So busy that you forgot to make plans for the upcoming long weekend? You’re not alone. Luckily, Vancouver is located within driving distance of a number of incredibly beautiful world-class destinations to help you unwind and make the long weekend count.
Full Front-El in Kelowna
Perched on the shores of Okanagan Lake, the Hotel El Dorado is perfectly situated just moments from downtown Kelowna. Use this boutique hotel as your home base for strolling into town for a bite to eat (we love visiting BNA Brewing Co. and Eatery ) or enjoying a day tour of the region’s incredible wineries (check out Uncorked! Okanagan Wine Tours ).
Our tip: Surprise and delight all of your friends on Facebook and Instagram by visiting Kangaroo Creek Farm , the only place in Kelowna (and perhaps BC) where you can get up close and personal with adorable kangaroos, wallaroos, wallabies and more. (Remember the Instagram Effect ? Now it’s your turn.)
Sparkle in Vernon
Looking for an unforgettable spa experience? Treat yourself to a night at Sparkling Hill , Canada’s largest spa and wellness center located in Vernon, near Kelowna. Featuring unique Swarovski crystal architecture and over 100 innovative healing treatments, the 5-hour drive is well worth the journey.
Our tip: Go below the surface in the Indoor Salt Water Pool to hear underwater music while staring up at a starry Swarovski crystal sky.
Soak Up the Sunshine Coast
A short 40 minute ferry from West Vancouver's Horeshoe Bay lies the quaint seaside town of Gibsons. With beautiful scenery, plenty of hikes, adorable ocean-view restaurants and even it's own farm-to-bottle brewery , Gibsons has plenty of activities to offer for a memorable day trip. Our tip : Considering it's a long weekend and the ferry usually goes every 2 hours, we recommend getting to the terminal early, or making a reservation. After all, nobody likes spending the holiday on hot pavement in a lineup of cars.
Unwind in Whistler
Get away from it all at Nita Lake Lodge , which continues to be voted one of Canada’s top-rated resorts year after year. Alongside it’s spectacular lakeside location and incredible customer service, guests of this retreat can enjoy a full-service spa, dine at one of two lakeside restaurants, practice yoga on-site, or explore the village by taking the courtesy shuttle.
Our tip: Take advantage of the complimentary recreational equipment including fishing rods, tennis rackets, canoes, kayaks and paddleboards included with your stay.
Take the Plunge in Pemberton
Pemberton may be well known for it’s annual music festival and potatoes , but it’s also one of the best places to combine a relaxing stay with some adrenaline thrills. Push your limits by going skydiving before heading back to the Green Water Resort for a bonfire on the beach. For a more unique experience, Green Water Resort also offers its guests the option to stay in tipis that feature a queen-sized bed, living area, and electricity.
Our tip: Remember those potatoes we mentioned? Don’t miss out on a tour of the Pemberton Distillery and experience the taste of pure organic spirits, handcrafted using traditional methods.
Heat up in Harrison
Choose from one of five iconic hot spring pools as part of your stay at Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa and enjoy all the benefits of their restorative mineral waters. Just 90 minutes from Vancouver, Harrison also offers hiking, biking, paddling, golfing, fishing and sandy beaches to round out your weekend of fun.
Our tip: If you’re staying at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa, don’t miss out on a live performance from The Jones Boys , who perform Tuesday through Saturday night at the Copper Room.
*Featured Image Credit: Sparkling Hill