people are always searching for their next escape.

Seat sales.
Round the world tickets.
Backpacking through SE Asia.
Gap years in Australia...
But what about staying here

By the time I was 24 I had travelled, lived and worked in over 30 countries. I was a professional at hopping on any flight I could to get away; I needed to explore, but staying in Canada didn't seem "adventurous" enough for me.  I thought adventure could only be satisfied in foreign experiences on the other side of the world.

In my early 20's I was offered a short term contract for a travel company based in Vancouver. I had never been to Vancouver but thought "What the heck? It's only three months...just another trip and a new experience."

Long story short, it's been three years and I haven't looked back since. I absolutely fell in love with this city. Over the course of these years I was going through a lot of change, including transitioning out of the travel industry. It was SO hard to not have the option of travelling all of the time so I started packing my evenings and weekends with any adventure I could find in and around Vancouver.

Once I started exploring British Columbia, I realized how much I had skipped out on. I couldn't believe how incredible my own country was and couldn't help but wonder why I had never opted to explore my own backyard.

While I'm lucky to have seen and experienced so much traveling the world - this is my home..and I've set out with one mission:

Show people that they don't have to go far to travel.

So here it is: #TheStayCationSeries. My goal is to travel around Canada to showcase what our home is all about while supporting local, sustainable tourism and leaving you with a detailed blog on how you can re-create the trip for yourself.

Coming at your with pt. all the way from Golden, BC!

- Ally 

 
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Golden, British Columbia

Golden.  Good ol' Golden.

I have a soft spot for this place. If you were doing a quick pass through on the Trans-Canada highway, you would probably overlook this city and mistake it for a truck and gas stop.

For me, this place was wonderland and adventure heaven.  Golden is tucked in the mountains and is surrounded by six national parks.

That's right... SIX national parks - and might I add that they're some of the best ones!

I love Golden because after a couple of visits, it's become of location of choice when I'm looking for an adventure hub out in the mountains.

WHEN TO GO

- Year round travel
- Winter for ski/snowboaring,  other seasons for hiking and city exploration

GETTING THERE FROM VANCOUVER

- Driving: 7.5 hours east of Vancouver
- Flying:  Fly To Calgary and drive 3 hours west

 
 
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Kickinghorse lodging

As this series continues, you'll start to find a common theme: I opt for accommodation that allows me to feel like can move and settled in. From condos to lodges, beach houses - you name it. I love that homey feeling you get when you're away - you know, that one when you stop and think "could I live here? Yep."

That was Kickinghorse Lodging for me.  Our chalet-style accommodation was the ideal mountain home for me.  The unit was a one bedroom apartment with full kitchen, living room, fireplace, bathroom, in-suite washer/dryer and a balcony (that you may or may not see the northern lights from...just sayin')

Whether you're visiting Golden solo, with a partner, group of friends or an extended family vacation - Kickinghorse Lodging is a great option that'll suit your needs.  AND if you're travelling for winter on the slopes, this is the spot you want to be staying!


 
 
 
 

the heart of the mountains

 
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activities at a glance

Golden is the perfect destination for year-round travel, offering plenty of options for adventure and activity both on and off the mountain.

I've broken down the activities by season for you to get a better idea of when travel might work for you.

WINTER

  • Ski/Snowboarding at Kickinghorse, Revelstoke + Lake Louise
  • Snowmobiling
  • Ski Tourism
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • Ice Climbing
  • Ice Fishing
  • Heli Skiing

SUMMER

  • Hiking + helihiking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Whitewater Rafting
  • Horseback Riding
  • Canoeing/Kayaking
  • Skydiving/Hangliding
  • Climbing/Mountaineering
 

Emerald Lake + Yoho national park

Hop on hwy 1 and If you drive an hour east from Golden, you'll find yourself in one of my favourite gems tucked in the mountains. Emerald Lake is the largest lake in Yoho National Park and attracts thousands of visitors each year - when you get a glimpse of it for  yourself, you'll understand why!

Being a tourist hot spot, Emerald Lake gets quite busy. I would recommend hitting it for sunrise and beating the crowds.

Other recommended spots for Yoho National Park: Lake O'Hara, Wapta Falls, Spiral Tunnels, Natural Bridge + Takakkaw Falls.

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banff national park

This is one of my favourite spots of all time. In just a short 1.5 hour drive from Golden, you'll be able to visit the classic favourites in Canada like Lake Louise, Peyto Lake + Lake Moraine.

It's hard for me to be that close to Banff and not make a stop in. You know what's even harder? Being right at the start of the Icefields parkway and not caving and taking on the whole drive over to Jasper National Park!

 

HUNT FOR THE NORTHERN LIGHTS

Seeing the northern lights has always been one of the top items on my bucket list. I had always assumed that I'd have to be in the arctic to see spectacular shows, but Golden proved me wrong.

I've been to Golden twice and have been lucky enough to see a show both times being there, one of which completely blew my mind and brought me to tears.

On a clear night, head away from all light pollution and head on an adventure under the stars.

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stay in

I'll start by saying that I ended up at this place...twice. The vibe of this spot is great any time of day and the food was amazing. The fried greens are a must to share and I definitely recommend the pizza!

 

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Eleven22

It was really cool to see a staple part of the community in action. We were lucky to get a tour of the brewery that gave us a up close and personal look of this place behind the scenes.

If you're looking for a spot to hang out and have a local and quick drink, this is the place to be!

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Bluebird Cafe

Good vibes and great coffee. The Valley Social was hands down my favourite coffee spot in Fernie. If an espresso isn't your thing, opt for a fresh juice or kombucha. 

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cedar house

We wandered into this spot on our last day and we're pretty bummed that it was a late discovery.

If you're looking for healthy eats, Lunchbox is the place to go in Fernie!  Menu options include wraps, salads, sandwiches, smoothies, chili and more. Note: this spot is only open for lunch!