British Columbia Has Some Great Destinations, Near And Far | KNKX

British Columbia Has Some Great Destinations, Near And Far

Apr 19, 2018

Editor’s note: This segment originally aired on March 26, 2015.

Both KNKX travel expert Matthew Brumley and KNKX All Things Considered​ host Ed Ronco love British Columbia. Certainly the nearby destinations of Victoria and Vancouver are worth a quick weekend trip (or more, if you want).

But taking a little more time can lead you deeper into the province, where you’ll find some real gems. Here are three of our recommendations:

1. Quadra Island

Head to Nanaimo, on Vancouver Island, then hop on Highway 19 and keep heading north. You'll find Quadra Island just a ferry ride away from the community of Campbell River.

"There's hardly anybody there," Brumley said. "It's still covered with gravel roads, and it's populated by lumberjacks and Toronto intellectuals who escaped the big city and are now raising their kids up there on granola and yogurt."

Plan on lots of time outdoors, and a quiet, peaceful getaway among old-growth forest. This is a destination, not a stop.

2. Radium Hot Springs

The town itself is a pretty normal mountain community. You'll find RV parks and lodges for sightseers. But look closer and you'll see the Home of a Thousand Faces, operated (and occupied) by a woodcarver named Rolf Heer.

You'll find huge carvings of wooden faces, many for purchase, all for your enjoyment. The home itself is his residence and gallery, but it's also a weird little playground, with obstacles to navigate and knobs to turn. Turn the wrong one, and you might get sprayed with water. Or Heer might do it to you himself. He's hidden a network of sprayers throughout his compound. So maybe it's best to visit on a hot day. 

Use this as a fun stop as you head into the mountains.

3. Smithers

The entrance to Smithers' downtown is guarded by a fiberglass statue of a man blowing an alpenhorn. The community sits along the Yellowhead Highway in northern B.C. In the winter you can see the northern lights or strap on some skis. In the summer, there's a folk music festival and the Bulkley Valley Exhibition and Fall Fair.

A friendly, quiet place to relax. Spend a couple days here, especially when the fall fair is happening.

Those are our recommendations in British Columbia. What are yours?


"Going Places" is 88.5's weekly exploration of travel. Our travel expert, Matthew Brumley, is co-founder of Earthbound Expeditions on Bainbridge Island, which provides small group travel to clients including KNKX. Never miss an episode again. Subscribe to Going Places with iTunes Google Play or Stitcher.