fall Exclusive All Inclusive!

    A fabulous all inclusive stay in a deluxe lakeview guestroom at the Penticton Lakeside Resort!

    Your visit begins with a bottle of your choice of Mission Hill Pinot Blanc or Mission Hill Cabernet Merlot delivered to your room upon arrival, followed by dinner at the Bufflehead Pasta & Tapas Room. Your dinner includes a caesar salad to start, your choice of chicken parmigiana, broiled salmon or a 10 oz flat iron steak and profiteroles or gelato for dessert.For breakfast you will enjoy a full Canadian Breakfast in the Hooded Merganser on top of Okanagan Lake.All meals include coffee, tea or juice.This package is available until December 30th, 2011.

    This fabulous package for two starts at only $210.00 + taxes.*Some restrictions apply.

    PENTICTON LAKESIDE RESORTConvention Centre & Casino

    21 lakeshore dr w penticton bc

    1.800.663.9400www.pentictonlakesideresort.com

    While there has been a hot springs hotel at Harrison since 1886, today the Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa is a world class cutting-edge relaxation destination.

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    where to staywhere to playwhere to dine

    BC Getaways

    Harrison Hot Springs and the Fraser Valley have quietly become one of the most exciting and interesting holiday destinations in the province. A little research revealed that a place I thought I knew o ered much, much more than I expected.

    Th e Fraser Valley municipalities of Abbotsford, Langley, Maple Ridge,

    Chilliwack and Agassiz-

    Harrison Mills have mustered their resources and created the self-guided Circle Farm Tours providing rst hand rural contact and fresh-from-the- eld ingredients for people from the city.

    We booked our rst night and dinner at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa, our second night at the new Harrison Beach Hotel and our nal night at Rowenas Inn on the River in Nearby Harrison Mills.

    Th ere has been a hot springs hotel at Harrison since 1886. Today, the Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa is one of Western Canadas premier resort destinations. Not content to rest on their historic laurels, over the years the resort expanded to 337 rooms, added meeting facilities,

    PHOTOS AND STORY BY MARK HOOD

    Just over an hour from Vancouver by car there is a world of luxurious resorts, spas, artisan food makers and wineries perched on the edge of some of BCs wildest outdoors.

    a childrens waterpark, tennis courts, 3 outdoor and two indoor hot spring mineral pools and in 2001, the Healing Springs Spa.

    We checked in and it wasnt long before the resort feel began to take hold. On our way down to

    dinner, Laura remarked that it reminded her of some

    of the more opulent resorts on Maui.

    Th e Copper Room is easily the nest dining room in the Fraser Valley

    and can hold its own with anything

    youll nd in Vancouver. Service was polished,

    professional and attentive without being obtrusive.

    Th ere was a Las Vegas showroom/Rat Pack vibe to it. Maybe it was

    Harrison revealedA little research

    revealed thata place I thought

    I knew o ered much, much more than

    I expected.

  • A26 - North Shore News - Sunday, October 9, 2011

    Abbotsfords Lepp Farm Market is a busy family owned and

    operated year-round country market with a great selection

    of fresh meats and veggies, its own smokehouse and a focus on

    locally produced foodstuffs.

    The new pet-friendly Harrison Beach Hotel offers comprehensive amenities and great views of Harrison Lake.

    the nightly entertainment and large dance oor, maybe it was the grandeur of the dcor, maybe it was the kitchens high culinary standards. Whatever it was, it all combined to create an atmosphere that banished any worries you might be packing around with you. It was magic.

    Laura ordered rack of lamb, medium, and I chose the evening special a savoury ragout of venison, bu alo and caribou served in a large Yorkshire pudding both with mashed potatoes and fresh seasonal vegetables. Th ough full, we couldnt resist splitting a desert a Praline Chocolate Royale served with roasted Agassiz hazelnuts.

    Th e next morning began with breakfast in the hotels Lakeview Terrace. Th ere were comprehensive hot and cold bu et selections and an omelette station where you could select your ingredients and have eggs prepared while you watched.

    Laura had a post-breakfast appointment at the hotels Healing Springs Spa. Opened in the year 2001, Healing Springs is a gorgeous compliment to the resorts hot mineral pools.

    Th ere you can indulge yourself with massage, facial and body care treatments as well as multi-treatment packages.

    For Laura, the traditional European Relaxation Massage was just the thing to chase away the last twinges of a hectic week and left her recharged for the start of the next one.

