Do you need some "winter vacation inspiration"? Say that ten times fast. Winter is the best time of year to sneak away from your family and spend some quality time with your friends. If you're like me, then you definitely need a mini escape from all the Christmas craziness during the holidays. I have written up all of the best places you can drive to from Vancouver (in a decent amount of time) that will make you feel like you're a million miles away.
Sometimes being with your family for the entire holiday season is .. a bit much. If you need a winter weekend getaway, I'm here for you. Here's a list of places that are close enough for a weekend getaway but definitely far enough away that you won't hear your Uncle Ron fighting with your Aunt Kathy.
Start planning your winter vacation!
Seattle // Washington
Driving distance: 2 hours 30 minutes.*
Places to visit: Von's 1000 Spirits, Pike Place Market, Smith Tower Observatory.
Why you should go: Seattle has the best atmosphere! The vibes are similar to Vancouver, so you'll feel right at home. But you'll be in a new city so make sure you explore Seattle's quirkiest bars, tastiest restaurants and other fun things to do!
Portland // Oregon
Driving distance: 5 hours 30 minutes.
Places to visit: Multnomah Falls, Voodoo Doughnuts, McMenamins Kennedy School.
Why you should go: It's further away, but it's worth it. Portland is the coolest city in all of the United States. If you don't agree, then you probably haven't seen what Portland really has to offer. They have breweries on every corner and the people are so friendly! Oh, and their parks, waterfalls and forests are breathtaking.
Big White Ski Resort // British Columbia
Driving distance: 5 hours 5 minutes.
Places to visit: Big White's Tube Park, Dog Sled Tours, Gun Barrel Grill.
Why you should go: If you haven't shredded on Kelowna snow then you don't know what you're missing out on. Yes, Whistler is amazing but the snow in the interior is insanely powdery. Kelowna is basically a college town now, so if you decide to go to Big White, the resort will be filled with students drinking, partying, and of course skiing and snowboarding.
Whistler Blackcomb // British Columbia
Driving distance: 1 hour 45 minutes.
Places to visit: Garibaldi Provincial Park, Scandinave Spa, Garfinkel's.
Why you should go: If you don't ski or snowboard, then the village is reason enough to go to Whistler during the holiday season. The city caters to tourists visiting the city from all over the world, so the nightlife is lit. If you do like to snowboard or ski and you like to party then a girl's (or guy's) weekend in Whistler is a must!
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Victoria // British Columbia
Travel distance: 3 hours 15 minutes.
Places to visit: The Sticky Wicket, Hatley Castle, Canoe Brewpub.
Why you should go: Victoria is actually really fun. I remember going to Victoria to visit the Parliament building when I was a kid, but after recently going back I realized that the nightlife is crazy fun and the vibes are amazing in our province's capital. If you want a quick winter getaway, you have to go to Victoria!
Tofino // British Columbia
Travel distance: 5 hours 20 minutes.
Places to visit: Tofino Brewing Co., Chesterman Beach, Shelter Restaurant.
Why you should go: The prime time to visit Tofino is in the summer to catch the waves - but this small town is so amazing, why would you want to wait until the summer to visit? Go during the offseason and snuggle up in a cute cabin for a romantic winter getaway.
Banff // Alberta
Driving distance: 9 hours 30 minutes.
Places to visit: Lake Louise, Banff Upper Hot Springs, Cave and Basin National Historic Site.
Why you should go: Okay, yes - this idyllic city is pretty far away. But have you seen the views that Banff has to offer? If you can take an entire weekend off, then you should definitely go to Banff, Alberta. This city was literally made for Instagram and Canadian winters.
*Note that all of the travel times are approximate.