“Experience Hope” is the motto of a small British Columbia town, two hours east of Vancouver. Hope, BC, sits at the intersection of three major highways — the Trans-Canada (Highway 1), Highway 3, and Highway 5 — making it an almost-required stopping point for road trippers traveling between Vancouver, the Okanagan wine region, BC’s mountain national parks, and the Canadian Rockies.
Many people pass through Hope, stopping long enough only to fill their gas tanks, grab a latte-to-go at the laid-back Blue Moose Coffee House, or pause for pie at the old-fashioned Home Restaurant.
But I recently had the chance to “Experience Hope” on a road trip through British Columbia’s Fraser Canyon region, and I found that the area is worth more than a coffee stop — particularly if you stay at Hope’s recently revamped Evergreen B&B.
Here’s the scoop:
Evergreen B&B doesn’t look like much from the exterior, on a quiet street just off the main highway. But inside, owner Christian Paauwe and his family have transformed this traditional bed-and-breakfast into a stylish and contemporary three-room inn. Though he grew up in the Vancouver area, Christian spent nearly a decade in Japan where he met and married his wife. Moving back to Canada with their two children, they took over and updated the B&B in 2016.
Guest Rooms and Amenities
The three units at Evergreen B&B are all spacious mini-suites, with fireplaces, sitting areas, and updated bathrooms. Rooms have mini-fridges and coffeemakers, and guests can use a microwave in the common area.
The smartly designed suites replace the stereotypical Victorian frills of old-fashioned B&Bs with contemporary linens, plenty of pillows, and interesting artwork.
In the lower level dining room, with rustic wood walls, guests sit down to a full hot breakfast, normally served at 8:30am. The first course is fresh fruit or a yogurt parfait, and the cooked-to-order main dish might be a waffles or a bacon and cheese omelet.
There’s plenty to do around Hope if you’re interested in exploring the outdoors. Start with a short hike in Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park, where you can walk through the eerie Othello Tunnels. These now-abandoned tunnels were built in the early 1900s as part of a railway link between the Kootenay Mountain region and the BC coast. Bring a flashlight; these tunnels are dark!
Drive north on Highway 1 into the Fraser Canyon and swing over the Fraser River with a ride on the Hell’s Gate Airtram. Nearby, you can learn more about the region’s gold rush history at the Yale Historic Site.
Before you head back to your B&B for the night, linger over dinner at 293 Wallace, a surprisingly sophisticated contemporary bistro in downtown Hope, an excellent way to wrap up your “Experience Hope” experience.
Rates at Evergreen B&B start at CAD$149/night.