Vancouver Island, British Columbia
Who says all getaways have to be balmy? Vancouver Island offers the best of beautiful, remote landscapes, delicious dining and upscale lodging. Rough, remote rainforests run alongside coastal wilds in a landscape that virtually begs for exploration by foot or kayak.
Once you're there, take a day trip by ferry to the rustic Gulf Islands or stay put and explore the wineries and dairies of Cowichan Valley. Nearby, just outside the totem poles of Duncan, explore the culture of the Cowichan, a First Nations indigenous people, at the Quw'utsun' Cultural Centre.
A long road meanders along the wilder west coast of the island. At Pacific Rim National Park, you can hike or walk the beach, paddle a sea kayak out into a still and secluded bay, or take a fishing trip or wildlife boat tour. Tofino, also on the west side, is home to some of the finest lodgings on the island, as well as restaurants serving excellent local seafood. Back on the east side, Courtenay includes a golf course and an estuary teeming with wildlife.