We’ve taken our fair share of BC road trips from driving the famous Sea to Sky Highway to exploring the glorious Sunshine Coast. Our latest journey took us east to the interior of British Columbia from Vancouver through Kelowna and Revelstoke and what a beautiful drive it was.
If you live in Canada (or getting ready to cross the border) and are looking to explore your own backyard, a road trip to the BC interior is a must. Why? Well, read on to find out.
Best BC Road Trip
Big Giveaway with Sandman Hotels
As we made our way through the Okanagan Valley towards the Columbia Mountain range in British Columbia, we enjoyed stays at Sandman and Sutton Place Hotel along the way, all of which are owned and operated by Northland Properties. They made for the perfect base as we explored the wine region of Kelowna, had zany adventures in Revelstoke and relaxed at the waterfront of Kamloops.
2 Nights at a Sandman Hotel of your choice!
We have some good news for you! We’re giving away two nights at any Sandman Hotel in Canada including restaurant gifts cards at one of the Moxies, Denny’s, or the Shark Club depending on the hotel you choose.
It’s easy to enter, just head over to our Instagram post, and follow us @theplanetd and @sandmanhotels. Then tag someone you would like to bring with you! If you tag more than one person, you’ll get an extra bonus entry! (up to 3 extra tags for 3 extra chances). With the borders opening up, it’s a great time to visit Canada.
The BC Road Trip Begins
We landed at Vancouver International Airport on a sunny day where we picked up our rental car. When driving through British Columbia, we usually recommend renting an SUV, but with sunny weather, we didn’t have to worry about snow so we drove in a humble sedan. It may not have been the greatest for back roads, but it was good on gas which is a must with the high cost of fuel in Western Canada.
No BC road trip would be complete without spending time in Vancouver. We made our way to Davie Street to stay at the Sandman Suites. With a room on the top floor, we had one of the best views in the entire city. Davie Street is our old haunts from when we lived in Vancouver. Our old apartment was located at Beach and Denman and when standing on our balcony at the Sandman, we were thrilled to see the building still overlooking English Bay.
With a central location, it was easy to walk around the city exploring all of its top attractions from Stanley Park to False Creek. We took a stroll along the waterfront revisiting all our favourite places in Vancouver for a day before our road trip began. Check out The Sandman Suites Vancouver – Davie Street for rates and availability.
After checking out to move on to the BC interior, we hit the road with a half-day stop at Grouse Mountain. It had been years since we’ve been up the Grouse Mountain Gondola. With limited time, we didn’t tackle the Grouse Grind but instead joined a zipline adventure with Mountain Ziplines. This 5 dual-line circuit takes you over old-growth forests, lakes, and valleys and is an adrenaline-pumping good time! Visit Grouse Mountain Zipline to book your own adventure.
When you are up at Grouse Mountain, make sure to stop to see the resident grizzly bears, Coola and Grinder who were rescued as cubs in 2001. They were found near death and starving on the side of a road (in separate incidents) in the interior BC. After being nursed back to health, Grouse Mountain decided to donate a portion of land to the bears to live out their days in a sanctuary. It is truly an uplifting experience to see them enjoying a swim in the pond. Visit the Grouse Mountain Peak of Vancouver Website for details.
Vancouver to Kelowna
We finished up early afternoon and had a big drive ahead as we made our way to Kelowna, British Columbia. The four-hour drive is a scenic drive through rolling mountains and valleys. The weather turned a bit during our drive, so we bee-lined it to our hotel in Kelowna.
The Sandman Hotel & Suites is located a bit out of downtown but has all the amenities you could want with an indoor swimming pool, gym, and two restaurants connected to the hotel. There is a shopping mall and Moxies within walking distance as well. With free parking, it was a great base for exploring the top attractions in Kelowna. Visit their website for rates and availability.
Kelowna is in the heart of wine country and one of the top things to do is to hop on the wine trail and explore the many vineyards. This is a superb place to stock up on wine for evening nightcaps at the hotels.
We also spent an afternoon downtown strolling along its picturesque waterfront and enjoyed finding little gems like the Chinese Garden which is a quiet oasis in the centre of downtown.
Myra Canyon Trestles
The top attraction in Kelowna though is the Trestles cycling trail. Located about 40 minutes drive from Kelowna, the 24 km trail takes you along the old Kettle Valley Railway. This is an incredibly scenic trail that can be cycled or hiked. We hiked a portion of it and it was worth the drive. With 18 historic trestle bridges and two massive tunnels blasted through the rock, it is really an amazing sight to see. Worth noting is that the drive up to the trailhead is along a gravel road so take care with that car rental.
Kelowna to Revelstoke
After two nights in Kelowna, it was time to move on to the star attraction of our BC road trip, Revelstoke. A popular winter ski destination, Revelstoke has a ton of things to do in the summertime too! We stayed right at the resort at The Sutton Place which is located slopeside. Overlooking the gondola, we set out for three days of adventure.
Sutton Place Hotel Revelstoke Mountain Resort
The Sutton Place Hotel Revelstoke Mountain Resort is a one-stop destination and you barely need to leave the resort. There is the Rockford Bar and Grill and La Baguette on sight for dining and there are plenty of shops including a liquor store. Plus, with all rooms having full kitchens, you can pack all you need to maximize times on North America’s longest vertical ascent. See their website for rates and availability.
Revelstoke has some awesome downhill mountain biking and you can rent mountain bikes and e-bikes on-site. Right now there are only intermediate and black diamond trails for mountain biking, but by next year they will have the green run open for beginners. Downhill mountain biking is a hoot and with very few uphill climbs, we were left to enjoy the feeling of letting gravity do its work. After learning how to ride the berms we settled into one great ride.
