Great long weekend getaways from Vancouver are magic – you can take a break from weekend chores, sleep in, experience new things, savour new foods and recharge your spirit!
You might ask why anyone would want to get away from Vancouver, given that it’s such a beautiful city? But, even denizens of beautiful places sometimes want to see and experience something new! Or perhaps you’re visiting Vancouver and want to know some great spots to explore within an easy driving distance? Let’s go!
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Long Weekend Getaway from Vancouver #1 – Harrison Hot Springs
Located just 90 minutes from Vancouver, Harrison Hot Springs is a straight shot on Highway 1 or a meandering scenic drive on Highway 7. Located on the southern end of Harrison Lake, Harrison Hot Springs is known for its medicinal hot springs, and has a population of just over 1500 people. The hot springs were originally used and revered by the Sts’Ailes First Nations people.
The Harrison Hot Springs Resort is renown as a both a family adventure destination and a romantic getaway. Active since 1886, the resort has harnessed the hot springs into five mineral hot pools and healing spa treatments. Fine dining is available at the Resort’s Copper Room, one of the last places in the Pacific Northwest where you can still dine and dance to the house band. There’s even a separate children’s dance floor!
I love getting away to Harrison Hot Springs. It’s such an easy drive, yet you really feel like you’re on vacation. The resort is lovely and offers both traditional guest rooms and private cottages. Views from the rooms are amazing. Watch out for Sasquatch sightings in Harrison!
Long Weekend Getaway from Vancouver #2 – Whistler
Whistler is a 2 hour drive from Vancouver on the gorgeous sea to sky highway and is a great long-weekend getaway all year round. We escape to Whistler for a long weekend every year! There’s no other place like it to feel like you’re in a completely different place.
The village is great for strolling and people-watching and there are lots of yummy places to eat. We love 21 Steps in the village and Wildflower in the Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Even if you’re not a skier, Whistler is a great destination. We really enjoy the Scandinave Spa, even if we’re too chicken to spend more than 5 seconds in the cold pools! Ride to the Peak to Peak gondola and take in the amazing views! We visited Whistler in November this year and had a great time!
Long Weekend Getaway from Vancouver #3 – Campbell River
Campbell River is a coastal city on the east coast of Vancouver Island, at the south end of the Discovery Passage. It is the salmon capital of the world! Getting to Campbell River is easy via BC Ferries. Take the Horseshoe Bay ferry to Nanaimo. Campbell River is then 90 minutes from Nanaimo via Highway 19 or 2.5 hours via the great Old Island Highway. It winds along the beautiful coastline of Vancouver Island and offers amazing scenic views. I love the sight of the piles of oysters in Fanny Bay :-).
Campbell River is the ideal getaway for you if you love nature, scenic vistas and fishing! It’s home to the breathtaking Strathcona Provincial Park and Elk Falls Provincial Park where hiking trails abound. There is also excellent golfing opportunities and gorgeous beaches and parks. Cyclists will find ample backwoods trails through wildlife filled forests and easy paved paths. Motorcyclists will take great joy in riding from Campbell River to Gold River via one of the best riding roads in the province. I love riding this road on my Triumph Trophy!
We have stayed at both the Coast Discovery Inn in downtown Campbell River and Heron’s Landing Hotel. We enjoyed both hotels; the Coast is slightly more upscale, but the Heron’s Landing is right across from beach.
Long Weekend Getaway from Vancouver #4 – Gibsons
Gibsons is on the Sunshine Coast, a short ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay. Gibsons is a coastal community and the main marine gateway to the rest of the Sunshine Coast. It will take approximately 3 hours total to get to Gibsons from Vancouver, the perfect amount of time for a long weekend getaway!
Gibsons is also home to charming stores, an excellent public market and many beautiful sheltered beaches and coves.
Gibsons is great jumping off point to explore the rest of the Sunshine Coast including Skookumchuck Narrows, Desolation Sound and Savary Island.
We like using AirBnB while staying on the Sunshine Coast as there are many charming B&B’s to choose from!
Long Weekend Getaway from Vancouver #5 – Salt Spring Island
Salt Spring Island is the largest of the Gulf Islands and just a 2-hour ferry ride from Vancouver. Ganges is the largest village on the Island and home to the famous Salt Spring Market. Salt Spring Island is increasingly known for its foodie culture with artisan bakeries, organic produce and meats, and local Salt Spring Island cheese, wine and beer. There are fine restaurants and quirky cafes!
Salt Spring Island residents number just over 10,000 and are descendants of the original settlers or have escaped the city and fast-paced modern lifestyles for a simpler life of farming, crafting and health & wellness.
There are lots of great accommodations on Salt Spring Island from small cozy cottages to B&B’s to resorts. When we visit Salt Spring Island we like staying at Mineral Springs Resort in fabulous little private cottages.
What is your favourite long-weekend getaway from Vancouver?
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