Reading break adventures

Because who said reading week was meant for reading?

View of Stawamus Chief Provincial Park (Photo courtesy of Husam Mohammed)

By: Sakina Nazarali

Things to do during reading break:

1) A Riverdale day tour – For all of you Riverdale fans, I got you!

Riverdale fans, you know the franchise in and out. However, you might have felt the feeling of “I have been there” while watching. Seeing a celebrity off-screen and then seeing them on-screen is always weird, and this is your chance to visit places your favorite Riverdale celebrities shoot at.

The best part? You can use transit to get to all of these places. You can follow Narcity’s Riverdale Guide to Vancouver to visit Riverdale High School (Point Grey Secondary), Archie’s House, the Pembrooke, Pop’s Chock’lit Shoppe (Rocko’s family Diner), and more.

2) Rosewood Hotel Georgia – Everyone needs a little “me time,” which is why Rosewood Hotel Georgia is the perfect staycation, right in downtown Vancouver. This might be a little heavy on the financial side, but assuming that you will be headed there during reading week (hopefully without your books), you might get better prices.

Daily Hive reviewers write that the hotel’s retro-chic vibe lets you submerge into an atmosphere of luxury, one that you can treasure temporarily but cherish forever. Whilst at it, make sure to enjoy some fine dining at Hawksworth restaurant. Besides, they also offer an amazing boutique-style spa, and beautiful sweet treats at Bel Café.

3) Find yourself a bargain airline – While flying has been costly in the past, ultra-low cost airlines like Swoop allow passengers to fly across Canada and even Mexico and the US for as low as $40. The best deal during the reading break (at the time of writing this piece) would be an unbeatable $37 round-trip from Abbotsford, B.C. to Edmonton, AB.

4) Stawamus Chief Provincial Park, Squamish – Can you deny the beauty of a spectacular view from the top of a mountain? Well, head to the Chief Towers above the town of Squamish. This is a popular hiking destination but, heads up, if you aren’t the enthusiastic type, this six-hour hike probably isn’t for you. Take advantage of being in Squamish by also adding the sea-to-sky gondola on your to-do list.

5) Steveston Village – This is for you students who would like to spend reading break studying more, with a moderate amount of time allocated to leisure. If the option of going for a hike and visiting a river doesn’t amuse you, this beautiful village tucked in Richmond might. 15 minutes away from the Canada Line, this location is easily accessible through public transport. Spend your day strolling through the village for retail shops, cafes, crafts and thrift stores.

Additionally, if history amuses you, visit the Gulf of Georgia Cannery. The Britannia Heritage Shipyards National Historic Sites also encourages the audience to view how life was like for workers at the peak of business in Steveston. A 10-minute walk away from Steveston Village would bring you to Seabreeze Adventures, which assures customers whale sightings the majority of the times.

6) Bowen IslandGetting to Bowen Island is a 20-minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to Snug Cove after which, you can either take your car or walk on to the island. At Bowen Island, take a break from the strains of daily life by having a yoga retreat in a geodesic dome at Nectar Yoga BNB. And how could you say no to kayaking? You can hit the ocean by renting single and double kayaks right off the marina at Bowen Island Sea Kayaking and enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery. Last but not least, fill up on treats at Branch & Butter. This guide on “5 breathtaking things do on Bowel Islandhas other ideas for you too!

7) Othello tunnels – If you’re looking for a fairly short road-trip with your friends and family, consider Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park, where you will see the Othello Tunnels. A two-hour drive away from Vancouver, the short but scenic trail (3.5-km) at this park is one that is worth it.

In the 1900s, the Othello tunnels served as a railway which was built by cutting a 300-foot-deep channel in granite; a project part of the Canadian Pacific Railway’s construction. The park goes beyond just the tunnels, with a very appealing scenic view, which is what you might just need for a break from the hustle and bustle of life.

8) A day out just for yourself – Who says you have to go for a hike or a hotel or to a waterfall or a lake to enjoy your day? Take time to go places you have been craving to go to within Vancouver but never got the chance to. Here are a few places I would love to go to, and maybe you would too:

  • Breka Bakery and Café
  • FlyOver Canada
  • The Museum of Anthropology at UBC
  • The Vancouver Aquarium
  • Try a type of cuisine you have never tried before
  • Ride a bike at Stanley Park
  • Visit the Vancouver Lookout
  • Have an ice cream at La Casa Gelato or Earnest Ice Cream.

Overall: just make sure to take care of yourself during reading break!