With the changing of the leaves and the return of the everything offering a Pumpkin Spice flavour, comes the shifting of the seasons. In towns, trees are speckled in yellow, orange, brown, and green, and a gentle change in temperature reminds us that summer is drawing to an end.
Fall is nearly in full swing, and what many don’t know is that it’s actually one of the best times to visit Vancouver Island. With most people settling back into their routines at home, this time of the year typically offers many of the same experiences with less traffic and more availability. Plus, you might even score a better rate than you would during the peak of the summer.
Here are 10 cozy fall getaways that will help you reconnect, renew, and recharge this fall:
South Island – Wild Renfrew
Head south to explore beautiful Port Renfew — “Renny” to the locals. If you’re looking for an escape to the wilderness or a surfer’s retreat, you’ll love Wild Renfrew. Visitors can explore Port Renfrew during the day, taste the fresh and local cuisine unique to the west coast, and enjoy a peaceful slumber at one of the seaside cottages at night.
If you’re not afraid to get a little muddy, hit one of the many trails in the area. From 20-minute walks to half-day hikes, there’s truly something for everyone.
Or after a day on the waves, get cozy by a warm fireplace, just steps from your cottage. You can even treat yourself to a spa treatment from the comfort of your room.
Cowichan – Cowichan River Lodge
For the keen reeler, the Cowichan River Lodge is the perfect fall destination. Located on the banks of the Cowichan River, this boutique-style lodge offers guests a picturesque escape, complete with as much outdoor adventure as one can desire.
The Cowichan River Lodge also provides an exciting fall excursion package option. Adventure-seeking guests can explore the river with a professional guide and learn how to fly fish. Trout and salmon may end up on your reel but all fishing on the Cowichan River is catch and release.
If you prefer to relax and curl up with a good book and take in the colours of the season, you couldn’t pick a more idyllic location than the Cowichan River Lodge.
Central Island – Tigh Na Mara
One of the better-known destinations on Vancouver Island is Tigh Na Mara Seaside Resort & Spa in Parksville. Located directly on the ocean, this resort makes it difficult not to fall in love with Vancouver Island.
A friend’s retreat might be exactly what you need or a romantic getaway with your loved one could do you some good, as well. Either way, the Tigh Na Mara has it all. The rustic cottages and oceanview rooms will leave any guest feeling miles away from the daily stresses of work or back-to-school blues.
For ultimate relaxation and a matchless dining experience, take a dip in the mineral pool, dubbed The Grotto, followed by endless tapas at The Treetop Tapas & Grill. Overlooking the forest, you’ll enjoy a progression of delectable tapas, varying from fresh local seafood to mouth-watering desserts.
North Central Island – Taku Resort
This fall, escape to the shores of Quadra Island and let the tranquil Taku Resort and Marina ease your worries away. Stay in a pet-friendly beachfront cottage, beach house suite, or treehouse suite. Or if you’re looking for more spacious accommodations, opt for an oceanfront terrace suite that sleeps up to 6 people.
Beachcombing the shores of Quadra Island is a favourite past time of Taku Resort guests, but for the more adventurous, fishing in Desolation Sound and biking Quadra’s trails are a must-do. Don’t worry about bringing your own bike, you can rent anything from mountain bikes to tandem bikes to electric bicycles and everything in between.
Taku is also well-known for their culinary retreats, so bring up to 8 of your favourite home-cooks to enjoy half day, full day or multiple day cookery courses. Utilizing the fresh ingredients of Quadra Island, these classes are perfect for anyone with a taste for Pacific Northwest delights. And class participants also receive 40% off accommodation prices!
North Central Island – Dolphins Resort
Nestled in north Campbell River, Dolphins Resort features beautifully rustic cedar cabins with an oceanfront view. Units vary in size from quaint studios to a four-bedroom lodge for larger groups. Inside, you’ll find antique furniture, wood-burning fireplaces, fully equipped kitchens, and plenty of natural sunlight. Cozy up with a book by the fire, or take a walk along the beach. Explore the parks and shopping of Campbell River then head to Anglers Restaurant for an elevated, west-coast inspired dining experience.
Check out their Fall in Love getaway package or Romance on the River Package for dining and accommodation bundles.
