Travel notes: Pooch-friendly holidays in B.C.; fall festivals to watch

Travel notes: Pooch-friendly holidays in B.C.; fall festivals to watch

Some wineries in B.C. are now allowing pets on the property for people visit tasting rooms.

Eric Risberg / AP

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Most dog owners would prefer not to leave their pooch behind when they hit the road for a trip, and there’s no reason to if your holiday sights are set on British Columbia.

True, many hotels and inns allow dogs, but what if you’ve got plans for a round of golf, shopping or touring wineries?

Here are five places where you don’t have to make a decision to leave the dog in the car or alone in a hotel room.

Dog-friendly tee time: Your furry buddy is welcome — well-behaved and on a leash, of course — to join you while you play golf at Predator Ridge in Vernon on Sundays after 4 p.m. Grab a cart and hit the links with your pup; there is no added fee and you can play nine or 18 holes. The best part about having your dog along is they won’t judge when you make a less than stellar shot.

Posh pups: Two Vancouver hotels — Opus Vancouver and Fairmont Hotel Vancouver — will gladly pamper your dog for the day. While you’re out having fun in the city, the Fairmont offers pooches a suite of royal treatments, including an hour-long “pup-arazzi” photo session, a visit to the nearby off-leash park for some exercise and a menu that includes prime rib bone. At the Opus, tuckered out doggies can get an hour-long canine massage.

Welcoming wineries — While you’re sampling the delicious Rosés or Cab Sauvs, your pup can relax by your side at several wineries that are happy to see you and your fur baby. See Ya Later Ranch, Okanagan Crush Pad, Road 13 all welcome dogs in the tasting rooms or they can just chill under the shade of a tree.

Nita Lake Lodge is moments from Whistler Mountain.

Nita Lake Lodge base camp for ski, snowshoe, Fat bike holiday

Whistler: It may seem way too early to start thinking about a winter ski, bike or snowshoe escape, but it could save you some cash. Nita Lake Lodge at Whistler is offering discounts on accommodations, depending how long you stay. If you book by Nov. 15, you get 10 per cent off the best rate for a three-night stay, 20 per cent on a four- or five-night stay, 25 per cent on a six- to 11-night stay, and 35 per cent on 12 nights or more.

Also included in the deal are free snowshoes and complimentary use of a Fat bike (helmets and locks included) on the Whistler Valley Trails, which connect Creekside to Whistler Village and passes through the property. The lodge is set on a pretty glacier-fed lake, has a spa and the newly renovated cosy Cure Lounge and Aura Restaurant will warm you up at the end of a busy day. Details on this and other deals at

Best of the fall festivals in the west

Lethbridge Oktoberfest, Sept. 29-30: Lethbridge really knows how to roll out the barrel and the welcome mat for its fourth annual Lethbridge Oktoberfest. The main Munich-style event happens in Galt Gardens, transformed into one big downtown beer garden. It also features two locally made beers from the Theoretically Brewing Co., and dozens more German-style brews. Authentic German food — think big pretzels, bratwurst and schnitzel — plus live music from local band the Polka-holics and Medicine Hat’s Alpen Schatz makes for a fun weekend. After-parties are held at the Telegraph Tap House around the corner from the beer gardens. Details on the event Facebook page.

Queen of the Peak surf competition in Tofino attracts surfers from all over North America.

Queen of the Peak, Sept. 29-Oct. 1: The early days of storm-watching season are one of the best times for surfing off Vancouver Island’s west coast — and also to watch the pros expertly carve a barrel. Head to Tofino for Queen of the Peak, an all-women’s surf competition, featuring long and short board surfers from all over North America. The competition is sponsored by Shelter Restaurant and Surf Sister surf school, which is ready to give lessons to non-pros, too, and last year the event attracted 100 surfers. Though surfing may be the main event, there are many other activities happening around town, including yoga, movie premieres and as always plenty of opportunities to soak up the sea air on the local beaches and trails. Details at

— Compiled by Lisa Monforton