Fort Langley calls itself the “birthplace” of British Columbia. Situated right on the Bedford Channel of the Fraser River, the city has a great mix of museums and a natural setting that gives American visitors a vision of the historic province.
What’s there: Dining, trail, museums, shopping.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Directions: From Interstate 5 in Bellingham, take exit 256A and get on state Route 539 North (Guide Meridian.) Go north through Lynden and continue on to the Aldergrove, B.C., border crossing. After crossing, continue north on Provincial Route 13 (264th Street.) Head west on Trans-Canada Highway No. 1. Be sure not to turn onto Fraser Highway 1A, which will come up first. The Trans-Canada Highway is a couple of miles further on Route 13. Take exit No. 66 and take a left onto 232nd Street. Head north and take a left on Rawlison Crescent, then take a right onto Glover Road and head into Fort Langley.
Crossing the border: Adults need a passport or birth certificate along with a driver’s license or government-issued identification. Children must have their birth certificates and preferably a letter of permission for travel from a parent or guardian if not present.
Plan to stay: 5-6 hours.
ON THE WAY
The Greater Vancouver Zoo, 5048 264th St., (604) 856- 6825; summer hours are 9 a.m.- 7 p.m. daily.
Directions: Follow Route 13 (264th Street) and the zoo is on the right just before the Trans- Canada Highway.
Admission: Adults (ages 16- 64) $18, seniors (65 and older) $14, children (ages 4-15) $14, family package (two adults and two children) $60 plus $8 for each additional child. All children age 3 and under are free. Parking costs $3 and the Safari Express Miniature Train costs $5 per person to ride.
The Greater Vancouver Zoo has more than 600 animals on 120 acres. Here animal lovers can enjoy a 15-minute guided train ride called the Safari Express Miniature Train. The North American Wilds Safari Bus takes visitors into the zoo’s North American Wilds enclosure to see bears, wolves and elk as they roam their natural habitat. The zoo also features daily lion and tiger feedings at 1 p.m., except on Wednesdays when a baboon feeding is featured.
PARKING There are several stretches of two-hour parking on both sides of Glover Road.
Country Lane Antiques, 9179 Glover Road, (604) 513- 1932; hours 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday- Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday.
The Fort Toy Box, 9199 Glover Road, (604) 882-TOYS (8697); 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday- Sunday.
Tap Aromatherapy Products, 9183 Glover Road, (604) 888-6800; hours 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
Roxann’s Mens and Ladies Hats and Accessories, 9203 Glover Road, (604) 882-8077; 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily.
DINING Breakfast: Wendel’s Bookstore and Café, 9233 Glover Road, (604) 513-2238; hours 7:30 a.m.-10 p.m. daily. Or try Tracycakes Bakery Café, 9090 Glover Road, (604) 888-1984; hours 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.
Lunch: Planet Java ’50s Soda Fountain Café, 9178 Glover Road, (604) 882-5057; 8 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. Or try Fort Fish and Chips, 9150 Glover Road, (604) 882-3990; hours 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-7 p.m. Sunday.
Dinner: The Fort Langley Pub and Grill, 9273 Glover Road, (604) 888-6166; hours 11 a.m.- midnight Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m.-midnight Sunday. Or try Jim’s Pizza, 9152 Glover Road, (604) 888-4880; hours 4- 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 4-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 4- 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
Dessert: Marina’s Gelato, 9180 Glover Road, (604) 881- 1193; noon-8 p.m. daily.
FOUR THINGS TO DO
1. Fort-to-Fort Trail Location: Begins at the Fort Langley National Historic Site (23433 Mavis St.) and winds along Bedford Channel along the Fraser River.
Directions: Follow Glover Road to Mavis Avenue and turn right. The trail head will be on the left.
Hours: Dawn to dusk.
The Fort-to-Fort Trail is actually a system of trails that connects the National Historic Site in downtown Fort Langley and the first Hudson Bay Company’s Fort Langley site, located a couple of miles northwest in Derby Reach Regional Park. The trail is paved and good for walkers, runners and cyclists. Viewing platforms, interpretive signage, and public restrooms are located at various spots along the trails.
2. Langley Centennial Museum
Location: 9135 King St., (604) 888-3922
Directions: Driving down Glover Road toward the river, take a right on Mavis Avenue, go three blocks and turn right on King Street. The museum is on the corner of King and Mavis streets.
Hours: 10 a.m.-4:45 p.m. Monday- Saturday, 1-4:45 p.m. Sunday.
Admission: By donation.
In addition to the museum’s collection of First Nation woodcarving, basketry and stone sculptures, the Langley Centennial Museum is presenting “Robert J. Flaherty’s Northern Focus: Photographs of Canada’s Arctic Peoples, 1910- 1914.” Photographer Flaherty made pictures of people he encountered throughout his travels in the Canadian north.
3. B.C. Farm Machinery and Agricultural Museum
Location: 9131 King St., right next to the Langley Centennial Museum, (604) 888-2273.
Hours: 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily.
Admission: Adults $4, seniors $2, children (ages 14-18) $2, children (ages 6-13) $1, children under 6 free.
The Farm Machinery and Agricultural Museum showcases the tools of British Columbia’s pioneer and agricultural past. The museum features collections of antique tools, tractors and horse-drawn machinery and a library of antique tractor manuals and agriculture magazines from the past. The museum also displays a Tigermoth Airplane, British Columbia’s first crop duster.
4. The Fort Wine Company
Location: 26151 84th Ave., (604) 857-1101.
Directions: From Glover Road turn right onto Mavis Avenue. Go one and a half blocks and merge left onto River Road, which becomes 88th Avenue. Turn right onto 264th Street and take another right on 84th Avenue.
Hours: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily.
Mosey on in to the Fort Wine Company’s saloon-style tasting room to sample their fruit table wines and fortified dessert wines. The wine company uses fruit flavors to create a selection including peach-apricot, white cranberry, blueberry and strawberry wines. Visitors can schedule tours of the winemaking facilities.