Eats, Drinks, And Culture Feature Large in Today’s Squamish
It seems this summer is one endless honeymoon as Michael and I have been venturing around BC having a series of fantastic adventures. We’d journeyed through Squamish, perhaps stopping for lunch or a refuel on the way to or from Whistler, but hadn’t actually spent the night there until just last month. This town is well worth putting a night or two aside for it’s got everything from a Distillery to First Nations Cultural Tours.
On the way up we stopped at the Sea to Sky Gondola and ventured up for lunch and one of their new tours, the “Talking Trees” Aboriginal Cultural Experience. On this jaunt, First Nations guides accompany guests through the alpine while they share stories of the natural and historical significance of the alpine forests and Squamish area.
Our guide made us feel as if we were taking a walk with a good friend, she was very personable and we could tell that each walk would be completely different as her talks were so completely authentic. Talking Trees tours are 1.5 hours and depart the Summit Plaza at noon, lots of great stories were told!
Onto Squamish we checked into the Executive Suites Hotel and Resort. This gem is tucked off the road, but not far, and worth taking a few turns to get to, even if just for a meal in the newly opened Norman Rudy’s. We ran into our chef pal Darren Brown, he’s been working on the menu here and was helping man a pig roast on the balcony. Definitely some good food on this menu.
The Hotel Suites include fully equipped kitchens and private balconies, and our suite had a fireplace and washer and dryer. Very much like a condo with lots of space, but also with the benefits of housekeeping and room service. The Executive Suites Hotel and Resort is set among the mountains and our room overlooked the golf course. We wish we could have stayed longer.
Before dinner we stopped in at Gillespie’s Spirits, where we sampled through their artisan imbibements. Plan to do the flight and then stay for at least one cocktail. If you are lucky you might even get a sneak peak into the back distilling room for a visit with the distiller. He was working on the new whisky on this day.
Dinner at Salted Vine is a must, this spot is just killing it with their cocktail program, stellar wine list and creative menu. It’s right downtown Squamish and is a collaboration between Chef Jeff Park and Pat Allan, who met at the well-accoladed Araxi Restaurant in Whistler. The room is ultra comfy and service beyond attentive. You’ll find lots of small plates for sharing and delightful mains, the Don’t miss the Wagyu Beef with grilled broccolini, chimichurri, and smoked salt, or the Scallop Crudo with confit tomatoes, aji amarillo, yuzu, olives and potato crisps and you absolutely need to sample the charcuterie. Find Salted Vine at 37991 Second Ave., Squamish, BC Open Wed– Sun; Happy Hour 3–5:30 p.m.; Dinner 5–10 p.m.
In the morning we fortified ourselves with breakfast and proceeded to check out and explore the area more.
First up we checked out the West Coast Railway Heritage Park. We took the mini train ride and peaked in and out of the many historic trains in the park. Quite fascinating, lots of Canada’s history revealed in these old iron horses!
Howe Sound Brewery also has a great restaurant where we grabbed lunch before our trek homeward, both agreeing that this was one of our favourite fun-packed adventures!