Abbotsford is located about an hour away from Vancouver and is situated right by the Fraser Valley with the Cascade Mountains, so there are stunning views as far as the eye can see. You get to take in the views of beautiful British Columbia and enjoy the cheaper prices as it’s away from the major city centre. In the past few years, lots of hidden gems have popped up in Abbotsford due to the in-affordability in Vancouver, which caused more families and small businesses to take root in Abbotsford.
We got to spend a few days exploring small businesses that are transforming the landscape of Abbotsford.
How to get to Abbotsford
There are many modes of transportation to get in and around Abbotsford. As we are from another subburb in Metro Vancouver, we opted to drive as it was more convenient from point A to B.
There are alternative options like taxis and buses too.
Where to stay: Brookside Inn
Abbotsford is home to a handful of hotels, but a unique experience is something you may be interested in. Brookside Inn is a boutique hotel, which is known for their hospitality, creativity, and comfort. They have several themed rooms based off famous movies like – Thomas Crown Affair, Midnight in Paris, and Secret Garden to name a few. In 2018, they were voted #1 romantic hotel in Canada by Trip Advisor.
They are located 5 minutes from Abbotsford International Airport and is close to most attractions in Abbotsford. You won’t be driving very far.
Owners – Chris and Sandi Buis make sure you have everything you need during your stay and it includes a complimentary breakfast in the morning made by Sandi. We felt like a guest in their home and breakfast was very refreshing to have something made at home. A lot of guests rave about her great cooking.
Historic Downtown Abbotsford
Historic Downtown Abbotsford is home to charming boutiques and eateries. In the past few years, more cafes have popped up offering locals and visitors more variety when dining and shopping. It is pedestrian-friendly and if you are lucky enough, you might see them filming TV shows or movies in this charming neighbourhood.
There is also free 2 hour street parking on most of the blocks.
Polly Fox: Gluten-Free Bakery
The Polly Fox serves up 100% gluten and allergen-free baked goods paired with delicious coffee. They also have savoury treats too if you don’t have a sweet tooth.
The cafe is very cute and quaint, a perfect spot to meet up with a friend and have a good chat. It’s great that the pastries were amazing as well. We had the Apple Fritter, Cashew Bar and Raspberry Rhubarb Crumble Bar with a latte.
Very impressed by the quality and the dedication of the owners and staff to cater to those with varying dietary needs.
Habit Project: Juices and Bowls
Right beside The Polly Fox is The Habit Project for cold-pressed juice, smoothies, bowls, and other treats. Beside nourishing their customers from the inside out, they are dedicated to promoting a balanced life to improve overall wellness.
A lot of their produce comes from the Fraser Valley, so it can be traced back to the producer. What I found interesting is that they are zero waste, so all their juice pulp is returned to farmers to become compost. Plus, all take out containers are compostable too.
Their fresh pressed-juices fly off the shelves as well as their smoothies and açaí bowls are very filling and delicious. We really enjoyed their bowls.
Dion’s Table focuses on healthy food for those on the go. They believe in what the community eats and the environment in which it is grown and fed, which makes Abbotsford a perfect location as it’s situated close to a lot of local farms producing exceptional produce.
On the menu, they are known for their not so traditional stir-frys, paninis, sandwiches, soups and salads. All the items were fresh and has a great taste. A good option in the area if you want veggies. All in a very comfortable and casual setting.
Taves Family Farms: Pumpkins, Corn, and Baby Goats
A trip to Abbotsford isn’t compete without a trip to a local farm for some fun. At Taves Family Farm, there is a lot to do for the whole family. They have U-Pick apples, a pumpkin patch, hayrides, pony rides, corn maze, and a petting barn to name a few.
Their U-Pick apples have a few varieties, so depending on what your favourites are, check on their website to see which ones are ready for picking. I personally love Honey Crisp and Gala. When its fresh, it’s so damn crisp and sweet.
We picked 5 lbs and then bought another 10lb bag of Honey Crisp. Clearly, we really love apples.
Take a hayride into their sunflower patch as it spans 1/4 acres. This is their newest attraction and you can take a hayride to this area and its just beautiful. A lot of great photo opportunities.
My personal favourite part of Taves Family Farm is the petting barn. The little baby goats are so cute and adorable.
