If you’re looking to get the heck outta dodge this summer, we’ve got three excellent options for you.

Got just one day to escape the construction zones, bridge traffic, and cold shoulders? Make your way over to nearby Bowen Island (many Hollywood North types have). Have a bit more time off? Try south of the border for superb beer and zero sales tax or head on east for a while where the mountains are high and the locals are kind.

Bowen Island, BC, one day

Leave the car at home, forego the long waits for the ferry, and walk or ride your bike to the water taxi dock on Granville Island instead. There you can take an exhilarating 30-minute ride on a 12-passenger boat to Bowen Island (weekends only. Departures from Coal Harbour are available during the week). Once on Bowen, you can walk or cycle to most activities including the many forest trails throughout the small and friendly island. Other activities include kayaking, beachcombing, visiting art galleries, and relaxing at the many eateries. Don’t miss: The Killarney Lake loop for an easy, shady rainforest walk, and Artisan Eats for fantastic French pastries, breads, and brunch plates.

Portland, Oregon, USA, one week

If you haven’t been down to this awesome city yet, then make it a must-do this summer. Portland has long been a lifestyle, food, and green inspiration to Vancouver, whether we will admit to it or not. It’s an easy 6-hour drive south along the I5 (with perhaps a not-so-easy border crossing…hello Nexus!), passing Seattle along the way. With its arts and crafts architecture still largely intact, Portland has an old school charm that’s interspersed with modern, liberal ideas. You’ll find craft beer pubs, food truck pods, and vintage anything along the walkable streets of downtown Portland, as well as in the Kitsilano-like neighbourhoods of Woodstock, Hawthorne, and Selwood. Don’t miss: Kid-friendly Washington Park (which is home to the Oregon Zoo), the Pearl District for its superb restaurants, and the 1920s Laurelhurst Theater for movies served with beer and pizza.

Kaslo, BC, two weeks

Hot springs, caving, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, farms, historic ghost towns, vast lakes, furious rivers, and a warm, country welcome all await you in this south eastern part of BC. Plan on at least a 9-hour drive from Kitsilano to reach your destination of the quant little alpine village of Kaslo, a former silver rush hub from the 1890s. From there you can explore fish-filled Kootenay Lake, the pretty and progressive brick town of Nelson, and the various natural hot springs that dot the region. Don’t miss: Ainsworth Hot Springs for healing waters and a cool grotto, staying at the grand lakefront Kaslo Hotel, and Oso Negro Cafe in downtown Nelson for locally roasted coffee and real conversation.

Last modified: July 9, 2017

Comments are closed.