Although fall is settling in, there’s no need to spend your weekends at home cozying up under a blanket. Don’t bore your date, instead impress with a well-thought out itinerary; there are many spots mere hours away to explore. Fill up your thermos with some decadent hot chocolate (add Bailey’s once you have parked!), set up your iPod with some traveling tunes and hit the road for some adventure.
Hop on BC Ferries and cruise over through Nanaimo and south to Cowichan and Cowichan Bay. Book ahead into a delicious bed and breakfast such as the Dragonfly Dock or a hotel such as the Oceanfront Suites located right down on in the bay, seaside. Tour local wineries including Rocky Creek, Averill Creek and Unsworth and sip cider and apple brandy at Merridale Cidery. The area’s dining is stellar as the chefs transform the amazing local produce into decadent dishes. Amuse Bistro, Stone Soup Inn and Steeples are favourites. Also check out the local cheese maker, Hilary’s and the Tea Farm.
Harrison Hot Springs (pictured)
Driving through the agricultural lands of Agassiz, you’ll land in Harrison Hot Springs next to Harrison Lake. Reserve ahead at Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa and be sure to book a couples massage at the spa. Spend the day soaking in the springs or get adventurous and hire a fishing charter, rent some kayaks, or hit the golf course. At the night the resort’s restaurant, The Cooper Room has nightly entertainment and dancing or there are a number of more casual spots along the lakeside. Great hikes and farms tours are also in the area, but lounging in the hot springs never gets old.
Set sail through Tsawwassen on BC Ferries and drive up the Saanich Peninsula to historic Victoria. Check into one of the more modern hotels such as the Oswego or Rialto and spend the day walking around the city checking out some of the local galleries and shops. Give her another reason to grab you at the IMAX while freaking out with the current dinosaurs film or tour the historic Craigdarroch Castle if history is more of interest. Enjoy stellar cocktails at Clives Classic Lounge or Veneto and then whisk her off to dinner at OLO Restaurant or order grab a bottle or two of wine, and order in from Famoso Pizza and spend the night in.
Image courtesy of Taylor.McBride.