Guest Blog: Juliana Loewen – @loewenlifestyle

As an Okanagan girl, my only consolation for a disappearing summer is the thought of an autumnal road trip through BC’s mountains. It’s why we prioritize a visit to the lower-mainland every fall. We are a family of five world travelers looking to find all of B.C’s hidden gems and you can explore along with us @loewenlifestyle for more travel inspiration! This year we were drawn to explore Burnaby for several exciting reasons. This year’s sunny skies and warm temperatures are making the fall activities even more enjoyable. Here’s why we loved our time spent in Burnaby, B.C.

  1. As BC’s third largest city and its proximity to Vancouver, Burnaby has some major urban vibes, however, there are several ways to commune with nature in Burnaby in several stunning parks. We met with local photographer, Abigail Kent, for a family fall photo shoot at Burnaby Lake. This stunning regional park has an 11 km trail around the lake for cyclists and hikers to enjoy. We didn’t circumnavigate the whole trail but we certainly enjoyed the turtle nesting grounds, birdwatching, and scenery at the boardwalk. Other natural places of wonder to explore include Deer Lake and Burnaby Mountain for incredible views.
  2. Burnaby’s first annual Halloween Festival boasts seven entertaining activities this month, with more to come every year. Burnaby is on track to become BC’s Halloween hotspot destination. This year, enjoy Pumpkins After Dark, Neighborhood Decorating Contest, Hex After Dark Film Festival, Spectral Visions Art Display, Zombie Walk, Eerie Illusions at Burnaby Village Museum, and Haunted Halloween Adventure. We enjoyed a visit to the amazing Pumpkins After Dark, an all-ages event to awe everyone in the family from parents to children with over 6000 hand carved pumpkins.
  3. Shop the new Hatley Store and others at Metropolis at Metrotown Mall. Hatley has been a favourite brand of ours ever since I started reading Canadian author, Nicholas Oldland, books like Big Bear Hug to my kids. Nicholas Oldland is the creative director and owner behind this famous store, where previously we’ve visited in Banff and Whistler. Now, Burnaby shoppers can enjoy a browse for the cutest kids clothing like color-changing rainwear. We were excited to meet up with local photographer, Lamy Nagata-Kim, who has an indoor studio but met us at Hatley to cover the grand opening party. Lamy is your girl for in-studio portraits, family shoots, couples and lifestyle photography. Her photography is truly art. Book a session with Lamy here.
  4. While you’re in the mood for a retail fix, head to The Amazing Brentwood Mall, if not for the shopping, then for a coffee inside the beautiful courtyard or lunch in the spectacular food court. The Amazing Brentwood is becoming a hub of urban design and a full neighborhood of places to dine, work, play and even live. I highly recommend a walk through this cosmopolitan corner.
  5. To dine in Burnaby is to be transported around the world. The variety and authenticity of each restaurant makes each visit memorable. We walked from our hotel to Trattoria, taken in by the beautiful patio and allure of authentic Italian fare. You’ll find classic Italian choices on the menu like Burratta & Prosciutto but also Italian twists like Sicilian Calamari. From the braised lamb to the Chianti, nothing about this experience was less than incredible.
  6. After shopping, hiking, and eating to your heart’s delight, you’ll want somewhere quiet and contemporary to kick up your feet. We recommend a stay and a soak at the Hilton Vancouver Metrotown. I loved the spacious rooms and my kids went crazy for the outdoor pool. A special time to enjoy the pool deck is right before breakfast when you’re less likely to encounter other guests and get to witness the golden light of the sun cast on the surrounding buildings. An honorable mention for the continental breakfast as well, it is heavenly! The Hilton is situated in the perfect location for visiting all of these locations as well as for taking transit into Vancouver if desired.

Enjoy your weekend getaway to Burnaby, B.C. and be sure to let me know on Instagram what you love to do in this diverse city!