Drive 30 minutes from anywhere in Vancouver and you'll find all kinds of natural beauty: rivers, mountains, beaches and forests.
You can add some of British Columbia's finest and most unique wineries to that list, too.
A quick trip over the Port Mann will bring you to many acclaimed vineyards in the Fraser Valley that showcase, among other things, fruit wines, a Zagat-rated bistro and the official wine of the Calgary Stampede.
Because the prohibitive transportation and accommodation costs associated with a luxury wine tour in the Okanagan are only affordable to some, both international tourists and staycationers are discovering what local wineries have to offer, said Andrea Visscher, spokeswoman for Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Tourism Region.
"While I think that there's still a lot of growth that can be done, Langley certainly is, I feel, one of the hidden gems of our region," Visscher sid.
Aside from the quality of local vineyards, their proximity to the city is a big draw for people looking for a range of activities.
"You could be doing a wine tasting in the afternoon then come in to the city and see a play on Granville Island.
There's a lot of diversity in the area and I think people are rediscovering that."
The variety in the vineyards is nice as well.
Domaine de Chaberton Estate and Winery is the Fraser Valley's oldest vineyard, having planted its roots in Langley 32 years ago with vines brought from France and Germany.
The microclimate in the Fraser Valley is perfect for the winery's white grape varietals, including the grapes used in its signature Bacchus wine, said Chelsea Harris, assistant manager of Domaine de Chaberton's wine shop.
"We receive about 30 per cent less rain than downtown Langley, and about 66 per cent less rain than downtown Vancouver," she noted. "That's quite a big difference for the vines out here that don't like wet feet. The climate is similar to northern France or Germany."
Visitors can sip on a red, white or dessert wine while indulging in rich French cuisine at Bacchus, the winery's Zagat-rated bistro.
Lately, Domaine de Chaberton has attracted tourist groups from as far as Japan, Harris added.
But it's the staycationers that have been surprising her.
"We're finding that there are a lot more locals coming here. People are saying, 'I've lived in Langley for 25 years and never stopped in here.'"
Harris added that wineries in the region work together instead of competing to attract new visitors.
The goal is to let people know that the Fraser Valley is a legitimate wine destination, different from the Okanagan.
"Why bother spending several hundred dollars when you can just come and taste out here. It's a really good day trip," she said.
If you're planning your own trip to the region, start with a visit to Vista D'Oro Farms and Winery on 208 Street in Langley.
Try the D'Oro, an artisanal fortified walnut wine "that must be tasted," said Visscher.
Then head to nearby Domaine de Chaberton on 216th Street, and after a quick brunch at Bacchus (open Monday to Friday), check out Township 7 Vineyard and Winery at 16th Avenue and 12th Street.
The company was recently named the official wine of the Calgary Stampede and holds events on its stage, including concerts and art shows.
After taking in some culture, it's time for Neck of the Woods Winery and Back Yard Winery on 232nd Street. Back Yard Porch Wine is their trendy offering that resembles a port, but is really a fortified wine with powerful berry flavours.
Finish off your day trip with some 100 per cent grape-free fruit wines at the Fort Wine Company in Fort Langley.
- Jeff Lawrence, for the Vancouver Province