We’re always thrilled to see media that features BReD. This season, Brighde Reed featured the Sea to Sky region in an article titled “Vegan from Sea to Sky” for Global Vegan Magazine. We were elated (although not surprised!) to be featured in their restaurant roundup. Here’s the excerpt that features our region:
The Sea to Sky area has a few all-vegan restaurants and many more that are vegan-friendly. Nearly every month, I learn that a new restaurant is opening up and they have included some amazing vegan options. While Whistler is a resort town and there are restaurants galore, there is usually a vegan option or two in every restaurant but many of them simply resort to a falafel wrap. If you choose to self-cater, drop into PlantX in Squamish to pick up supplies. Supermarkets here also have an abundance of products just like in Canada’s cities.
This area is very popular with tourists and as such there are day trips and experiences beyond downhill skiing or mountain biking in the summer.
Burgers, bánh mi
Healthy, oil-free, zero waste
Sourdough bread, cinnamon rolls
Vegan-friendly, Middle Eastern
Squamish is a winter home for a large number of bald eagles that come here from further north. They stay here as the winters are so mild and there is so much food in the rivers due to the recent salmon spawning. You can go to the eagle run and walk around the river and see plenty of eagles, but one of the nicest ways is to go eagle rafting. It’s very low-key (no rapids), so it is suitable for everyone. It is a wonderful way to see eagles, and you will likely see other animals too in this quiet and isolated area.
Vallee Lumina is a multimedia light show in the forest. While this is not especially a vegan activity, I did find it fun as a vegan. The reason I’m including this is that while animals feature in the show, they have been recreated using light and sound, which is how we vegans want to see animals used in entertainment. It’s really hard to know what to expect before you go there, and it is pretty hard to explain. Just trust me. This is not a light show just for kids. I was simply blown away by this performance and have been back twice since. Book a spot and be prepared to be wowed!
There are several companies in Whistler that guide you to safely view wildlife in their natural habitat. Whistler is home to many black bears, and you can go on a 4WD tour to Callaghan Valley, which has become home to the largest concentration of mother bear ranges in the region.
Going off the beaten track will surely increase the likelihood of seeing bears, especially if you go with a guide that knows where they like to hang out. There is also a high likelihood you will see other animals too, like deer, eagles, and coyotes.
Whistler Photo Safaris is the place to book your tours to increase the likelihood you’ll see more animals in their 4WD vehicles.
CALLAGHAN VALLEY & WHISTLER OLYMPIC PARK (WHISTLER)
Often overshadowed by the downhill ski and mountain bike resort in Whistler, this place is really special. Callaghan Valley is an immense area of outstanding natural beauty and has an abundance of activities in the summer and the winter. Winter has a vast area for snowshoeing, ski touring, and cross-country skiing, and during the summer you can hike and mountaineer.
What I love about Callaghan Valley is the cost. Lacking gondolas and chairlifts, not only are the views unspoiled, but the cost of a pass is less too. Callaghan Valley is also a centre for learning more outdoor sports and skills, from biathlon to kids camps, with many events happening throughout the year. I love Callaghan Valley and Whistler Olympic Park for their natural beauty and being accessible for people of all ages and abilities.
One of the favourite activities I did on a whim a few years ago, but we always recommend this to people who come to the Sea to Sky. This lovely canoe or kayak ride along the River of Golden Dreams is one of the best ways to see beavers, otters, bears, and numerous birds. Picking up your preferred vessel from the shores of Alta Lake, you then paddle across the lake and float down the winding River of Golden Dreams for a couple of hours. At the end, you will be met by a staff member of Backroads Whistler who will help you get your kayak out of the water and transport you back to the start. If you have little or no kayaking experience, then you can have a guided tour to help you if the wind picks up. Don’t miss the Wildlife at Twilight tours. These are strictly limited and happen in the height of summer. These are booked well in advance so book early to avoid disappointment.
There are a few companies that offer white water rafting day trips that leave from Whistler and Squamish. Squamish Rafting has a number of half and full-day trips available for those who love a bit of adrenalin and natural beauty. The hilarious and informative rafting guides keep you safe and informed and there are a couple of different options from family-friendly to a little more adventurous.
I can vouch that when meals are included, they provide delicious vegan food carefully labelled and prepared, and you can enjoy it on the banks of the river.
There are a few Nordic spas in the Sea to Sky region, but Scandinave is the most well-known. It’s open all year and a very popular thing to do after a day of activity. No talking is allowed, which makes it an extremely restful place to spend a few hours.