This itinerary features options for those looking for a short getaway from the city. Less than two hours east of Vancouver, the lower Fraser River area is the traditional territory of the Coast Salish and Sto:lo people and has endless options to slow the pace and enjoy pastoral views and fresh produce, wildlife tours, and great river fishing–without leaving the Lower Mainland.
Agassiz | Chilliwack | Langley
12 PM Lelem’ Arts and Cultural Cafe
Your first stop is Lelem’ Arts and Cultural Cafe at Fort Langley in eastern Kwantlen territory. Lelem’ means home in henqeminem, the language spoken by the Kwantlen people and other Sto:lo communities along the lower Fraser River. Eat lunch in this bright cedar-drenched, rainforest-inspired cafe that offers a from-scratch menu with flavours that honour a traditional Coast Salish diet, including sockeye and spruce tip, venison and sage.
For an immersive and lively experience, the cafe hosts arts and cultural events and performances by local and Indigenous artists. Lelem’ is located at Fort Langley National Historic Site, a pristine park, and site of a small Hudson’s Bay Company post built in Kwantlen Territory for trade with the Coast Salish during the 1800s.
Also located at Fort Langley National Historic Site, this gift shop is owned by Kwantlen First Nation. It features contemporary Indigenous art and jewelry, as well as traditional blankets and other unique Indigenous-designed items.
A short drive will bring you to Agassiz where you will check in to this 10 000 square foot home, built as a private residence in 1903 and converted into an award-winning bed and breakfast by Sts’ailes First Nation in 2009. Enjoy the eco-friendly saltwater pool or meander the banks of the magnificent Chehalis River; this historic 87-acre property in the heart of the lower mainland borders Sts’ailes reserve lands.
Ask your hosts to connect you with local Indigenous cultural workshops, tours, and experiences and enjoy the end of your first day in Sto:lo Territory.
Book in advance year-round for guided fishing tours on the Fraser River and its tributaries. Expert guides attend to every detail of your experience in one of the world’s top sportfishing destinations. See why more than 85% of Great River Fishing customers rebook with the highly capable outfit. Fish for sturgeon and salmon, with four- and six-hour options that are ideal for travellers with children.
Stop in at Sto:lo Tourism and Cultural Experiences in present-day Chilliwack to inquire about their narrated, creative, and educational tours on land and water throughout the traditional territory of the Sto:lo people. Participate in a cultural workshop, including traditional wool and bullrush weaving, fishing, and singing and drumming in the longhouse.
4 PM Cheam Trading Post Pick up something wild and local for dinner at the Cheam Trading Post, proud purveyors of salmon and seafood products from the Sto:lo Seafood Company. Wildcrafted and sustainable Coast Salish medicines like cottonwood salve and horsetail tea are available. Explore fair trade authentic Indigenous art and hand-crafted items, including moccasins, rattles, and cedar hats.