Pemberton, B.C., the little town about 35 kilometres north of Whistler that looks like the set of a Roy Rogers picture, has been proclaimed the best place to spend Thanksgiving in Canada.

Technically, the Canadian Tourism Commission called it the second-best place place in the country to spend turkey day -- "after your own home, of course" but we'll ignore that technicality.

"Pemberton’s the place Whistlerites move to when they grow up. Get a marriage and family under you, and you start thinking less about adrenaline and more about, say, organic beets," said the commission in a blog post, adding that it's just "jaw-droppingly lovely."

New townhomes in Pemberton look like Old West saloons. There are hitching posts at the town's most popular restaurant, and horses vie with cars for space on the highway.

But more striking than anything are the miles upon miles of agricultural land that roll east towards Mount Currie and north up the Pemberton Meadows, gorgeous farming country that's flanked by mountains on either side.

"What's Thanksgiving is about, it's about food and family, and that's really what Pemberton's all about," says Pemberton Mayor Jordan Sturdy. "There's just so many things for families to do around here."

Sturdy runs North Arm Farm in addition to his political duties. It's one of the most popular attractions in town, on this weekend in particular. The farm will host wagon rides out to a pumpkin patch that rests in the shadow of Mount Currie, which towers over the Pemberton Valley. Sturdy expects around 500 to 1,000 people to visit per day.

Beyond the farm, Sturdy has a long list of things that people can do in Pemberton for Thanksgiving.

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  • $479,000

    Type Home on Acreage Style A-frame Area Ivy Lake Estates Bedrooms 1.5 Bathrooms 1 Square Footage 705 Lot Size 5.01 Acres Parking Open

  • $479,000

    Type Home on Acreage Style A-frame Area Ivy Lake Estates Bedrooms 1.5 Bathrooms 1 Square Footage 705 Lot Size 5.01 Acres Parking Open

  • $479,000

    Type Home on Acreage Style A-frame Area Ivy Lake Estates Bedrooms 1.5 Bathrooms 1 Square Footage 705 Lot Size 5.01 Acres Parking Open

  • $479,000

    Type Home on Acreage Style A-frame Area Ivy Lake Estates Bedrooms 1.5 Bathrooms 1 Square Footage 705 Lot Size 5.01 Acres Parking Open

  • $799,000

    MLS®# V888710 Type Residential / Recreational Style Two level Area Lillooet Lake Estates Bedrooms 3.5 Bathrooms 2.5 Square Footage 2304 Lot Size .514 Acres Age 3 Parking 2 car Garage, Open

  • $799,000

    MLS®# V888710 Type Residential / Recreational Style Two level Area Lillooet Lake Estates Bedrooms 3.5 Bathrooms 2.5 Square Footage 2304 Lot Size .514 Acres Age 3 Parking 2 car Garage, Open

  • $799,000

    MLS®# V888710 Type Residential / Recreational Style Two level Area Lillooet Lake Estates Bedrooms 3.5 Bathrooms 2.5 Square Footage 2304 Lot Size .514 Acres Age 3 Parking 2 car Garage, Open

  • $799,000

    MLS®# V888710 Type Residential / Recreational Style Two level Area Lillooet Lake Estates Bedrooms 3.5 Bathrooms 2.5 Square Footage 2304 Lot Size .514 Acres Age 3 Parking 2 car Garage, Open

  • $259,000

    MLS®# V948133 Type Residential / Recreational Style Split level Area Lillooet Lake Estates Bedrooms 2.5 Bathrooms 2 Square Footage 1536 Lot Size .5 Acres Age 16 Parking Open Taxes $1,600.00 Tax Year 2010

  • $259,000

    MLS®# V948133 Type Residential / Recreational Style Split level Area Lillooet Lake Estates Bedrooms 2.5 Bathrooms 2 Square Footage 1536 Lot Size .5 Acres Age 16 Parking Open Taxes $1,600.00 Tax Year 2010

