Need a weekend getaway? Here are seven top spots around the province for a quick vacay
If you’ve been craving a break, then the upcoming long weekends are the perfect chance to plan a local holiday. Our list includes hidden gems, secluded islands and familiar favourites that will inspire your spring and summer long weekend plans.
Whether you’re craving a visit to a winery, an outdoor adventure or just want to soak up some small-town charm—you’re sure to find your ultimate getaway...
1. Qualicum Beach
Hello BCQualicum Beach is a quaint town north of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island that’s perfect for a peaceful long weekend getaway. Stay at the eclectic Free Spirit Spheres—orb-shaped cabins suspended from the trees—where you can get your glamping on while filling your Instagram with unbelievable shots (pictured right). Follow the locals when you get hungry to Bistro 694. You can also drive 15 minutes to Parksville for an unforgettable brunch at Bread and Honey Food Company. While you’re in Qualicum Beach, visit local farms in the area like Little Qualicum Cheeseworks, or hit up the Farmers Market to sample the freshest fare on the Island. And don’t forget to spend an afternoon in bliss wandering along the beach.
Destination BC/Andrew StrainA visit to Kelowna over the long weekend will give you a taste of the summer ahead. Stay at the funky Hotel Zed, or live the good life at the Delta Hotels Grand Okanagan Resort. For dinner, try a meal on the idyllic patio overlooking the Quails' Gate vineyard at Old Vines Restaurant. Catch brunch the next morning at trendy Bohemian Cafe. Visit Summerhill Pyramid Winery, an organic winery that crafts delicious wines and ages them inside their four-story-high replica of Egypt's Great Pyramid.
Tourism Vancouver/Ben GiesbrechtSooke is a hidden gem on Vancouver Island—a municipality nestled between wild rain forests and quiet beaches. Take a walk along the cinematic Whiffen Spit and walk on the beach by the Juan de Fuca Strait, or bring your bike and hiking shoes to travel the nearby Galloping Goose Trail. Grab a spot on the waterfront patio at Stickleback and savour fresh West Coast flavours. Dig in to regional seafood at Wild Mountain Food & Drink Restaurant (pictured). Drop by the tasting room and patio at Sooke Craft Brewing—if you’re lucky, a local food truck will stop by while you’re there. In Sooke, there are plenty of local cottages to choose from for your stay, but the Prestige Oceanfront Resort in Sooke makes an affordable and luxurious base for all your adventures.
4. Manning Park
Facebook/Manning Park ResortThe May long weekend is officially the start of camping season in B.C. If you and your family can’t wait to get out into the wild, Manning Park makes an ideal place to kick off your outdoor adventures. With plenty of events and activities for families, everyone will have a great time at this resort, You can camp out in tents, stay in the lodge or book a cabin. Spot wildlife, go hiking and enjoy your morning coffee in the cool mountain air.
5. Salt Spring Island
Facebook/Sacred Mountain LavenderFunky and laid-back, Salt Spring Island is a great place to enjoy a long weekend. Stay at the Salty Pear BnB, nestled between two organic farms, and get in touch with nature at this luxurious glamping retreat. Sweat it out and relax in their unique wood-burning barrel sauna. While on Salt Spring, you can roam the fragrant lavender fields at Sacred Mountain Lavender Farm (pictured) and sample the local wine at Salt Spring Vineyards. Walk through Reginald Hill for a light hike and watch the ferries come and go through the harbour. When you get hungry, drop by the charming Cafe Talia for lunch, or try the local seafood at the waterfront Oystercatcher restaurant.
6. Bowen Island
Tuscany PizzaJust a short ferry ride from Vancouver, Bowen Island is the perfect destination for a last-minute long weekend getaway—or even just a day trip. Start your day with a treat at the adorable Branch & Butter cafe. Rent kayaks or stand-up paddleboards (SUP) for an adventure out on the water before catching an early Italian dinner at Tuscany. If you want to spend the night on Bowen Island, there are plenty of Airbnb rentals available.
7. Hornby Island
Facebook/Hornby IslandIt takes two ferries to make it to Hornby Island, but you’re rewarded after your travels on this paradise of an island. There are plenty of cabins and vacation homes available, but you can also stay at the convenient Sea Breeze Lodge for a full-service experience. Take a yoga class at Sun Door Yoga—an incredible cedar wood studio with skylights set flush against the woods. The May long weekend is the start of the Hornby Island farmers market where you can shop for artisan goods, crafts and a selection of the finest and freshest food from the Island. At night, visit the Island Stars Observatory for the chance to stargaze far away from city lights.