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10 Perfect Weekend Getaways in BC

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If you are looking for the perfect weekend getaway in BC and want some fresh ideas, you can find great destinations just a few hours from the city. Since British Columbia is filled with so many great destinations that means there are so many ideas and options when it comes to weekend getaways in BC.

Maybe you want a couples weekend getaway, a road trip with kids, a solo adventure, or a fun girls trip, these weekend getaways in British Columbia are sure to give you the break from the everyday!

Pack up the car, pack up the kids (and perhaps the dog) and get out and explore. These weekend getaways include the outdoors (hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, horseback riding, skiing) but also luxury and relaxing escapes (hot springs, spa, great food, wildlife watching, wine tastinge).

These weekend getaways in BC can easily be explored in a weekend, but if you have a week off, USE IT! This resource is not just for locals. Are you visiting British Columbia and want to know where else to explore? These trips are all excellent and worth checking out on your holiday as well.

10 Weekend getaways in British Columbia

Perfect Weekend Getaways in BC

Victoria

As the capital city of British Columbia, Victoria has so much to offer for everyone on a weekend getaway! It is not just a tourist destination! Book a hotel for the weekend and visit the many beaches, parks and outdoor activities to explore! Whether it is feeding seals on fisherman’s wharf,  geocaching, taking a horse-drawn carriage around downtown, whale watching, or spending an afternoon at the Royal BC Museum, or Butterfly World or the Bug Zoo, there are plenty of activities for all interests!

For foodies, I recommend taking a local food tour to give you insight into Victoria’s culinary delights!

Walk the Galloping Goose Trail, or conquer Mount Finlayson if you are a hiking enthusiast. You can do this any time of year! And if the weather does not cooperate, do not despair, we have a great list of what to do in the rain here.

Summer is the busiest time of year in Victoria, but it can be enjoyed any time of year. Due to the current travel climate and shortage of workers, I would highly recommend making a reservation on BC Ferries before you travel. When you only have a weekend to visit, you do NOT want to be sitting at the ferry terminal for hours!

A super unique idea is to book a local photographer on your weekend getaway! It is easy! If you believe that memories make the best souvenirs, then book a photo shoot before your trip! If you use the code LINDSAY you will get $25 off your booking as well! Click here to search and book a photoshoot while in Whistler (or many other locations in BC)

Planning your Trip: Victoria at Christmas, Book your whale watching tour here,

Where to stay in Victoria:

How to get to Victoria from Vancouver: Catch a BC Ferry from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay and then follow the highway south to Victoria. Takes about 30 minutes to drive from the Swartz Bay terminal to downtown Victoria. Or take a seaplane from downtown Vancouver with HarbourAir or fly from YVR to YYJ.

Harrison Hot Springs

Harrison Hot Springs is known as one of the best day trips from Vancouver, but it is also one of the great getaways in BC that you can easily visit in a weekend. The drive from Vancouver is about 90 minutes (except in afternoon rush hour where you should add at least 30 minutes to your drive. Friday of a long weekend, add an extra hour!)

The Harrison Hot Springs Resort is a popular choice to stay and offers great amenities for family travellers. Whether you are visiting Harrison Lake with friends, as a romantic getaway or with your family, you will find plenty of activities to keep you as busy as you would like to be! This weekend trip from Vancouver boasts watersports including boating, fishing or paddling. Harrison Hot Springs also offers spas, golf courses and great hikes!

If you are visiting Harrison Hot Springs in the summer, you have got to try the inflatable course on the lake! It is a ton of fun (make sure you get the wet suit rentals as the lake is very cold, even in the summer!) Harrison eco-tours is the place to rent e-bikes or take a kayak tour! Read more things to do in Harrison Hot Springs

Where to stay in Harrison Hot Springs: Harrison Hot Springs Resort, Rowena’s on the River, the Lodge on Harrison Lake

Driving Time and Directions from Vancouver to Harrison Hot Springs: Head east out of Vancouver on the 1 towards Abbostford/Chilliwack and Harrison Hot Springs. Take exit 135/Bridalveil Falls and follow signs north to Harrison Hot Springs. Driving time about 90 minutes. Add 30 minutes at rush hour and add an hour on Fridays of long weekends in the summer.

Revelstoke

For those who like a bit of a drive, Revelstoke is one of the perfect summer weekend getaways in BC. The Revelstoke Mountain Resort has plenty to keep outdoor lovers busy for the weekend and is also full of attractions for those looking for some fun!

