Find Snowy Romance in Smithers
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Escape to snowy Smithers BC for a winter getaway that will win you over: snowshoeing, sleigh rides, skating on mountain lakes and sharing special moments.
Smithers, BC - A sleigh ride, a bonfire, toasty s’mores and fluffy snow set the mood as Bryan Mitchell and Alana Petrella settle into a romantic afternoon in Smithers. People come to Smithers for that deep snow, to ski at Hudson Bay Mountain Resort or get into the backcountry, but it also presents the perfect backdrop for a leisurely couples getaway. For Petrella, the first and strongest word that comes to mind is “magical.”
“It just felt like we were in a winter wonderland,” says Petrella. For her and Mitchell, there was a certain romance that drew them to this place, the lure of the north.
“The recreation in general is pretty amazing,” she explains. “And the other thing is the community, and I think we experienced that today.”
Smithers is far enough north that you won’t find crowds of tourists, just lifestyle seekers. But for those seeking a true adventure and time together in a real down to earth community that will surprise at every turn, that’s Smithers.
HOW TO ROMANCE SMITHERS
Book a Smithers ski and stay package
When you're trying to spoil that special someone, it always helps to make your dollar go a little further. You're going to want to get into the mountains here and have somewhere cozy to return to, and Smithers' ski and stay packages offer the best of both worlds.
Of course, any big day in the snow should always start with a good breakfast, and NOIR Kitchen and Bar (inside the Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge) serves up one of the best. Tip: the daily eggs benny specials are particularly noteworthy.
Skate on Seymour Lake
Smithers boasts not one but three large outdoor lakes cleared for skating voluntarily by local community members. Harvey Tremblay uses his own snowblower and a custom-made lake Zamboni to clear the ice on Seymour Lake. He greets the couple as they arrive.
For Petrella this is familiar but Mitchell is taking his first skate strides in many years, and there are some nerves to overcome.
“In order to build a strong relationship, getting out of your comfort zone… ” starts Mitchell.
“And laughing at yourself…” adds Petrella.
“... is really important,” Mitchell continues. “And recognizing that you’re not good at everything, putting your ego away and expressing your vulnerabilities is really positive for a relationship.”
Warm morning sun glows across the lake as the two stride hand in hand. Tremblay waves and rolls away on his Zamboni.
Lunch at Two Sisters Cafe
For a quick bite on the run, Two Sisters Cafe delivers delicious, nourishing fare that you can grab and go from their handy take out window. Even when you’re in a rush though, Smithereens (as locals call themselves) are a friendly bunch, so it’s worth taking a moment to pause and say hi to the folks you meet.
“It’s pretty remote, not close to any major centre, so individuals that come here depend on one another to give back,” Mitchell describes. “People take care of each other.”
Go for a sleigh ride at B & T Rides
Pulling into the sprawling ranch lands of B & T Rides, the first thing you see is a bright red four-seater sleigh draped with fur blankets and hitched to two great Percherons nuzzling each other by an old machine shop. The next thing that hits you is the picturebook landscape: rolling snowy hills, poplar and spruce forest, and mountains in the distance.
Since 2008, B & T Rides has been operating at their Bulkley Valley farm (just 25 minutes east from Smithers), perfecting the rare art of the sleigh ride. Initially started by Bryan and Tanis Semeschuk, it’s now owned by their daughter Breeann and her husband Trevor.
Two generations of sleigh drivers have now carried on the B & T name. Expect the warmest welcome you could imagine, and an experience that will sweep your partner off his or her feet.
Snowshoe Lake Kathlyn
Finally, if you want to literally knock your sweetie off their feet, i.e. with a good, playful bodycheck into some soft snow, then snowshoeing at Lake Kathlyn five minutes from downtown is a great way to top off the day.
Views from this lake on a clear day, with mountains and glaciers standing tall around the lake, routinely rob people of their breath.
Hearts pounding and their faces suffused with mirth, Petrella and Mitchell have clearly found the spark of something special here in northern BC.
“Laughing together, doing something you wouldn’t have done,” Petrella sums up, “having lots of fresh snow to push each other into, that’s always pretty fun.”
That’s the allure of a Smithers winter holiday. Some even call it “magical.”
WHEN YOU GO
Getting to Smithers
Smithers is a four hour drive from Prince George via Highway 16W.
Air Canada flies daily from Vancouver to Smithers.
Places to Stay in Smithers
Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge is a great basecamp for all your adventures.
To find deals and other places to stay in Smithers, check out Smithers’ Ski and Stay packages for some amazing savings and experiences.
Winter activities in Smithers
For more winter adventure ideas, check out this great list of winter activities and locations in Smithers.
Food and Drink in Smithers
NOIR Kitchen and Bar at the Prestige Hudson Bay Lodge - check out their famous bennies!
Two Sisters Cafe makes great coffee and nourishing, hearty fare like the Abundance Bowl that will make your belly happy.
Blue Water Sushi try the Japanese Street Pizza for a little something different (the pork belly pizza was my fave.)
Smithers Brewing Co. offers an incredible tap selection of standbys and seasonals, plus growler sales.
Find more recommendations here for places to eat and drink in Smithers.