Summer Plans? Wanting something bigger than a staycation but smaller than a trip around the world? Here are some closer-to-home places to consider around BC this summer (that are currently taking bookings).
With international trips ground to a halt I think many of us will be looking to ‘stay closer to home’, taking a lot of local trips and getting to know our own province better. Now is a great time to snap up some exceptional deals on hotels that fit the bill – think Victoria, Whistler and Kelowna, just to name a few.
Worldgo’s top picks for the summer (based on what’s closest) and yes we can help you book these of course. With amazing flexible cancellation policies, now is the time to score a great deal and start planning for a social distancing summer!
- Squamish (1 hour travel time) Many people pop up to Squamish for day trips but consider staying a night or two as there’s so many things to keep you busy in a city that is evolving into the adventure capital of BC. Outdoor enthusiasts will not tire of the many opportunities on offer: rivers with eagles to spy, forest trails for hiking and biking, nature walks to waterfalls and cliff climbers to watch, all washed down with refreshment from some great breweries. Squamish is a destination that surprises.
Top Hotel: Sandman Hotel for the budget conscious, or Mountain Retreat because the big kid in all of us will appreciate the water slide.
Top Brewery: Pick your poison, You can’t go wrong with any of them: don’t miss Howe Sound, Backcountry and A-Frame. It’s a tough choice between Howe Sound and A-Frame’s patio!
- Harrison Hot Springs (2 hours) Less then two hours from the city, Harrison is always a pleasure. With multiple lake and swimming options, and tons of local walking trails, this is an easy ‘after work’ location to get away to in the summer for a few nights. Just grab a good book, your walking shoes, your bathing suit and you’re good to go. And after all that rest and relaxation maybe the Sasquatch Museum will turn you into a believer.
Top Hotel: Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa is the obvious choice, but the Harrison Beach Hotel is great if you want more a ‘homey’ condo feel.
Top unique restaurant choice: all the hotels have solid restaurant options but for a unique mountain meal why not pop into the Black Forest Steak and Schnitzel House for a little taste of Bavaria!
- Whistler (2 hours) Whistler has been hit hard this year what with winter snow and ski season cut short by the virus. Visiting during what might be the quietest period in its recent history will provide you a unique experience – enjoying hiking and biking trails to gorgeous lakes without the usual crowds. Whistler is a special retreat for Vancouverites and other tourists alike. With hotel options ranging from apartment style, log cabins to the Fairmont, Westin’s and Four Seasons of the world, there really is something for everyone.
Top Hotel Choice: Fairmont Chateau Whistler. Incredible views, the indoor/outdoor pool, a great laid-back atmosphere and just steps to the mountain. If you want more of a ‘condo feel’ then Blackcomb Peaks is a great option as well.
Top Lake: Nita Lake is our first and if you are feeling adventurous Joffre Lake.
- Vancouver Island (3 hours) What locals refer to simply as ‘the island’, is where life slows down and people greet you with friendly smiles in the streets. It’s more than Victoria, Nanaimo and Tofino which are undoubtedly the most popular spots for tourists – there are many hidden gems to be discovered and explored and with great restaurants, gorgeous quiet beaches and relaxed lovely drives, Vancouver Island is perfect for a close getaway.
Top Hotel Choices: In Victoria, the Empress is sure to impress, but if you are on a budget a great option is the Days Inn Victoria Harbour. Nanaimo and Tofino both have lots of options – the Coast Bastion in Nanaimo offers great views and is in the heart of the city. If you want to splash out, literally right on the ocean, the Wickaninnish Inn or the Pacific Sands are two amazing properties that won’t disappoint.
Top Experience: How about visiting the ‘Sooke Potholes’? Unique geological formations which are actually deep, polished rock pools carved into the bedrock of the river – great for hiking and swimming.
- Lakes of the Okanagan (5 hours). Whether the buzz of Kelowna with its active beaches is what you are after or the sleepy swimming holes of Penticton or Vernon are more up your alley, there isn’t a better place to relax and take a load off than the Okanagan in the summer. With great hotels and dining options, this is a location that can be reached easily from Calgary or Vancouver.
Top Hotel Picks: The Delta Kelowna – unbeatable location, with restaurants and bars on your doorstep – this is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the big city. Penticton Lakeside Resort and Conference Center – private beach, secluded pool and those views! Also, lots of restaurant options close by. Sparkling Hill Resort – a little out of town but the views and saunas make it more than worth it.
Top Lake: With so many to choose from my favourites are Skaha, Okanagan or Kalamalka.
- Osoyoos (5 hours) Great weather? Check. Gorgeous views? Check and all the wine, wine and more vino you can drink. Osoyoos is a great spot for some R&R&W (wine). This is known as the hottest place in BC and Canada so why not hop in the car and do the five hour drive to Canada’s wine region. Tours are easy to organize when you are up there and with some great hotels to stay in, lakes to swim in, pools to read by, horses to ride and golf courses to challenge, Osoyoos is a great spot for escaping the big city rat race.
Top Hotel: Walnut Beach Resort is a beautiful private beach lakeside includes a lovely pool and a myriad of water activities make it perfect for both couples and families.
Great winery: Nk’Mip cellars, the wine, the location and the view. Wow! Just one of many gems in the area.
- Nelson (8 hours) A little further away, known as one of the most accepting, laid-back small towns in BC, Nelson is situated in the Selkirk mountains, and boasts an abundance of hippies, coffee shops and artists. This is Canada’s version of Byron Bay (if you know the famous hippy/artist town in Australia). This relaxed town is a great spot if you want to get a little off the ‘beaten path.’
Top Hotel: Prestige Lakeside Resort is a great spot for families and couples alike and is located right on the lake.
Top Café/Bakery: Kootenay Bakery Café. Easy food to grab on the go with vegan and gluten free options available.
To book your summer vacation contact a Worldgo Vacation Specialist at 1-888-236-1566 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Written by: Miles Walker
Date: May 14, 2020
Miles Walker lives for travel, which is quite fitting given his name! He has done BDM/Sales Manager work for On The Go Tours, Topdeck Travel and Blueroads Touring. He has called Melbourne, Tonga, London, Toronto and Ethiopia home at various points throughout his life and after recently travelling to Azerbaijan and Georgia his country count is somewhere in the low 80’s.