Grand Forks, British Columbia is a small town in Boundary Country, British Columbia.
Boundary Country, for those out of the loop, is the “boundary” between the Okanagan and the Kootenays.
Grand Forks is home to 4,000 people. There aren’t many must see sights or things to do in Grand Forks. But there’s a brewery. There are a couple hikes. There are several excellent places to eat. There’s even a movie theater.
Here’s my list of the must see sights and things to do in Grand Forks, British Columbia.
Top 5 Must See Things to Do in Grand Forks, British Columbia
Looking for things to do in Grand Forks, British Columbia? Here’s what I would do if I had a full day in Grand Forks.
1) Climb Observation Mountain
Observation Mountain has an excellent view to effort ratio. 45 minutes of hard work will bring you to the top of this mountain above Grand Forks. You get a 360-degree view of the entire town of Grand Forks and the surrounding mountains. On a clear day, you can see far north into the Granby Wilderness.
To climb Observation Mountain, park at Grand Forks Baptist Church. Follow the (only) trail to the top of the mountain.
2) Visit Boundary Museum
Want to learn more about the history of Boundary Country? Want to see a bunch of old farming equipment? The Boundary Museum has a picturesque location overlooking the valley of Grand Forks.
I’m not going to lie and say the Boundary Museum will blow you away. It’s a small, local museum. But if you’re looking for touristy things to do in Grand Forks, then the Boundary Museum is one option.
In terms of local history, Grand Forks was established as a city in 1897. There was mining in the region, including a massive copper mine in nearby Phoenix, BC.
In 1913, a group of Doukhobors settled in the area, attracted to the fertile farmland.
That’s…pretty much it.
3) See a Movie at Gem Theatre
I’m a sucker for old movie theaters. Gem Theatre is as classic and old as it gets. It reminds me of Royal Theatre in Trail, BC – but even older.
Gem Theatre doesn’t get the newest movies – but the movies are new enough to be interesting. Popcorn and pop are a fair price. It’s a one-room movie theatre that (as far as I know) hasn’t changed much in 100 years.
There aren’t many things to do in Grand Forks, BC. Seeing a movie at Gem Theatre is one of them.
4) Visit Grand Forks Beer Co
In 2021, Grand Forks got its first real brewery. Grand Forks Beer Co. is in the old bookstore downtown.
Announced in 2019, Grand Forks Beer Co. is scheduled to open at some point in 2020. According to the official website, the brewery plans to use tons of “local flavour” in its beer.
I can’t wait for Grand Forks Beer Co to open. I’ve been waiting – literally – years for a good brewery to open somewhere between Christina Lake and Grand Forks.
As a semi-local, I consider this to be the second brewery in Grand Forks. I’ll never forget you, Big Horn Amber Ale.
Update: As of June 2021, Grand Forks Beer Co. hasn’t opened, but they seem ready to launch within the next few weeks.
5) Visit Christina Lake
If you drive 20 minutes east from Grand Forks, you’ll find Christina Lake. It’s the warmest lake in Canada. It’s one of the most beautiful lakes in British Columbia.
You can spend a day on the beach at Christina Lake. Or, go for a bike ride along the trestles. Go for a hike. There’s lots to do.
6) Bike the Kettle Valley Railway
The Kettle Valley Railway stretches from Hope to Castlegar, BC. It passes right through Grand Forks.
You can bike the old railbed for free. It’s accessible at several points throughout the valley. You can bike to the trestles by Christina Lake. Or, you can bike west, up into the mountains.
You can also ride horses on the KVR.
7) Fish the North Fork
The Grand Forks area has excellent fly fishing. Drive “up the North Fork” and find a fishing spot along the Granby River.
The Granby River valley is incredible. It’s a huge swath of undeveloped wilderness stretching from Grand Forks all the way up to the Arrow Lakes.
You can bike, hike, horseback ride, hunt, and fish in Granby Provincial Park, a huge chunk of wilderness north of Grand Forks. It’s also a huge grizzly habitat.
Drive up Granby Road or N Fork Road. It’s a pretty drive. There are plenty of pullouts along the way where you can access the river to fish. There are also camping spots.
Where to Stay in Grand Forks
Grand Forks has a handful of hotels. After all, people have to stay somewhere for Cannafest and the baseball tournament.
You can find hotels and vacation rentals on the usual websites.
There are no hostels in Grand Forks, BC.
Where to Eat and Drink in Grand Fork
Popular local spots to eat include:
The Wooden Spoon Bistro: The Wooden Spoon opened a few years ago and has quickly established itself as a popular spot in Grand Forks. It’s seriously good, fresh local food. You can get dishes from all over the world. Try the Bahn Mi sandwich or The Cubano.
The Borscht Bowl: Located across the street from the Wooden Spoon, The Borscht Bowl is another popular local spot. As you guessed from the name, they serve Russian food and more.
The Thyme & Plate: Arguably the fanciest restaurant in Grand Forks, The Thyme & Plate is a classy place in downtown Grand Forks.
Panago: Pizza chain Panago has a location in Grand Forks. It’s the best pizza place in town (unfortunately).
Clyde’s Pub: A longstanding pub in downtown Grand Forks, Clyde’s Pub is a straightforward pub with wing night, live sports, and more.
The Board Room Café: Yes, tiny Grand Forks has its own board game café. The Board Room Café is in downtown Grand Forks. You’ll find hundreds of games and surprisingly good food.
Grand Forks Station Neighborhood Pub: A historic pub in the old railway station building just outside the center of central Grand Forks.
Final Word: Is Grand Forks, BC Worth a Visit?
When I was growing up, “driving into town” meant going to Grand Forks, population 4,000.
Today, Grand Forks continues to hum along as a quiet, agricultural community between the Okanagan and the Kootenays. I mean, the town’s slogan is “Settle Down”.
Grand Forks is fine, and the surrounding area is beautiful. Expect lots of natural beauty – but not lots of touristy stuff.