Having spent my youth in the Fraser Valley I have lots of memories of summer days spent building sandcastles and swimming in Harrison Lake. Returning now, as an adult, I can see why I loved it so much as a kid. However, I was pleased to find there are also many things to do in Harrison Hot Springs for adults and couples.
An easy 90 minute drive from Vancouver will bring you to the pretty village of Harrison Hot Springs. Sitting on the edge of Harrison Lake, surrounded by the Coast Mountains, it will be love at first sight for anyone that appreciates nature’s beauty.
Even though the town is small and you are surrounded by nature there are plenty of amenities and activities to keep everyone happy. Whether you are on a family vacation, a romantic getaway or a day out with friends you will find all you need to create your own memories.
Harrison Hot Springs Hotels
On, or close to, the main strip of Esplanade Avenue you will find campsites, hotels, guest houses and a luxury resort. Although there are quite a few options for this small town it does get busy in the summer months so we advise you book ahead.
Harrison Beach Hotel
On our recent visit we stayed at the Harrison Beach Hotel on Esplanade Ave. This hotel is literally just steps from the lake as well as the restaurants and shops. All rooms have beautiful lake or mountain views and come in three categories. Deluxe Guestrooms have a 1 King or 2 Queen beds. Junior Suites have a kitchenette, a Queen bed and a pull out sofa bed. Executive Suites have a separate bedroom with a King bed, pull out sofa, jetted tub and fireplace. Some of the suites also have a huge deck for romantic sunset drinks.
We also spent a night at the romantic and secluded Rowena’s Inn, 20 minutes away in Harrison Mills. This 160 acre estate sits on the Harrison River with spectacular views, Sandpiper golf course, pool, hot tub and restaurant. Choose from an elegant room in the main house or a more private luxury cottage with king 4-poster bed, wood burning fireplace and Jacuzzi tub. A delicious country breakfast is included with all rooms.
For other hotels check your favorite booking site. We always start with Hotels Combined because they filter your search and show you pricing and availability from all the other big booking sites so you can be sure to get the best deal.
Things to do in Harrison Hot Springs
1. Relax or Play on the Beach
Soft golden sand runs almost the entire length of the town making it a perfect destination for some beach fun. Spread out a blanket and set up an umbrella for a restful afternoon or bring some buckets and shovels for some sandcastle building and follow up with a refreshing dip in the lake.
Harrison Lake is perfect for kayaking and Harrison Eco Tours provides an awesome opportunity to explore. Their guided tours range from a 2 hour beginners trip to a 5 hour Harrison River tour and for the really adventurous a full day lake tour including a stop at Rainbow Falls.
We did a 2 hour Harrison Lake and River Tour where we spotted seals, saw Petroglyphs and learned about the history of Harrison.
3. Cycle the Circle Farm Tour
This self guided Circle Farm Tour takes you through scenic farmland, past pretty homes and allows for stops at local artisans. We rented bikes with the Harrison Beach Hotel and set off to explore the surrounding countryside stopping at the Back Porch Pottery Studio, The Farmhouse Natural Cheesery, and the Earthwise Society Demonstration Farm. There are longer versions of this tour, up to 30 kms, that cover many more interesting sights like the old Canadian Pacific Railroad Station and antique shops.
4. Water Sports & Activities
Harrison Lake is a great spot for water sports and activities. Bring your own toys or rent Sea-dos, motor boats, paddle boards, bumper boats, and inner tubes to pull behind. They also have banana boat rides for the thrill seekers. Near the dock, is a fabulous floating water park. Kids get shuttled out by boat to a big inflatable island of fun. Kids can climb, swing, jump, slide, and bounce all day for $34 CAD with in and out privileges.
5. Go Fishing
Harrison Hot Springs lake and river are a fisherman’s paradise. BC Sport Fishing Group offers single and mutli-day fishing trips for salmon, trout and even massive white sturgeon.
6. Soak in the Hot Springs Pool
The mineral rich hot springs were originally used for healing and rejuvenation by the local Salish Coast Natives. Today you can enjoy the relaxing and therapeutic benefits of this naturally hot water at the Harrison Hot Springs Public Pool. The pool is fed by two springs (Potash & Sulphur) and the waters are cooled to a temperature of 100F/38C.
Note: If you are staying at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort you will have access to several beautifully landscaped hot spring fed pool areas.
Harrison Hot Springs is in the heart of some of British Columbia’s amazing natural beauty which means there are plenty of walking and hiking trails nearby for every skill level. For something nice and easy try the Harrison Lagoon Walk or Spirit Trail. Take it up a notch with the Hicks Lake Loop or Sandy Cove & Whipporwill Point. For a real challenge hike the Harrison Grind or Bear Mountain.
Note: For more information pick up the Hiking and Adventure Guide at Harrison Visitor Center or go online to Tourism Harrison Hot Springs.
There are several golf courses near Harrison Hot Springs. Just down the road into down is the 9 hole Harrison Resort Golf Course, great for a shorter game. If you want the full golf experience head out to the Sandpiper Golf Club in Harrison Mills with 18 holes and beautiful views of the Harrison River.
Click the video below to get a taste of what Harrison Hot Springs has to offer:
Harrison Hot Springs Restaurants
For a small village Harrison Hot Springs has a really good selection of restaurants. There are rustic pubs, casual cafes, trendy foodie favorites, and upscale dining. You can find everything from fish and chips to sushi, German schnitzel to fresh local salmon.
Here are a few of our favorites:
Muddy Waters Cafe
For breakfast or lunch we loved the Muddy Waters Cafe. The food here is fresh, healthy and delicious, the service is fast and friendly and they often have live music in the afternoon and evening. All for a very reasonable price!
We had an awesome dinner at Morgan’s Bistro overlooking the lake. On a nice evening try to get a table on the deck to watch the sunset. If you can’t get a table outside don’t despair because the inside dining is also lovely with a great atmosphere. We really enjoyed the Strawberry, Caramelized Pecan Salad, the Braised Lamb Shank, and the fresh fish special.
If you’re looking for a romantic and fancy night out the Copper Room in the Harrison Resort & Spa is the place to go. Step back in time to the days of lavish decor, Big Bands and nights of dinner and dancing.
We absolutely loved our time at Harrison Hot Springs and highly recommend it as a destination for people who love nature, beautiful scenery, the beach, outdoor activities, relaxing and great food.
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Born in England, Sarah developed her wanderlust at a young age as she traveled around Europe with her parents. As a young adult she spent every penny she could on experiences as opposed to possessions. Eventually she found a way to earn a living doing what she loved: traveling, writing and capturing images of the wondrous world we live in. When not on the go Sarah enjoys time in her “sometimes home” of Vancouver.