Just over a year ago, Dara and I decided we really needed to see the rest of Canada. In 2015 we drove east to Nova Scotia and this year we finally got to see the west coast, British Columbia. Now I've done a lot of travelling but like most Canadians I've always really considered "travelling" leaving the country. There is so much to experience within our own borders and I truly encourage all Canadians to explore Canada before you venture abroad, and if you're not Canadian then come visit!
Vancouver Island, BC
We were lucky enough to partner with Lincoln Canada to test drive the brand new 2017 Lincoln Continental on the other side of the country. Lincoln flew us out to Vancouver where we met our ride for the week outside the Fairmont at YVR. After we were handed the keys we drove directly to the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal in order to board a ferry bound for Victoria. Like most of our trip, it rained the entire day, after settling into our Air BnB we had a nice dinner and called it a day.
The next morning we got up bright and early to explore the west coast of Vancouver Island. We had been told the night before to change routes and forego Nanaimo and instead check out Mystic Beach. I was sold pretty quickly because the name alone sounds pretty cool and from the pictures we saw online it looked like an oasis. Unfortunately as soon as we past Sooke we had zero cell phone service and never managed to find Mystic Beach. Instead we found China Beach which was still pretty fantastic.
We explored the West coast of Vancouver Island for most of the day and stop for lunch in Sooke on the way back to Victoria.
Vancouver -> Whistler, BC
The next day we woke up early... to more rain. We packed the car and headed back towards the ferry terminal on route to Vancouver. We spent the day exploring Gastown in the rain and enjoyed a few beers at a great bar called the Lamplighter. I had bought us some tickets to see the Vancouver Canucks and we were really looking forward to the game after a soaking wet day. We arrived 1:30 into the first period and the Vancouver Canucks were already down 2-0, it was a terrible game. All in all the first half of the trip had been a very wet experience. It had literally and figuratively put a damper on the whole vacation.
The next morning we packed up the Continental again and headed off to Whistler. Once again it rained the whole way up and was incredibly foggy. We did however stop at Shannon Falls which was absolutely spectacular. We knew the drive was supposed to be beautiful but we really couldn't see much with all the fog.
The winding roads through the mountains made for a very entertaining drive and really allowed me to see what the Continental was capable of. It felt smooth but sporty rounding each bend in the road and the Revel sound system and SiriusXM radio gave us the beats we needed to really enjoy ourselves.
The drive from Vancouver to Whistler is about an hour and forty five minutes with Squamish being about halfway between the two. Do you know what made the drive that much better? Massage seats, the Continental has seats that massage both your butt and lower back which makes a long drive feel like a short one. After a little over 3 hours (we stopped a lot) we arrived at the Four Seasons Whistler, an absolutely spectacular resort. We were pleasantly surprised by the room and the beautiful view of the mountains.
After a walk around the village we went back to the room to get ready for our snowmobile adventure that evening. We were taking a snowmobile up Blackcomb mountain to have dinner in a fondue hut at the top of the hill. The Snowmobile tour was amazing, we were up above the clouds ripping around on an incredibly powerful machine. After stuffing our faces with cheese fondue we went back out into the cold and back down the mountain twice as fast as we came up.
Now after all the rain and crappy weather I was seriously worried when I went to bed that night. The next day was a day I had looked forward to since I was a teenager. I had always wanted to ride Whistler, and I was worried that the rain was going to ruin this once in a lifetime experience. Thankfully I woke up the next morning to clear skies and what I was told was one of the nicest days they had all year. I was greeted at the bottom of Blackcomb by my guide for the day, Darren Chalmers, who was a former member of the Canadian Olympic Snowboarding Team. Darren spent the morning giving me a tour of Whistler Blackcomb. He was incredibly knowledgable and I have no idea how I would have made it around the slopes without him. The experience was everything I could have asked for and more.
Whistler -> Vancouver, BC
We were treated to a clear day on Friday as we made our way back to Vancouver. It was quite amazing to see the difference in landscape when the mountains weren't being shrouded in fog. We stopped numerous times on the way back to Vancity to take in the spectacular views and to try and figure out a plan to move here.
One of my favourite stops was Porteau Cove Provincial park. This stop along the Sea to Sky highway gives you excellent views of the mountains as well as Howe Sound. It's a must see during your next trip to British Columbia.
After a spectacular drive back down to Vancouver, in one of the most comfortable but also sporty vehicles I've ever driven, we arrived at the Pan Pacific Vancouver. We dropped the Continental off at the valet and checked-in only to find out we had been upgraded to a junior suite (if you watch my Instagram stories you would have seen this amazing room). We had a panoramic view of Vancouver that was absolutely spectacular.
This was one of the most spectacular trips i've ever been on and a trip that I have always wanted to accomplish. I couldn't have asked for a more luxurious and beautiful vehicle to drive around an equally beautiful province. The Continental makes every drive, whether it be your commute to work or your drive to Whistler, that much more enjoyable.