Western Living Magazine
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There's still time to get in one last good trip with friends and family before the end of summerWL staffers share their top suggestions.
A campaign to attract residents to the northern Sunshine Coast seems to be working: my favourite vacation destination in B.C. is quickly becoming a little artisan hub, too. On my most recent visit, we discovered a heritage Berkshire pig farm, where the hogs run through forested paddocks; an aquaponics operation, where fish and lettuce are grown together in sweet harmony; and the ever-popular Townsite craft brewery has launched its own farmer’s market on Friday nights. Yes, it’s two ferries to get there, but there’s not much driving (just over an hour between ferries), and once you’re there, it’s all about the beach. As tourism PR’s slogan aptly states, “Powell River: I had a good time, actually!” (Notable and nearby: Check out our Sunshine Coast Road Trip)— Anicka Quin, Editor-in-Chief
My road-biking obsessed brother-in-law is always trying to get me to go riding with him. Every birthday he buys me pricey Rapha gear to wear and he recently let himself into my house while I was away and had my bike tuned-up for me. So a few months back when he suggested we go for a quick afternoon ride I felt compelled to tag along. We started downtown and the bike route heading east couldn’t have been more pleasant down leafy boulevards on the east side of town. And then we kept going. And going. And it wasn’t until we were deep into the unpleasant trash-strewn shoulder of the Barnet Highway that I began to get a bit fed up. “Just a while longer” he promised and as we hit the admittedly sort of quaint Port Moody my anger dissipated a bit. But it wasn’t until Belcarra that all the suffering seemed worth it. The most amazing waterfront homes in all of Vancouver—hanging on cliffs, looking out over the Indian Arm—presented themselves at every turn. There was a small little park with families playing frisbee and cooking dinner and even the steep hills were bearable thanks to the setting. The ride back—uphill along the same Barnett Highway— was brutal and hard, but now when I want a day-long escape I hop in my car and hit Belcarra.—Neal McLennan, Travel and Food Editor
Seattle is a lot like Vancouver, but there’s something about being in another city (even one with the same weather patterns and oceanfront views) that makes you feel like you’re on vacation, even when you’re just a few hours from home. So splurge on some great meals, spend the afternoon gawking at the awesome library, and stay up late singing at the delightfully shabby Seattle’s Best Karaoke. (For more Seattle ideas, check out our Seattle Getaway Guide.) —Stacey McLachlan, Associate Editor
How do you feel about getting an entire island to yourself? With provincial sites booked up months in advance, my family and I didn’t think it was possible to go camping last-minute during a long weekend until a friend put us onto the idea of kayaking to Twin Island, just off Deep Cove in North Vancouver. You have to pack in water, food, cooking equipment, plus all your tent and sleeping accoutrements—and then somehow get it on a kayak—but we did it! We bused to Deep Cove from Vancouver and then laboriously paddled two loaded-down double kayaks to Twin Island, about an hour out from the rental place. The island itself isn’t big, and you can only camp on the north side (when the tide comes in you’ll see why), but it’s equipped with wooden platforms for tents and outhouses that weren’t totally awful (thankfully my brother didn’t have to build his forest latrine). We found a prime camping spot right on the water and when day boaters headed home after an afternoon of boozing, we had the entire island to ourselves (save for the neighbourhood seals and jellyfish that surrounded the island). Note: The locals told us the white ones are harmless (no matter how big they are), it’s the pink ones you’ve got to look out for. —Julia Dilworth, Staff Writer
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