Three once-in-a-lifetime fun summer experiences you really don’t want to miss.
Fly—What could be more B.C. than a floatplane ride? It will give you a bird’s eye view of our unique topography and capture the essence of the place where we live. Harbour Air offers “flightseeing” tours over Vancouver (and Victoria too) that will supercharge your senses. Consider a city look ($99 per person, $289 per family), a fly-to-Victoria-then-ferry-back-to-Vancouver package ($179) or a Mail Run ($185). On a mail run, you ride along with the locals on regularly scheduled service flights from Vancouver Harbour to the villages of the Gulf Islands. This trip is different each time, depending on the day’s pick-up stops.
Harbour Air, 604-274-1277, www.harbour-air.com
Wager—In recent years, Hastings Racecourse, which at 113 one of the oldest (and most beautifully situated) racetracks in the Canada, has undergone renovations. Three years ago they added more private boxes in the grandstand. On B.C. Day for the B.C. Cup, a high-stakes thoroughbred-racing event, these compartments, which seat six sells out in a New York minute. They come with access to a roving server on call to deliver drinks and the track’s legendary shaved-beef sandwiches. We were surprised to discover that the price for this privilege is only $25. When we called yesterday they still had boxes available, but you better act quick.
Hastings Racecourse, 604-254-1631, www.hastingsracecourse.com
Cruise— Many of the West Coast’s most spectacular homes are on the water. Rent a runabout at Sewell’s Marina in Horseshoe Bay and treat yourself to a tour of West Vancouver’s Amalfi-like shoreline. Pick up a 17-foot 60-horsepower Hourston Glasscraft, which seats six, and keep it for two hours—great tourist value for $126 (a 15-footer is even less expensive). Travel a total distance of 10 kilometres (about an hour each way), following the West Vancouver shoreline in and out of the coves to the foot of 29th Avenue. Along the way you’ll classic post and beam designs, ’80s, ’90s and oughties contemporaries, new shingle-style homes, a Mediterranean manse, a faux chateau and a spectacular arts and crafts revival.
Sewell’s Marina, 604-921-7027, www.sewellsmarina.com
Photos: Harbour Air, iStock, Casey Phaisalakani