12 of the Best Vancouver Day Trips – Canada Travel.12 Best Stops on the Seattle to Vancouver Drive – The World Was Here First
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In this post, we want to get outside the city and share our favourite day trips from Vancouver. It should be noted that you can easily convert some of these day trips into an overnight trip or weekend getaway.
Read this post for the best road trip from Vancouver for first time visitors. Located km north of Vancouver about 1. Whistler gained world fame in when it co-hosted the Winter Olympics with the city of Vancouver.
Whistler consistently ranks as the top ski resort in North America. In , it introduced the world record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola, completing the longest continuous lift system in the world. Over the past decade, Whistler has evolved to become a top summer destination in Canada.
Located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Victoria is one of the oldest cities in the Pacific Northwest. Victoria is approximately kilometres from both Vancouver and Seattle, making it the perfect day trip or weekend getaway for tourists and mainland residents. We try to visit Victoria at least once every year. Most people will catch the ferry that departs from Tsawwassen BC Ferries Terminal , but you can take a bus from downtown Vancouver that will drop you off in downtown Victoria ticket includes the ferry crossing.
You can also take a float plane from downtown Vancouver, which is a lot of fun. The ferry option will take you at least 4 hours in each direction. They are centrally located and family friendly. Search for more Victoria hotels here. The island is only 6 km wide and 12 km long, so you can easily explore the island in one day.
Popular activities are kayaking, mountain biking, hiking and boating. The Snug Cove ferry terminal has a marina with small shops and restaurants. An easy scenic hike is the Killarney Lake trail. A more challenging hike is the summit of Mount Gardner. Or you can take a 45 minute water taxi from Granville Island.
Check with BC Ferries for sailing times. Part of the fun is the actual journey to the Sunshine Coast. Most visitors will access the Sunshine Coast by ferry from Horseshoe Bay, but you can also catch a float plane, depending on the time of year. The ferry ride and marinas are quintessentially West Coast.
If you are traveling in a group, consider booking this guided tour to explore a few of the hidden gems on the Sunshine Coast. Howe Sound is network of fjords situated between West Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast, about 30 minutes northwest of Vancouver. This is one of the most beautiful areas in the Lower Mainland. One of the things we like to do in Vancouver during the summer is to visit the lazy seals that hang out on Pam Rocks, a cluster of tiny islands located in the center of Howe Sound.
The only way to see these rock islands is by boat. The boat can take between 4 to 6 people. Horseshoe Bay is also the location of the third busiest BC Ferries terminal. There are a few restaurants in the village, including the legendary Trolls Restaurant get the Oyster Burger or Clam Chowder , and it has a rocky beach with a playground that faces the marina.
After you visit Horseshoe Bay, check out nearby Whytecliff Park , one of the first Marine Protected Areas in Canada and a popular cold water scuba diving spot.
If you have time on your drive back to Vancouver, visit nearby Lighthouse Park , located in a residential area in West Vancouver. It is a popular attraction and a National Historic Site of Canada. Located about halfway between Vancouver and Whistler, the town of Squamish is one of the best day trips from Vancouver. It continues to build its brand as an outdoor adventure destination. We could dedicate an entire blog post about things to do in Squamish.
You can make several day trips from Vancouver to Squamish and still only scratch the surface. For the thrill-seeker, rock climbing at the Stawamus Chief is world class and the Via Ferrata from the Summit Lodge is fun change of pace. If you prefer to get in the water, the Squamish Spit hosts some of the best windsurfing and kite surfing in the Pacific Northwest. There area also dozens of hiking trails and parks, including the family-friendly Four Lakes Trail and the full day Elfin Lakes hike.
There are plenty of things to do once you reach the summit. The Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge is a big hit and will surely give you butterflies in your stomach as it sways from side to side. There are multiple viewing platforms and several hiking trails for all skill levels.
The Museum site itself is an exhibit — from historical machinery to heritage buildings and the massive yellow dump truck that lives within the facility. The 45 minute guided tour gives you an understanding of what life was like as a miner back in the early s. You only need about 2 hours to explore the museum and take the mine train tour, so this is a good activity to bundle with a visit to the Sea to Sky Gondola or Porteau Cove Provincial Park.
Book your admission tickets easily here. Porteau Cove is a small provincial park in British Columbia about 50 hectares in size , situated on the most southerly fjord in North America. The park stretches between the shoreline of Howe Sound and the Sea to Sky Highway , about 20 minutes south of Squamish. Garibaldi Provincial Park is a massive wilderness park located between Squamish and Whistler, about a 1. This beautiful park is best visited during the summer months, when you can hike the popular Garibaldi Lake trail.
