British Columbia

BC music
Sep11

Are you coming to stay in one of our Okanagan vacation homes? Need some music for the trip? Travel can be a bit of a drag, particularly if you are stuck in a car or airplane for a long time. We made a special playlist for you that features all B.C. artists so that you can get in the mood for your stay here!

Not only will a solid playlist make time pass (or accent any good times you are already having during your vacation) but audio is a great memory device. What does this mean? Playing these songs after your trip is over will, hopefully, remind you of how much fun you had.

(Note that not all of these songs may be suitable for children.)

Let us know what you think.

The Best B.C. Artists Playlist

  1. “You’re Too Cool” by The Zolas
  2. “The Party Rages On” by Zumpano
  3. “Misunderstanding” by The Grapes of Wrath
  4. “Funny World” by Mae More
  5. “Of Mice and Men” by John Mann
  6. “These Lines” by Shari Ulrish
  7. “Summer of ’69” by Bryan Adams
  8. “Oblivion” by Grimes
  9. “Haven’t Met You Yet” by Michael Bublé
  10. “Força” by Nelly Furtado
  11. “Weapon” by Matthew Good Band
  12. “Home” by Joshua Hyslop
  13. “Run Away With Me” by Carly Rae Jepsen
  14. “I Love Myself Today” by Bif Naked
  15. “Seventh Wave” by Devin Townsend
  16. “Bit By Bit” by Mother Mother
  17. “Capable” by KO

To download the whole playlist on Spotify, use: BC’s Best.

Feel free to add anything else you can think of. After all, “Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything” (according to Plato).

Need some help planning your trip—specifically, where to stay once you are in B.C.? We have a range of vacation homes that we cordially invite you to try out. Contact us for more details and be sure to sign up for our newsletter so that you can watch for special deals.

Travel well!

BC Wines
Aug28

Be sure to check out the expansive local vineyards if you are planning to travel B.C. this summer. Not only are they stunning to behold but they produce delicious B.C. wine of every flavor and variety. Any vacation trip to B.C. would do well with some samples from the local wineries. Many visitors arrange wine tours during their stay. (Ask us if you are staying with us and in need of recommendations!)

In honour of all the great B.C. wineries and orchards, here are just a few of our favorite B.C. wines:

  1. Quail’s Gate Stewart Family Reserve Chardonnay | Okanagan Valley, BC

This tropical and balanced wine pairs well with any pork-centric meal. It won a bronze medal in the 2019 San Francisco International Wine Competition, among other notable achievements. This Chardonnay is refreshing, golden, and smooth with a fruity essence.

  1. Painted Rock Estate Red Icon, Bordeaux Blend | Okanagan Valley, BC

A red Bordeaux blend usually has Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc in it. Bold and structured, this wine pairs well with beef and/or venison meals. Red Bordeaux are often compared to fruits like plum and blackcurrant because of their dark colour and rich flavour.

  1. Painted Rock Estate Syrah | Okanagan Valley, BC

Syrah is a dark-skinned red wine grape known for floral flavors in its youth and more peppery flavors as it ages. Because of this, it pairs well with BBQ (think: spareribs and grilled veggies), braised beef, and aged hard cheeses. Fun fact: It’s only called “Shiraz” if it’s from Australia.

  1. Laughing Stock Vineyards ‘Portfolio’ Red, Bordeaux Blend | Okanagan Valley, BC

Laughing Stock Vineyards is located in the beachy city of Penticton, B.C. This red pairs well with heavy, fatty, and spicier steaks and lamb. We’re sensing a theme here. Routinely wins top accolades from wine competitions and wine critics alike: a proven chart-topper.

  1. Mission Hill Family Estate Reserve Riesling Icewine | Okanagan Valley, BC

An ultra-sweet icewine with tons of tropical fruit flavours, like citrus and apricot. Don’t worry, citrus-infused acidity keeps it balanced. It will pair perfectly with berry-centric desserts so be sure to stick around for an after-dinner snack.

We hope this guide will help you sample the best B.C. wine. If you in the area visiting and need a cozy vacation rental, be sure to contact us. Our staff would be happy to help you find the right fit.

Travel BC
Aug21

Why travel B.C., you ask? As native British Columbia residents, we at La Casa Cottages have a few answers for you. Has traveling B.C. been on your mind? Thinking about visiting the beaches, parks, and cities? We don’t blame you! Here are just a few of the things that we love about beautiful British Columbia.

  1. B.C. Hiking Trails

From the Okanagan to the Island, B.C. has hiking trails for all ages and skill levels. Take a family-friendly meander through a wooden grove or challenge yourself with a steep uphill climb! If you’re lucky, you might spot some wildlife (from a safe distance, of course).

  1. National Parks

B.C. is home to some of the most gorgeous national parks in all of Canada. You can birdwatch, picnic, or site-see to your heart’s content. Don’t forget to call or email ahead to ensure that they are open to the public during your day/hour of choice. Make a day trip to the nearest one—you won’t regret it!

  1. Budget Travel

B.C. has a perfect blend of flashy cities and small, community-centric towns. That means that no matter what your budget is, you can find somewhere to stay. Also: B.C. has a moderate climate year-round, meaning that you can fill your days with cost-free outdoor activities.

  1. The Beaches

B.C. borders the Pacific Ocean and has many lakes and ponds that are safe for a dip. No matter where you stay, you’ll be able to find a waterside spot to soak up some sun. Okanagan Lake is a must-see if you are vacationing in the Kelowna and Vernon area.

  1. Tourist-Friendly

Not only is B.C. very multicultural but they have a thriving tourism industry. That means everywhere you go you will feel welcomed and taken care of. Our doors are always open to newcomers.

