How to spend a cozy winter weekend in Campbell River
Sure, we’re not Cancun Mexico, but Campbell River, located on Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia, is home to moderate winters and access to all your favourite adventures 365 days a year. Here, you’ll find a blend of urban amenities with rustic nature just around the corner, and we’ve mapped out a two-night itinerary that oozes relaxation and comfort. Save this post or send to a friend, to start planning your cozy weekend in Campbell River.
Where to stay
First things first – the foundation of any good getaway is the accommodation. How about a wood-burning fireplace in a cedar cabin overlooking Discovery Passage? Dolphins Resort epitomizes cozy and once you’ve checked in, there’s a real possibility that you won’t want to leave this place at all. You can count on Anglers Dining, the on-site restaurant with upscale Pacific Northwest-inspired cuisine, for a delicious meal in an intimate setting
For oceanfront accommodation with all the comforts of a home, consider Retreat Vacation Rentals. With a choice of two- and three-bedroom apartments, this is an ideal option if you’re bringing family or friends along. Here you’ll also enjoy relaxing in a sauna after a day of exploring.
Day 1: cozy up downtown
To get a taste of a local specialty, go to Stonehouse Teas (just a few blocks away) and order a Campbell River Fog. This custom tea blend is a twist on the famous London Fog and inspired by the taste and feel of the city. And we wouldn’t mind if you indulge in a freshly baked scone or two, either.
If coffee is your fuel, there are plenty of great options. Oceanside cafe Foggdukkers is the place for a coffee with a view. The campfire outside and the wood-burning stove inside will keep you snug and warm. Popular local coffee shop Island Grind has two locations, and they’re the perfect setting to sit back and hear what’s brewing in Campbell River. For a hearty breakfast, head to Java Shack. Cakes, muffins and cheesecake bars, or salads, sandwiches and soups – your choice.
When you’re looking to stretch your legs and take in fresh air without going too far into the wilderness, stroll along parts of the Greenways Loop that will take you to the Tyee spit. While there, be sure to say hello to Chadwick the Cougar – don’t worry, Chadwick is mostly friendly, and in fact a creation of a local driftwood artist Alex Witcombe. You’ll find creatures of his all over Campbell River, so keep your eyes peeled.
Back in town, visit an Indigenous-owned and-operated lifestyle boutique Westcoast Wildflowers to shop for candles or beautifully designed blankets – something to remind you of the cozy getaway when you are back home.
To learn more about Campbell River’s history, and the First Nations whose traditional territories the city is located, step into the Museum at Campbell River. Here, you can spend an easy couple of hours browsing the exhibits and learning about the city’s past and how that has shaped the present.
As the sun starts to set, it’s time to look for something tasty and delicious. The cocktail menu at Session Taproom & Kitchen gets the locals to raise their glasses, and you’d be remiss if you didn’t try out the pizza, too. If beer is more your thing, then head to Beach Fire Brewery for a pint that is made in house, from scratch. Locally sourced ingredients are incorporated into beverages – housemade non-alcoholic sodas are also available – and meals. Both these establishments have a great atmosphere for a nice social get-together with friends.
Day 2: cozy adventures
Today, pour your coffee or tea into a travel mug and put Elk Falls Provincial Park into your GPS, or better yet, check out these directions. Located just a few kilometers northwest of the city, you’ll get there in no time. Spend your morning sipping coffee while taking in the stunning surroundings and be sure to check out the suspension bridge. Remember to bring your camera!
After stopping in town for a bite to eat – we recommend SoCal for burgers and Mexi-Cali cuisine – head south for about 20km to find Shelter Point Distillery. Warm up with local spirits and enjoy a fun afternoon with a distillery tour and tastings. Note: tours run from Wednesday through Saturday.
Still have time and daylight left? Check out this list of the Top 10 things to do in Campbell River before getting ready for the evening.
Beach fires are part of the community culture in Campbell River and they can be enjoyed year-round. To level up the coziness, we suggest you grab a warm blanket, maybe a hot drink or smores, and head to Ken Forde Beach.
Before settling into your accommodation, enjoy a delicious meal at Riptide Marine Pub. The mountain views are stunning and the ambiance is warm and casual. Here, vegans, vegetarians and health-conscious eaters will rejoice but, rest assured, nobody will be left hungry.
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