    While she enjoyed her spa treatment, I met up in the lobby with North Americas only full time Sasquatch hunter. I had arranged the meeting through the people at Tourism Harrison and wasnt sure what to expect.

    Bill Miller was reassuringly normal.

    He had his rst Sasquatch encounter in 1980 in Minnesota and has gone on to try to get to the bottom of an enduring wilderness mystery. Th e area around Harrison Hot Springs is Sasquatch Ground Zero and Miller, originally from Illinois, began visiting in 2002.

    He brings the seasoned eye of an experienced outdoorsman to tracking a creature that cannot be

    explained away as something else. His tales of sightings and tell-tale signs are well-reasoned and he has become a valuable resource

    for people investigating what many dismiss

    as mere myth.

    Harrison is now his full time home and he is in the process of setting up

    a wilderness guiding business

    to take visitors up in the country that surrounds

    the lake and share with them the beauty he sees every day.

    After checking out of the resort, we moved a little eastward to the new Harrison Beach Hotel. Located just across the street from the lake front, the Harrison Beach Hotel is part of the True Key Resort group that o ers holiday rentals and fractional boutique

    resort ownership opportunities in Harrison, Parksville, Sooke and Radium Hotsprings.

    Rooms in Th e Harrison Beach Hotel are bright and spacious with either lake or mountain views. Th ere is an indoor pool, tness centre, free wi- , a meeting room and concierge services. With advance notice you can book a wheelchair accessible room and they also have pet-friendly accommodations.

    Th is is a big plus as Harrison, with its forest trails and long sandy beaches is an ideal place to take a dog. We left the pooch at home, but noted it for next time.

    Each room comes equipped with a mini-fridge, microwave, co ee maker and some rooms o er cooking facilities. Th e unspoiled view of the lake and the cooking facilities with pots and utensils were just what we were after.

    ...an atmosphere that banished

    any worries you might be packing around

    with you. It was magic.

  • Sunday, October 9, 2011 - North Shore News - A27

    160 Esplanade Ave, Harrison Hot Springs866-338-8111 | www.harrisonbeachhotel.ca

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    Located 1 hour from Vancouver in the majestic village of Harrison Hot Springs, Harrison Beach Hotel offers unparalleled quality and affordability. Close to dining and shopping and boasting stunning views of Harrison Lake,

    Harrison Beach Hotel offers something for everyone.

    Early bird: a bald eagle gathers on the banks of the Harrison River to feed on spawning salmon. By mid-November there will be over 3,000 bald eagles in the area.

    Our mission: create a meal from locally sourced foods.

    Th e Circle Farm Tour web site is a great resource and a little more research helped ll in the blanks. We started at the Farm House Natural Cheeses shop in Harrison.

    Here a range of dairy products and artisan cheeses are produced using milk from the farms own goats and cows. Th ere are Cheddars, Bleus, fresh Chevres and more. We opted for a wedge of fresh Brie, a chunk of Farmhouse Bleu and half a pound of fresh-made unsalted butter.

    Next stop: Th e Town Butcher on Yale Road in Chilliwack. Th ough not o cially on the Circle Farm Tour, proprietors Bill and Liv Turnbull have been receiving rave reviews for their fresh meat and poultry selections, almost all sourced from within a 50 kilometre radius of their shop.

    We picked up some plump pork chops and a fresh head of Russian Red garlic grown in the nearby Columbia Valley.

    From there we proceeded to the tasting room of the Mt. Lehman

    Winery in Abbotsford. Nestled in the rolling countryside between the Fraser River and the highway, today Mt Lehman produces reds and whites at a respectable range of price points from their 15 acre vineyard and their wines picked up 22 medals in four competitions in 2010 alone.

    We picked up their Pinot Grigio and a bottle of their 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve having sampled both in the tasting room. Th e white

    was big on apple and citrus avours and would

    make a great summer patio gulper. Th e red was a jammy full-bodied stunner, aged 13 months in

    American and French Oak.

    Our nal stop was the Lepp Farm Market on

    the Abbotsford Mission highway. Th is is a busy family owned and operated year-round country market with a great selection of fresh meats and veggies, its own smokehouse and a focus on locally produced foodstu s.

    We picked up fresh corn on the cob, nugget potatoes, a baguette and a little olive oil to nish o the evenings grocery