Extend Your Stay
Explore Super, Natural BC
BC is a wonderful destination whether you’re here for competition or just want to relax – and who says you can’t do both? We have lots of suggestions for you.
Plan to spend a few days for yourself, either before the racing begins or after. Rest. Recuperate. See the sights in Victoria and Sidney – please see all of our ideas and avail yourself of Tourism Victoria’s VIP Program, which is offered to all our participants! Athletes and officials will get a special sticker on their badges which will entitle them to all the exclusive offers at local attractions, restaurants, shops and more. Find out more about the program offers from Tourism Victoria.
Below are suggestions for more sporting activities before or after WRCC 2018 plus proposed itineraries for three or more days of touring to see the best of British Columbia.
More rowing, regattas and sporting events!
Below are suggestions for more sporting activities plus proposed itineraries for three or more days of touring to see the best of British Columbia.
Victoria Marathon – October 7, 2018
Warm up for the 2018 World Rowing Coastal Championships by going for a run. The Victoria Marathon is Vancouver Island’s premier running event, offering athletes an unmatchable running experience on the pristine West Coast. The world-class, record-breaking course is designed by runners, for runners. As the only Certified Boston Qualifier on the Island, you are invited to compete, to conquer and to move from warm-up to reward. In addition to the Full Marathon, there is a Half Marathon, an 8K Road Race, and a fun Kids Race.
Head/Tail of the Gorge – October 20 & 21, 2018
Now that the 2018 World Rowing Coastal Championships are over, take time to compete in a Victoria rowing regatta tradition. This regatta is hosted by the University of Victoria men’s and women’s rowing programs on the Gorge Waterway in picturesque Victoria, B.C. The Head of the Gorge starts just shy of the Johnson Street Bridge and runs under three bridges to the finish line in front of Esquimalt Park. The Tail of the Gorge starts in beautiful Portage Inlet, runs under the proud new arches of the Craigflower Bridge, and finishes at the Esquimalt Gorge Park. If there is enough interest, the University of Victoria will consider adding a separate coastal event for participants.
Victoria City Rowing Club
Victoria City Rowing Club (VCRC) is a not-for-profit, member-driven rowing club operating out of the Victoria Rowing Society (VRS) boathouse on Elk Lake in Victoria, BC. Introductory, recreational, and competitive rowing programs for athletes of all ages (12-80+ years) and skill levels are offered. Visitors are very welcome to come and row as long as they are members of their National Federation.
Salish Seas Coastal Rowing Club
The Salish Sea Coastal Rowing Club (SSCR) is based out of Jericho Sailing Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. The club has both great rowing and club facilities. Club members and their fleet are dedicated to coastal rowing. All rowers are welcome.
The Best of British Columbia
When the racing is finished, why not make the most of your trip and consider staying on and doing some exploring around BC? You can maximize your travel dollars with choices to suit all budgets.
Here are a few suggestions of our favourite places to get you started planning to extend your trip to BC for a few days, a week or longer.
Use the CoastView app below to view hundreds of photos of the wild and rugged coast within a day’s drive of Victoria. The map shows you where each image was taken. Or you can click on the green dots on the map to view images taken at specific locations. (Click the X in the upper right of the image to close it). Enjoy this virtual tour of southern Vancouver Island and plan your post- regatta adventures!
If you didn’t get enough of the ocean – and really, who does? – it’s only a 1.5 hr drive north from Victoria to Parksville on Vancouver Island’s east coast. Parksville’s beaches are perfect for long, relaxing walks and many accommodations are right on the beach – a great quick getaway to unwind from racing and enjoy cozy fireside evenings à deux.
On your way up Island, you’ll drive through Duncan, in the Cowichan Valley, also known as the City of Totems. More than 40 totem poles were erected around downtown to honour the shared heritage of the city of Duncan and the Cowichan Tribes. Why not stop and take a walk around while you learn about the history of Cowichan Valley and the Quw’utsun’ (Cowichan) aboriginal people and soak in the local culture.
