British Columbia is referred to by many as one of the best places to visit and live. It seems like a very grand statement to make, but with the stunning natural beauty it offers and an endless supply of outdoor adventure, it’s hard not to see why one would make that claim. As regulations have been relaxing, and each of us has been feeling more than ready to brave the outdoors, little steps to normality are possible. Although a trip to Paris or even Bali may seem like a distant dream, we can feel hopeful about having backup plans. You don’t have to rule out taking trips. All it takes is a little strategizing and you can still make adventures happen, by taking road trips. If you live in Vancouver, you’re in luck! Surrounded by mountains and oceans, this place has no shortage of remarkable destinations you can visit via a road trip! We’ve rounded up some of our absolute favorites that you should consider. Do make sure you are abiding with guidelines, social distancing, and staying safe at all times. If you’ve missed out on AMINTRO’s guide on staying safe during a road trip, do check it out here before you begin your adventure!
1. Take a Ferry to Victoria!
If you make the awesome decision to visit Victoria, via ferry from the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal (Vancouver) to Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal (Victoria), you should take a morning ferry and plan ahead to arrive at the terminal at least one hour before your departure time. You’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the ferry ride! Once you get cozy in your hotel, you want to make your way to the picturesque Inner Harbour. You’ll feel like you’re walking straight into a movie scene as you walk around the Victoria restaurants and cafes here. The charming downtown area offers plenty of opportunities for excursions as well. You should plan to spend your evenings wandering in these areas. Do make sure to get on a water taxi at Inner Harbour! You won’t regret it!
Once you’ve had your fill, you’ll want to spend a little more time exploring the other array of things to do in Victoria. Why not enjoy Royal Afternoon Tea at the Fairmount Empress? Fancy getting a history lesson? You can always get educated at the Royal British Columbia Museum. How about a lovely stroll at Beacon Hill Park, followed by a breathtaking sunset seen at Finlayson Point? The lists of things to do at Victoria are limitless!
2. Take a Drive to Northville
If you make the decision to take a two-hour drive up north from Victoria (which you should), you’ll get to enjoy some time in Parkville, a popular beach town situated on the east coast of Vancouver Island. It’s known for its lovely, sandy beaches and you’ll be able to soak up the sun while having a great variety of accommodations to choose from. From upscale Tigh Na Mara Seaside Resort, with private cabins and ocean-view suites, to affordable Travelodge by Wyndham Parksville, with its pool, bathtub, and breakfast, there’s definitely a great option for every budget. Make sure you take nice long walks along the beach, as well as visit Rathtrevor Beach Provincial! Parkville is a pit-stop you do not want to miss in Vancouver Island, which, by the way, is the largest Pacific Island east of New Zealand!
3. Spend Time in Tofino and Ucluelet
These two places are located on the northern and southern coast of a peninsula on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Pacific Rim National Park, one of Canada’s greatest natural treasures can be found here. We’re grouping these two towns together, as it’s ideal to visit both, and you don’t need separate accommodations. Pick a place to stay and spend three nights here, giving you two whole days to spend in Tofino and/or Ucluelet! They’re just 40 minutes from each other. There are loads of things to do in these locations, including:
Sea kayaking in the clear waters of Clayoquot and Barkley Sound
Canoe tours and bear watching tours
Hiking trails in Pacific Rim National Park and Wild Pacific Trail
Helicopter and seaplane flight tours
Whale watching tours (March to October)
Guided fishing trips in the ocean or freshwater lakes
And much more!
4. Make Your Way to Whistler!
You’ll be excited to trade the coast and sandy beaches for some snow-capped peaks if you decide to stop at Whistler next! It’s a good idea to call and make reservations for ferries ahead of time! Whistler is a happy little place, in which you’ll always have something to do, regardless of the season. In fact, this alpine village has so many options for leisure, that you can even spend a whole week here. If you plan to just spend a day or a few, then you’ll have to be selective about whether you want to hike in the mountains, kayak in the lake, indulge in a spa day or even relax on a patio. Some of the popular attractions in Whistler include the Peak 2 Peak 360 Experience, which you should set aside a good three to four hours for. The Scandinave Spa offers you a sweet escape to rejuvenate and relax. How about golfing at three different courses in the Niklaus North Golf Course? Maybe you’d like to kayak at Lost Lake, hike to stunning alpine lakes or go on a nature safari? Whistler’s got it all to make sure it’s a road trip you never forget.
Whether you decide to visit each of these places individually or have a week-long trip in which you conquer them all together, you’ll definitely make amazing memories! Vancouver is surrounded by remarkable options for road trips, and one should never pass the opportunities to explore and enjoy the abundance of nature it offers.