Take a day trip to Canada’s west coast

23 May

When my job as a tech consultant gets stressful, it’s time to pack my bags and take a trip.

There are great places to see in Canada that are close to Seattle, where I currently live. Trips like this require careful planning: unlike a regular vacation, I only have a day or two to enjoy myself while squeezing in as many sights and activities as I can. When planning my trip, I always consider travel time to get there and fitting in a special activity like wine tasting or going skiing.

My two picks for a day trip to Canada are Vancouver in British Columbia and Victoria on Vancouver Island. Vancouver is only a three-hour drive by car from Seattle, which is great for a day trip since airfare prices are a little pricey nowadays. When going to Victoria on Vancouver Island, take a British Columbia ferry right from Seattle. Both places are appealing because you don’t have to carry a lot of luggage or hire moving companies Vancouver utilizes to get your bags there safely. Just carry the necessities for the day trip, including comfortable walking shoes, and you’ll be good to go.

Things to see and do in Vancouver

Wedged between the breaking waves and the mountainous peaks, Vancouver combines nature with city life, making it a great place for everyone. The city is along the southwest coast of British Columbia and has a very mild climate year-round, although it can get a little damp with the abundance of rain.

The best place to enjoy a day trip is Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort. It’s the most famous ski resort in the world that offers skiing year-round. It also offers spa treatments, fine dining in 100 different restaurants and bars that feature an array of cultural cuisines, including Japanese, Indian and French meals.

I realize that skiing isn’t for everyone. Luckily, Vancouver has many shopping and entertainment sites right in the city. I suggest:

  • Going shopping along Robinson Street or Gaston for trendy clothes or boutique items
  • Visiting Vancouver’s jazz scene or listening to live music at the Commodore Ballroom
  • Watching the largest fireworks competition at the HSBC Celebration of Light
  • Attending the Vancouver Folk Music Festival or TD Canada Trust Vancouver International Jazz Festival
  • Taking the kids to the Vancouver International Children’s Festival

Sites to see in Victoria

Victoria is a provincial capital located on Vancouver Island. Since the city is completely separate from the mainland, it has a quaint, rustic feel. Victoria has a relaxing atmosphere where a person can lounge on the beach or enjoy some outdoor activities.

Victoria has seven different tourist regions ideal for a day trip: Cowichan Valley, North Central, Central Island, North Island, Gulf Islands, South Island and the Pacific Rim. The different regions’ activities include fine dining, wine tasting, arts viewing and sightseeing. For the outdoor adventurer, I’d recommend fun sports such as:

  • Scuba diving
  • Whale watching
  • Skiing
  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Exploring the cultural and aboriginal societies

Whether going alone or with other people, a trip to Canada can be a fun adventure. Double-check your passport is current or you won’t be able to cross the border. Leave yourself six hours round trip of travel time so you’ll have plenty of time to have fun, enjoy your trip and get back home without having to rush.

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