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Best nature options near Vancouver

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My wife and I will be driving from Vancouver to Calgary in August this year and have 12 nights to spread around. We are more interested in natural than urban settings but want to see the highlights of Vancouver as well. I think we can allocate 4 nights in the Vancouver area but would like to spend two of them nearby in a more natural setting on the water before heading to Kelowna and then on to the mountains.

Ideally we would spend the 1st 2 nights in Vancouver and then 2 nights within about a 2 - 3 hour drive of the city. We'd want to be on or very near the water, hopefully with options for water related activities (boat trips, kayaking, etc). I guess we could take the ferry over to Vancouver Island and stay somewhere fairly near to the ferry terminal or maybe somewhere on the Sunshine Coast instead. I'm having trouble figuring out which area would make more sense. Would love to make it up to Port McNeil or over to Tofino but both seem too far from Vancouver to fit the timeline well.

Thanks in advance for the advice,
John

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