Vancouver day trips range from adventurous to purely scenic and relaxing. If you have some extra time, why not explore the Vancouver region by taking one of these 12 Vancouver day trips.
Part of the beauty of this Vancouver day trip is getting there. The Sea to Sky Highway that connects Vancouver and Whistler is one of Canada's most beautiful drives. This stunning piece of highway offers views of lakes, mountains, fjords, inlets, a waterfall, all in under two hours by car or try the day-long Rocky Mountaineer train trip.
Once in the year-round resort of Whistler, enjoy skiing, hiking, ziplining or wandering the shops and boutiques of Whistler Village.
Personalized, private tours of Whistler from Vancouver are available and last about 8 hrs.
Book a tour with Viator.
Located among southwestern BC's magnificent mountains and the sandy beaches of Harrison Lake, the village of Harrison Hot Springs draws visitors not only for its warm natural spring waters but also for golf, water sports and more.
There are several places to stay in town, but the Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa has the sole water rights to the hot springs, piping them to its five mineral pools directly from source almost a quarter of a mile away.
This quaint fishing village sits at the mouth of the South Arm of the Fraser River in Richmond - still officially part of greater Vancouver. Since the 1870s, Steveston has been home to salmon canneries, attracting Japanese, Chinese and European immigrant workers there. Today, the town retains a heritage charm due to the preservation of many historic buildings but has also grown to accommodate an increasing population and tourism industry.
Steveston is also known for its annual Canada Day Salmon Festival and as a whale watching destination.
4. Bowen Island
For skiers, Cypress Mountain is one of the most accessible mountains to get to from downtown Vancouver, only 30 minutes away. Aside from downhill skiing, Cypress offers a snowtube-park, snowshoe tours, and cross-country trails.
The stunning views atop Cypress Mountain are available year-round. In summer, hike or cycle the trails of the three mountains that comprise Cypress Provincial park.
Some ideas for visiting Victoria include
The Capilano Suspension Bridge is more than just a bridge; there's actually a whole park with activities, history and culture. The park is a 20 minute drive outside of downtown Vancouver.
Built in 1889, the Capilano Suspension Bridge stretches 450 feet (137m) across and 230 feet (70m) above Capilano River. The park offers guided nature tours, the Kids' Rainforest Explorer program and Living Forest exhibit.
Combine a day trip to Capilano Suspension Bridge with a visit to Grouse Mountain; they are close to one another in North Vancouver.
An organized tour may be a good way to go if you don't want to figure out public transit or rent a car.
Book a Capilano Suspension Bridge/Grouse Mountain day trip with Viator.
11. Grouse Mountain
Though Grouse can't doesn't measure up to Cypress in terms of a ski experience (Cypress has more lifts and slopes), it is still a popular spot for reasonably priced skiing. Many people visit Grouse Mountain just to go up the gondola and get the best view of Vancouver. Grouse Mountain is also famous for the Grouse Grind, a 2.9-kilometre trail up the mountain face. Other activities include zip-lining, a visit to the Grizzly bear refuge and dining.
Book a Capilano Suspension Bridge/Grouse Mountain day trip or a Grouse Mountain Sunset tour with Viator.
12. Cross-Border ShoppingCanadians love their cross-border shopping, and between Vancouver and Seattle off of Highway 5, you'll find plenty of it. The closest spot to hit is Bellingham - about a half hour south of the Canada/U.S. border - where Bellis Fair Mall features Target, Kohl's, Abercrombie & Fitch and more. Continue south another half hour and you come to Burlington/Mt. Vernon, where outlet stores include GAP, Coach and J.Crew among others.
Be sure to consult the allowances for cross-border shopping.