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British Columbia

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I had driven from Washington in the United States into British Columbia more times than I could ever remember. That's because I travel to Vancouver a lot for business, so I'm more than prepared to answer the simple questions and provide the basic information necessary to cross the border into Canada every time I go. I'm always pleased with how friendly the border agents are there, and that's about the last thing I think about before I start preparing mentally for what I need to do while working in Vancouver. A couple of trips ago, however, I realized that I kept blowing through this city called Surrey just across the border in British Columbia without ever giving it much thought. It always looked nice from the highway, but I never explored it. On my last trip into BC, that all changed. I had some meetings cancel and rather than drive home, I decided to stay another night, but this time in Surrey. I wasn't worried about finding a place to stay, as I travel with my HotelTonight app. I'd book a Surrey hotel room as soon as I was ready to get some sleep.

The Size

The first thing that hit me when I pulled into Surrey was how surprised I was at its size. When I drove by it on the highway, it never seemed that big. I found out when I stopped for coffee and started talking to some folks that nearly 500,000 people live there now. It's grown quite a bit in recent years, due mostly to the relative affordability when compared to Vancouver and to its proximity to the border with the United States that kept commutes relatively manageable. This was a big and bustling city in its own right.

Blackie Spit

I love the outdoors, and in many ways I'll form my opinion about what life is like in a particular city based on the options for outdoor fun that exist there. I heard about this place called Blackie Spit from a lady in the coffee shop, and I had to see it for myself. It's a spit of black sand that's home to a park and a hiking trail that winds around the water. I walked the entire thing and saw more birds than I think I've ever seen in my life. Locals were there enjoying the sunshine and having fun with their dogs.

The Cuisine

Given what I had just seen, I was in the mood for some seafood. A couple at the spit told me about a local place that served some great almond-crusted salmon. It's set up like a ship's galley in many ways, and I ordered their specialty. I was glad I did. The salmon was so fresh it almost snapped in my mouth. It was served with the perfect amount of rice and some local vegetables that were lightly sautéed more than properly. It was a tremendous meal.

HotelTonight – Surrey, BC Hotels Near You

I was full and happily tired out from a fun and active day. I needed to get some sleep, so I grabbed my phone and opened my HotelTonight app. It found me several Surrey hotel rooms based on my current location, and I chose one quickly and made my way over there, happy to have finally seen a true slice of life in this beautiful part of the world.