04/22/2012 06:59 EDT | Updated 05/21/2013 10:05 EDT

Day Tripping: Ideas For Jaunts Out Of The City


Rather than spend Saturday running errands and doing the same old thing, why not hop into the car and take a quick drive out of the city and treat yourself to some fun – whether it’s in the form of R&R, delicious food or working up a sweat. Or just do it for the change of scenery – either way, you’ll be rewarded with a sense of renewal.


If you live in Vancouver and you’ve never gone to the Harrison Village, you’re missing out. Just a 90-minute drive out of the city and nestled in always breathtaking mountains, Harrison Village is the perfect remedy for your stressed-out self. Hit up the Harrison Hot Springs to experience the beauty of nature and soothe and energize your tired achy muscles with the water’s healing minerals. Warning: You may want to pack an overnight bag, as leaving the same day could feel a lot less desirable after a good soak.

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Grab your DSLR and your hiking gear and pile into the car and head west into the mountains to Kananaskis. Only about an hour’s drive away, this area offers fantastic scenery (Mother Nature sure knows her stuff), and you can get in some great hiking while you’re there.


At more than three hours away, a day trip to Jasper National Park is not something to do on a whim, but it’s worth the time and effort. Once you get there, you can stretch your cramped legs from driving with a refreshing hike along the park’s trails. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife while you’re there and you may spot everything from big horn sheep to a black bear (perhaps brush up on what to do upon encountering a black bear before setting out on this day trip!).


We promise you’ll enjoy this way more than a visit to Dwight Schrute’s beet farm on The Office: About an hour east of Regina you can step back in time and learn how the early settlers lived at the Motherwell Homestead National Historic Site. They’ll be dressed up in period costumes and ready to show you how things were done back in the olden days.


Load up your bikes and get behind the wheel for the easy 45-minute drive to Birds Hill Provincial Park. The park has numerous trails for cycling and you’ll get to soak up sunshine and fresh air while you’re there. And don’t forget your bathing suit – take a dip in the swimming area to cool off on a hot afternoon.


The T-dot has much going for it, but let’s face it: The noise and frenzied pace can drive even the biggest city slicker bonkers sometimes. Which is why hitting up Le Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain (about 90 minutes from downtown) tops our day trip to-do list. Book a registered massage or simply use the Scandinavian baths to rejuvenate yourself. This is not the ideal place to go to catch up with friends, however – the spa has a no-talking policy that’s strictly enforced.


Restore your senses exploring the quaint villages of the Eastern Townships and indulge in some delicious vino by checking out the Eastern Townships wine route, which boasts 17 vineyards. Pack a meal and open up a bottle you’ve picked up at one of the wineries and enjoy a lovely picnic before hitting the road to head on the hour’s drive home. The only downside? One of you will have to be the designated driver.


Halifax has its charms, but there’s something about the picturesque fishing village of Peggy’s Cove that never fails to take one’s breath away – each snapshot is instantly postcard-worthy. The drive itself from Halifax in itself is a valuable venture, too, with gorgeous landscapes to wind through. Plan to leave after sundown so you can catch the sun setting with the vast ocean view.