Getaway ideas: make the most of the Canada Day long weekend!
Can you taste it? Almost? Good. The Canada Day long weekend is so close, and so are some great getaway ideas you can take to maximize the glorious, patriotic and most importantly, long weekend. Many of them are just a stone’s throw away from Vancouver! We’ll have another post suggesting easy metro Vancouver options, if you’d rather ditch the car.
Here are some marvelous spots to get to from Vancouver, via Bored in Vancouver.
Not big on planes? Not able to afford a three week vacation to Hawaii? Forget the big bills that big trips rack up, we’ve listed off 10 unique vacation ideas that are close enough to Vancouver that you won’t have to break the bank to have a good time. Have a staycation, without having to actually stay in Vancouver and walk around Stanley Park for the 100th time.
Here are our 10 unique vacation ideas for you to take this summer (or winter) if you’re up for trying something new!
1. Redneck Beach on Vancouver Island
Redneck Beach is exactly what you might imagine it to be. A picturesque lakeside camping spot that is frequented by those who are fond of drinking, burning things, jumping off bridges, driving trucks, and generally getting into all sorts of mayhem. If this sounds like your cup of tea, you’ve got to check out Redneck Beach, close enough to Tofino that you can take a short drive to the surfing beaches, but far enough away that the camping is FREE and without rules. If you’re not into the revelry aspect of the Redneck Beach, you can also check out Rainbow Beach, a quieter campsite just around the bend.
2. Small illegal cabins in Pemberton
More meant for the winter time, but still great in the summer for those who don’t want to sleep in a tent, small illegal cabins in the Pemberton wilderness are certainly a unique weekend getaway. You’re going to have to do some Google digging to get exact locations, because the locations of many of these huts are closely gaurded. However, if you’re able to befriend a local in Pemberton, there’s a good chance s/he’ll be able to point you in the right direction towards one of these awesome huts. You’ve got to EARN this vacation, buddy.
3. The Hemloft in Whistler
For another great way to get back to nature and another great way to save some money, try and check out The Hemloft an especially cool little creation hiding in the woods of Whistler. From what we’ve heard, it’s got absolutely fabulous views, a delicious Christmas tree aroma, and a fabulous layout that is quite inspiring. The location of the Hemloft is also shrouded in mystery, again due to its illegal nature of residing on Crown land. However, it’s got its own Facebook page where you can get in contact with the owner and creator to get some directions or book a stay.
4. The Sunshine Coast
A magical destination, just a short ferry ride away from Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast may not always live up to its name, but it’s got a huge variety of attractions that will keep you entertained during a vacation. Whether you’re looking for a camping spot, a warm lake to spend the day in, a garlic festival, or just a place to go fishing, the Sunshine Coast caters to all. If you’re looking for a place to stay, Gibsons is great and easily accessible by ferry and boat, Ruby Lake and the area surrounding it has some great (AMAZING) lakes nearby that are warm, rustic, and full of fish. If you’re up for the long haul, take the 7 hour journey to Lund (the end of the highway) for some delicious cinnamon buns and small town living. Check out AirBNB for some amazing deals on cabins and reasonably priced locations to stay at. Or, go camping.
5. Take a Tipsy Wine Tour in the Okanagan
The Okanagan is known for a few things: hot weather, forest fires, and the Ogopogo. It’s also world famous for the vast amount of wineries that dot the landscape and produce amazing alcoholic liquids. Wine tours are typically not cheap, and often are full of people who actually know about their wine. So, if you want to have some fun and possibly get heat stroke, you’ve got to head up to the Okanagan to take part in a tipsy wine tour. It’s pretty simple, map out a route of local wineries, rent a bike (or bring your own!), and head across the breath-taking, European-esque landscapes to get tanked on samples of wine. Some are free, some come with a fee, but all are quite good. Try out some ice wine, buy a few bottles, and try and make it back to your hotel or hostel without tipping over on your bike at least once.
6. Nelson (Shambhala Festival)
Maybe after your wine tour of the Okanagan you can keep heading up the highway to good ol’ Nelson. Yes, this is not as close to home as the other options, but sometimes you want to get a little farther out of town than usual. Driving to Nelson takes around 8 hours, but you can always stop on the way. Nelson is a hippy paradise that is an outdoor-lover’s dream town, both for winter excursions and summer time jaunts. The scenery is fabulous and the people-watching is world-class. If you’re lucky, you could also be heading up to Nelson for the Shambala Festival an annual outdoor electronic music festival that is all good times, good drugs, and relaxing in a river. Typically happening at the end of August, Shambhala is BC’s equivalent to Burning Man.
7. Suspended Spherical Tree Houses on Vancouver Island
Completely out of this world, the Free Spirit Spheres are an amazing place to spend a few nights among the trees. Three Orbs are available for nightly rental, and they are kitted out with modern amenities and creative fixings. Don’t just take our word for it, check out this amazing review: ” …I found myself being pulled to his magical pumpkin suspended in the air. Is this the Cinderella part or am I part of the magic… I felt like I was 8 years old and nobody new my secret. My heart pounded faster and my eyes widened when we entered our magic fort. I felt a spiritual connection with nature and the trees… With a view of the pond and a sip of our whiskey I felt peaceful and tranquil in the tree house with the one I loved.” Rates are pretty steep at $155 per night, but you pay for an amazing experience–right!? (and what an Instagram picture it would make!)
8. Juan De Fuca Trail
For those of you who like to keep fit on your vacation, you’ve got to try the Juan de Fuca trail, the West Coast Trail’s younger sister. The West Coast Trail is highly esteemed as one of the best multi-day hikes in Canada. However, you pay a huge price for that, and the crowds are a bit more noticeable. The lesser-known Juan de Fuca trail is just as beautiful and a bit easier going. Not to mention shorter and cheaper. Best of all, the JDF is more off the beaten track, so it’s easier to escape from other people. Either trail will take a lot of planning, so make sure you’re prepared for a few days in the wilderness with mud, bugs, and the elements.
9. Yurt Camping
Yurts are sturdy and secure structures with rigid walls, roofs, and solid floors, yet they still have the feel of tenting and being a part of the natural environment. Most yurts have multiple beds or bunk beds, and protect you better than a tent. It’s like camping without the set up, you’ll be able to bring your outdoor cooking gear, and live the natural life year-round. Yurts even have a skylight, so you gaze at the stars without having to sit outside. Yurts are available at Whistler for around $50/night, and many other locations around Vancouver Island, the interior, and many other areas that focus on glamping…
10. Take a Self Propelled Trip
The goal of the Self Propelled Club is to take a trip entirely relying on yourself to get yourself somewhere. This means no cars, no ferries, and definitely no planes. Perhaps you could bike to Horseshoe Bay, kayak over to Bowen Island, and camp for a few nights. Or, do an Indian Arm Loop, or something equally as epic. This is definitely not for the weak of heart or lazy of mind. But, it’ll be a great story to tell the grandkids.
Happy (almost) Canada Day, friends! Make sure you’ve got your Radar notifications on, who knows what wonderful, adventurous singles you might cross paths with this weekend 🙂