Visiting Golden BC With Your Family

I have a very vague memory of visiting Golden BC with my parents when I was about 7 years old. One of my mom’s cousins owned a motel there and we spent the night on our way to Edmonton. Maybe it was that stop-over, or the fact that I’ve never really heard anyone say that they went to Golden and stayed a few days – in my mind Golden was just a place to spend the night if you are tired and need a pit stop on the highway; I was definitely wrong.
Golden is actually a great destination for young families. As I’ve mentioned in other posts, we are trying to introduce our kids to the outdoors, a little bit of adventure, and alternative travel options, so Golden was the perfect fit for us. It was also an opportunity to take our kids on their first real road trip.
Rogers Pass BC{Rogers Pass}
Rogers Pass Yoho National Pass
We started our drive to Golden in Abbotsford after picking up my mom and pretty much went non-stop to Kamloops, where we decided to stop for lunch. Honestly, I wish we had chosen Revelstoke or Salmon Arm as our lunch stop as it was so easy to access restaurants right off the highway in both, and in Kamloops we had to get off the highway and try to find a place to eat. From there our next stop was Rogers Pass – and it was just stunning! If you are driving into Golden from west, you have to plan a stop here; just don’t forget to buy a park pass though! (If you are driving in from Calgary or Edmonton I’ll share some ideas on where to stop along the way next week).
days inn golden
After Rogers Pass we drove into Golden, and settled in at the Days Inn. It was a great location, the rooms were very comfortable, and the staff was friendly and knowledgeable about the area. What we loved most though was the hot breakfast buffet every morning. When you are travelling with your family the biggest expense is eating out, and it was really great to have a nice warm (and tasty) breakfast available to fill up on before heading out for the days adventures! 
What to see in Golden with Your Family:
These are a few of the things that we really enjoyed checking out, but there is so much more we didn’t get to this time. Check out the Tourism Golden website for more ideas too. 
kicking horse bridge golden bc{There is plenty of walking and exploring space near the Pedestrian Bridge}kicking horse bridge 2kicking horse 3{Nani loves telling stories and we love listening to them!}
1. Downtown Golden/Pedestrian Bridge
There is a small strip of shops and cafes in ‘historic Golden’ we started our walk there, and then visited Spirit Square. From the square you can cross over the pedestrian bridge, take in the gorgeous views and the Kicking Horse River. If you are feeling adventurous and your little people can handle the walk there are many hiking trails in the bridge area. We didn’t hike too far, but we did sit by the river and listen to Nani telling us stories about India, and Zara threw rocks into the river {her absolute favourite thing to do}.
golden sikhs
2. Learn about the History of Sikhs in Golden
There is a gorgeous viewpoint right next to the Days Inn called Golden Viewpoint, where you can take in the scenery and learn a little about the history of sikhs in Golden through a commemorative plaque. We also decided to visit the Golden Gurudwara {Gurudwara Sahib Golden} and learn a little more about the early Sikh settlers and the first Gurudwara ever built in North America (hint; it was in Golden!). Even if you aren’t Sikh by religion, it makes for an interesting discussion with the kids about immigration and how mountain communities developed in the 1800’s. 
columbia wetlands adventure golden bccolumbia wetlands 3{Slightly nervous when we started, but she loved the float!}
3. Columbia Wetlands Adventure
This float adventure was definitely the highlight of our trip. It was a 2 hour float down the Columbia River where you basically take in the scenery, nature, and ecosystem of the Wetlands. It was so peaceful and serene, that you can actually hear the birds. My kids were particularly impressed with the juvenile bald eagle and the ‘Kingfisher’ birds with their white and grey feathers. The guide told us that they’ve even spotted bears on the tour! I think this is a perfect ‘adventure’ for really little ones, or if you are just starting to introduce your kids to water activities because the float literally just floats along the river at the pace of the water. Check out their website for more info.
There are two other noteworthy stops that we made in Golden and would definitely recommend; dinner at the Whitetooth Bistro, and a photo stop at the world’s largest paddle. The Whitetooth Bistro had a great menu (with vegetarian and gluten free options), and a varied kids menu. The world’s largest paddle is actually located on the same property as the Columbia Wetlands Adventure is definitely worth a stop even if you don’t end up doing the float. 
columbia wetlands 2
I’m glad that our family has started to explore more of our province and look at alternative options for a quick vacation or a weekend away; it’s really expanded our travel options and ability to get away on short notice. I will definitely consider a visit back to Golden next summer and will plan to do some of the hikes or maybe even the bike tour if Zara is feeling confident on two wheels by then!



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