Day trips offer the best adventures. As much as Vancouver spoils you with its natural beauty and landscape, a get away is always a great idea. Thankfully, British Columbia is filled with wonderful spots that are only a few hours away. Here are the top 25 options.
1. Whistler About a 1.5 hour trip from Vancouver by either car or bus (Epic Ride is a cheap and cheerful option), the world renowned Whistler is the place to be any time of the year. In the winter, you can enjoy show stopping ski hills, snowshoeing, world class eats and in the summer you enjoy hiking, mountain biking and much more. The options are endless at Whistler.
2. The Chief Hike
A local favourite, this 3 tier challenging hike offers a heart stopping view of the stunning mountain range and lake below. This hike can take anywhere from 2 – 6 hours depending, so it’s a wonderful option for a day trip out of the city, especially when paired with a hill top picnic. You will need a vehicle to access this hike.
Address: Garibaldi Highlands
BC Ferries offer a 90-minute relaxing journey throughout the day starting early morning to late evening to beautiful Victoria. Victoria is the capital city of British Columbia and full of exciting things to do from whale watching, botanical gardens, to parliamentary tours. This stunning city is accessible by bus, as you can walk onto the ferry and take a public bus to the city centre.
4. Harrison Hot Springs
This small community in southern end of the Harrison Lake in the Fraser Valley, lies the romantic Harrison Hot Springs Resort where you can enjoy breath-taking scenery paired with hot springs, golfing or kayaking. You will need a car, but its mere 2 hour drive.
Address: 100 Esplanade Avenue, Harrison Hot Springs
5. Bowen Island Bowen Island is an idyllic destination in Howe Sound, its quaint little island with quirky eateries, swimming holes, hiking all paired with friendly faces. To get to Bowen Island for the day, you wouldn’t require a car as you can walk on the 33 minute ferry then explore the Island by foot.
Just north of Vancouver, this beautiful little city is surrounded by mountains, underground cliffs and biking trails. There is so much to see and do from rock climbing to the Britannia Mine Museum to delicious cafes. You will want to drive.
7. Sea to sky Gondola
Ride up the summit with memorable views of the majestic mountains as you leave Vancouver behind – each gondola allows for 8 people. Upon arrival, you will have access to endless fun including walking loops, hiking trails, a suspension bridge, rock climbing and more. You can access this adventure by car or by bus.
Address: Squamish-Lillooet D, BC V0N 1J0, Canada
8. Garibaldi Lake
Endless blue hues, stunning glaciers, mountains, flowers, meadows, waterfalls and more! Garibaldi Lake hike. This intermediate hike is 18km return so prepare for a 5 hour trip, accessible in the warmer months of the year. You will need to drive and it is about 1.5 hour one way.
Address: Squamish-Lillooet D, BC, Canada
9. Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park
The sparkling provincial lake offers walks, canoeing, kayaking, swimming or fishing. 40 glorious kilometres of trails to enjoy just a 2 hour car drive away from Vancouver!
Address: Trans Canada Trail, Rosedale, BC V0X 1X0, Canada
10. Mount Washington
A 4-hour journey from Vancouver, you will reach Mount Washington, a family run alpine resort offering skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and more. The mountain offers day passes, perfect for a get away from the big city. You will need to drive!
11. Wine Tasting Langley Located a mere 45 minutes outside Vancouver, there are countless vineyards for you to taste various tastes and varieties of wine. Vineyards include Chaberton Estate, Krause Berry Farms, Glass House Estate and more. There are loads of wine tours that will shuttle you around the many locations for you to enjoy the tastes, safely!
12. River Rock Casino
Who needs a trip to Vegas to have some gambling fun? Have a luxurious day at the Rive Rock where you can indulge in great food while having a blast risking it all at the luxury casino.
Address: 8811 River Rd, Richmond, BC V6X 3P8, Canada
13. Capilano Suspension bridge
An exciting yet simple suspension bridge is a fabulous attraction just outside the city – you can easily access it by a free shuttle bus, merely 20 minutes from downtown. You can explore the bridge, clifftop, treetop adventure all nestled high among the forestry.
