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Travel Beckons: Three Great Options

The Okanagan, Victoria and Tofino make a partial list for a weekend getaway

As spring buds blossom into summer foliage, thoughts may turn to travel. And if you need some inspiration, here are three great places for weekend getaways, from tranquil vineyards to coastal escapes.  

The Okanagan valley stretches over 250 kilometres and accounts for most of B.C.’s vineyard acreage. It is a great place to visit for couples or groups to enjoy the beautiful scenery and stroll through the vineyards.  

There are many wine tours available with an average cost of $160 to $200 that will showcase selected wineries and guide you through tastings, but you can always make your own choices. Wineries feature a diversity of fresh flavours as well as live music and entertainment.  

As these places are usually more popular in the summer, make sure to make a reservation ahead of time. There are plenty of accommodation options ranging from resorts, short-term rentals, and hotels, with rates running roughly $200–$300 per night—a stay of two nights is recommended. Though many opt for a five-hour drive from Vancouver, it’s also possible to book an hour-long flight from Vancouver to Kelowna starting from $188 if driving is not an option.  

Next for families is Victoria, a capital city full of gardens and historic sites. If you wish to travel by car, you can take the ferry from Tsawwassen ferry terminal to Victoria, but it’s also possible to travel car-free by public transit. BC Ferries Connector is a convenient option that takes you from Vancouver to Victoria; all you have to do is sit back and enjoy the trip!  

The bus has several pickup locations to choose from including the Oakridge station at 41st Avenue. The bus will drop you off in downtown Victoria. For B.C. residents, the $50 adult ticket covers the ferry costs, so no additional fee is necessary. The bus helps you avoid the terminal traffic as it has its own reserved lane. As hotels typically cost $250–$300 a night, Victoria is on the pricier side compared to the Okanagan. Recommended places to visit include Fisherman’s Wharf where you can eat seafood by the water, the Butchart Gardens, and the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia. There are lots of good restaurants. I recommend Il Terrazzo as a great place to eat.  

For those who enjoy outdoor activities, Tofino might be the place. A harbour of vast sandy beaches and magnificent forests, it is surrounded by the UNESCO Clayoquot Sound Biosphere. You can take your first surfing lesson at Chesterman Beach or meet professional surfers on Cox Bay, if you are an experienced surfer. For families, MacKenzie Beach is recommended as it’s well known for its calm waters and gentle waves. After beach activities and a stroll by the shore, there are lots of opportunities for fishing, golfing, kayaking, and wildlife viewing. Because some locations are harder to reach without a car, taking the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island is recommended. There are plenty of resorts and rental to choose from starting from $200 a night.  

Other beautiful B.C. places to visit include Squamish, Bowen Island, Pemberton, and the Sunshine Coast.  


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