February 04, 2020 8 min read
Let's be frank, everyone loves it. Travelling can be, if not, the best remedy to break the daily routine. The extraordinary adventures, learning experiences, and life-long memories are the many benefits that can sometimes only be cultivated through travel.
Destinations packed with a great variety of activities is oftentimes heavily-researched when planning for a vacation. With access to countless mountain ranges, moderate climate, the fresh-scent of the outdoors, and home to 40,000 islands, British Columbia is a prime spot where unique experiences and natural-beauty is abundant, and is often missed on many travel wish-lists.
To offer a little guidance with the planning process to your itinerary, we've done the research. And though these locations may not be as acknowledged by the many, their uniqueness to nature brings a special type of experience, which encompasses the surrounding areas in our home province of B.C. Our must-see travel guide will take you as far West to the Pacific Ocean, the sculpted Rocky Mountains in the East, and even to our neighbours to the South.
Courtesy of Sonora Resort. Photo by Mark Yuen Visuals
LOCATION - Discovery Islands, Sonora
EXPERIENCES - Kayaking | Hiking | Paddle Boarding | Heli fly-fishing
Among the many islets of the Discovery Islands, North of Vancouver sits Sonora Island. Accessible by boat or plane, the island is home to natural beauty. A must see & do during your visit is taking a paddle board or canoe around the serene waters of Florence Lake. The pacific waters and the West Coast wildlife it brings is one of many reasons travellers should explore the area, occasionally sighting sea-lions, otters, and orcas.
ACCOMMODATION - Sonora Resort
A hidden jewel amid the alluring island. Sonora Resort is an all-inclusive luxury wilderness resort. It's perfect proximity to the Strait of Georgia and the natural greenery of B.C is brings a plethora of wildlife adventure-tours and indoor & outdoor activities. The resorts immaculate dining room provides both seasonal and delicious a-la carte menus, paired perfectly with one of the many BC wines in their cellar.
Their luxurious rooms designed with contemporary style of furniture and linens makes getting comfortable at the resort an easy adjustment (not that you would have a hard time) Whether a romantic trip or family vacation, Sonora Resort's accommodations from suitable rooms to lavish villas with scenic views is nothing short of amazing.
Courtesy of Montecristo. Photos by Elaine Rystead.
LOCATION - Vancouver Island, BC
EXPERIENCES - Horne Lake caves | Bike trails | Sea-kayaking | Mt Washington
Right across the Georgia Straight, with countless archipelago, moderate temperature, and year-round adventures, Vancouver Island a travel destination for many locals & tourists. In the warmer months, take a stroll along the shore or dip in the prime spot of Qualicum Beach. Adventure a little more inland and visit Horne Lake and the breathtaking caves within. In the winter, drive to Mount Washington Alpine Resort to see the white blanket of snow on the mountain.
ACCOMMODATION - Free Spirit Spheres
A perfect way to escape the routine, Free Spirit Spheres breaks-free of traditional stays with their spherical treehouse tucked away and surrounded by the natural coastal rainforest. A unique blend of back-to-nature experience and 'glamping', allows people to experience nature in relative luxury. The interior itself is perfectly designed with space & practicality in mind. Open year-round, a visit here during summer or winter is rather a great alternative.
Photo courtesy of The Wickaninnish Inn
LOCATION - Tofino, BC
EXPERIENCES - Whale watching tours | Fishing charters | Hot springs cove | Surfing
Tofino is a district situated in Vancouver Island, just off the Clayoquot Sound, hosting many beautiful and natural inlets in the area. The Tofino summer is well-recognized for it's 'un-plugged' feeling and is a popular destination for hikers, whale watchers, fishers, particularly surfing (epicentre of surfing in B.C), and anyone looking to surrounding themselves in all things nature.
ACCOMMODATION - The Wickaninnish Inn
The Wickaninnish Inn is a modern design of luxury located in Tofino, on the edge of Pacific Rim National Park. It's rustic & minimal style provides a tranquil haven for those looking to escape the bustle of the city.