Photo courtesy of Destination Campbell River
North Island – Telegraph Cove and Bear Cove Cottages
Discover Northern Vancouver Island by visiting two of the best-kept secrets – Telegraph Cove and Bear Cove Cottages.
A popular destination for keen fishermen, Telegraph Cove is a quaint village located just south of Port McNeill. Embark on a guided or non-guided fishing tour or if you dare, brave the cold waters of the Queen Charlotte Strait and explore the wildlife below the surface of the sea with Sun Fun Divers.
Accommodations at Telegraph Cove include charming and colourful cabins and historic homes, comfortable dockside suites and new lodge rooms at Telegraph Cove Lodge. And for the foodies out there, you have to dine at The Killer Whale Cafe and Old Saltery Pub – two of the North Island’s most treasured restaurants.
Idyllically tucked away in charming Port Hardy, Bear Cove Cottages is the ideal vacation spot for avid sport fishermen. Whether you’re travelling with your family, with your spouse or a group of friends, you’ll rest easy in one of the Bear Cove Cottages. And many of the self-contained cottages have stunning views of Hardy Bay.
Bear Cove Cottages, in partnership with Wild Salmon, offers all-inclusive vacation and charter packages for salmon and halibut fishing. Choose from three- or four-night excursions that include all bait and gear, processing and packaging of fish, accommodation and meals.
Gulf Islands – Salt Spring Cottages
If you’re looking for a quiet, low-key and peaceful weekend getaway, you’ll instantly fall in love with Salt Spring Cottages. Located right on Vesuvius Beach, these 2-3 bedroom cottages promise not only waterfront views, but spectacular year-round sunsets, too.
Picture yourself strolling through the quaint village stores on Salt Spring Island or washing your worries away with a yoga class in the afternoon; relax in the evening next to the wood-burning fireplace or soaking in a claw-foot tub. At Salt Spring Cottages, this dream can become a reality.
Most restaurants will require a quick drive but you won’t be disappointed. For authentic, West Coast cuisine, try Woodley at the Harbour House in Upper Ganges. Or if you’re craving wood fired pizza, you’ll want to know that Twig & Buoy is the place to go.
Gabriola – Hummingbird B&B
If a bed and breakfast is more your thing and you’re hoping for a quiet and peaceful weekend away, try visiting Gabriola’s Hummingbird Lodge Bed & Breakfast. Situated at the base of a wooded, 5-acre hillside, this bed and breakfast will give you the privacy and romantic getaway you’ve been searching for.
Each room includes a queen or king-sized bed, ensuite bathroom and a gourmet breakfast every morning. You can spend the day exploring the coastline, provincial parks or artistry of the local residents.
Make sure you venture to Woodfire Pizza and Grill or Robert’s Place for lunch or dinner. Woodfire Pizza and Grill offers fresh, locally sourced ingredients to create a woodfired pizza, fresh pastas and more. Vegan and vegetarian options are also available. And Robert’s Place creates some of your favourite dishes with a twist. You’ll have to try the Crispy Coconut Halibut Burger, the west coast Club Spinach Salad or the Gabriola Chowder on a cold fall day. Is your mouth watering yet?
Pacific Rim – Long Beach Lodge
There’s nothing quite like the west coast of Vancouver Island, especially in the fall and winter. If you’re interested in surfing or storm watching, then this is the place to go. Long Beach Lodge is only 7 kilometres south of Tofino and has a variety of accommodations to meet your price point:
luxury rooms in the beachfront lodge
two bedroom rainforest cottages
Whatever you prefer, you’re only steps away from one of British Columbia’s most beautiful beaches.
Enjoy a fine dining experience right from the comfort of Long Beach Lodge in the beautiful dining room. With a focus on using local and sustainable produce, the restaurant’s chef is known for foraging menu items right from local farms.
If you prefer to venture outside of the lodge, you’ll want to check out Wolf in the Fog in the heart of Tofino. The menu may change as quickly as the tide, but it’s sure to be filled with local, seasonal ingredients. And Wolf in the Fog is a place you’ll want to come back to over and over again.
The temperatures may be cooling and the days may be shortening, but the fun on Vancouver Island doesn’t need to stop. Escape to one of the many unique destinations and #ExploreVancouverIsland.