If you want to get a little lost, the corn maze is awesome because it can start playing tricks with your mind as you can’t see the end. I really enjoyed it more than I thought I would. We live to tell the tale of the corn maze as we made it out in one piece.
To treat yourself to something delicious, their apple cider slushies are delicious. A little sweet and tart but good for a treat if you need to cool down.
They also have other fresh produce on the farm. Right now since its approaching Fall, they have a lot of pumpkins.
Campbells Gold Honey Farm and Meadery
Campbell’s Gold Honey Farm and Meadery is another gem in the Fraser Valley. Owners – Mike & Judy Campbell run their operation on their 8 acres of land with their colony of honey bees crafting up delicious honey and mead varieties. Besides having great products, they are advocates for a sustainable ecosystem for bee colonies as well as educating the community through workshops.
Mead is an ancient wine and can be traced back to 7000 BC and was recently popularized by medieval TV shows, movies and games. It is created with honey, water, and other spices to create a signature taste. Melomel on the other hand is mead with fruits or berries.
During the wine tasting, we tried:
- Merry Mead
- Ruby Slippers
- Black Beauty
- Poet’s Passion
- Spice is Nice
Each wine had its own unique taste from sweet to dry. It’s definitely a treat and something unique to bring over to friends or family’s house.
Besides honey wine, they have a large selection of honey available in all sizes. Their honey bees collect nectar from sources like lavender, berries, and wildflowers to name a few.
They have natural honeys and creamed honeys that can incorporate different flavours like lemon ginger, pumpkin, orange, etc. A good combination if you want to sweeten your cup of tea or to do some baking.
Brambes Bistro at Tanglebank Gardens
Tanglebank Gardens is home to a boutique plant nursery as well as Brambes Bistro which creates a farm-to-table lunch to their customers. A lot of the ingredients that go into their dishes comes right from their garden.
As the growing season creates an abundance of produce, they try their best to savour the ingredients and incorporate them into their lunch specials.
Their iced teas are delicious and refreshing. It was nice to know that the mint leaves are source from their garden just a few feet away.
Their heirloom garden tomato soup uses up the tomatoes that were harvested a short while ago to create this yummy special.
Their lunch options are nutritious and very fresh like The Orchard Salad and The Gardeners Sandwich. It has a lot of flavour and good portion sizes too.
When you’re done eating lunch at Brambles Bistro, you definitely want to have a walk around their property to see their fruits and vegetables growing.
Singletree Winery is family operated occupying 12 acres with their VQA whites, reds & blended wines since 2010. Mt Lehman Road is home to a handful of local wineries and producers crafting something special in the Fraser Valley.
In 2014, they opened their tasting room and offering a taste of each variety of wine they produce as it overlooks their vineyard. During the Summer, they get busy for wedding season as they have a good space to host an nice outdoor rustic wedding.
During the wine tasting, they help you discover an array of new wines or match wines as close to your taste preference as much as possible. We did partake in trying their sweeter white wines like 2017 Victory, 2015 Late Harvest Kerner, 2015 Siegerrebe, and 2017 Gruner Veltliner.
Definitely take your time with the tasting to really understand the taste profile, history, and potential pairings with the wine.
What is great about Singletree Winery is their commitment to their customers to have a good time at the winery. You can build your own cheeseboard and eat it out in their picnic area. They have worked with local producers like Mt. Lehman Cheese Co. and Chef Pieter to have some delicious accompaniments that go with their wine.
If you walk along the vineyard, you’ll notice several different grape varieties planted like Siegerrebe, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Grüner Veltliner and Pinot Noir.
Say hi to the Estelle family while you are visiting. They will soon open their second winery in Naramata in the Okanagan, so watch out for that.
Overall, I loved the few days I spent in Abbotsford exploring the sights and sounds of the area as well as visiting local small businesses that are changing the community for the better. There are more options to explore the backyard of BC and taste such great produce as well. If you are in the area, I would highly recommend making a quick stop to visit Abbotsford with family and friends.
Looking for more recommendations?
A big thanks to Tourism Abbotsford for helping us make the most out of our trip. Check out their website to help plan your trip to Abbotsford. There is a plethora of activities to do.