Long weekend season is officially here and that means that it’s time to get out of the house and enjoy the outdoors—rain or shine (or sometimes, in Canada, even snow)! A weekend getaway can be the perfect excuse to reconnect with friends and family—or spend some quality one-on-one time with your significant other.
Here are our favorite long weekend escapes from Vancouver:
Vintage Vacay – Anacortes, WA
Located on Fidalgo Island, halfway between Seattle and Vancouver, Anacortes, WA, has dining, hiking, site seeing, antique shopping, kayaking, and whale watching—just to name a few of the many, many things to do in this picture perfect spot. Spend a night or two at the Marina Inn and make a reservation at Frida’s Gourmet Mexican Cuisine for a special treat.
Take a day to reconnect with nature on one of the many hiking trails, like Cap Sante Park, the Cranberry Lake area, the Heart Lake area, or the Whistle Lake area. Visit Old Town for a selection of cafes, quirky and sophisticated shopping locations, art galleries and antique shops, and tons of fun places for lunch or a quick snack.
Ocean Oasis – Galiano Island, BC
See what British Columbia’s Wild West Coast has to offer along the Gulf Island nearest to Vancouver. Galiano Island offers plenty of outdoorsy activities, from stand-up paddleboarding, hiking, boating, kayaking and mopeding, golfing, and fishing. There is a variety of accommodation locations, including quaint and fun bed and breakfast facilities. If you are looking for a great place to dine, try Pilgrimme, where your meal is based around local growers and artisan and the view from the rustic patio setting can’t be beat.
There are plenty of parks for a day in the sun playing Frisbee, hiking, or having a picnic. Be sure to check out Bellhouse Provincial Park, Collinson Point, or the Montague Marina and Harbour. Bring a camera and capture some of the stunning landscapes and wildlife.
Mountain Montage – Whistler, BC
Whistler, BC, has long been a favourite vacation destination for those in the know. Surrounded by beautiful mountain ranges, filled with thriving local businesses and shops, and outlined by a helpful self-guided audio tour of Whistler Village, this is a perfect weekend getaway destination.
Visit Joffre Lakes and check out their hiking options or pop by the Sliding Centre for a day to check out one of the many legacies of the 2010 Winter Olympics hosted in this area. You can also take some mountain biking lessons at the Whistler Bike Park for an added thrill.
Sweet Tooth Sailing – Nanaimo, BC
There’s plenty to do in Nanaimo, BC. Enjoy an afternoon Nanimo Bar mani/pedi at the salon, taste-test a famous deep fried Nanaimo bar, or sip on a Nanaimo cocktail. All of these experiences are part of the famous, Nanimo Bar Trail, a 34-point map, where participating local locations are marked out for your tasting pleasures. You can also explore dozens of variations of the favourite Nanaimo bar treats!
You can also tour local art sports, check out the Cedar Yellow Point Artisan Trail, take a day trip, wine and dine, stop by many historical locations, wander through many parks and trails, or do some local shopping.
Vacay Staycay—Fraser Valley
There’s plenty to do right in your own backyard. You don’t need to go far to enjoy a long weekend with your loved ones. In fact, this can be a budget-friendly alternative to a big getaway. Or, if you are looking to make some last minute plans, there’s nothing like trying out local adventures. For example, you can try wakeboarding at Valley Wake Park; you could get a group of friends together and hike Mt. Cheam; you could spend a quiet, romantic date night at Rowena’s Inn; or you could tour or a drink at Field House Brewing.
However you choose to spend your long weekend, make it something special to remember with those you love. Enjoy nature and companionship first and foremost and you really can’t go wrong.