07/30/2015 05:30 EDT | Updated 07/30/2016 05:59 EDT

An Active Getaway a Short Drive From Vancouver

Chris Joseph via Getty Images

Cocktails on the beach are nice but, at times, we prefer a more active holiday -- something that beautiful Squamish, B.C., delivers in spades. With our gear securely loaded into our Chevy Colorado, we recently made the one-hour drive from Vancouver to Canada's outdoor adventure capital for some serious physical fun.

Stay: The Executive Suites Hotel & Resort offers the look and setting of a modern country cabin, with all the comforts of home (i.e., a cool downtown condo). Suites provide plenty of space for gear, plus full kitchens for fuelling up. Best of all, if you need to rent, say a stand-up paddleboard (SUP), the hotel offers them at a rate of just $30 for three hours. Executive Suites Hotel & Resort, 40900 Tantalus Rd., Squamish, 877-815-0048,

Climb: The via ferrata at Squamish's Sea to Sky Gondola is perfect for rock-climbing beginners. This brand-new, 60-metre vertical pathway is rated a newbie-friendly one out of 10 in terms of difficulty and includes a set of iron rungs fixed firmly into the rock, which you use as stepping points to work your way up to the summit.

Paddle: Learn the basics of SUP--from getting on the board to balancing and turning -- from the experts at Sea to Sky Adventure Company on quiet, clear Brohm Lake or Squamish River. Our Morning Cruise and Coffee ended on a high note, with an excellent cup of joe (our guide, Ian, swore it's the best coffee in town) at Galileo Coffee.

Hike: No visit to Squamish would be complete without a trek up the three-peaked Stawamus Chief. A trio of trails, which include steps, ladders and chain work, take about two hours each to hike, and the 360-degree view of the dreamy green water of Howe Sound once you reach the top is well worth it.

Drink: Getting your carbs after a workout is key, and what better way to replenish your store than with a cold beer? Howe Sound Brewing in downtown Squamish pairs its uniquely local ales with tasty plates; try the New York-style deep-fried cheesecake with berry compote with a malty King Heffy Imperial Hefeweizen. Howe Sound Brewery, 3781 Cleveland Ave., Squamish, 604-892-2603,


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