Mountains to meadows, waterfalls to farm-gate shopping, there’s so much to explore and enjoy right here in the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley area. Staying local for leisure and vacation time has its benefits, on top of discovering and experiencing your own backyard.
A recent TD survey found that for Canadian Millennials, striking a balance between financial and work commitments, and taking time to unwind, proves to be a challenge, with 46% not taking their full allotment of vacation days. The reasons include a heavy workload (31%) and lack of funds (29%).
Staying local can make downtime more feasible, whether it’s a hike, bike, swim, or spa treatment that will help you unwind. TD advises that taking time to recharge doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavor like a destination vacation; lower cost options like a staycation can be easier to budget for and can offer a stronger “ROE” or Return on Enjoyment.
Making time for yourself can help boost productivity and makes you better equipped to handle challenging tasks, clients or colleagues. Striking a work-life balance is easy to do in a place like the “604”, where I’ve enjoyed many local getaways that help me recharge – and give me some great story ideas. Here are my Top 5 Staycation Spots Around Vancouver:
Richmond & Steveston
Where to Stay: River Rock Casino Resort Hotel
What to Explore: Gulf of Georgia Cannery, Britannia Heritage Shipyard, Flight Path Park, Garry Point Park
Where to Eat: Coffee at Steveston Coffee Co., seaside lunch at Pajo’s, local craft beer at Britannia Brewing Co., dinner at the award-winning Hog Shack BBQ.
Where to Stay: Pinnacle at the Pier
What to Explore: Kayak in Deep Cove, hike Quarry Rock or Lynn Canyon, Ambleside Pitch & Putt, Maplewood Farm, North Vancouver Museum
Where to Eat: Lonsdale Quay, The Tomahawk, Savary Island Pie, Honey Doughnuts, Ambleside Market (summer), Arms Reach Bistro
Where to Stay: Executive Suites, Howe Sound Inn
What to Explore: Sea to Sky Gondola, Britannia Mine Museum, Porteau Cove, Estuary Trails, Gillespies Distillery, West Coast Railway Heritage Park
Where to Eat: Howe Sound Brewing Pub, Gallileo Coffee Company, Locavore Food Truck, Squamish Farmers Market
Harrison & Agassiz
Where to Stay: Rowena’s Inn at Harrison Mills, Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa
What to Explore: Harrison River EcoTour, Sasquatch Provincial Park, Slow Food Cycle Tour, Circle Farm Tour, Farmhouse Natural Cheeses, Limbert Mountain Farm, Kilby Historic Site
Where to Eat: Black Forest Restaurant, Chuck & Kitty’s Country Cafe, Morgan’s Bistro, Copper Room
Downtown Vancouver & Stanley Park
Where to Stay: Loden Hotel, The Burrard, Times Square Suites, St Regis, Sylvia Hotel
What to Explore: Stanley Park trails, downtown beaches, kayaking & sup, sailboat cruise, seawall cycle, Granville Island, science attractions, scenic viewpoints, FlyOver Canada
Where to Eat: Vancouver Farmers Markets, Erin Ireland’s Brunch Guide, Fabulously Frugal’s Happy Hour Guide, food trucks, Best of the City Dining Guide
Whether we’re grabbing a coffee at Greenhorn Cafe before strolling around Stanley Park, or picking up picnic items at Farmhouse in Agassiz before a hike at Sasquatch Park, John and I love taking time out to enjoy our region.
Hellen Buttigieg, life coach and founder of We Organize U has advice for millennials; she says relaxing looks different to everyone – whether you want to invest in a new hobby that can be experienced time and again or plan a getaway, what’s essential is to take a break, refresh, and invest in some much needed time for yourself. TD recommends creating a financial plan to help you put money aside for life’s enjoyments like staycations or vacations. Some of their budgeting advice and tools can help you get started.