5 awesome Vancouver road trips to take with friends

Jul 21 2016, 5:46 pm

You’ve gathered a great group of people. All you need is a worthy getaway destination.

From a hedonistic urban romp in Portland to beach camping on Vancouver Island, here are five inspiring and memorable summer friendcation spots, all in roadtripping distance from Vancouver.

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Portland, Oregon

Portland is a no-brainer for fun with friends. A more intense version of Vancouver’s hipster scene, the City of Roses offers infinite pleasures for free-spirited eaters and drinkers. When gastronomic novelties and mezcal cocktails get old, get lost browsing the city-block-sized bookstore Powell’s City of Books, or improve your brain checking out the modern art at the Portland Art Museum: the first museum in the PNW. Use the new Biketown bike sharing program. Go nuts.

Distance: 500 kilometers
Drive time: 5 hours
Where to stay: Ace Hotel Portland

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Ucluelet, Vancouver Island

#ucluelet #sharevi #brokengroupislands

A photo posted by femke timmermans (@femke.timmermans) on

For a combo of beach time and forest time, ideal for heart to hearts under the stars, head to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The park has three distinct areas: Long Beach, the offshore Broken Group Islands, and the legendary 75-kilometre West Coast trail. Split up for hiking, surfing, and kayaking when togetherness feels oppressive.

Distance: 238 kilometres with ferry
Drive time: 5 hours 40 minutes
Where to stay: Pacific Rim National Park Reserve campgrounds

Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park, Pemberton, BC

And now…time to relax…for a while… #fbf #birkenheadlake #explorebc #beautifulbc

A photo posted by @amanda_erin on

Birkenhead Lake, situated between Whistler and Lillooet, is an easy-to-reach, budget-friendly getaway for a group of friends. Lakeside campsites are well-maintained and equipped with facilities. The only thing you need to worry about is how to get all your friends as well as the stunning azure backdrop into a selfie. And keeping your grub safe from bears. Hiking, boating, windsurfing and swimming, and lounging on a sand beach are all available.

Distance: 209 kilometres
Drive time: 3 hours 20 minutes
Where to stay: Birkenhead Lake Provincial Park campground

Penticton, Okanagan, BC

A long established summer beach resort tucked between Lake Okanagan and Skaha Lake in wine country, Penticton means ‘a place to stay forever,’ and chances are you are going to want to. There are five kilometres of golden sand beaches, superb dining, roadside fruit stands, and over 60 wineries to visit. Go forth and sip.

Distance: 430 kilometers
Drive time: 4 hours and 20 minutes
Where to stay: Summerland Waterfront Resort

Bend, Oregon

You probably won’t see us out there catching Pokemon, but you’ll definitely see us drinking some beer. Gotta drink ’em all!

A photo posted by 10 Barrel Brewing Co. (@10barrelbrewing) on

Sun-drenched days, cool evenings, and snow-capped peaks characterize life in Bend. This mountain getaway is an outdoor playground similar to Squamish, with the added value of the largest craft beer trail in the West. Gather the gang for lazy or extreme rafting, biking, and hiking Mt. Bachelor, a towering dormant volcano, before embarking on the legendary Bend Ale Trail. Deschutes, Crux Fermentation Project, 10 Barrel, and Boneyard are just a few breweries to hit up, and there are plenty of car services who will take tasters safely from pub to pub. Accommodation ranging from high-end resorts to affordable Airbnbs and camping makes this a win on any budget.

Distance: 750 kilometres
Drive time: 8 hours
Where to stay: McMenamins Old St. Francis School Hotel and Brewpub

See also

volkswagen golf sportwagon

As the winner of the AJAC (Automobile Journalist Association of Canada) Award for Best New Family Car, the Volkswagen Golf Sportwagon offers euro-tuned handling and peppy turbocharged performance that you’d expect from a sports car, but in a versatile wagon.

With an estimated fuel consumption of 6.6L/100 kms, it’s also light on the wallet on those long road trips with your BFFs.

Starting at only $22,895 and well-equipped with smart adaptive airbags, an Intelligent Crash Response system and much more, the Golf SportWagen is your perfect everyday or weekend companion for up to 5 and all of their “stuff.”

Taraneh JervenTaraneh Jerven

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