Winter is officially around the corner, and you can already feel it in the cool morning air.
If you’re not feeling Vancouver this winter you can easily hop in your car and drive to a nearby winter wonderland to make the most of the weather by getting back in touch with nature. There are few things in life a mini-vacation can’t fix.
Of course, before you hit the road you’ll need to make sure your car is winter-ready, and that includes having winter tires. (Pro tip: You know that you should put your winter tires on as soon as temperatures hit 7°C, right?) So we teamed up with Mr. Lube to find the best places you can take those brand new winter tires for a spin.
If you’re bursting with excitement for your first winter road trip but feel like you don’t have the time to get your car ready for the season ahead — don’t worry. You don’t need to do it all yourself.
You can visit your local Mr. Lube and get a same-day tire service with no appointment needed. That means you can get tires installed by a 100% trained and certified technician, at any time during your schedule, seven days a week.
So before you go and get your car prepped for your upcoming winter road trip, here are some of the destinations that you can visit.
Less than two hours drive from Vancouver lies the ultimate ski haven, Whistler Blackcomb. The resort has one of the largest ski resorts in North America and while you’re there you can do everything from hit the slopes to drive a snowmobile, or simply take in your surroundings with a mug of hot chocolate in hand.
Okay, so this road trip involves a short ferry trip, but it’s worth every minute of the five and a half hour journey when you arrive in the epic coastal town of Tofino. You can surf the world famous waves at Cox Bay year-round, and delight in super fresh seafood at the local restaurants. Let’s not forget about the storm watching.
Swap the bustle of Vancouver for the laid-back vibes of Kelowna this winter. The scenic drive will take you just four hours from Vancouver and once you’re there you can check-in to your accommodation and go explore the town. You’ll want to go on one of the famous wine tastings during your stay to sample the Okanagan’s finest.
If you want to trade the BC mountains for something different, embark on a road trip to Mount Baker (also known as Koma Kulshan or Kulshan). The drive only takes two hours and you can spend a night or two at one of the lodge resorts near the mountain. Prepare yourself for the scale of this resort.
You don’t have to be into skiing or snowboarding to enjoy the best of the winter season. Portland, Oregon’s largest city, is an idyllic place to retreat and seek out what the artsy hub has to offer, all while taking in a mountain backdrop. The music and craft beer scenes here are next-level, so you might want to extend your trip by a day or two.
Banff is hands down one of the most beautiful places in Canada. You can see the peaks of the Rocky Mountains from Banff town, one of the most picturesque places you’ll probably ever visit. Make sure to add a visit to Banff Upper Hot Springs to your itinerary and a trip to Lake Louise. Now for the drive – it’s nine hours long, but you can do it in one day and stop in some of the interior towns along the way.
A legal winter tire (on a standard passenger vehicle or a four-wheel/all-wheel vehicle) must have at least 3.5 mm of tread depth, as stated in BC Law, so you really don’t want to be in trouble by failing to have yours installed early.