5 Summer Activities to Maximize Your Vehicle’s PotentialAug 11th, 2017
Summer is well underway, and that means people are leaving the city, getting outside and enjoying all of the natural wonders that beautiful British Columbia holds in store. From the mountains to the ocean, there’s no shortage of awesome summer activities in the Greater Vancouver area and Fraser Valley.
One of the single most important aspects of getting outdoors and enjoying the summer sunshine, is having the proper vehicle to prepare you for your adventures. You may drive a sports car, or a 4X4 pickup/SUV, or enjoy the fuel efficient and practicality of a family hatchback – all of these models are able to play to their individual strengths, depending on how you choose to spend your time this summer. In this post, we’ll spell out our top 5 summer activities to maximize your vehicle’s potential.
The quintessential summer road trip is an accessible and fun way to spend the day, weekend, or even a week of time with your family and friends. There’s no shortage of vehicle that would be perfect for a road trip geared at sight-seeing and exploring our very own backyard. Pack up the hatchback, sedan, truck or minivan and hit the road!
Some of the continents most prominent attractions and environments lie right here, so you don’t have to venture too far from home to get a taste of what BC can offer. Consider heading to the island to experience the coastal splendor of Pacific Rim National Park, home to incredible beaches, epic biodiversity, trails, shipwrecks, and over 100 islands and inlets. Or, head to Whistler, arguably the best all-season resort municipality on earth, consistently rated #1 in the North America thanks to its spectacular PEAK 2 PEAK gondolas, pedestrian village, trail systems and golf courses – all accessible from Vancouver via the Sea-to-Sky Highway.
Nature more your scene? Head north for the weekend to explore the planet’s largest intact coastal temperate rain forest and home of the elusive Spirit Bear in the Great Bear Rainforest. Home to whales, dolphins, one of the planet’s largest salmon runs and stunning old growth forests, it’s sure to impress. Hit up the Okanagan Valley for world-class winery tours, sandy beaches, and mountain hikes.
Maybe you fancy a drive? Put the top down on your convertible, or rev up the sports car and hit any number of immaculate mountain roads.
BC is well-versed in outdoor sports and activities. Home to one of the best snowboard and ski communities on the planet in winter, Whistler should be on your hit-list for summer fun as well. Load up the mountain bikes in the back of your pickup truck, or load them onto a specialized rooftop SUV carrier to experience the trails and scenic vistas of Whistler Blackcomb. Explore the historic and rich biological wonders of BC’s many intricate waterways and coastlines via stand-up paddleboard, canoe or kayak. There are innumerable products and accessories that make transporting watersports gear on your Equinox, Traverse, Sonic, Silverado, Volt, or even Camaro – easy and safe for all.
Off-Roading & 4x4ing
Geared to the thrill-seeker, BC is home to some of the best and most scenic off-roading trails and tours in coastal Canada. You’ll need a 4-wheel drive vehicle for the more grueling trails and mud-bogs, but an AWD SUV equipped with a moderately aggressive tire can easily achieve some dirt road and mild off-road action to get to any number of little-known lookout’s, towns or secret beaches.
The advantages of 4WD allow the driver to switch between gearbox settings, and 4-low setting allow you to crawl over difficult and demanding terrain, while AWD helps the driver by automatically administering the proper amount of power to each wheel as needed.
Trucks and SUV’s are lavishly catered to when it comes to off road gear and accessories, from light bars to knobby mud tires, to flexible and tough suspension components and even snorkel kits for the serious offroader.
We’ve even published our own guide on the best off-roading locations in British Columbia, our provincial offerings are that good.
With the coast or Rocky mountains as your backdrop, it’s no wonder people travel from all over the planet to camp in British Columbia. BC is home to more campgrounds than you can shake a stick at, and even features provincial and national parks larger than some European countries.
Camping and similar family style outings can require extra gear like tents, coolers, water sports equipment, tools, clothing and other luggage, so while you can absolutely make a go of camping out of your sub-compact, a larger vehicle makes it easier to get the whole family from the suburbs to the mountains. Accessory wise, people with smaller vehicles can purchase rooftop cargo carriers to accommodate the need for additional gear, or alternatively can go the route or purchasing a small camp trailer, provided they have a hitch and/or tow package.
Contrary to popular belief, what camping doesn’t require is 4WD – don’t be discouraged by the stereotypical scene of camping in the middle of nowhere, many grounds, parks and sites are easily accessible via any type of vehicle you can think of.
One of the newest roadworthy revelations is that of a track day, wherein renting out time on a BC racetrack can spell putting the pedal to the metal in your track-inspired sports car, roadster, muscle or tuner car. Testing your ability and skills in a safe and secure track environment, drag strip or time trial location – in a Camaro or the big bad Chevy Corvette – is a sure-fire way to get your blood pumping.
There are many tracks in BC that rent out time to drivers – notably Mission Raceway, Active Mountain Raceway, and Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit, which feature road courses – offering drivers a chance to test their machines and their driving abilities on a professional racetrack. Talk about a great way to spend the afternoon!
Eagle Ridge GM – Coquitlam, British Columbia