I don’t know about you, but when fascinating history and natural serenity come together, I’m all on board. Add one of your best friends (in my case, Shelly Lynn Hughes and her precious little girl) to the mix and you have the perfect weekend getaway on your hands.

 

Our destination: Harrison Hot Springs and Harrison Mills’ Sandpiper Resort, home of the famous Roweena’s Inn on the River.

 

We set out on a Sunday afternoon. Taking the back roads from South Surrey, our journey clocked in at an ever-so-reasonable hour and a half. Not bad for totally transforming our surroundings.

 

Never been to Sandpiper Resort? Let me just tell you that even if they hadn’t done an outstanding job designing their facilities, it would still be a drop-dead gorgeous place to be. When your setting includes the grassy banks of the Fraser River framed by high definition mountain peaks, a lot of the design work is done for you.

 

Nevertheless, Roweena’s/Sandpiper is a place where so much care and attention to detail is on display. We stayed in one of their new luxury cabins, the Eagle on the Golf Course, and holy wow…it was just spectacular. Two bedrooms, high vaulted ceilings, and a gas fireplace to relax by, complete with a view of the water. We were even greeted by a welcome package featuring chocolate dipped strawberries and a chilled bottle of local wine.

We had dinner that night at Sandpiper’s Clubhouse Restaurant. Delicious food and a warm and inviting atmosphere. We loved chatting with the restaurant manager, Kelly.

 

Now, for the history…Roweena’s Inn on the River has an incredible story. It’s a heritage home that was owned by the Pretty family—and Betty Ann Faulkner (nee Pretty), the last living daughter, still lives on the property. Walking through this immaculately kept family-home-turned-inn is like exploring the region’s history in the most intimate way possible. The stories and personalities linked to the house are jaw-dropping. A Steinway piano Jimmy Durante once played. A room King George VI stayed in. A giant carved wooden bed made for the opera legend Nellie Melba.

 

Seriously, check out this video about Roweena’s on the Inn, featuring Betty Ann (who, with her piercing blue eyes, was conveniently born with the right last name: “Pretty”).

 

After breakfast, we took a short drive to what has made the region famous for vacationers: the Harrison Hot Springs. A boat cruise awaited us there.

 

Our Shoreline Tours boat cruise really brought the relaxation vibes to a new level. A whole day of sunshine, calm waters, eagles, jumping fish, water falls…and more history!  Our tour guide was full of local knowledge as she had grown up in the area. The food was also great; we especially appreciated the grilled onions they prepare fresh every morning for their sandwiches.  

 

Right when we were pulling into the dock there was a torrential downpour so hiking was out of the question. Oh well…eating it was! We went for lunch at Muddy Waters where they serve mouth-watering food with a local flare. Honestly, the Pear Brie sandwich was to die for!

 

For dessert we headed next door to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, where we were greeted by Mark, the owner. He and his wife Julie took over the business after their friend, the original owner, passed away because they didn’t want to see the business leave their community. Now, everybody who visits Harrison Hot Springs reaps the benefits. Handmade with love, Rocky Mountain does chocolate right. I’d have to especially recommend their Chocolate Sasquatch feet, another nod to regional lore.

 

Next time we visit, we are determined to hit the trails. The pristine natural beauty everywhere is something to behold. Exploring it more intimately will happen. Also, we very much plan on taking a dip in the famous hot spring pools at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort next time around.

So many reasons to come back. Now that is the mark of a weekend getaway well spent!

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