Planning your trip: How to get from Vancouver to Revelstoke

Kelowna

An easy highway drive or just one hour flight from YVR makes Kelowna a popular place for a weekend getaway in BC. It draws those who love wine and it also has a ton of great foodie restaurants. While in town consider not only a wine tour, but a food tour!

Where to stay in Kelowna:

Hyatt Place Kelowna

How to Get to Kelowna from Vancouver: Follow the 1 eastbound out of Vancouver until you reach Hope. From here take the 5 northbound and switch to the 97c signposted to Kelowna. Driving time is 4.5-5 hours in good weather and without major traffic congestion.

Squamish

Looking for some outdoor adventure, Squamish is the perfect BC getaway! Go horseback riding, or rafting, hike the Stawamus Chief, take the Sea to Sky Gondola.

Where to Stay in Squamish: Sandman,

Whistler

Whistler is one of the best resorts in North America and the number one resort in Canada. It definitely earns that title and offers so many things to do any time of year. Its pedestrian-only village vibe, its epic snowflakes, its laid back attitude, and its wealth of seasonal activities all contribute to making it one of the best mountain vacations you can take in the summer and in the winter! It is less than 2 hours from Vancouver and the perfect BC weekend getaway.

If you are coming in the summer months to this popular BC getaway destination, a fun day on the water is paddling the river of golden dreams, and swimming in nearby lakes or taking on the rafting of green river. There are tons of bike paths so pack your bikes (or rent them) and enjoy hiking all over the village as well as up in the alpine. If you are looking for some adrenaline tryout Whistler Superfly Ziplines (it is very high and scary and awesome – trust me!) or the Whistler Via Ferrata

In the winter months indulge in the Scandinave Spa (well you can do that in the summer too, but it is very cool in the snow), spend a day on the slopes, try the Whistler tube park (perfect for a visit with kids that are not too into skiing) and enjoy the apres ski on a patio.

Did you know you can book a local photographer on your weekend getaway? It is easy! If you believe that memories make the best souvenirs, then book a photo shoot before your trip! If you use the code LINDSAY you will get $25 off your booking as well! Click here to search and book a photoshoot while in Whistler (or many other locations in BC)

If you are coming up to whistler for the weekend with a group of friends, try the hour long axe throwing!

Where to stay in Whistler:

LUXURY: Four Seasons Whistler – The Four Seasons is one of Whistler’s luxury 5 star properties. The Four Seasons Whistler has a swimming pool and hot tub. They offer a bike valet that is convenient and safe. In the winter, I love the ski valet option where you can leave your skis at the ski hill instead of having to bring them back to the hotel. Four Seasons is located in the Upper Village near the Blackcomb Gondola.

MIDRANGE: Delta Hotel Whistler – The Delta offers rooms with full kitchens. This is ideal for those who like condo-style accommodation but want the convenience of a hotel. There is coin laundry on site which may be needed to dry out wet ski gear or bathing suits. The Delta is in Whistler Village close to everything.

MIDRANGE: Aava Hotel Whistler – Aava hotel is a midrange hotel in a great location. It is a short walk to the Gondola and just 2 minutes walk from Whistler Village.

BUDGET: Pangea Pod Hotel – Pangea Pod Hotel is conveniently located in the middle of Whistler, and is within 200 m of the Whistler and Blackcomb gondolas. It is ideal for modern hostel-style accommodation right in the village

AirBNB‘s are another great option as they offer more space. Most are designed for 4 or more people making them perfect for families or trips with friends. You can read more about Whistler AirBNB’s or check out my go-to favorite here. One downside to AirBNB’s is that they are not all in the village.

Planning your trip: How to get from Vancouver to Whistler, Whistler packing list, Things to do in Whistler with Kids, Whistler in Summer, Whistler at Christmas.

Salt Spring Island

If you have never experienced British Columbia’s Gulf Islands, Salt Spring Island is a great place to start! Like other destinations on this list of Vancouver weekend getaways… it is an outdoor-lovers paradise. You will find kayaking, whale watching, hiking and biking trails as well as eclectic shops in the centre of town: Ganges. You will not find traffic lights on the island, and amenities such as car rentals are limited. Salt Spring Island features some amazing B&B’s but no large hotel chains. Make sure to visit the Sunday Market in Ganges where you will find local arts, crafts and locally made cheeses and other treats!