  1. Wine County

B.C. wineries have a long history in the province, where the warm weather allows orchards of all sorts to flourish in the summer and autumn months. Book a wine tour to learn more or ask around for the best local picks.

  1. Farmers’ Markets

Wine grapes aren’t the only produce that grows across B.C. You’ll find plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables available at any local farmers’ market and even many varieties in common grocery stores, too.

Have we convinced you to travel B.C.? Contact us for details on the best B.C. vacation rentals in the Okanagan Valley and on Vancouver Island. We welcome the opportunity to set you up in a modern, personable cottage or abode of your choosing.

As always: travel safe!

Jul29

Canada-wide travel is open for the summer and visitors from the East Coast or the Prairies may be thinking about coming to B.C. for a short or long stay as the weather gets hotter. If you are new to B.C. travel, here are some tips that can help you avoid social faux-pas or even disasters!

  1. Research any National Parks before you Visit. Are parks closed, opened? Do they require a fee to enter? Do they have current siting of dangerous wildlife? Do they have “No trespassing” areas or confusing woodland areas? No one wants to look like a newbie at the park so make sure you spend some time reading up on what to expect before your arrival. Remember: Always clean up after yourself, stick to marked trails, and stay alert.
  2. Use Social Distancing Rules Where Necessary. There is so much wilderness and beach land in B.C. that it isn’t hard to find some private, safe spaces in which to enjoy the great outdoors. Patios or takeout picnics are a great opportunity to enjoy the area in a safe bubble. Be sure to keep a mask or bandana in your bag, in case it’s required—this can help with forest fire smoke and dust storms, too.
  3. Know the Wildfires Status. B.C. summers sometimes have spots of wildfires, ranging from “you’ll barely notice” to “blocks out the sun.” Be sure to check ahead of time for any fire notices or warnings so that you aren’t caught off-guard. Often times, you won’t be affected by actual fires—but you might have to make extra preparations for someone in the family who has asthma, for example.
  4. Respect the Wildlife. For the most part, wild animals are going to leave you alone. But when you venture into their territory, you should know the best practices for keeping a safe distance, making “safety noise”, and how to back out of a sketchy encounter. Bears, cougars, and coyotes are each native to B.C. Never try to approach a wild animal, even if it seems tame. And keep your snacks to yourself!
  5. Practice Sun Safety. Even if it’s cloudy, harmful UV rays can still get through! Wear sunscreen throughout the day, apply it 30 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply it every few hours as you sweat or rub it off during regular activity.
  6. Practice Water Safety. B.C. is well known for beaches, be they ocean- or lake-based. But water can be dangerous for careless or inebriated visitors, particularly in the ocean. Pay attention to signs, know where the lifeguards are (if any), stay close to shore if you’re a weak swimmer, travel in a group, and keep floatation devices within arm’s reach.
  7. Highway Driving Caution. Whether you are cruising through the Rocky Mountains or hitting up the Coquihalla, highway driving can be worrisome. It’s up to all drivers to keep a level head and avoid tragedies for themselves and passersby. Keep to the speed limit, take blind turns slowly, pay attention to traffic warnings, and stay alert on the road!

Follow these tips and you are sure to travel safe in B.C. this summer and have a great time. Not sure where to go or where to stay? Contact us for a list of available vacation rentals today!

Black bear
Jul15

What to do if you see a Bear

 

If you go hiking, you may one day encounter a bear. Therefore it is really important to know about how you should behave when this happens. BC is home to both black bears and grizzly bears. They tend to behave differently in a given situation, so first you need may want to know the differences between these bears. The protocol for bear encounters is different depending on the type you see.

Differences between Black Bears and Grizzly Bears

Grizzly bears are also called Brown bears. Don’t be deceived by their name! Both of these bears can be anything from blonde to dark black in color. You can’t identify a bear based on its color alone. The easiest way to tell if a bear is a black bear or a grizzly bear is to look for the shoulder hump.  Grizzly bears have a very distinct hump on their shoulder area which black bears do not. Black bears are the most common type of bear near BC’s largest cities. Grizzly bears generally live in rural and remote areas of BC and thrive in undisturbed habitats.

What to do if you see a bear

  • Do not run/climb a tree

These Behaving in this way might cause the black bear to chase after you. Bears are good climbers.

  • Talk in a low, calm voice

Let the bear know you’re there so it can see you’re no danger to it. However if the bear is 300 feet away and hasn’t noticed your presence, making a quiet exit is probably your best course of action.

  • Back away slowly

Back away without making any sudden movements and hopefully you and the bear will go your separate ways.

What to do if a Black bear charges at you

  • Stand your ground

If the bear is still with you even after you have followed the above, slowly put your arms up around you or move to higher ground to make yourself look bigger. Black bears are generally timid animals. 

  • Always leave the bear an escape route

  • Fighting back

As a last resort, you may want to fight back with all your strength, aiming direct blows at the bear’s face while using any weapon or object available to you. If you have bear spray with you, this would be the time to use it.

What to do if a Grizzly bear charges at you

Grizzly bears have an aggressive nature, and if you behave the same way as you would when seeing a black bear, you could make the situation worse.

  • Use Bear pepper spray

  • Play dead

Lay flat on your stomach with your hands clasped behind your neck. Spread your legs to make it harder for the bear to turn you over. It is likely that the bear will try to flip you over or play with your body. If this happens, instead of resisting, you should allow the bear to flip you, but roll all the way over so you end up face-down again.

grizzly bear

Make your Kelowna vacation wonderful by staying at one of our beautiful cottages! Call our reservations line on 1 888 226 5566 or email rentals@lacasacottageresort.com. 

 

Written by Natsumi Matsumoto