Saltspring Island

Sometimes a little R & R is in order, even if a big vacation abroad isn’t. Being in the midst of buying or selling can be an especially stressful time, or simply long days at work with little time at home can put one over the top. Why not treat yourself to a Staycation? Doing something just for you once in awhile can clear the cobwebs and rejuvenate for a higher quality of life and better productivity. Here are a few of our favourite staycations in the lower mainland:

1. Enjoy a leisurely a bike ride around Stanley Park. Pack a picnic, stop in at the aquarium, and take in the magnificent views. The 11km seawall winds around the park, giving you 360 degree views of the harbour, mountains, downtown and west and north shores. Getting in touch with nature combined with exercise will boost those endorphins and have you refreshed in no time. Bike rentals available.

2. Continue the tourist in your own town adventure with a Geocaching adventure. Using your GPS, you’ll go on a “treasure hunt” for hidden ‘cashes’ all around the Greater Vancouver Area. The idea is to get to know your city while looking for these hidden stashes, of which there are reportedly over 4,000 of in Vancouver! We recommend stopping in at La Casa Gelato as your reward. With over 218 flavours of gelato made on site, you could spend an entire afternoon sampling alone.

3. If you’re in the mood for something a little more low-key, why not re-discover Granville Island. Indulge in a night at the recently-renovated Granville Island Hotel. Featuring plush accommodations and the delectable Dockside Restaurant, you’re free to roam the island’s wealth of artisanal offerings from and even take in a yoga class with views of False Creek before settling in for the night.

4. Discover Deep Cove. From lush parks and trails to kayaking and cultural events, this little oasis is a short, twenty-minute drive from North Van. Known as “The Cove” to locals, this hidden gem at the foot of Mt. Seymour feels a million miles away from the city; perfect for a day trip away from reality.

5. For an extensive day trip worth the ferry ride, Salt Spring Island boasts being one of the warmest places in Canada during these long winter months. With a plethora of artists’ studios, spa options, and restaurants, this tiny island will enchant you to come back again and again.

Any hidden gem getaways we missed? Share in the comments below!


As spring slowly turns to summer, it is impossible not to be drawn out of Vancouver to enjoy the natural beauty surrounding our wonderful city. Whether you’re spending a day with your family taking a short hike, or lounging lake-side, there are innumerable options to choose from – thankfully, many of these are much closer than you might think.

Here are 5 quintessentially west-coast day trips for your next sunny Sunday, all under two-hours from Downtown:

1.Steveston Village, Richmond

A thirty minute drive from downtown, Steveston village is a sweet sea-side town where visitors can enjoy a quaint harbour, beaches and the historic land-marks of this salmon canning town. Perfect for fish n’ chips and walk on the water, Steveston is a relaxed reprieve from the bustle of Vancouver.


2.Deep Cove, North Vancouver

Nestled in the North Shore Mountains, Deep Cove is a delightful mix of an outdoor sports enthusiast’s paradise, and a family friendly spot for a picnic and light hike. Offering Kayaking, mountain biking, and hiking trails of varying length and difficulty, Deep Cove has something for everyone. Honourable mention to Honey’s Donuts - after a long paddle, these donuts will tempt even the most dedicated health enthusiasts.  

3. Alice Lake Provincial Park

Past Shannon Falls on the Sea to Sky high-way, Alice Lake is a provincial park and campground that proves why so many Canadians flock to the forest in the summer months. Enjoy camping, canoeing, lake side sun-bathing and swimming all just 1hr 20mins from Vancouver. On your drive up, the breath taking views off the Sea to Sky highway will tempt you to stop for a picture or two.  

4. Belcarra Regional Park

Just 50 minutes out of Vancouver is Belcarra Regional Park. Located at the entrance to Indian Arm, you can enjoy short walks along the shore-line, as well as swimming in Sasamat Lake. Belcarra offers a variety of sights and activities, and all in perfect proximity to the city.

5. Sea to Summit Trail

For something more rigorous, check out the Sea to Summit hiking trail, which climbs the back side of the famous Stawamus Chief rock-climbing site. This 900 metre climb is intermediate, but views of Howe Sound, Sky Pilot and the surrounding mountain peaks will make the effort more than worth-while. Be sure to bring lots of water and a power bar or two as this hike can take up to 5 hours!

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