Recently I met up with a group of friends from the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island for a girl’s weekend of wine touring in the Okanagan. And, as per usual, we got caught up in the “you need to move to central BC” conversation. And, as per usual, I heard the, “but it is just so far.”
As I drove home and pondered this conversation, I thought about how we are truly in the centre of all the best western getaways.
There are so many amazing places to visit within 100 km of Prince George – I remember reading there are literally 1,600 lakes and rivers within that radius.
But one of my favourite things about living in Prince George is that you are a half-day trip to the best destinations that Western Canada has to offer. Hop on an hour direct flight to a major city, or better yet, hop in your car at lunch, head in any direction, and be there in time to watch the Bachelor.
South to the Shuswap and Okanagan
Growing up we always spent summers in the Shuswap. It’s a recreation paradise. Within 7 hours, you can find yourself far away from the stresses of home and swimming, boating, and wakeboarding. Although, I have to add – we actually prefer the lakes in central and northern BC. They are calmer and much less busy. Nevertheless, this remains one of our favourite getaways. This is also where you can hop on a houseboat. However, you stay be sure to swing by FINZ for a tasty meal with a view of the lake that cannot be beat and the Celista Winery – the wine is okay, but the views make the stop worth it!
As it’s similar in distance to the Shuswap, you can also take a quick drive down to the heat of the Okanagan or enjoy a weekend of wine touring. Whether you want a fun weekend away to play at Rattlesnake Canyon or a girl’s weekend at the wineries, you are close enough to sneak away for just a few days. If you find yourself on the wine route, be sure to stop by Quails’ Gate in West Kelowna. It is one of my personal favourites. And for all you white drinkers out there, try the Chenin Blanc – this is the one wine that I MUST always have in my house.
East to the Rockies
If you are into a little less sun and a little more adventure, head east and you will soon find Mount Robson, Jasper and Banff. With these amazing gems starting at only 3 hours away, they make the perfect weekend getaway year-round. If you go to Jasper, check out the gondola and be sure to eat at Evil Dave’s – I had a falafel a few years back that I still dream about.
North to Powder King
One of the best things about living in central BC is obviously all of the amazing skiing (full disclosure, I am not a skier). We are close to so many amazing hills, literally right within city limits. But when you are craving that world-class powder, fear not. Make the two-hour trip north and ski on the infamous Pine Pass powder at Powder King. Don’t like winter driving or want to enjoy some beverages on the hill? No problem. There is a bus every weekend that will take you there and bring you home- so all you have to worry about is having fun.
Really into skiing? Well, bonus tip – Prince George is also in the centre to all the amazing ski resorts – Hudson Bay Mountain, Marmot Basin, and Sun Peaks, just to name a few.
Also, on my list is Tumbler Ridge – some of the best hiking and waterfalls but I haven’t yet made it there yet.
West to other Amazing Destinations
Continue west for a list of more amazing destinations to explore. From the farthest end of Prince Rupert, where you can fish until your heart is content, or a short trip to Smithers for hiking, paddling, or skiing. The best part? So affordable. Smithers has a deal right now that $90 per person includes a lift ticket AND your hotel.
The cities – Van, Calgary and Edmonton
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And last, but not least, for all you bright light lovers, Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary are all within 8 hours or a one hour flight (and the seat sales are super affordable) so you can still get your weekends full of all the hustle and bustle the city has to offer from the Sun Run to the Calgary Stampede.
The best part? With all the money you save on rent or your mortgage by living in Prince George, you can afford all kinds of getaways.