5 Sidney monthly stay ideas

by admin on October 21, 2011

monthly stay sidney

Winter cycling in Sidney makes other Canadians green with envy

Every Snowbird dreams of planning a snow-free winter vacation, and a Sidney monthly stay in the dark months ahead will not disappoint. Located 30 minutes north of Victoria at the tip of the Saanich Peninsula, beautiful Sidney-by-the-Sea is known mostly by the rest of Canada as being a quiet retirement community. However, first impressions can be misleading; Sidney has transformed itself over the past 20 years to become a bustling high-tech center, a thriving marine and transportation hub, and an eco-tourism destination, all rolled into one. The seaside community has also managed to retain and even enhance its livability. Residents and visitors can walk to everything, whether it be a supermarket or a sailboat moorage.

Sidney is the perfect place to plan a monthly stay, or even weekly stays. Many hotels (like the Cedarwood!) are just steps away from the ocean, and also offer easy access to major transportation routes, including Hwy 17 leading to Victoria, as wells as Victoria International Airport (YYJ), the Swartz Bay ferry terminal, and even float plane service to the wild, remote west coast of Vancouver Island (usually the warmest spot in Canada during the winter, if not also the wettest).

But what to do while you’re spending the winter in beautiful Sidney? Here are 5 ideas:

1. Go biking

The Saanich Peninsula and Greater Victoria feature more than 400 kilometers of bicycle lanes and trails. Our region is the cycling capital of Canada, which means a cycling community that is passionate about all things bikes, and the a general acceptance by motorist of their two-wheeled, pedal-powered friends.

2. Go exploring

There’s almost no snow hhere, which means the woodlands and hills to the southwest of the Saanich Peninsula are explorable all year ’round. There are hundreds of forest trails and parks in the region, all thanks to a coordinated effort to conserve “green corridors” and carefully limit (but not restrict) growth. Go storm-watching in Sooke one day, and birding the next. Mild temperatures and almost no ice and snow make outdoor activities a pleasure here.

3. Go skiing

There’s a couple of choices for skiing near Sidney: many Islanders choose to travel 3 or 4 hours up-Island to Mount Washington, near Comox. Mount Washington enjoys some of the heaviest snowfalls in the world, with the added bonus that, as a local destination, it’s not very crowded. The other option is to travel to Whistler. Since we’re so close to the ferry, it takes about the same amount of time to go there as it does to go to Mount Washington. Whistler, of course, offers the best skiing in the entire world.

4. Visit winter gardens

Of course, Sidney and the Saanich Peninsula are all about gardens. Butchart Gardens is just a short drive away, and offers unique entertainment throughout the winter, including fireworks and Christmas lights displays. If you can believe it, the first plum trees and snowdrops start blossoming in late January, so there are few months in Sidney that are flower free.

5. Curl up with a good book

Sidney is a book town, and there are more than a half-a-dozen specialty bookshops concentrated in a two-block strip. There are bookstores devoted to gardening, other bookstores devoted to sailing, the largest children’s bookstore on the island, a military bookstore, and much more. Besides bookstores, there are also antique stores, bistros, coffee shops, and elegant spots to sip drinks while admiring the ocean view. And both Victoria and Vancouver are both a short hop away if you’re looking for more cultural experiences.

- The Cedarwood Inn is the perfect place to plan a Sidney monthly stay or weekly stays in Sidney.