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people are always searching for their next escape.

Seat sales.
Round the world tickets.
Backpacking through SE Asia.
Gap years in Australia...
But what about staying here

By the time I was 24 I had travelled, lived and worked in over 30 countries. I was a professional at hopping on any flight I could to get away; I needed to explore, but staying in Canada didn't seem "adventurous" enough for me.  I thought adventure could only be satisfied in foreign experiences on the other side of the world.

In my early 20's I was offered a short term contract for a travel company based in Vancouver. I had never been to Vancouver but thought "What the heck? It's only three months...just another trip and a new experience."

Long story short, it's been three years and I haven't looked back since. I absolutely fell in love with this city. Over the course of these years I was going through a lot of change, including transitioning out of the travel industry. It was SO hard to not have the option of travelling all of the time so I started packing my evenings and weekends with any adventure I could find in and around Vancouver.

Once I started exploring British Columbia, I realized how much I had skipped out on. I couldn't believe how incredible my own country was and couldn't help but wonder why I had never opted to explore my own backyard.

While I'm lucky to have seen and experienced so much traveling the world - this is my home..and I've set out with one mission:

Show people that they don't have to go far to travel.

So here it is: #TheStayCationSeries. My goal is to travel around Canada to showcase what our home is all about while supporting local, sustainable tourism and leaving you with a detailed blog on how you can re-create the trip for yourself.

Coming at your with part four all the way from Sunshine Coast, BC!

- Ally 

 
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Sunshine Coast, British Columbia

Nestled on the southern mainland coast across the Georgia Straight from Vancouver Island, you'll find BC's own Sunshine Coast. This unique spot requires transportation by boat or float plane in order to escape - but your travel is just the beginning of a relaxing (or jam-packed) weekend away.


WHEN TO GO
Many people opt for the Sunshine Coast as a summer getaway, but this spot is perfect for year round travel. Yes - the winters can be wet, but it makes for prime and intimate cabin escapes with your partner, friends or family.
 

GETTING THERE FROM VANCOUVER
Take the ferry from Horseshoe Bay or use the Trip Planner tool from Tourism Sunshine Coast!
 

 
 
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painted Boat Resort

I had always heard people speak highly of Painted Boat, so I was keen to make my way over for my first visit. It did not disappoint.

If you tuned into my Instagram live or stories for this day, you might remember me running through our 2 bedroom house like an excited child on Christmas morning.  Equipped with two bed rooms, a pullout coach, two bathrooms, full kitchen, washer/dryer, and one hell of a view - this is a perfect house for a weekend escape..don't even get me started with the stone fireplace and huuuge soaker tub in the ensuite bathroom (omg!)

The resort offers 30 spacious waterfront Villas ranging in size from 1,117 to 1,700 square feet. Each unit is identically furnished, with two separate bedrooms and bathrooms, with various layouts. Book in this spot for your Sunshine Coast escape - you won't be disaapointed.


 
 
 
 

Packed weekends full of adventure, silent days full of bliss - or both.

 
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take a hike

As soon as we got off the ferry, we made our way over to Soames Hill for a quick hike and some amazing views of the ocean.

The Sunshine Coast has over 50 hikes and trails for you to explore at every level.  Get outside, the views are worth it.

 

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GIBSONs TAPWORKS

This seemed to be the friendly spot that everyone flocked to.  With live music, comfortable seating, great staff and even better vibes - Gibsons Tapworks is a must for a weekend hangout.  Stay in and enjoy a pint or fill a growler to go!

 

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rock climbing

Climbers from all over the world head over to the Sunshine Coast for epic climbing Eldred Valley and Stillwater Bluffs . 

Unfortunately, we were hit with heavy rain all weekend, so we hit the indoor climbing gym instead over at The Hangar in town!
 

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the SPA at Painted Boat

Open 7 days a week from 10 AM - 6 PM, this is where you go to chill out.  You have the option to book a service, or just spend the day in the outdoor baths/pools. The SPA at Painted Boat has been recognized as one of the top spas in Canada. Grab a tea and get some quality "you" time.
 

 
 
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BASTED BAKER

This spot completed exceed my expectations. Great coffee, great brunch and a fantastic lunch menu - you really can't go wrong at this spot. 

The wait can be long and the tables packed, but the taste of these bowls made everything totally worth it. We ended up going back this spot for round two!

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THE NOMADIC KITCHEN

This cute little spot is located right beside Gibsons Tapworks.

Farmed. Foraged. Found. BC born & bred food truck serves amazing bites...including to die for tacos.

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GIBSONS PUBLIC MARKET

While wandering the market isn't a sit down meal, the snacks and coffee here make up for it.  Load up on caffeine and mind blowing chocolates and enjoy a lazy Sunday as you mingle with the locals. 

Since we had a kitchen in our house at Painted Boat (and a full BBQ), we decided to stock up and buy our meat and groceries here!

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EMELLE'S MARKET BISTRO

You can't say no to a good breakfast, and that exactly what this spot is. Located on the main floor of Gibson's Public Market, Emelle's offers a great menu and even better tastes.

 
 
 
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Special Thanks to SUNSHINE COAST TOURISM