It’s summertime and that gives you the perfect excuse to explore outside of Vancouver.
Even if it’s just for the weekend, a change of scenery is good for the soul and luckily you have so many options to choose from. When you arrive all you have to do is put on your shades, pour yourself a drink, and get into holiday mode.
We’ve compiled a list of five places you can go to have the perfect carefree summer. The best part? They’re easily accessible, leaving you with more time to enjoy yourself.
Visit Vancouver Island’s coastal town of Tofino any time of the year and you’ll get to reap the benefits of its casual, laid-back lifestyle. In less than a six-hour journey, you can swap the fast-paced vibes of downtown Vancouver for the seaside breezes Tofino offers. While you’re there, try surfing the west-facing, swell-inducing, rideable tidal waves and feel like a superstar even if you fall. Surfing on Combers Beach is worthwhile as you’ll have to pass through a rainforest to get there. A trip to Tofino isn’t complete without stopping by the Tofino Brewing Co. to try the famous Tuff Session Ale. It’s far out.
Located on the coast of Vancouver Island, Nanaimo is a rapidly growing seaside hub that you need to check out. You’ll get to enjoy the scenic ferry ride over, and when you get there, go exploring. Take a stroll along the Harbourfront Walkway and take in the beauty around you. While you’re there, check out Englishman River Falls Provincial Park to be awe-inspired by the cascading waterfalls. Take a packed lunch and a Lemon Lemon sparkling lemonade to go exploring.
This gem is only a 20-minute ferry ride away from Vancouver and it’s the perfect place to retreat for the weekend. If you love the outdoors, you’ll feel right at home on Bowen Island. You can rent a kayak and see everything that Snug Cove has to offer by boat, hike the Killarney Lake trail, and wrap up your weekend with a slice of the best pizza you could imagine at the Island’s Tuscany Restaurant.
Wine Country is another place you can add to your bucket list for a weekend getaway, and it’s just a few hours drive from Vancouver. You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to choosing how you spend your time. You can sample fresh produce in Peachland, and top up your tan by the pool at the beautiful Summerland Hotel, and even take a vintage wine tour in a car to match in the back of a 1956 Cadillac. It’s the most original way that you can check out the region’s best vineyards.
If a carefree vacation is what you seek, then visit the Sunshine Coast for a weekend and you’ll be amazed by the tranquility and serenity it boasts. Just a 40-minute ferry ride from Vancouver, the coast covers 177 kilometres and it’s home to quaint towns like Gibsons and Roberts Creek. On the Coast, you can explore Sechelt by kayak, have dinner with unparalleled views of the mountains as the sun sets at Laughing Oyster Restaurant, or take a hike up Mount Daniel to see unobstructed, beautiful vistas of Pender Harbour and beyond. You’ll be glad once you reach the top.
When you want to completely get out of Vancouver and Canada, take a road trip down to Portland, Oregon. The city has a vibrant atmosphere, a late night bar scene, plus a ton of great restaurants that you’ll want to try. During your trip schedule time to visit a dessert favourite – Voodoo Doughnut. Setting out on the Mount Tabor Hike is a worthwhile outdoor activity that offers epic views of Mount Hood. But before you go, remember to buy a Lemon Lemon sparkling lemonade to cool you down in true summer style.