  • $259,000

    MLS®# V948133 Type Residential / Recreational Style Split level Area Lillooet Lake Estates Bedrooms 2.5 Bathrooms 2 Square Footage 1536 Lot Size .5 Acres Age 16 Parking Open Taxes $1,600.00 Tax Year 2010

  • $259,000

    MLS®# V948133 Type Residential / Recreational Style Split level Area Lillooet Lake Estates Bedrooms 2.5 Bathrooms 2 Square Footage 1536 Lot Size .5 Acres Age 16 Parking Open Taxes $1,600.00 Tax Year 2010

  • $259,000

    MLS®# V948133 Type Residential / Recreational Style Split level Area Lillooet Lake Estates Bedrooms 2.5 Bathrooms 2 Square Footage 1536 Lot Size .5 Acres Age 16 Parking Open Taxes $1,600.00 Tax Year 2010

  • $749,800

    MLS®# V943700 Type Home on Acreage Style Log Home Area Ivy Lake Estates Bedrooms 3 Bathrooms 2 Square Footage 1800 Lot Size 5 Acres Age 20 Parking Garage & Carport, Open Taxes $2,936.54 Tax Year 2010

  • $749,800

    MLS®# V943700 Type Home on Acreage Style Log Home Area Ivy Lake Estates Bedrooms 3 Bathrooms 2 Square Footage 1800 Lot Size 5 Acres Age 20 Parking Garage & Carport, Open Taxes $2,936.54 Tax Year 2010

  • $749,800

    MLS®# V943700 Type Home on Acreage Style Log Home Area Ivy Lake Estates Bedrooms 3 Bathrooms 2 Square Footage 1800 Lot Size 5 Acres Age 20 Parking Garage & Carport, Open Taxes $2,936.54 Tax Year 2010

  • $749,800

    MLS®# V943700 Type Home on Acreage Style Log Home Area Ivy Lake Estates Bedrooms 3 Bathrooms 2 Square Footage 1800 Lot Size 5 Acres Age 20 Parking Garage & Carport, Open Taxes $2,936.54 Tax Year 2010

  • $749,800

    MLS®# V943700 Type Home on Acreage Style Log Home Area Ivy Lake Estates Bedrooms 3 Bathrooms 2 Square Footage 1800 Lot Size 5 Acres Age 20 Parking Garage & Carport, Open Taxes $2,936.54 Tax Year 2010

  • $319,000

    MLS®# V968500 Type Residential / Recreational Style House on Acreage Area D'Arcy Bedrooms 1.5 Bathrooms 1 Square Footage 999 Lot Size 3.04 Acres Age 9 Parking Open Taxes $894.38

  • $319,000

    MLS®# V968500 Type Residential / Recreational Style House on Acreage Area D'Arcy Bedrooms 1.5 Bathrooms 1 Square Footage 999 Lot Size 3.04 Acres Age 9 Parking Open Taxes $894.38

  • $319,000

    MLS®# V968500 Type Residential / Recreational Style House on Acreage Area D'Arcy Bedrooms 1.5 Bathrooms 1 Square Footage 999 Lot Size 3.04 Acres Age 9 Parking Open Taxes $894.38

  • $319,000

    MLS®# V968500 Type Residential / Recreational Style House on Acreage Area D'Arcy Bedrooms 1.5 Bathrooms 1 Square Footage 999 Lot Size 3.04 Acres Age 9 Parking Open Taxes $894.38

  • $783,500

    7476 Prospect St Property Type: House Age: 14 Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms (Full): 2 Size: 3100 sqft

  • $783,500

    7476 Prospect St Property Type: House Age: 14 Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms (Full): 2 Size: 3100 sqft

  • $783,500

    7476 Prospect St Property Type: House Age: 14 Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms (Full): 2 Size: 3100 sqft

  • $783,500

    7476 Prospect St Property Type: House Age: 14 Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms (Full): 2 Size: 3100 sqft

