Three Fantastic Vancouver Weekend Getaways
Being productive at work life while taking good care of your home life is the secret to be a happy and healthy person. Taking a quick getaway holiday helps you reboot and clear stressful thoughts from your mind and can re-energize you for months.
Health benefits of a quick vacation
For Canadians who live in a cold climate, Fall and Winter is when many people head for warmer locales. A week – or even less – in the sunshine can make you feel like a completely different person after months of rain, cold, and short days.
Not only is a vacation a great pick-me-up, but planning a vacation tends to raise people’s spirits for longer than the vacation itself. A study conducted in the Netherlands measured the effects of vacations on happiness. It showed – not surprisingly – that vacations do improve happiness that lasts for weeks after the time off AND the act of planning the vacation yields a much larger boost in happiness – up to eight weeks of improved mood in anticipation of the vacation.
That’s not all, a study from the University of Massachusetts Amherst found that people who feel they have control over their travel plans are more likely to feel less stressed after a vacation. As many people have experienced, if you travel with a group you end up giving control of the travel plans to others, so ideally a relaxing vacation should involve a couple or a small group.
You may be thinking: “Hold on, I’m busy and I don’t have time to plan an elaborate and exotic vacation.” Consider planning a quick weekend getaway instead! It’s cheaper, easier to make time for, and much easier to plan.
The secret to kicking your winter blues is:
Find one to three people to join you for a weekend getaway
Plan it together, ideally over brunch or some social drinks
Have a fantastic weekend
Post the pictures on social media
If you’re in Vancouver, these are three fantastic getaways you could throw into the mix for you planning sessions:
Storm-watching in Tofino is an adventure!
Wind so strong you’ll need to hold on.
Yes, the weather is frightful but who knew that Vancouver Island weather could turn into a thrilling weekend adventure? These storms are so ferocious they’re sometimes referred to as “marine bombs” and you can only see them between October and February.
One of the best parts of this vacation is hiking through the woods along the coastline in light rain in calm winds and then returning to your beach-side cabin for hot chocolate or a bottle of wine to watch the waves pound the coastline. There’s something luxurious about watching the chaos of the ocean, the rumbling bass of each breaking wave, and the lashing rain from the comfort of your cozy cabin. You could play some board games while your clothes dry on the mantle of the fireplace.
There are a lot of ways to go with a Tofino vacation and you’ll have plenty of planning opportunities. Should you take the ferry and drive? Or fly there on a float plane? The drive is a day trip that takes you through the heart of Vancouver Island but the float plane is a 45 minute adventure with exclusive panoramic views of the Georgia Straight.
Should you book a Bed and Breakfast, or one of the many hotels? Keep in mind, many hotels have restaurants perched on storm watching viewpoints, so you don’t need to stay at the hotel to enjoy the view, just go for lunch or dinner. You could try a different restaurant for each meal and see all the different beaches.
Enough tips. The point of this article is to encourage you to do the research and plan your own adventure!
Beach-side Cabin on the Sunshine Coast
The Sunshine Coast, isn’t always sunny, but many swear that the weather on the 177-kilometer stretch of coastline northwest of Vancouver is way better than in Vancouver.
Your entry point to the Sunshine Coast is the ferry terminal in the town of Gibsons Landing. You’ll get there by taking the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale, a 40-minute trip in which you may spot a pod of otters playing in one of the bays or sea lions watching from a distant rocky island.
Gibsons was settled by a British sea captain in 1829 and is perhaps best known as the setting for the quirky 1980s TV show, Beachcombers.
Your best bet on the sunshine coast is to find yourself a waterfront cabin to call home base. Then explore the coast. A few things you could look for are:
On of the many festivals such as the Halfmoon Bay Apple Festival, Sunshine Coast Mushroom Festival, or the Powell River Craft Beer Festival.
Visit some of the new craft breweries that have opened their doors along the coast.
Book a spa day at one of the many resorts that dot the coastline and perhaps jump in the hot tub with some champagne after your deep tissue massage
An afternoon snowshoeing through alpine forest on Dakota Ridge or Tetrahedron Provincial Park
Visit the Skookumchuk Narrows
More about the Skookumchuk Narrows
At the meeting of the Sechelt and Jervis Inlets nature puts on a show twice a day. As the tide turns and the flow of switches directions through the narrows and produces some incredibly turbulent rapids. The difference in water levels between each side of the rapids sometimes exceeds 9 feet (3 meters), with 7,500 billion litres (5200 billion gallons) of water flowing through the Skookumchuck Narrows. The rapids are famous for their spectacular whirlpools and they are popular with extreme kayakers and divers.
From hiking the famed Sunshine Coast Trail, watching the natural spectacle of Skookumchuck Narrows or, the Sunshine Coast is an all-season recreation destination offering a variety of activities. The Sunshine Coast’s mild year-round climate provides options for fishing, golf, kayaking/canoeing, hiking, biking, boating, diving, swimming, skateboarding, birdwatching, backcountry snowshoeing and cross county skiing, air and marine tours and more.
Okay, okay, that should be enough o get you interested. Now you can do some research and plan your Sunshine Coast getaway.
Whistler and Blackcomb is a great resort destination, but everyone knows that the highway traffic is torrid, the place is packed with tourists, room rates are astronomical, and the five-star restaurants are painfully expensive.
We recommend you pick one of the lesser known ski resorts. After all, visiting someplace new requires more research, planning, and is much more adventurous.
Here are five ski resorts with great snow that are within 5 hours drive of Vancouver:
• Manning Park (2.5 hours)
• Sun Peaks, Kamloops (4 hours)
• Apex, Penticton (4.5 hours)
• Big White, Kelowna (5 hours)
• SilverStar Mountain, Vernon (5 hours)
Some are more developed than others, so you’ll have to do your research and make decisions about whether you want to cook or eat out.
It’s fun to eat in for one big meal on your weekend getaway. Assign one dish to each person and let them show off their cooking abilities. Of course, to do this you’ll need a kitchen and not all accommodations will have one or a well equipped one. Keep this in mind when looking for accommodation.
How often do you finish your day relaxing in a hot tub with your favourite beverage? Almost NEVER. That’s why a hot tub screams “FUN WEEKEND GETAWAY”. Look for accommodations that have private hot tubs just for your cabin. Yes, it will cost more but it will make for a memorable weekend and memories are what sustain us until our next getaway. If it’s in your budget, then say yes to the hot tub.
You work hard and you deserve a break. We hope you have an amazing weekend getaway!
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