Play All Day Pass
One of the best things you can do at Revelstoke Resort is to purchase the play-all-day pass. This includes two rides on the Pipe Mountain Coaster, access to the Aerial Adventure Park, Axe Throwing, Disc Golf and hiking at the top of the gondola. We had a great time running from one adventure to another. Play All Day Passes start at $69. Check their website for more details.
The outdoor spa at The Sutton Place and its year-round heated swimming pool was the perfect ending to a day of adventure and we soaked in the tub soothing our tired muscles.
ATV Tour Revelstoke
I know we said that you never have to leave the resort in Revelstoke, but that’s not to say we recommend staying put the entire time! One of the best adventures we’ve ever had in British Columbia was the ATV adventure with Great Canadian tours. Since we were on a road trip, we had the freedom to drive to their office at the foot of Frisby Ridge at Glacier House Resort.
This ATV Tour was hours of pure adrenaline as we drove up technical trails to high mountain views. This tour seriously offers the best views in all of Revelstoke. What makes it more special is that barely anyone else gets to see these vistas. Since the roads are rugged, the only way to get to the top is by ATV and our guide Josh told us that nobody else really gets out here except for those taking their tour.
It’s a tour that is not for the faint of heart as you go up and down steep inclines and cling to mountain ridges, but it is worth every heart-pounding moment and by the time it ends, you’ll be wanting more. See their website for more adventures.
Before leaving Revelstoke, make sure to check out downtown. We enjoyed a delicious noodle bowl at Craft Beirhause and loved perusing its historic buildings. We then made our way to Mt. Begbie Brewing Co. to pick up some beer for the latter half of our road trip nightcaps at the hotel and were ready to move on to the final leg of our British Columbia Road Trip.
Revelstoke to Kamloops
Slowly making our way back to Kamloops, we had more time to stop at roadside attractions from Revelstoke.
Ghost Town 3 Valley Gap
The first being the old Ghost Town at the 3 Valley Gap. Even if you don’t go inside, this is a lovely stop to take in the views. Stroll through the 25 historic buildings dating back to the gold rush of the 1800s and make sure to stop at the lookouts to view the scene of 3 Valley Lake.
The Last Spike
Another must-stop on this drive is the Last Spike historic site. This was the location of the final spike in the CP rail line in 1885. Located at Craigellachie near Eagle Pass, this was the ceremonial spike signifying the completion of this trans Canada railway that spanned from coast to coast.
The night was spent in Kamloops British Columbia. Checking into The Sandman Signature Suites located across from the beautiful Kamloops waterfront, we were within walking distance to downtown and the waterfront park. Our room overlooked the river and we had a full kitchen and living room to relax after a long road trip.
There is also a lovely indoor pool and outdoor terrace to bask in the sun. The Sandman Signature Kamloops has a Moxies and Shark Club restaurant onsite and they offer a boxed breakfast to take with you on your road trip. Rates, availability and more information here
We had stopped here in Kamloops once before on our Rocky Mountaineer train journey to take in its beautiful scenery. It is a good town to break up a BC road trip to the interior. One place to note is to get off the highway when approaching Kamloops and take the side road to view the nearby hoodoos. Not quite the hoodoos of Alberta, but it is a scenic drive.
We checked out early from Kamloops because we really wanted to hit the Othello Tunnels in Hope, British Columbia. We never really made it to Hope when we lived in Vancouver, but always wanted to see it as First Blood, the first installment of Sylvester Stallone’s Rambo series, was shot here.
The Othello Tunnels reminded me of the Trestles of Kelowna. It is a series of tunnels and trestle bridges cutting through the mountains following a deep gorge. This was a feat of engineering as the 5 tunnels were blasted and built in 1914. It is just a 3.5 km round trip, but completely worth stopping to see.
And that completes our British Columbia road trip. If you want more time in Vancouver, now is the time to make your way back downtown. If you are ready to fly home, stay at the Sandman Signature Suites airport location where you can enjoy a fantastic steak dinner at Chop Steakhouse. This cool eatery has a chic urban vibe and it’s located on-site with an urban outdoor patio. We had our last meal in BC here and the service was excellent. See the location and menu here
So these are four amazing stops on a road trip to the interior of British Columbia. From the coast of Vancouver to the mountains of Revelstoke, there is so much to do in BC that an 8-day road trip barely scratches the surface, but it sure is a great time! Have you gone on a BC road trip? Where to next?
As you know we love rewards programs and wanted to share some RSVP Rewards information with you. Two of Northland Properties’ most well-known brands, Sandman Hotel Group and The Sutton Place Hotels have joined forces to create a new loyalty program called RSVP Rewards. The program is free to join and members instantly unlock exclusive perks at over 60 Sandman and Sutton Place Hotels across Canada, The U.S., England and Scotland.
From complimentary upgrades and free breakfast to racking up points to pay for your whole trip, there are so many reasons to become an RSVP Rewards member. Not to mention that members save an extra 5% off select rates! Join today to get an instant 1,000 points added to your account – that’s the equivalent of $10 towards a future stay!
Northland Properties is a Canadian-owned and operated company with 57 properties across the country including Sandman Hotels and Sutton Place Hotels plus Grouse Mountain, Revelstoke Mountain Resort, and restaurants like Moxies, Denny’s, and Shark Clubs. Nice!
Don’t forget to enter for our chance to win a two-night stay at any Sandman Hotel of your choice. Just head over to our Instagram post, and follow us @theplanetd and @sandmanhotels. Then tag someone you would like to bring with you! If you tag more than one person, you’ll get an extra bonus entry!(up to 3 extra tags for 3 extra chances). With the borders opening up, it’s a great time to visit Canada.
If you enjoyed this journey through British Columbia from Vancouver to Revelstoke, save it to Pinterest to help you plan your future Canada Travels.
Plan your next trip to BC with these Resources