  • $224,900

    9-1444 Vine Road TAXES: $1,568 TYPE: Condominium CITY: Pemberton AREA: Pemberton COMPLEX: Pioneer Junction YEAR BUILT: 2005 PARKING TYPE: Carport BEDROOMS: 2 BATHROOMS: 1 FIREPLACES: FINISHED FLOOR AREA: 785.0000

  • $224,900

    9-1444 Vine Road TAXES: $1,568 TYPE: Condominium CITY: Pemberton AREA: Pemberton COMPLEX: Pioneer Junction YEAR BUILT: 2005 PARKING TYPE: Carport BEDROOMS: 2 BATHROOMS: 1 FIREPLACES: FINISHED FLOOR AREA: 785.0000

  • $224,900

    9-1444 Vine Road TAXES: $1,568 TYPE: Condominium CITY: Pemberton AREA: Pemberton COMPLEX: Pioneer Junction YEAR BUILT: 2005 PARKING TYPE: Carport BEDROOMS: 2 BATHROOMS: 1 FIREPLACES: FINISHED FLOOR AREA: 785.0000

  • $224,900

    9-1444 Vine Road TAXES: $1,568 TYPE: Condominium CITY: Pemberton AREA: Pemberton COMPLEX: Pioneer Junction YEAR BUILT: 2005 PARKING TYPE: Carport BEDROOMS: 2 BATHROOMS: 1 FIREPLACES: FINISHED FLOOR AREA: 785.0000

  • $224,900

    9-1444 Vine Road TAXES: $1,568 TYPE: Condominium CITY: Pemberton AREA: Pemberton COMPLEX: Pioneer Junction YEAR BUILT: 2005 PARKING TYPE: Carport BEDROOMS: 2 BATHROOMS: 1 FIREPLACES: FINISHED FLOOR AREA: 785.0000



"The weather's obviously absolutely perfect for getting out to visit farms and the Pemberton Valley generally," he says. "The valley colours are turning, it's a perfect time to go for a bike ride, be it on the road or the trails, the boardwalk around One Mile Lake, and what's better than going on a fall horseback ride?"

But there's still plenty to see beyond the town's visual pleasures. Pemberton resident Lisa Richardson, who runs the promotional website ChoosePemberton.com, says it's a great place to spend Thanksgiving because the feeling of harvest is in the air.

"There's a real food culture, it's pretty close to the fields in which stuff grows," she says.

"If you go to a local restaurant, odds are, they have been patronizing a local farm, so you've got that much more direct connection. You can go and grab a really amazing local meal at the Mile One Cafe. The meats come from Pemberton Meadows Natural Beef and the buns are baked at Blackbird Bakery across the road."

To get to Pemberton, take the Sea to Sky Highway north on the same path you take to Whistler, then just keep going.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Pemberton

    A field ripe for plowing in the town of Pemberton.

  • Pemberton Valley farm

    A hayfield, typical of the lovely, flat landscapes you'll find in Pemberton.

  • Pemberton townhomes

    What passes for real estate in Pemberton might also have passed in the 1800's.

  • Pemberton General Store

    The Pemberton General Store, just one example of the town's efforts to maintain an old-time character.

  • One Mile Lake boardwalk

    A woman walks her dog along a boardwalk in Pemberton, B.C. Thursday, May 24, 2012.

  • Raspberries

    Raspberries, just one example of the bounty that grows in Pemberton.

  • Corn

    Corn, yet more of the bounty that grows in Pemberton.

  • Sunflowers

    Sunflowers, growing in Pemberton on a blue sky day.

  • Mount Currie

    Mount Currie, the majestic peak that towers over the little town of Pemberton.

  • Mount Meager massif

    The Mount Meager volcanic massif, a range of peaks since in the distance from a field in Pemberton, B.C.

  • Mount Currie

    Mount Currie on a misty morning in the town of Pemberton.

  • Pemberton town centre

    Sign at the entrance to Pemberton, B.C.



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