Address: 3735 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver
14. Cultus Lake Waterpark
For some refreshing fun, Cultus Lake Waterpark is BC’s biggest waterpark and themed amusement park. It’s a mere 1-hour drive from the city and a always a hit with young and old.
Address: 4150 Columbia Valley Hwy, Cultus Lake
15. Steveston Fisherman Wharf
Enjoy the exciting fisherman wharf where you can get grab the fresh catch of the day including shrimp, Dungeness crab, sea urchin and much more. Grab a coffee at one of the nearby cafes while you stroll along the waters edge. Its located about 40 minutes from downtown by bus!
16. White Rock Pier
White Rock Pier feels like you’ve been transported to sunny California! Enjoy a beachside stroll, stunning beaches and grab a bite or eat or a local beer from the many beach front bars and eateries. You can visit by skytrain, about 1.15 or a 1 hour drive.
17. Salt Spring Island
Salt Spring Island is a quirky one of a kind artistic haven! Visitors can enjoy artist studies, family run farms, water front walks, shops and much more. You can get to the Salt Spring Island from Vancouver within a couple hours via ferry. You will need a car for this adventure.
18. Tulips of the Valley Visit Tulips of the Valley for western Canada’s largest and most recognized Tulip Festivalduring Spring or Chilliwack Sunflower Festival. Get to enjoy a leisurely stroll outdoors, surrounded by the lush green of the Fraser Valley and the amazing views of Mt Cheam and other spectacular mountain vistas that surround Chilliwack, and of course there’s the star of the festival, the vibrant tulip or Sunrich Orange sunflowers.
19. Bridal Falls
A mere one and a half hour drive from Vancouver, this famous 60 metre Bridal Veil Falls is a stunning bustling waterfall. You can walk around the view, enjoy a picnic or go in the winter for a frozen treat. There is so much natural beauty to enjoy on this day out!
20. Hell’s Gate Airtram
Are you an adrenaline junkie? From spring until fall, the Hells Gate Airtram takes the adventurous over the raging waters of the Fraser River in a tram connecting both sides of the canyon. It’s a located in a narrow area of the Fraser River, where the fast-flowing water creates a wonderfully exciting white rapid. The drive to arrive is part of the fun, as its beautiful and take 2.5 hours each way.
Address: 43111 Trans-Canada Highway Boston Bar
21. Grouse Mountain
You can pick how to reach the summit of Grouse Mountain, the easy or the hard way. One option takes you on a smooth ride up a fun gondola, North America’s largest aerial tram system. If you’re feeling determined, you can hike all the way up aptly named the grouse grind. You can take the bus up or drive, both taking about 1 hour from Vancouver.
A mere 20 minutes on the Canada Line Skytrain and you’ll be in bustling Richmond. Richmond reflects a community where locals trace their heritage back to China, Korea, Vietnam and beyond and is therefore the top place to eat delicious Asian food. Home to amazing restaurants, it is also home the infamous Richmond Night Market with more then 100 food stands.
Explore the sunshine coast with a day trip to Gibson’s. A 40-minute ferry ride away from Vancouver, Gibson’s is a quaint seaside city with a fishing port, fun quaint shops, restaurants, and cafes it’s the perfect day trip from Vancouver. There is a wonderful mix of water and land activities! It would be best enjoyed by car for freedom.
24. Lighthouse Park
This park looks like it comes straight out of a movie! It offers a romantic vibe as the its the perfect place to hike around, rock climb, see the sea or just enjoy a picnic. The best part is its only 40 minutes from Vancouver, which you can access by bus or by car.
25. Sea to Sky Highway Road Trip
This awe-inspiring highway, officially known as BC Highway 99, is an incredible coastal route from Vancouver to Whistler. It is filled with switchback turns, inspiring views, and fun bucket-list stops. The highway is just over 150km long, and can easily be driven in under two hours. However, with so many beautiful stops and exciting adventures along the way, it’s worth multiple day trips or a weekend trip.