Vancouver | Grant Harder

City Stays to Secluded Getaways: Trip Ideas for Long Weekends Away

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Note: This story was originally published in 2020.

Long weekends are on the horizon for those who seek rest and reprieve as the seasons change. Take a few days, let your mind relax and your soul recharge, before the coziest months of the year arrive. Check out these itineraries for long weekend city stays or trip ideas for getaways just a little farther away.

Victoria | Reuben Krabbe

A Three-Day Victoria Escape

This vibrant city gives off calm, coastal vibes with classic historic charm. Spend an afternoon tasting your way around the city on a two-hour walking tour of Olde Town and Inner Harbour with Taste of Victoria Food Tours. Go beyond the city and explore the Saanich Peninsula, with more than 170 parks perfect for a picnic and The Butchart Gardens, a must-stop for anyone with a green thumb. Along route, stop in at Roost Vineyard Bistro & Farm Bakery, where almost everything they serve is grown on their four-hectare (10-acre) farm. Spend your last day exploring the neighbourhoods of Victoria by bike. Ride through the eclectic artist enclave of Fernwood or join a Hoppy Hour tour with The Pedaler for brewery stops along cycle routes.

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Looking at Nanaimo from Gabriola Island | @kfranzke

Weekend Trip to Nanaimo

Follow the locals around this central Vancouver Island city and you’ll find plenty of experiences to keep you busy for a few days. Wander the Old City Quarter and its collection of vibrant boutique storefronts before gazing at the outdoor murals on Commercial Street. Jump on a 10-minute ferry and spend an afternoon at Saysutshun/Newcastle Island Provincial Park to hike, view old village sites, and learn about Snuneymuxw traditions. Or try out the biking trails at Doumont and Westwood Lake. Mountain biking here is enjoyable year round and riders can find post-ride ales at Cliffside Brewing. Round out your trip with a skip over to Gabriola Island, accessible via a 20-minute ferry, and explore an island full of makers and artisans. 

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The Aqua Lounge at JW Marriott Parq Vancouver

6 Places to Stay for a Big City Getaway

Vancouver has an energy, a vibe. For some, it’s the exact energy you need when your mind and body need a little recharge. Here are some of the best places to call home base while on a city getaway. Check in to Fairmont Pacific Rim and indulge at the Willow Stream Spa, take in the view from the waterfront pool at Pan Pacific, or opt for easy access to Stanley Park with a room at The Western Bayshore. If you’d prefer to be within walking distance to your favourite restaurant or coffee shop, tuck into JW Marriott Parq Vancouver, nestled between downtown hotspots of Yaletown and Gastown. For a quiet retreat, rest your head at the Granville Island Hotel, steps from the Granville Island Market. For easy access to outdoor adventure, head across the Lions Gate Bridge to the Seaside Hotel on Vancouver’s North Shore.

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Don’t Miss: Richmond’s Dumpling Trail

Choose from three different Dumpling Trail itineraries and eat your way through Richmond on a self-guided tour of dumpling hot spots.

Kenna Cartwright Park | Andrew Strain

Outdoor Adventures The Kamloops Way

If long weekends away typically include biking and hiking, Kamloops lets you pair both with delicious post-adventure dining and a thriving brewery scene. Head for the biking trails in Kenna Cartwright and hiking trails of Peterson Creek, or retreat to one of the surrounding lakes for a day of fishing. After a day of exploration, take a wander along Victoria Street to experience a thriving downtown of restaurants, pubs, and breweries

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Secluded Getaways

If a trip a little farther away sounds like a great way to spend a long weekend, look no further than the Sunshine Coast. Cozy up in an oceanview cabin to lounge by the fireplace, take in new culinary hot spots like Batch 44 Brewery & Kitchen and El Segundo Restaurant, or hang onto summer and enjoy year-round biking, hiking, and kayaking. Discover more easy getaway ideas for quick weekend trips to Hope, Harrison Hot Springs, and Whistler or book a guest ranch experience in BC’s Interior. If you’re craving a big adventure, hop on a quick flight to Terrace and explore Northern BC with day trips from this northwestern town on the banks of the Skeena River.

Take some time to rediscover your favourite getaways in BC and take advantage of those long weekends ahead.

Feature Image: Vancouver | Grant Harder


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