Even if you’re only getting away for the weekend, the beauty of B.C. means that you can find the perfect holiday only hours outside of the city. And with a little inside knowledge, you can find a unique adventure just a few steps off the beaten path. Next time you feel like escaping Vancouver for a few days, consider any of these five nearby getaways. Adventure is waiting.
A trip to Vancouver Island is perfect for when you want to get away from busy city life without travelling too far. Once you’ve loaded up your car and made the ferry ride over, you have tons of options available to you. History buff? Explore the Parliament Buildings and waterfront in Victoria. Surfer dude? Drive across the island to the stunning beaches of Tofino and Ucluelet.
Favourite Escape: The island is home to one of the most unique accommodations in the world: suspended spherical tree houses. Free Spirit Spheres has designed beautiful structures that blend into the rainforests of Qualicum Beach. Perfect for solo travelers or couples, these tree houses are something you won’t soon forget.
If you prefer to spend less time on a ferry, check out the Sunshine Coast. Aptly-named, this 177-km stretch of coastline is dotted with historic towns (Gibsons! Roberts Creek!), quaint cafés and amazing outdoor adventure opportunities.
Favourite Escape: Located just a short drive north of Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast, Pender Harbour is one of B.C.’s natural wonders. For outdoor enthusiasts, there’s plenty of hiking and walking trails, diving opportunities, and fishing spots waiting for you. Or, sip on a glass of wine and watch the sun set from one of the restaurants on the waterfront.
Vancouverites basically live on the border, so a trip down south is an easy (and international!) escape. Travel the I-5 to Seattle, where you can catch a Seahawks game or sample the city’s world-famous seafood. While in the states, be sure to hit up some border malls for killer deals.
Favourite Escape: Few Vancouverites have ever heard of Leavenworth — maybe because when you see photos of it, it’s hard to believe that it’s in Washington, not Germany. Located a couple of hours east of Seattle, Leavenworth is modeled on a Bavarian village and its architecture, food options, and culture reflect that. Swing by for a nearby getaway with other-worldly vibes.
Who says you need to travel anywhere exotic to soak up some sun this year? One of the best parts of B.C.’s diverse geography is that beautiful beaches and sunshine are just a few hours away. Whether you end up relaxing on Lake Okanagan, sampling fresh local produce in Peachland, or sun-tanning in Summerland, a trip to the interior promises some much-needed R&R (and an escape from our city’s notorious rainy weather).
Favourite Escape: Simple winery tours are so passé. Now, it’s all about heli-wine tours, ATV wine tours, or guided wine tours through the valley in the back of a 1956 Cadillac. Pick the tour that best suits you and explore the region’s world-famous wineries and vineyards in style.
If you have a little extra time to spend on your next getaway, considering visiting the province’s most iconic feature: the Rockies. Make sure your car is prepared for a longer journey, then travel inland along Highway 1. While you might not want to go the full eight hours it takes to get to Banff, there are many things to see along the way — the Schuswap Lake, the ghost town at Three Valley Gap, and Hell’s Gate, for example.
Favourite Escape: Nestled in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains lies Cathedral Mountain Lodge, a classic log cabin built with reclaimed Douglas-fir beams, large picture windows and a massive rock fireplace. Stay in one of its 31 luxury log cabins and listen to the rushing waters of the Kicking Horse River as you take in the majesty of one of B.C.’s most serene locations.