Three Labour Day Getaways
September 3, 2009
Really? That's it? No more stifling heat waves. No more watering restrictions? No more kids underfoot complaining because the high-speed's down and there's nothing to do anyway? Don't give up without a fight. Here are three-last minute inspirations to drop everything and fly off—not into the wild blue yonder, but into luxe, local lodgings.
HOW TO GET THERE
Harbour Air runs Vancouver-Victoria $134 per person each way. Book now for the summer sale, on till September 13, for $99 per person each way.
WHERE TO STAY
Oswego Victoria Hotel
500 Oswego St., 877-767-9346
Price From $165
Amenities Cucumber-infused water in the lobby, Acca Kappa spa products, internet, flat screen TVs, full kitchens, French press coffee, breakfast buffet, and compact workout facility
623 Courtney St., 250-381-0999, 877-624-6654
Price From $280
Amenities Wi-Fi, Aveda toiletries, feather bedding with scads of pillows, Aveda spa on the second floor, small workout room, brew pub on one side, Thai-inspired restaurant on the other.
For more information, check out Rule Victoria, our Victoria getaway roundup.
WHAT TO DO
There are only a few weeks left (until September 30) to visit the Royal BC Museum's Treasures: The World’s Cultures from the British Museum. Treasures exhibits over 300 artifacts from the collection of the British Museum. “It explores nations and civilizations that have shaped our world for almost 1.5 million years,” says Royal BC Museum CEO Pauline Rafferty. From million-year-old handaxes found in Africa’s Olduvai Gorge, to a 3,000-year-old mummy, to a throne built of decommissioned weapons from Mozambique’s late-20th century civil war, the museum displays some of the most poignant artifacts of material culture.
Whistler Air runs scheduled services between Vancouver and Whistler, prices at $169 per person, each way.
4122 Village Green, 866-502-3272
Price: Superior rooms from $129
Amenities: Outdoor pool, hot tub, bath products from Fresh (bonus points for the ample-sized soy shampoo), Internet, iPod dock, and business and babysitting services
Four Seasons Resort Whistler
591 Blackcomb Way, 604-935-3400
Price: Standard rates from $255. A current promotion gives the third night free.
Amenities: Internet, 24-hour business services, restaurant, lounge, fitness facilities, pool, top-notch spa
For more information, visit It Takes a Village, our Whistler accommodation roundup.
WHAT TO DO
The world is coming to Whistler—have you heard?—but you've got the drop on 2010. Check out the venues that will be Canada's face in only (can it be?) five months…
1. Whistler Olympic Park Callaghan Valley
No fancy facilities in remote Callaghan Valley, about 15 km southwest of the village. Just postcard-worthy Canadian wilderness, killer cross-country skiing, and two just-completed ski jumps.
Sports/events: Biathlon, Cross Country Skiing, Nordic Combined, Ski Jumping
2. Whistler Creekside Creekside Village, just south of Whistler Village
Long before Whistler Village and Intrawest and multi-million-dollar chalets, there was Creekside—a ramshackle hamlet on the south side of Whistler mountain. The development of Blackcomb mountain and the buildout of Whistler’s north side permanently changed the spatial layout of the resort municipality, but the Games have shifted some of the momentum back to where it all began. Some $27-million has been spent recontouring Creekside runs for the lightning-fast alpine events; local gal Britt Janyk promises to draw a crowd.
Sports/events: Skiing—Alpine, Downhill, Giant Slalom, Slalom, Super-G, Super Combined
3. Whistler Sliding Centre Blackcomb Mountain
Perched on Blackcomb Mountain, find the track Olympians call the steepest and fastest in the world (despite the World Cup debaucle); here's where 2010 hopeful Michelle Kelly, the reigning Olympic champion, will compete in skeleton.
Sports/events: Bobsleigh, Luge, Skeleton
4. Whistler Olympic Celebration Plaza
Sports/events: Nightly medal presentations (free admission)
For more information, visit Ticket to Ride, our Olympic venue feature.
HOW TO GET THERE
Central Mountain Air runs you from Vancouver into Comox on scheduled flights for about $150 per person, each way. Visit the site for more details.
WHERE TO STAY
Kingfisher Resort and Spa
4330 Island Highway South, 1-800-663-7929
PriceFrom $ 145 (room) or $245 (suite)
Amenities Just south of town, the Kingfisher started the region's hotel/spa trend with its spectacular ocean views and aquatic-themed spa treatments.
Old House Village Suites and Hotel
1800 Riverside Lane, Courtenay, 888-703-0202
Price From $179
Amenities Notwithstanding its somewhat Dickensian name, the Old House is, in fact, a chic boutique hotel; its new Oh Spa completes the package.
Note: In both cases, it's worth checking out the deals listed on the Comox Valley Tour Packages page before contacting the hotels.
WHAT TO DO
The Comox Valley is renowned for its fiercely local produce. Visit the people who tend the earth on a custom-designed farms tour of some of the 119+ farms—covering 30,000 acres—in the area. Think orchards, nurseries, dairy, berry and vegetable farms, and producers of such exotic delicacies such as emu, wasabi, soy, and fallow deer venison.
For more information, consult this Comox Valley Agri-Tour map [pdf].