A day in the Inn can consist of a morning coffee at the Driftwood Café, hiking the many trails around the coastal rainforest followed by a wellness-focused visit to the spa. In the evening, appease your appetite at The Pointe Restaurant and of-course, should be paired with one of their numerous B.C & international wine's kept in their cellar. With their green perspective, the Wickaninnish Inn is a place where eco-mindfulness is almost certain during your stay.
LOCATION - Kootenays, BC
EXPERIENCES - Ainsworth Hot Springs | Kootenay Lake | Mountain bike | Visit Nelson
In respects to the Kutenai First Nations, the Kootenays is the southeastern region of B.C, spanning from Gladstone Provincial Park to Kootenay Lake in the east. Mountain activities and outdoor adventures are among the many experiences, as you can imagine, when neighbouring the Rockies.
Get an up-close experience around the steep slopes of Rossland city, recognized as the 'Mountain Bike Capital of Canada' for a more exhilarating activity. If unwinding & dining is a priority, relax in steamy mineral water at Ainsworth Hot Springs, located along the beautiful Kootenay Lake.
ACCOMMODATION - Lakefront Resort Home, Airbnb
We wanted to include an getaway option for the travellers that love going in groups. This 'luxury on the lake' home is situated right along the tranquil waters of Kootenay Lake with impressive grand-open space and untouched views.
A great option for parties & large family vacations, able to host 16 guests, complete with hot tub, BBQ, and theatre room. Grab a bottle of wine (or two), sit at the balcony, and inhale the fresh-scent of the West Coast.
Photo courtesy of Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
LOCATION - Clayoquot, BC
EXPERIENCES - Kayaking | Horseback riding | Heli-adventures
Located in beautiful Vancouver Island, Clayoquot Wilderness Resort boasts plenty of remarkable offshore islands, steep valleys, and beaches.
Truly luxury gone wild. The immersive eco-safari style resort is located by the Bedwell River, which requires a quick boat-ride from Tofino, only adding to the feeling of isolated-serenity. Their limited yet luxurious quarters are arranged facing along the waters-edge.
ACCOMMODATION - Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
The grounds natural scenery provides numerous experiences from kayaking the river, horseback riding forested trails, and taking a heli-adventure to hidden-locations around the sound.
Sip & savour on gourmet meals that are harvested locally and daily prepared by Execute Chef Michael Pataran. Unwind and head over to the Healing Grounds Spa to complete your day by restoring your body & mind with a bit of yoga and massages.
Photo courtesy of Nimmo Bay Resort
LOCATION - Nimmo Bay, BC
EXPERIENCES - Whale watching | Kayaking | Paddle board | Helicopter tours
One and the same, tucked up North from Vancouver, surrounded by the dense trees of the Great Bear Rainforest is the beautiful Nimmo Bay Resort. This all-inclusive seaside resort is devoted to nature and the finer things in life. Dependant on the adventures you're looking for, the resort offers experiences which can range from bear watching in the spring, to kayaking in the summer.
ACCOMMODATION - Nimmo Bay Resort
Wildlife adventures is just outside the accommodations proximity, which makes planning activities an effortless task. Have a relaxing morning in a steamy cedar hot tub facing Mount Stephen's waterfall. Enjoy their modern menu offering delectable dishes which continues the mindful-mindset, sourcing only from Certified Organic farmers and what has been harvested. Your visit isn't complete without enjoying the evening on the Instagram-worthy floating fire-dock, perfectly surrounded by still-waters and good company.
Photo Courtesy of Headline Mountain Holidays
LOCATION - Pemberton, BC
Only a short 20 minute drive from Whistler, Pemberton is a true-North village nestled just at the foot of Mount Currie, home to the First Nations community, and brings a stunning view from afar. Although not primarily a cold-destination, Pemberton & the surrounding area is best experienced in the winter. Helicopter tours to view the breathtaking Ice Caves one day, visit the only Certified Organic Distillery the other. Lastly, of-course, a quick trip to explore Whistler Village & Blackcomb Peak.
