The late 1920s brought waves of salmon fishers to the Campbell River area of British Columbia—so much so that tent cities began popping up to accommodate overnighters. In 1929, a local boat builder opened Painter's Lodge to offer cozier digs to out-of-towners. Since then, the rustic lodge has become a favorite among anglers and vacationers in search of outdoor pursuits, particularly fishing, whale-watching and wildlife tours.
Famous guests: Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, John Wayne, Goldie Hawn, and Julie Andrews have all visited Painter's Lodge.
Salmon fishing: Campbell River bills itself as the "Salmon Capital of the World"; you can sign up for guided fishing excursions through the lodge's front desk.
Hop on the ferry and enjoy a complimentary 10-minute ride across Discovery Passage to the hotel's sister resort, April Point Resort & Spa, where you can book an outdoor massage.
Legends Dining Room specializes in West Coast cuisine with an emphasis on local produce and fresh seafood. There's an onsite pub as well.
Wildlife tour: Keep your eyes peeled for black bear, sea lions, and whales on a guided wildlife excursion aboard a Zodiac Hurricane.
Campbell River, British Columbia: Salmon Fishing Along Discovery Passage
Campbell River is a scenic coastal city on the southern end of the Discovery Passage, a strait that separates Vancouver Island from mainland Canada. The area is uniquely suited to salmon fishing, thanks to its abundance of eddies and inlets where large coho and Chinook salmon naturally congregate. Anglers descend on this stretch of the Pacific each summer and fall in pursuit of big catches. Some participate in traditional Tyee fishing, in which they wile away the hours in a nonmotorized rowboat in hopes of reeling in a Chinook weighing 30 or more pounds—thus earning membership in the Tyee Club. Whale-watching is also a popular pursuit, as more than 120 orcas gather around Robson Bight and Telegraph Cove annually each summer.
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