There’s no denying that the COVID-19 pandemic has had a major impact on our travel plans. Between ever-changing restrictions that vary from country to country plus a gruelling 14-day quarantine upon returning home, international travel just isn’t in the cards for many. This can be especially disheartening for newlyweds who may have already had to rework their wedding plans. Fortunately, there’s no need to sacrifice that hard-earned honeymoon! From spectacular natural settings to cities filled with old-world charm, we have some world-class destinations right in our own backyard. If you’re still dreaming of palm trees and white sand beaches, consider doing a domestic mini-moon now and something more exotic when it’s safe to do so.
Wine Country: The Okanagan
Forget Napa Valley or Southern France; The Okanagan Valley’s long, hot days not only help produce a wide variety of award-winning wines, but also make for an idyllic summer getaway. At Quails’ Gate you can stroll through any of their three vineyards before sampling some fine wines while soaking in panoramic views of Lake Okanagan. Savour a perfectly paired meal using locally sourced ingredients at Old Vines Restaurant, or for an extra special occasion book a private dinner at the Stewart Family Wine Library. Quails’ Gate also has two options for accommodations: The Lake House boasts five bedrooms and a dock with a boat lift for you to enjoy watersports; The Nest is a cozy refurbished cabin with a private beach just steps from a nature sanctuary.
Glamping: Vancouver Island
The phrase “all-inclusive” typically conjures up visions of lazing on a beach with a tropical drink in hand, but even adventurers can have it all with a West Coast vacation at Clayoquot Wilderness Lodge. Accessible only by seaplane this remote resort offers luxurious accommodations and fine dining in a pristine natural setting. By day you can explore the area by foot, boat, bike or on horseback, or take a guided tour in search of some wilder residents such as whales and bears. Unwind with a waterfront massage or partake in “forest bathing” at the Healing Grounds Spa. Experience the bounty of the Pacific Northwest with sustainably produced ingredients at each meal, then recount the day’s adventures with a fireside cocktail and s’mores. Fall asleep to the sounds of the ocean and rainforest in a canvas tent appointed with modern amenities and a king size bed.
World-Class Mountains: Alberta
One bright side of the pandemic is that Canadians can enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the Rocky Mountains without fighting through mobs of international tourists. Summer adventurers can camp, hike and kayak, while winter enthusiasts can hit the slopes or bundle up for a dogsled trip. Fairmont Hotels has three iconic properties to choose from—Jasper Park Lodge, Banff Springs Hotel and Chateau Lake Louise—or stay in a boutique hotel in Canmore like The Malcolm Hotel by Clique. Soothe sore muscles and soak in tranquility at the Knordic Spa in Kananaskis.
European Feel: Old Montreal
Canada is a relatively new country, but Old Montreal exudes old-world charm. Stroll cobbled streets to marvel at 17th-century architecture, peruse museums and art galleries, and taste both international and traditional Quebecois fare at restaurants or street carts. The Hotel William Gray embodies the city’s unique blend of past and present—eight stories of glass walls rise up from an 18th-century greystone manor. Indulge in a day of rejuvenation at Bota Bota, a floating spa on the St. Lawrence river; move through stages of heat, cold and relaxation in the water circuit, then treat yourselves to a couple’s massage