ACCOMMODATION - Lakefront House, Airbnb
Capable of hosting 8 guests, this expansive lakefront house is a paradise on it's own right. The newly renovated home includes a hot tub, large open-spaces, and an incredible view Green Lake and West Coast atmosphere.
Travelling with large groups can be a challenge when choosing what to do with the days. The accommodation proximity to Pemberton (40 minute drive) and Whistler village (10 minute drive) means there's no shortage of experiences for the whole group.
Photo courtesy of Airbnb host Ryan
LOCATION - Banff, Alberta
EXPERIENCES - Banff National Park | Lake Louise | Abraham Lake | Ice-skating | Hiking
Looking for a frosty adventure? Although unlike majority of our list which is in B.C, within the Canadian Rockies lies the highly-acclaimed resort town of Banff, located within Banff National Park, and is famously known for the immaculate view of snow-capped mountains surrounding Lake-Louise. If you find yourself visiting during the winter months, take the time to travel up North to witness the phenomenon at Abraham Lake where methane bubbles freeze just below the icy-surface, leaving picture-worthy moments.
ACCOMMODATION - Modern Chalet, Airbnb
For a quiet-tranquility get away, this ultimate chalet retreat is located near the Blaeberry River and is modernly designed for chic-relaxation around nature with vaulted ceiling showcases a serene view of mountains, trees, and the river. Despite it's isolated location, a quick 20 minute drive to Golden town or Banff (although requires a bit more travel) means you're never too far away from the community.
Photo courtesy of the Ranch at Rock Creek
LOCATION - Rock Creek, Montana
EXPERIENCES - Horseback riding | Fly-fishing | Hiking | Archery | Wildlife viewing
Another exception, although staying true to our guide encompassing the areas around British Columbia, we just couldn't refuse The Ranch at Rock Creek located in Montana, US - bringing together the 'true West' adventures and luxe-comfort & amenities. Situated right beside the 52 mile river only adds to the wide-open and natural scenery of the area. Beautiful mixture of deciduous trees, backdrop mountains, and a cozy stay makes visiting in the winter a great option.
ACCOMMODATION - The Ranch at Rock Creek
The all-inclusive Ranch at Rock Creek aspires to give the best ranch experience, whether novice or not, you're sure to enjoy the great outdoors without sacrificing comfort. Choose from charming historic barns to luxury homes to fit family vacations or romantic honeymoons. Find time for yourself and stop by the Granite Spa and Tea Bar, educating with products and recommendations for healthy body & mind.
Photo courtesy of Woods on Pender
LOCATION - Pender Island, BC
EXPERIENCES - Woods Massage | Paddle board | Golf course | Camping
Consisting of two islands, North and South Pender, the B.C island has an amazingly sub-mediterranean weather means dry summers and mild, wet winters. Located in between Vancouver Island and the mainland, the island is accessed by float-plane or ferry.
Being a part of the Gulf Islands also means Pender Island is entrapped by several coves, lakes, small mountains with trails leading to viewpoints, all the while teeming with nature. Who's complaining?
ACCOMMODATION - Woods on Pender
The luxurious camp grounds, Woods on Pender, perfectly stationed so that travellers can explore both North & South of the island. The site is closed during January & February, so plan trips around then.
No matter where you choose to stay from their accommodations, the cozy and newly renovated sites all include a wooden deck, propane fire pit to bundle next to, and a hot tub. An excellent combination of the West Coast outdoors with comfortable amenities of a home.
Whether you're a veteran traveller, or a novice ready to spread their travel-wings, part of the journey to these life-changing experiences is to discover something new along the way.
Take us on your travel plans! We'd love to see if you've gone to one of our spots, or the special spots you've found along the way!
And be sure to tag us @slocation !