Western Living Magazine
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Hit the road, Jack!
Ahhh, summer. It’s a season synonymous with beach bonfires, late nights on the patio, sun-kissed skin and toes in the sand. And though it’s fine to enjoy all of these things from the comfort of your own city, there’s just something about this time of year that makes us all want to explore somewhere new. Well, good news! Summer is also the season of road trips, and we’ve got six jam-packed itineraries to inspire your next journey—from Vancouver Island to the Golden State and beyond.
Dozens of enticing communities are lined up along Highway 101, making British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast a bevy of getaway options. Visit the workshops of local artists in Pender Harbour, eat your way through Sechelt (breakfast at Wheatberries, lunch at the Old Boot Eatery and antipasto at Ty’s Fine Food and Bistro) and then spend one last relaxing day in Roberts Creek.
Sonoma offers 50 state and regional parks, 55 miles of stunning Pacific coastline and ancient redwood forests, more than 425 wineries (!)—plus breweries and distilleries that offer tastings and tours. If that doesn’t constitute a road trip, we don’t know what does.
If California is too far, try heading north to the Okanagan. Former WL Foodie of the Year (see a list of this year’s finalists here) Aman Dosanj knows her way around the Valley and has mapped out a Friday-to-Sunday guide that will have you feasting and sipping (on local wines, no less) all day long.
You may have an end goal of houseboating with your best pals, but you’ve got to get there first. And sometimes the journey can be just as sweet (made even more so with pit stops at Sparkes Corn Barn and the Shushwap Pie Company): “My thighs are poking out of cutoffs I haven’t worn in years, sticky and fusing to the leather car seat…but all is right with the world.”
The Vancouver Island towns of Courtenay and Comox are exactly an eight-minute drive from each other, so a visit to one is really a visit to both. With wineries, tide-to-table seafood, ocean vistas and small-town charm, they won’t be hidden gems for much longer.
From Fort Stevens to Crissey Field, more than 100 state parks and recreation areas line the 584-kilometre Oregon Coast, inviting visitors to explore its dunes, surf its waves and stroll its beaches and seaside forests.