From dreamy seasides to sublime hikes and luxuriously relaxing hot springs, there are several romantic getaways in easy driving distance from Vancouver.
Here are five road trips from Vancouver to inspire your next tender adventure.
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On the outer coast of Vancouver Island, Tofino is as west as west can be. This boho enclave turned eco resort has all the inputs for romance on the beach. Emerald forests of towering trees meet sandy, wave-pounded beaches at Pacific Rim National Park — a great spot for misty couples’ hikes or surf lessons. When you’re worn out, Tofino has some of Canada’s most talented food and drink at spots such as hip newcomer Wolf in the Fog and beachfront elegance at Wickaninnish Inn.
Distance: 283 kilometres with ferry
Drive time: 5 hours 30 minutes
Where to stay: Wickaninnish Inn
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For postcard-perfect camping and hiking, head to Joffre Lakes. Trails take you through Coast Mountain alpine forests to three stunning, glacial silt ultramarine lakes. When you’re tired of roughing it in great beauty, make your way to Pemberton for date night at The Pony, serving rustic cuisine made with inputs from Pemberton Valley farms and local beers by BC craft brewers.
Distance: 182 kilometres
Drive time: 2 hours 2o minutes
Where to stay: Joffre Lakes Provincial Park campgrounds
Known as Canada’s most English city, Victoria combines old world charm – think afternoon tea – with the creative scene that can only occur when a pioneer town is quietly revolutionized by a young generation of makers and thinkers. The result is lots of new eating, drinking, and shopping opportunities. Other things to know: it’s oceanfront and there’s awesome architecture, so interesting strolls abound. Victoria is also home to BC’s best museum. It’s ground zero for BC’s burgeoning craft brewing movement, so check out the Victoria Ale Trail. Biking in town is easy and widespread.
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Harrison Hot Springs is pleasant, but if you’re looking for natural luxury in excess, head to Nakusp. You’ll find many opportunities for hot springs hopping with resort accommodation and fine dining, starting at Halcyon Hot Springs and Nakusp Hot Springs. A little ways down the road you can also soak in a natural jacuzzi in an underground cave at Ainsworth Hot Springs. When you have raisins for fingers and toes and are tired of lounging in restorative, thermal waters, The Kootenays offer gorgeous hikes.
Distance: 628 kilometres
Drive time: 6 hours and 30 minutes
Where to stay: Halcyon Hot Springs
The tiny community of Oliver is the heart of Canada’s now internationally recognized wine movement. Vineyards climb the dry hillsides and people throng here to the area to visit its wineries. There are over 170 wineries in the Okanagan, and 20 excellent vineyards are located in Oliver. Oliver is known for special terroir, in particular the glacial deposits in its Golden Mile growing area, as well the sandy soils and distinct climate of the Black Sage — the east bench. This is the place to sip, savour, and relax in a vineyard boutique hotel. When the summer heat overwhelms, cool off in the estate swimming pool, or take a dip in Osoyoos Lake before sampling the fine dining options in the Southern Okanagan.
Distance: 408 kilometres
Drive time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Where to stay: Burrowing Owl Estate Winery
The fun to drive Volkswagen Golf GTI hatchback is agile, fast, and yet easy on both your wallet and fuel. With its sporty performance and tight handling, it’s perfect for exploring British Columbia’s backroads to those romantic places.