Things to do in Myrtle Beach, Dallas, Nanaimo and Fort St. John

Must-dos at WestJet's 4 new destinations


 

Say howdy to Dallas, Texas, and Myrtle Beach, S.C., as the newest American cities on WestJet’s map. In Canada, Fort St. John and Nanaimo, B.C., are the first two destinations to be served by the airline’s brand-new regional carrier, WestJet Encore. Read on to discover the unique delights of these four locales.

Myrtle Beach

Myrtle Beach may be best known for its amazing (and abundant) golf, but it also has more than 90 kilometres of Atlantic beachfront. Head to the Myrtle Beach State Park for private beach access. The pier is perfect for fishing, and numerous hiking paths slice through the rare Maritime forest of wax myrtles, magnolias and hollies.

Once you’ve built up an appetite, enjoy fresh, East Coast seafood at The Original Benjamin’s Calabash Seafood, where you’ll be surrounded by models of schooners and ships, including the 30-foot-long Queen Elizabeth. If you’re looking for something more romantic, try Aspen Grille for crab cakes, filet mignon and a selection of market-fresh fish.

Dallas

In a city whose slogan is “Big Things Happen Here,” there’s no shortage of things to try. Start with a stroll to the historic West End to do some shopping at Wild Bills Western Store; owner Wild Bill Dewbre serves as a wardrobe consultant for the revived Dallas TV series.

Once you’re decked out in cowboy finery, head downtown to the Dallas Farmers Market for some award-winning barbecue at Pecan Lodge, where you’ll find in-house-made sausage, brisket and ribs. Try to get there around the 11 a.m. opening time, as they frequently sell out.

And, if you want to go really big, play a round of life-size Jenga at Barcadia or visit the 70 larger-than-life bronze steer statues in Pioneer Plaza.

Nanaimo

The city’s old nickname, “Hub, Tub and Pub,” says it all. Every July, Nanaimo hosts a Bathtub Race where small, bathtub-shaped boats race 58 km in the Strait of Georgia. You can experience the event as a spectator, or make your own boat (for around $3,000) and participate yourself.

After the race, take a ferry to North America’s only floating pub, the Dinghy Dock Pub, to celebrate or commiserate with a crab and bacon melt and a local beer.

The city is also the birthplace of the Nanaimo bar, which is available in many delectable forms—squares, cupcakes, cheesecake, ice cream and martinis—on the self-guided Nanaimo Bar Trail.

Fort St. John

To truly appreciate one of British Columbia’s oldest non-native communities (and the province’s oil and gas capital), try fishing, boating on the mighty Peace River or visiting the North Peace Museum. Visitors can see a trapper’s cabin, a 1930s outpost hospital room and relics from the city’s First Nations history. WestJet flies to: Myrtle Beach twice a week from Toronto starting May 2. Dallas-Fort Worth once a day from Calgary starting April 29. Nanaimo once a day from Calgary starting June 24. Fort St. John once a day from Calgary starting June 24, and once a day from Vancouver starting June 25.

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