There are five entrance points located along the Sea to Sky Highway. There are also several camp sites that are first come, first served. The Southern Gulf Islands , an archipelago of small islands located between Vancouver Island the Lower Mainland, is one of the best places to witness orca whales in their natural habitat. This is one of the best day trips from Vancouver for first time visitors, in our opinion.
The best time to go whale watching is during the salmon migration in the summer months between May to October. Whales, sea birds and other marine animals are attracted to the area to feed, resulting in very strong success rate on many whale watching tours. There are plenty of whale watching operators based out of Vancouver that offer a variety of options, from 2 hour tours to full day excursions. Over the years, the park has added several features to compliment its famous bouncing suspension bridge, including the recently added Cliffwalk experience.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is a great family friendly attraction for both tourists and locals. Aside from the bridge and cliffwalk, the park also offers the Treetops adventure, a series of seven suspension bridges attached to eight 30 ton, year old Douglas-firs, and several boardwalks with viewpoints that overlook the canyon. Skip the lines and book your tickets easily here.
If you have time, try to squeeze in a visit to nearby Cleveland Dam. No trip to Vancouver is complete without a visit to the North Shore Mountains. All three mountains have ski operations in the winter, extensive hiking trails in the summer and facilities with restaurants.
Grouse Mountain , the self-described Peak of Vancouver, is the most popular mountain for tourists. To reach the peak, guests take the Skyride tram to the top of the mountain. This is always fun for first timers, regardless of the season. Novice hikers should plan for roughly two hours to ascend the trail. The record is 25 minutes. Cypress Mountain is located in the southern section of Cypress Provincial Park.
With over hectares of skiable terrain and 53 runs, Cypress Mountain has the largest ski area out of the three mountains. An easy day trips from Vancouver is a visit to Deep Cove. You can rent kayaks, stand-up paddleboards and surfskis from Deep Cove Kayak. This shop gets busy in the summer months, especially on the weekends.
Quarry Rock is an easy hike that takes about 1. The views from the top of Quarry Rock are fantastic. It sits at the mouth of the Fraser River and was once the largest fishing port and cannery centre on the West Coast. Steveson is also the departure point for many whale watching tours that explore the nearby Gulf Islands and the San Juan islands in Washington State. On a sunny afternoon we like to visit the village and indulge in fish and chips and cold beer.
Then we like to walk along the pier to burn off lunch. Steveston is still an active fishing harbour, so you can walk along the docks and purchase fresh seafood directly from the fishing boats. The River Rock has a large theater that hosts a variety of entertainment acts throughout the year.
The Night Market features live performances, carnival games and over retail stalls with over food choices from around the world.
Did you know the Lower Mainland is home to several award winning wineries? Chaberton Estate Winery is the oldest and largest winery in the Fraser Valley and the 5th largest in British Columbia. Langley is about a 45 minute drive from Vancouver, depending on traffic afternoon rush hour can add hours. Located two hours east of Vancouver, just south of Chilliwack, sits Cultus Lake Provincial Park and its many family friendly attractions.
The lake, beaches and surrounding forests are fantastic, but what lures families to this area is the Cultus Lake Waterpark and Cultus Lake Adventure Park. Cultus Lake Waterpark has all kinds of water slides, wading pools and themed attractions. You could spend the entire day at this park alone. Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park is located km east of Vancouver and 64 km southeast of Chilliwack 40km in from the Vedder Crossing.
There are several hiking trails, beaches, boat launches, parks and recreational facilities. This is a great spot to go boating, kayaking and canoeing. Follow this road for 40 km to the lake and campground — visit BC Parks website for more info.
Day trip to vancouver canada border. 12 Top-Rated Day Trips from Vancouver
In fact, with just one day below zero yearly this is one of the best things to do in winter hands down. Over 3 billion flowers bloom here every year, making it a great stop to take in colonial architecture, have tea at the legendary Empress Hotel , and eat gourmet foods coming from the over farms in the area. Getting to Victoria from Vancouver involves a 90 minute ferry ride to Vancouver Island. Related : Best Things to do in Victoria. How many major cities have a world class ski resort just 90 minutes from Vancouver city center?
There are loads of great restaurants in Whistler , making it a gourmet foodie escape. Think again. Renting a car and taking an DIY drive is a great day trip escape from Vancouver. Want to take the guesswork out of it? Related : Best Vancouver Food Tours. Another of our favourite Vancouver pastimes is island hopping, in particular stopping over at the majestic Gambier Island, visiting the seal colonies at Pam Rocks, or picnicking on Pebbly Beach on Bowen Island.
Of course, the Wildlife Refuge and its star grizzlies, 30 minute lumberjack shows, and massive tail-shaped donuts are just the start. Some of my favourite things to at Grouse Mountain are:. The name of the game here is outdoor adventure — just look up at the imposing granite monolith that dwarfs the city.
