Chilliwack is a slice of life one stumbles upon when leaving Vancouver to go explore the mountains. It’s nestled in the hills between the lower mainland and the Cheam range, and as more families are moving out east, it has become the answer to a growing need for community.
It has multiple family-friendly neighborhoods, schools, shops, and both indoor and outdoor adventures waiting to be had. During the summer, people come from all over to spend a day tanning and swimming at Cultus Lake. There is a huge waterpark near busy campgrounds, a classic ice cream shop, and the boat-friendly lake itself with panoramic mountain views.
Leaving Cultus, the Sardis neighborhood is the first stop into town that introduces Chilliwack itself. It holds consignment shop Unika, Maru Sushi, Waves Coffee, Mt. Waddingtons for local hiking gear, and the Town Butcher, where you can find ethically and locally sourced meat and various products. Venture further into town for Hugo’s Mexican Kitchen if you want authentic enchiladas, right before getting all of the grocery shopping done at Safeway, Superstore, Save-On, and more.
When you reach the heart of Chilliwack, you get its soul- a mission to keep its progressive ethical and eco-friendly movement underway. Down the street from charming bookshop, The Book Man, is Pick Eco Refills, the Valley’s first ever zero waste grocery store. The Refillery and All Things Being Eco offer a variety of skincare, clothing, and more that are easy on the environment, and the park downtown offers a multitude of farmer markets each year.
The Valley thrives off local business and sustainable living, and Chilliwack is dedicated to supporting the movement. Need to escape the city? That’s incredibly easy with the mountains a quick drive out of town. The Cheam range offers multiple day hikes (my favorite is Elk Mountain) for the more adventurous, and beautiful trails along Vedder River that are easy for even the youngest walkers to navigate. It’s impossible not to feel peace when having lunch along a river so clean, you can see the bottom through the water’s glassy, emerald tones. Chilliwack is growing steadily, both in population and offerings, and has proven to be a wonderful part of the Fraser Valley.