If you’ve got time, a 25-minute side-trip west from Parksville will take you through Cathedral Grove. Walking among its rare and ancient giant trees is a humbling experience. The biggest trees in the Grove are about 800 years old and measure 75 m (250 ft) in height and 9 m (29 ft) in circumference. Take Highway 4 from Parksville to MacMillan Provincial Park.
You’ve experienced firsthand what the ocean is like in southern BC. Now perhaps you’d like to see some really big waves. Tofino and Ucluelet are a relatively short drive – under five hours – north from Victoria. Both towns are situated on BC’s wild west coast and exposed to the open Pacific Ocean. Between them lies some of the best cold-water surfing imaginable, along with the Island’s longest sandy beaches that form part of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. The park is a great place to area to immerse yourself in nature’s raw beauty with accessible hiking trails, whale watching, kayaking and storm watching when the weather is inclement.
A few more days:
Carrying on the coastal theme, Haida Gwaii, north of Vancouver Island, is a must-visit for outdoor enthusiasts. In 2015, Haida Gwaii was chosen as one of National Geographic’s 20 Best Trips. It is a one-of-a kind, unforgettable destination where visitors can enjoy activities such as hiking, kayaking and fishing, learn about aboriginal culture and heritage and marvel at old-growth forests. At the southern edge of the island lies Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve and Haida Heritage Site
Ever heard stories about BC’s “spirit bears”? Plan your visit to include a trip to the Great Bear Rainforest in BC’s north and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to do a little bear-watching. If you’re very lucky, you might catch a glimpse of this elusive and rare creature for yourself.
Or maybe you’re done with the ocean and water sports for now, and would prefer to see the sights in Vancouver. You can get there by ferry or fly. Vancouver offers a big-city feel with a West Coast vibe. Great hotels, fabulous dining, shopping and sightseeing await you. How about a trip up Grouse Mountain on Vancouver’s North Shore? Grouse is easily accessible from downtown Vancouver – just grab a shuttle or public transit and be there in under an hour. Feeling a bit daredevilish? Check out the Capilano Suspension Bridge while you’re on the North Shore.
October is a little early in the season for skiing, but if you’ve always wanted to see Whistler Blackcomb, site of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, now is your chance. Take the Peak 2 Peak Gondola ride to the top of the world and be blown away by the 360° views of the Coast Mountains. Of course, it’s not just about skiing, mountain biking and hiking. Whistler Blackcomb is known worldwide for its restaurants, bars and night life. Now’s your chance to kick up your heels with the locals.
A week or so:
If you’re craving a break from the city scene, why not take the road less-travelled into BC’s interior region. If you drive, you’ll see the terrain change from lush coastal rain forest to arid desert. In fact, the grasslands and bare hillside outside the town of Osoyoos, near the BC-USA border, are an extension of the Sonoran Desert that runs as far south as Mexico and pops up again in southern BC as Canada’s only desert. Who’d have guessed Canada has a desert?
Not far from Osoyoos, the cities of Penticton, Oliver and Kelowna lie along Skaha and Okanagan lakes, respectively. All the towns and cities along the lakes are summer vacation playgrounds with soft sandy beaches and long, un-interrupted stretches of lake that welcome water- and jet-skiers. They’ll be quieter in October, but there’s still lots to do and see, and great restaurants and accommodations.
This is definitely the place to come if you’re into wine. The Okanagan is a wine lover’s dream destination. The region is home to a multitude of wineries that produce internationally-recognized and award-winning wines. Everywhere you look you will see busy vineyards blanketing the hillsides.
No trip to BC is complete without visit to the Rocky Mountains. Radium and Fairmont Hot Springs, in BC’s east Kootenay region, are a pair of gems tucked away at the foot of the Rockies. While there, you can enjoy hiking in the wilderness with spectacular mountain views, catch a glimpse of bighorn sheep and ptarmigan, play golf, or take a long soak in mineral-laden water. What could be better than relaxing in natural hot springs while gazing up at the clouds sailing past jagged mountain peaks? Ahhh!
There’s so much to see and do in BC. Why not stay and play a while?