It’s been over a year since we’ve been able to visit our friendly neighbors to the north, and now that the Canadian border is finally open to vaccinated Americans (with proof of a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of arrival), we have some ideas of where to go. Perhaps you fancy an adrenaline-filled retreat in a temperate rainforest, or perhaps you prefer to sit and enjoy the scenic scenery from the comfort of a luxury train. Maybe you are venturing out on your own or with the whole family. Wherever you choose to go, don’t forget to pack a good pair of walking shoes, a face mask (some museums, shops, and other indoor locations still enforce security mandates), and a sense of humor – it’s all part of pandemic travel in 2021
Nestled in a UNESCO-designated biosphere reserve in a remote corner of Vancouver Island is this summer camp for sybarites. Mornings and afternoons at the Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge are spent hiking, rock climbing, canyoning, horseback riding, canoeing, or out to sea in a zodiac spotting bears, whales, eagles and sea lions. After a day of adventure, a well-deserved soak in the hot tub, a session in the sauna or a restorative spa treatment awaits you at camp. Chef Asher Blackford’s meals focus on seasonal ingredients sourced from local fishermen and island farmers, plus the property’s organic garden and what he picks from the forest. Now managed by the Baillie Lodges of Australia (renowned Longitude 131 °), the resort has just completed a $ 2 million renovation that includes, among other upgrades, the reinvention of 25 luxury tents scattered across an ancient forest on the edge from the sea. Gone are wrought iron furniture, antique lamps and cowhide rugs. All soft angles and contemporary lines, the interiors feature furniture crafted by local craftsmen in wood and leather with decorative throw pillows and woolen blankets in an oatmeal and cream palette. Bathrooms have heated floors and outdoor showers, while cast iron stoves keep things cozy in the bedroom at night.
The solo ride
Century-old architecture? To verify. Street life? Yeah. Culture and nightlife? But yes. If Paris is for lovers, then Quebec City is perfect for solo travelers and within a two hour flight of many cities on the east coast. During summer weekends, various main streets in the historic Old Port district turn into huge open-air squares (no cars are allowed!) Grab a table at Légende, a farmhouse restaurant. table featuring seasonal ingredients from the province. Step out of the sun and step inside Imagine Picasso, an immersive exhibition at the Palais des Congrès showcasing the artist’s works projected onto gigantic origami walls. The craft beer scene is alive and well in this city, and you can get a taste of it at Griendel, a vibrant brewery offering tasty dishes like tartare, calamari and, of course, poutine to pair with the one of their 24 draft beers. Still thirsty? Tucked away down an unassuming alleyway, Bar Ste-Angèle is where an eclectic crowd of locals and tourists alike come for potent cocktails and good jazz.
The family getaway
One of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest, charming Victoria is compact, with a mild climate and dotted with gardens that bloom year round. Start your tour with a Harbor Ferry water taxi tour of the inner harbor to learn about the Coast Salish peoples who lived along the shore, to gain a new perspective on the Parliament Buildings and to Instagram them. pretty communities of houseboats that you will come to the other side. It might be small, but Victoria’s Chinatown, Canada’s oldest, is alive and quirky. Have a drink (try the London Fog, made with Earl Gray tea, vanilla and milk) at Bubble Tea Place, then walk through Fan Tan Alley (aka the narrowest street in the country). At the end of Pandora Ave is Dumpling Drop, a cute little place that makes delicious pork breasts or delicious veggie dumplings. For the adrenaline junkies there is WildPlay, an adventure park where hanging out means walking on tight ropes and ziplining at breakneck speeds from platform to platform in a canopy of trees. For something more understated, there’s the Butterfly Garden, a self-contained ecosystem that’s home to exotic flowers, carnivorous plants, turtles, flamingos, iguanas, and, yes, beautiful butterflies. Check in at the child and pet friendly Magnolia Hotel & Spa, which offers spacious double rooms with stunning views of the Parliament and the water. Borrow their free cruise bikes to cycle around town (the Royal BC Museum down the street has a great killer whale exhibit). And don’t miss The Courtney Room for dinner, where slowly cooked ling cod with summer squash is a staple.