One of the great benefits of living in B.C. is that it is a part of the Pacific Northwest and right above the US border, which opens up a variety of world class travel right at our footsteps.
Get out and explore the rest of the Pacific Northwest outside of BC. Washington and Oregon both offer unreal scenery and hidden gems. Hiking, surfing, shopping, food, beer, funky neighbourhoods - whatever your travel desires you will most likely find it in Washington and/or Oregon.
Despite how beautiful Canada is, sometimes we can take for granted that another stunning country is just south of the bother. So it is definitely worth taking a day trip or weekend getaway to one of these incredible destinations that are only a short and stunning drive from BC. Please note that distance times are approximate from Vancouver and may not account for border wait times or traffic. Here are just 7 of the incredible trips you can take down to the States.
Olympic Peninsula // Washington
4 h 30 min
Olympic Peninsula is home to the majestic Olympic Mountains and some of the most diverse terrain and weather in America. Explore the lakes, waterfalls, rivers, mountains, beaches and rainforest. Make sure to take time to discover Olympic National Park, which is over 922,691 acres of Pacific coast beaches, rain forest valleys, mountain peaks, ancient old growth forests, and over 200 miles of trails.
Oregon Coast // Oregon
The Oregon coast makes for a spectacular drive that you must do at least once in your life. Along the coast you can check out rugged, Pacific coast beaches, astounding vistas and viewpoints, scenic hikes, and more! The Oregon dunes are a cool experience as well. Ecola State Park and Cannon Beach are around 6 hours from Vancouver and well worth visiting.
Leavenworth // Washington
Oktoberfest is here and if you can't afford to fly to Munich, you can celebrate instead at this charming Bavarian village nestled in Washington. This is the closest you'll get to having a taste of Bavaria, Germany near Vancouver. Leavenworth hosts a 3 weekend Leavenworth Oktoberfest and the event is running until October 15th. This town is also known for spreading German holiday cheer, with popular Christmas events, like Leavenworth's Christmas Lighting and Ice Fest. Make sure to check out some of the stunning scenery near this town with the Cascade Mountains towering above. Other than sausage and beer, you can also enjoy spectacular hiking and biking trails, fishing, horse-drawn carriage rides, dog sledding, and more!
Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area // Oregon
5 h 15 min
If chasing waterfalls is your kind of thing, then you will love Columbia River Gorge. With over 90 waterfalls, you are sure to get your waterfall fix. Aside from waterfalls, this area boasts spectacular vistas, hiking trails, and world-class windsurfing. This is the largest National Scenic Area in America and is named one of Oregon's seven wonders. Wine lovers rejoice, the Gorge also features a world of wonderful wineries.
San Juan Islands // Washington
3 h 45 min
Get the feel of tranquil island life right here in the Pacific Northwest. Boasting a temperate year-round climate, a short ferry ride later and you will feel like you are exploring another world. There are an ample of attractions and activities, such as whale watching, hiking, lavender farms and orca pods. The San Juan Island Archipelago consists of 172 islands and over 300 miles of shoreline.
Seattle // Washington
2 h 45 min
Although this may seem like an obvious choice, Seattle can live up to it's hype, especially if you love sporting events or coffee. You can go to a Mariners or Seahawks game, stick some gum on the famous gum wall, get some delicious food at Pike Place, relive your college days at the university district, or go to the first ever Starbucks. There is a vast variety of activities you can choose from in the city.
Portland // Oregon
5 h 30 min
Home to tax free shopping, Portland is full of fun quirks and creative wonders. Check out the food and coffee scene, the wonderful micro-breweries and distilleries, beautiful gardens and parks, of this nature loving, eco-conscious city. Portland is also home to Powell's Books, the world's largest independent bookstore, and who would want to skip out on that? Oh and this is closest drive to a NBA game, which basically seals the deal.
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