Escape the City

10 unique vacations to take near Vancouver

Not big on planes? Not able to afford a three week vacation to Hawaii? Forget the big bills that big trips rack up, we’ve listed off 10 unique vacation ideas that are close enough to Vancouver that you won’t have to break the bank to have a good time. Have a staycation, without having to actually stay in Vancouver and walk around Stanley Park for the 100th time.

Here are our 10 unique vacation ideas for you to take this summer (or winter) if you’re up for trying something new!

Small illegal cabins in Pemberton

More meant for the winter time, but still great in the summer for those who don’t want to sleep in a tent, small illegal cabins in the Pemberton wilderness are certainly a unique weekend getaway. You’re going to have to do some Google digging to get exact locations, because the locations of many of these huts are closely gaurded. You’ve got to EARN this vacation, buddy.

The Hemloft in Whistler

For another great way to get back to nature and another great way to save some money, try and check out The Hemloft an especially cool little creation hiding in the woods of Whistler. The location of the Hemloft is also shrouded in mystery, again due to its illegal nature of residing on Crown land. However, it’s got its own Facebook page where you can get in contact with the owner and creator to get some directions or book a stay.

The Sunshine Coast

A magical destination, just a short ferry ride away from Vancouver, the Sunshine Coast may not always live up to its name, but it’s got a huge variety of attractions that will keep you entertained during a vacation. Whether you’re looking for a camping spot, a warm lake to spend the day in, a garlic festival, or just a place to go fishing, the Sunshine Coast caters to all. Check out AirBNB for some amazing deals on cabins and reasonably priced locations to stay at. Or, go camping.

Take a Tipsy Wine Tour in the Okanagan

The Okanagan is known for a few things: hot weather, forest fires, and the Ogopogo. It’s also world famous for the vast amount of wineries that dot the landscape and produce amazing alcoholic liquids. Map out a route of local wineries, rent a bike (or bring your own!), and head across the breath-taking, European-esque landscapes to get tanked on samples of wine. Try out some ice wine, buy a few bottles, and try and make it back to your hotel or hostel without tipping over on your bike at least once.

Nelson (Shambhala Festival)

Maybe after your wine tour of the Okanagan you can keep heading up the highway to good ol’ Nelson. It’s a hippy paradise that is an outdoor-lover’s dream town, both for winter excursions and summer time jaunts. The scenery is fabulous and the people-watching is world-class. If you’re lucky, you could also be heading up to Nelson for the Shambhala Festival an annual outdoor electronic music festival that is all good times, good drugs, and relaxing in a river. Typically happening at the end of August, Shambhala is BC’s equivalent to Burning Man.

unique vacations near vancouver
Image from Travel Triangle

Suspended Spherical Tree Houses on Vancouver Island

Completely out of this world, the Free Spirit Spheres are an amazing place to spend a few nights among the trees. Three Orbs are available for nightly rental, and they are kitted out with modern amenities and creative fixings. Rates are pretty steep, but you pay for an amazing experience–right!? (and what an Instagram picture it would make!)

unique vacations near vancouver

Juan De Fuca Trail

For those of you who like to keep fit on your vacation, you’ve got to try the Juan de Fuca trail, the West Coast Trail’s younger sister. The lesser-known Juan de Fuca trail is just as beautiful and a bit easier going. Not to mention shorter and cheaper. Best of all, the JDF is more off the beaten track, so it’s easier to escape from other people. Either trail will take a lot of planning, so make sure you’re prepared for a few days in the wilderness with mud,  bugs, and the elements.

unique vacations near vancouver

Yurt Camping

Yurts are sturdy and secure structures with rigid walls, roofs, and solid floors, yet they still have the feel of tenting and being a part of the natural environment. Most yurts have multiple beds or bunk beds, and protect you better than a tent. It’s like camping without the set up, you’ll be able to bring your outdoor cooking gear, and live the natural life year-round. Yurts even have a skylight, so you gaze at the stars without having to sit outside. Check out some other ideas for glamping near Vancouver…

unique vacations near vancouver

Spend the night in an Airstream

Not only is Pender Island full of fun times and fantastic nature, but it’s also home to the excellent Woods on Pender establishment. This glamping area offers you the chance to spend an evening (or two) in your very own Airstream! You’ll even get your very own hot tub for an extra dose of trailer park luxury 🙂

Take a Self Propelled Trip

The goal of the Self Propelled Club is to take a trip entirely relying on yourself to get yourself somewhere. This means no cars, no ferries, and definitely no planes. Perhaps you could bike to Horseshoe Bay, kayak over to Bowen Island, and camp for a few nights. Or, do an Indian Arm Loop, or something equally as epic. This is definitely not for the weak of heart or lazy of mind. But, it’ll be a great story to tell the grandkids.

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