With January almost fully behind us, we’re already pining for an excuse to escape the doldrums of the office and everyday… And while a sunshine destination might be a big order, weekend getaways closer to town are definitely in the cards. There are plenty of great escapes easily accessed from Vancouver – and we’ve got a few sweet ideas you might want to file away for when the timing’s right…
Escape to the Gulf Islands for a bit of quality coastal R&R. In close ferry or floatplane proximity, the obvious choice is Salt Spring Island (you can easily be there in a mere 25 minutes from downtown YVR). Our pick on where to lay your head has to be the Hastings House Country House Hotel. It’s as boutique as they come on this hippie-style hideaway (we mean that in the best sense). You’ll instantly feel the bustle of the city peel away as you chill out in your room, grab afternoon tea, and enjoy a massage at their spa. Head into town and find a table at the Oystercatcher Seafood Bar and Grill or Rock Salt Restaurant and Café for a taste of island fare. Final tip: If you do book at Hastings, request the Hillside Suite and score a water view and plenty of privacy.
Tofino storm watching is a must do (and also an easy weekend escape). Get there by ferry, hop aboard the bus (with WiFi available) or travel our preferred route: Tofino Air or Orca Air direct. Once you arrive, head to one of the surf shops and grab your gear for a weekend of surfing (waves are awesome this time of year). Not feeling like donning that 5-4-3mm wetsuit? No problem. Tofino offers great storm watching and plenty of reasons to simply hang out and do nothing. Score yourself a Yurt at Wya Point Resort – with access to private beaches and lush coastal rainforest trails. Wya Point is one of Pacific Rim National Park’s newest luxury resorts – a must do. No trip to Tofino is done with out a meal at either Shelter Restaurant or SoBo.
Another great escape option for weekend warriors looking to unplug: Rowena’s Inn On The River is simply stunning. During the summer months, golf fanatics flock to this quaint retreat located adjacent to a stunning course. During the off-season it still offers up plenty to keep you happily occupied. Cruise around the 160-acre waterfront estate, chill out in your own cottage, indulge in a huge country-style breakfast, or cozy up by the wood-burning fire before heading off for a spa treatment.
Finally, find the perfect weekend escape by heading over to the Sunshine Coast’s picturesque Rockwater Secret Cove Resort for a little wintertime “glamping” at its best. A weekend retreat at this award-winning west coast spot will more than provide you with a taste of the truly laid-back nature of BC living. Hole up in your own Tenthouse Suite, hangout by the Lodge, or enjoy your own private cabin for a weekend of relaxation. The off-season means that you can enjoy special packages and slightly lower rates (not to mention more peace and quiet). Prone to boredom? Fear not, there’s still plenty to do be it checking out the local trails, mountain biking, heading out to the Sechelt Aquatic Centre, Chapman Creek’s Fish Hatchery, or simply indulge in the resort’s spa treatments.