Five-day excursions to the Vancouver Coast and Fraser regions

Looking for a place to go while the travel restrictions are still in place? Here are a few places to consider in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and (a bit) beyond.

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With our post-pandemic future in sight, we will soon be roaming across Canada and overseas. For now, travel restrictions mean we’re sticking to our regional areas until at least June 15. But don’t let that put a damper on your urge to travel. There are plenty of places that would make great day trips closer to home.

Here is a list of outings in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley – in the consolidated area of ​​Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health. Add a hotel night, camping reservation, or Airbnb reservation to make it a weekend getaway.

1. Urban adventure

Downtown Vancouver, which has folded into a shell of itself during the height of the pandemic, is regaining its hustle and bustle.

Scroll Robson and have a leisurely alfresco lunch on a Yaletown patio. Stroll through historic Gastown, where you might be able to snap a photo of the steam clock without a tourist in sight. Mosey to Chinatown, with its dim sum, architectural gems and independent shops.

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For the sporty, rent a bike and cycle the dike, starting at Jack Poole Plaza, where Douglas Copeland’s Digital Orca stands guard. If you have kids and it’s the weekend, plan a quick stop at the Stanley Park Train, which reopened last week. End the day with a relaxing sunset picnic at English Bay.

For culture lovers, the Vancouver Art Gallery has a new exhibition called Vancouver special: disorientation and echo, part of a series exploring contemporary art in Metro Vancouver, while the Imagine Van Gogh The exhibit always draws large crowds at the Vancouver Convention Center.

From June 11, discover the self-guided tour offered by City Flowers, which has more than 50 flower installations made by local florists to support breast cancer research. Start the Floral Trail at 800 Robson Plaza, on the south side of the Art Gallery, which coincidentally is also one of the city’s three pop-up patios where you can grab a cold beer or sip a chardonnay from the May 31st. .

Hot tip:Vancouver tourism launched a campaign to get residents to “stay” in their own city. During the month of June, it has promotions and deals for some of the city’s top attractions, including the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Science World, and the Anthropology Museum.

2. Life by the lake

Metro Vancouver is home to many lakes, none of which are as popular in the summer as Sasamat Lake and Buntzen Lake.

Sasamat lake at Belcarra Regional Park has some of the warmest waters in the area, many scenic trails, a picnic area, and White Pine Beach. Lake Buntzen has cooler waters, but that didn’t stop swimmers on a hot day. Enjoy the water by canoe or kayak, or explore the many trails that surround the lake (some are closed until June 1 due to construction).

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Of course, there are more lakes in the area. In Chilliwack, the warm waters of Cultus Lake attract families, while Whistler has several beautiful lakes.

Hot tip: End your outing in Sasamat or Buntzen with a visit to Port Moody’s Brewers Row, a 20-minute drive away. Breweries have never been easier, with five breweries within three blocks of Murray Street.

3. Steveston

On the southwestern tip of Lulu Island, Steveston has a fairytale feel – no wonder he dubbed the role of Storybrooke on the hit TV series Once Upon a Time.

Learn about Steveston’s roots as a fishing village and cannery at Gulf of Georgia Cannery National Historic Site and Britannia Shipyards National Historic Site. For the current hustle and bustle, hop off at Fisherman’s Wharf, where fishing boats drop anchor and sell their daily catch right out of the boat. Rent a bike and cycle down the seawall, fly a kite in Garry Point Park or browse the lovely shops in the village. The Steveston Farmers Market is also open seasonally.

Hot tip: You cannot skip fish and chips while in Steveston. For most locals, these are Dave’s Fish and Chips and Pajo’s, whose dockside location can’t be beat.

Workers at Maan Farm in Abbotsford display their products on June 1st.  U-pick strawberries will be ready at any time.
Workers at Maan Farm in Abbotsford display their products on June 1st. U-pick strawberries will be ready at any time. Photo by Arlen Redekop /PNG

4. Fraser Valley Farms

For fresh berries and farm adventures, look no further than the Fraser Valley.

With local BC strawberries ready for harvest soon, most farms will be opening for U-Pick season. You can still buy the pre-picked fruit, as well as a wide range of local produce, at the farm store.

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Many farms increase the charm with different fun options. Maan Farms has a petting zoo popular with the little ones, as well as goat yoga outside in the sun. Taves Estate Cidery hosts tasting sessions in the barn, while the purple-hued lavender fields of the Tuscan farmhouse gardens might just be the ticket to transport you to Italy.

Hot tip: Check Circle Farm Tours, self-guided tours through Fraser Valley agri-tourism sites, including farms, markets and heritage sites. There are tours for Langley, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Harrison.

5. Island hopping

A 20-minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay, picturesque Bowen Island provides an easy escape from city life.

The island has hiking trails, secret coves and calm waters ideal for kayakers and paddlers. For a bit of culture, visit the Artisans Square, which showcases some of the work of the island’s best artisans and craftspeople.

A different ferry ride, but not much further, will take you to the coastal communities of the Sunshine Coast. Begin at Gibsons, where the ferry docks, with its quaint waterfront breweries and restaurants, then continue. Near Sechelt, Davis Bay has a beautiful promenade and views of the water for miles. Pender Harbor has secret coves, mountain biking trails, and some of the best sport fishing spots.

Hot tip: Don’t miss the glorious spectacle of the Skookumchuck Narrows, where eddies of changing tidal waters reach speeds of up to 30 km / h as 200 billion gallons of water flow through the narrow spaces between Jervis Inlet and Sechelt Inlet.

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Coy Lewallen

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