Photo Essay: Summer in the Pacific Northwest

Photo Essay: Summer in the Pacific Northwest

It’s the last week of summer, and instead of getting sad about the shorter days and the inevitable rain, I am choosing to celebrate my favourite season!

If it wasn’t already obvious from my posts over the past couple of months… I love summer and I especially love summer in the Pacific Northwest! This region, which is loosely a combination of BC, Washington, and Oregon, enjoys warm, long, dry summers that stretch into the late days of September. The temperature typically sits in the mid 20s Celsius near the water and peaks around 30 degrees inland (sometimes a bit hotter). For the most part, the temperature is so deliciously perfect that you can get a tan without dissolving into a puddle of sweat and with the sun setting late into the evening you can really make the most of all the great activities that only happen at this time of year.

I may be known to use a bit of hyperbole from time to time (okay a lot of the time), but I can honestly, without a doubt proclaim that we have the best summers of any region in the world.

Don’t believe me? Well maybe these photos will help change your mind…

Active Pass, Southern Gulf Islands

Active Pass, Southern Gulf Islands

Coal Harbour, Vancouver (this is where I work!)

Coal Harbour, Vancouver (this is where I work!)

Chesterman Beach, Tofino

Chesterman Beach, Tofino

Kettle Valley, Summerland

Kettle Valley, Summerland (see… it even has summer in the name!)

Howe Sound, Stawamus Chief Provincial Park

Howe Sound, Stawamus Chief Provincial Park

Bridal Falls, Chilliwack

Bridal Falls, Chilliwack

Gastown, Vancouver

Gastown, Vancouver

Mission Hill Winery, Lake Okanagan, West Kelowna

Mission Hill Winery, Lake Okanagan, West Kelowna

Sunset over English Bay, Vancouver

Sunset over English Bay, Vancouver

Lost Lake, Whistler

Lost Lake, Whistler

Sechelt, Sunshine Coast

Sechelt, Sunshine Coast

Vancouver Skyline

Vancouver Skyline

Farewell summer! Until next year…

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Seriously Big Beaches in Tofino

Seriously Big Beaches in Tofino

With summer coming to a close, the Labour Day long weekend is often the last chance for sun worshippers to get their fill before the chilly autumn weather kicks in. To escape the inevitable city crowds, my family retreated to Vancouver Island for some R&R – destination Tofino!

I’ve been trying to plan a trip to Tofino for over three years now and I am so glad that I finally made it happen. Although it seems close by, the trip from Vancouver was deceptively long. I had to take a sky train, bus, 2 hour ferry to Nanaimo, and 3 hour car ride to get to my hideaway in Jensen Bay… but it was well worth the effort.

I could get used to waking up to a view like this

I could get used to waking up to a view like this

Our house rental was conveniently located right across the Pacific Rim Highway from Chesterman Beach and I couldn’t wait to soak up 3 kilometres of white sand.

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Can someone explain to me where all the people are on a sunny Saturday afternoon in August? I mean you won’t hear any complaints from me… but seriously, where is everyone?

Next on the agenda (because one gigantic beach was certainly not enough) is one of Canada’s top 10 beaches as rated by Reader’s Digest – Long Beach.

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At first I was slightly turned off by the park fee required to even check out the beach here in Pacific Rim National Park, but I guess 16.6 km of pristine sand comes at a price. Long Beach earns its name by holding the title of longest sandy beach on Vancouver Island. It’s also a surfing mecca for us Northerners, although I certainly wasn’t brave enough to tackle the waves and cold waters this time around… I’ll save that adventure for my next trip to Hawaii instead ;)

Earning it's name - hello Long Beach!

Earning it’s name – hello Long Beach!

Combine all of this epic beach time with some reading on the back deck, soaking in the hot tub, and a delicious family dinner at Sobo in Tofino Village and you’ve got a recipe for a happy travelista! And that was just the first day!

Next up: Excursion to Maquinna Provincial Park and Hot Springs Cove!