Saltspring is perfect for foodies, make sure to visit the Salt Spring Island Cheese Company, drink plenty of Salt Spring Island Coffee and stop into Barb’s buns!

Getting to Salt Spring Island: BC Ferries leave from Tsawwassen to Long Harbour regularly throughout the day. There is also a thoroughfare that requires two boats which goes first from Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay (Victoria) and then you can transfer to a smaller boat that goes into Fulford Harbour. Float planes also land in Ganges Harbour from Richmond Airport.

Tofino

Vancouver Island’s rugged west coast and pristine beaches are part of what draw visitors plan a BC weekend getaway to Tofino. What awaits is one of Canada’s best road trips, a drive past lakes, over mountains, and through old-growth forests, not seen in much of the rest of British Columbia. In 2020 Tofino saw a huge growth in visitors, and it has now slowed down since. What used to be a summer season town now sees a lot more visitors year round. But if you haven’t been yet, don’t despair, Tofino is still a hidden gem for even many Canadians, and now is the perfect time to explore this natural paradise on Canada’s west coast.

A super unique idea is to book a local photographer on your weekend getaway! It is easy! If you believe that memories make the best souvenirs, then book a photo shoot before your trip! If you use the code LINDSAY you will get $25 off your booking as well! Click here to search and book a photoshoot while in Whistler (or many other locations in BC)

Where to stay in Tofino:

MIDRANGE: Duffin Cove Resort Duffin Cove is newly renovated and is right in Tofino. They have a few A frame cabins right on the water that you can book as well. The nice thing about staying here is that you can leave your car and walk into town. Parking can be busy in town in high season. 

MIDRANGE: Hotel Zed Tofino Hotel Zed is right off the highway and less than 500m from Chesterman Beach. It is 1.1 km from Mackenzie Beach. Your stay includes free parking and there is a restaurant on site. Hotel Zed is known for its eclectic styled accommodations. You cannot miss it! Pets are welcome at Hotel Zed.

MIDRANGE: Shoreline Tofino Shoreline Tofino offers a rustic feel with A Frame loft style cabins. it is close to the downtown core of Tofino and on the harbour side.

LUXURY: Pacific Sands Beach Resort Pacific Sands is the epitome of luxury. Featuring townhouse style accommodations and jetted tubs with a view, few other properties can walk right out to Cox Bay beach! Depending on your accommodation type, you can have a full kitchen and multiple bedrooms. If storm watching or walking the sandy beaches are your thing, choose Pacific Sands! It is perfect for families and getaways with friends!

LUXURY: Long Beach Lodge Resort Long Beach lodge features oceanfront rooms as well as cabins with hot tubs. There are surfing rentals and lessons right on site. It is situated on Cox Bay beach

AIRBNB: I have a post on the best Tofino AirBNB locations.

Planning your trip: How to get from Vancouver to Tofino, Nanaimo to Tofino or Victoria to Tofino, Tofino packing list

Nanaimo

Nanaimo lies on the East Coast of Vancouver Island. A perfect BC weekend getaway for those living in the Metro Vancouver area or even those in Victoria. Nanaimo offers excellent hiking, boating and scuba diving. It is the gateway point to exploring most of Vancouver Island such as Tofino, on Vancouver Island’s West Coast, to Mount Washington as well as accessing the cities and islands on the northern part of the Island. Nanaimo offers a small town feel, despite its over 80 000 residents.

Kamloops

I chose Kamloops as one of my cheap weekend getaways in BC only because it does not involve a ferry ride or expensive activities. But the price of gas these days does mean you are likely going to have to buck up for a tank in order to visit. The hotels are decently priced in Kamloops and the activities are well worth the price paid. Our favourite place with kids was the BC Wildlife Park which features animals native to British Columbia.

On this BC weekend getaway, you will find countless outdoor activities from hiking to golfing to fishing to horseback riding. In the winter, strap on your snowboard and hit the slopes of SunPeaks Resort. We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend in Kamloops this spring, and realized that Kamloops is not a small town at all, but a bustling city with all the amenities you need and so much space to explore!

BC Weekend Getaway Useful Planning tips and resources:

  • Book your ferry sailings in advance as they do sell out.
  • If you need a rental car, check out prices here
  • Book hotels in advance in peak periods, especially in the smaller towns where accommodations are limited.