During the summer, my family and I find reprieve from Orange County’s urban superficiality on a special coastal Canadian town, Powell River. While not glamorous, fast-paced, nor dotted with five-star hotels, Powell River provides its tourists a tranquil atmosphere to enjoy the simplicity of nature and wholesome people.
Powell River is an outdoor-lover’s haven. The ample access to hiking trails, camping reservations, boating opportunities, and other water activities defines this areas’ recreation. There are few more satisfying ways to spend a summer day than outside on the temperate British Columbia Coast. Taking a boat trip to Princess Louisa’s Inlet (http://www.princesslouisa.bc.ca/) is a must for any first time visitor. This stunning journey takes vacationers along the British Columbian coast-line, one ornamented with Douglas-firs, granite-pebbled beaches, and the freshest of air. Once at the inlet, numerous waterfalls and hiking trails to explore never fail to awe visitors, rain or shine.
For those who prefer something more leisurely, Powell River is ripe with blackberries, blueberries, peaches and cherries during the summer. Going berry picking is a great way to spend the day in itself, but making the pickings into jam is undoubtedly the best part. That’s one family activity that keeps on giving for months with delectable homemade jams and marmalades.
The changing tide is one aspect of this area that adds variety to the day. In the morning, the water can be out forty feet or more! With this extremely low tide, tourists can discover the ocean floor during a walk, usually coming across a dozen starfish along the way. By nightfall, the tide is high; a glistening moonlight reflection upon the water is the perfect backdrop to roast smores over a fire.
The town’s best restaurant, The Eagle’s Landing, is situated all on its own on the water. It gets its name from a nearby old tree where you can almost always find an eagle resting. Established more the fifteen years ago, their menu is fine tuned to appeal to a variety of appetites. Family owned and run, the staff takes pride in serving quality food and catering to customers’ preferences as much as possible. With a 180 degree sunset view, welcoming staff, and unbeatable food, there’s not much more a hungry tourist can ask for!
The stereotype that Canadians are friendly is exemplified to a tee in Powel River. Whether you pass through the town’s only drive-through Starbucks, need assistance with car malfunctions, or simply ask for directions, you will be sure to interact with some of the most friendly, helpful, genuine people there are. Though such a small town, most residence choose to remain living there all their lives. This has led to a distinct community feel within the town, where everyone knows everyone. Any visitor coming from a typical suburban or urban setting will appreciate this special sense of community, almost a novelty these days.
This gem of a town is defined by a feeling of remoteness, hard to come by nowadays, even though it’s only a brief 20 minute plane flight from the city of Vancouver. Rarely in this day in age are we able to escape the stressful go-go-go world of the twenty first century. Powell River is a Walden Pond of the West Coast, a place where all visitors leave with memories to cherish and a renewed value for simplicity.
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