What do you want to do after a few long months of work? GET AWAY? Me too! One of the first things I do is hop on my computer, and check Expedia for the best deals – what I’m forgetting is that we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world! I feel SO lucky to live in the West Coast and have the opportunity to explore the scenery that BC has to offer (plus, it’s easy on the wallet too)!
If you’re busy like me, you’ll understand that taking a week out of the office to fly down to Mexico isn’t always possible.. Luckily these Vacation spots are close, easy to get to, and JUST as relaxing.
Here are some of my favourite BC getaways – remember; you can still get away without getting out your passport (yes, that means no hour long customs line-ups).
FOR THE ADVENTURERS
Just a one hour drive from Vancouver!
If you’re a bit of a thrill seeker, this one’s for you! Stay in a beautiful cozy cabin, eat delicious locally sourced meals and raft in BC’s Squamish Valley with bald-eagles soaring RIGHT above your head! Husband and Wife rafters Jake & Jess own this gorgeous getaway spot. Sunwolf is a small rafting company committed to a more personal experience – yes that means no planning for you! Sunwolf also has 5 acres of riverside property with hot showers, Fergie’s cafe and a hot tub. Enjoy your stay in the Tantalus Mountains!
Salt Spring Island
If you haven’t been to Salt Spring Island for a while, you may be due for a reboot—and this time, bring an appetite. They have the cutest Saturday Market in Ganges where “make it, bake it, or grow it” is the rule for the dozens of vendors. And, whether you pick up gluten-free treats, handmade toys, or a one-of-a-kind crystal necklace, don’t leave town without a copy of the Salt Spring Guide and Adventure Map. It’s your key to the island’s growing array of tasting options, from the fruity tipples at Salt Spring Wild Cider to the craft vodka at the brand new Salt Spring Shine distillery.
Pace yourself: there’s also the Champagne-style Karma at Salt Spring Vineyards, the estate-grown Pinot Noir at Garry Oaks Winery, the bergamot-infused Earl Grey IPA at Salt Spring Island Ales, and the flower-bedecked chevre at Salt Spring Island Cheese. Dining and sleeping options abound.
The Fraser Valley
The Brookside Inn is the Fraser Valley’s favorite boutique hotel. You can find it nestled in the beautiful countryside of Abbotsford BC, and next door to Pepin Brook Vineyard Estates – yes, that means there’s a winery in your backyard. The Brookside offers classy themed rooms and a gourmet breakfast each morning starting at $137.60 – https://brooksideinn.ca/
Don’t worry parents, we haven’t forgotten about you! Harrison Hot Springs is the perfect place to vacation with the whole family. Harrison Hot Springs Resort has some great options, depending on how long you want to get away. The Summer Soaker Package is a one night stay, with complimentary breakfast starting at $249. After playing in the hot springs pools all day, you can enjoy a gelato at Ms. Margaret’s. Mom and Dad, take a second to relax while your kids are off to the pool. http://www.harrisonresort.com/packages/summersoaker/#start
If you have a little more time, the Waterpark Package is what you’ve been looking for! A three day, two night getaway at the Harrison Hot Spring Resort with unlimited hot springs access, bumper boat rides, inflatable water park and three free meals (including room service pizza night, yum). Family packages starting at $719 http://www.harrisonresort.com/packages/waterpark/#start
Whistler Weekend Getaway
Vancouverites – let’s not forget that we’re just a hop, skip and a jump away from beautiful Whistler. Whistler has a number of exciting activities happening this summer. From August 3-6th, the producers of the largest yoga events bring Wanderlust back to our Whistler neighbours. Enjoy yoga, music, great food, meditation and more for the ultimate restorative getaway. On Saturday, August 5th the Red Bull 400 returns as the steepest 400m race at a 37 degree incline – from the bottom of a skip jump, straight to the top. Register now for some serious butt-kicking https://tickets.redbull.com/event/red-bull-400?lang=en. For all of our Whistler weekend adventures, we like to cruise up in the 2017 Ford Explorer limited – you and your crew will have nothing but space for all of your getaway essentials.
If you know me, you know the Pacific Sands is one of my FAVOURITE resorts. It is continually ranked within the top two Tofino Resorts by TripAdvisor. Pacific Sands Beach Resort offers an authentically West Coast experience that reflects service, comfort and style in the most spectacular of settings. A Tofino landmark since 1972, the resort offers stunning ocean views, fully equipped family-friendly kitchens and cozy fireplaces. Amenities that complete the resort experience include bike rentals for a beachside ride or trip into town (seasonal), DVD collection of over 500 titles, and complimentary summer and spring break kids programming.
From a sunset trail boardwalk through the rainforest, to beach cruiser bike rentals, Pacific sands has activities for everyone in the family, making your staycation feel a lot more like a vacation.
Weekend Getaway to Tofino
The only negative thing I have to say about a weekend getaway to Tofino, is that I wish it lasted longer! The ferry ride is gorgeous, but sometimes you just want to get there faster (I don’t want to waste a second of potential beach time). KD Air offers direct flights to Tofino in under an hour, and let me tell you – the views are breathtaking. http://www.kdair.com/flights/schedule_eng.html
Don’t worry, if you’re hoping to keep the costs to a minimum, Tourism Tofino has got you covered!
There are a number of great accommodation options in Tofino, if you’re hoping to do your trip on a budget. The Crystal Cove Beach Resort has some great options, I also like the Bella Pacifica for an on-the-water getaway. Check out the Tourism Tofino blog for some tips about Tofino Camping: https://www.tourismtofino.com/tofino-today/2013/07/15/camping-tofino
If you’re not a big camper, there are a bunch of gorgeous B&B options https://www.tourismtofino.com/inns-bed-breakfast.
If you’re headed on a trip with the whole family, there are some beautiful vacation home rentals on the Tourism Tofino blog as well. I suggest ordering fresh produce, meats and other ingredients from the Tofino – Ucuelet Culinary Guild, your home cooked meals never tasted so good! https://www.tourismtofino.com/vacation-rentals-guest-houses
I have been lucky enough to try some of Tofino’s best restaurants, and let me tell you; they are amazing. On my last trip to Tofino I went to Shelter, The Pointe and Wolf In The Fog which were all equally as delicious. https://www.tourismtofino.com/food-dining
You can’t really experience Tofino without getting out on the water in some fashion. Whether it’s paddle boarding, surfing, kayaking or just hopping in for a swim; the Tofino beaches are what draws in the masses. On my last trip, we took surfing lessons with the Surf Sisters – I definitely recommend it. Here’s a link to some of the other great activities that Tofino has to offer: https://www.tourismtofino.com/activities.
Natalie’s Weekend Getaway Giveaway to Tofino
We’ve partnered with Pacific Sands Beach Resort to giveaway a two-night stay at the resort and surf lesson for two with Surf Sister Surf School, located on-site. Bookings are subject to availability (no long weekends); prize expires in October 2018.
Okay, so no more excuses not to get outside! I bet you didn’t know we had all these beautiful resources right in our back yard. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to check out so many of these spots, I hope you’ll have as much fun as I’ve had!
What are your favourite BC hideaways? Let me know what I should add to my list of summer stops! Make sure to add your email address to your comments below.
**UPDATE: Congratulations to our WINNER Kelly!! Contest is now closed.