The Stawamus Chief offers a 4 hour intermediate hike with one of the best panoramic view rewards in the entire province.
Other top Squamish activities include Via Ferrata climbing adventures optimal for first timers , some of the greatest white water rafting in the Lower Mainland, and eagle viewing float tours. Related : Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. Small batch smoked salmon, artisan gin, and apple pie moonshine are other highlights. The artisans here also sell jewellry, woodwork, pottery, fine art, body care, clothing, and more. Related : Best Time to Visit Vancouver. This is one of the best day trips from Vancouver without a car.
Yes, in just 40 minutes by Vancouver public transit you can be whisked away to a tiny fishing village along the Fraser River, a place yet to be corrupted by big chain shops and six lane highways. Visiting Steveston gives great insight into the early economies of the area, in particular through the Gulf of Georgia Cannery Museum — a retrospect on the salmon industry of British Columbia and the many immigrant communities primarily Japanese that helped build the province.
Related : Best Vancouver City Tours. Driving from Vancouver to Seattle for day trips takes just over two hours, more than doable with an early start. This small Fraser Valley community just 90 minutes from Vancouver has been a resort town since , when the Canadian Pacific Railway brought its lakeside springs in reach for travellers.
Harrison Hot Springs Resort is the star of the show here, creating 5 different pools of different temperatures for the ultimate spa getaway experience. Renting a cottage out here to soak in the hot springs, take forest hikes full of waterfalls along the Miami Bridges Walk, or do any number of fishing or boating activities on Harrison Lake is also a fine option.
This Swiss-style ski gondola an hour from Vancouver whisks passengers meters up Mount Habrich, providing amazing views of crystal blue Howe Sound and our Coast Mountain paradise. The Sea to Sky Gondola is a mountain adventure wonderland that can be as hardcore as you want.
Taking in the three panoramic view platforms and walking the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge is included in every ticket. Throw in interpretive tours on the ecology of the area, and the rich history of the local Skwxwu7mesh Nation and this outdoor escape gets educational. Related : Capilano Suspension Bridge vs. Sea to Sky Gondola: Which is Better? A quick hour ferry hop across Howe Sound from Horseshoe Bay brings Vancouverites to the Sunshine Coast, a place famous for low annual rainfall and long, sunny summers.
Most folks head to Sechelt for the galleries and boutiques along Cowrie Street, which also offers all sorts of vintage shops as well as tap houses and gourmet restaurants.
Lovers of paddle sports also find plenty to do here. The Powell River Canoe Route is a solid way to spend a day on the water, but kayaking along the fjords of Desolation Sound is probably the best bet.
The train ride through the historic haulage tunnel is the highlight, though any of over artifacts some brought to life by in-person demonstrations really kick things up a notch. Think it looks familiar? Some of the must-do hikes include Garibaldi Lake Trail 18 km, about 5 hours and Black Tusk Trail 28 km, about 10 hours — two nature walks full of strata volcanos, turqouise blue lakes, and viewpoints galore.
Consider heading out to the charming fishing village of Steveston for small town vibes, cutesy gift shops, great seafood, and well preserved heritage buildings. Grouse Mountain is also an option for outdoor hiking or skiing adventures, a panoramic patio drink, and even wildlife refuge with grizzly bears. Locals looking for a quick escape from Vancouver typically go to the Sunshine Coast in the summer.
The area is full of artisan craft shops, farm fresh restaurants, and unspoiled beaches. In the winter Whistler is the best day trip option for people in Vancouver.
The prettiest place near Vancouver is Grouse Mountain. A trip here can involve either an intermediate hike or a gondola ride up the mountain, however the reward is the same — epic panoramic views of the entire city and British Columbia coastline.
A great way to escape from Vancouver is to head to a nearby resort town like Harrison Hot Springs. The average drive from Vancouver to Whistler is 90 minutes, which is more than doable. In fact, people from Vancouver often drive to Whistler for the day for skiing and mountain biking and return later in the day.
The average drive time not considering border waits to Seattle from downtown Vancouver is 2. Whistler is just 90 minutes from downtown Vancouver, on one of the most scenic drives in the entire world the Sea to Sky Highway , and offers world class skiing and dining options, and is a springboard for some of the best hiking in the province. Seattle on the other hand is a world class city with attractions like Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, and any variety of sporting and cultural events on par with cities twice its size.
I’ve lived in 5 countries and created content for travel websites like eDreams and Amex Essentials, but here I finally get to work my passion project – my hometown, Vancouver! Your email address will not be published.
Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. August 12, Add comment. Related : Best Things to do in Victoria Whistler How many major cities have a world class ski resort just 90 minutes from Vancouver city center? The small group tours include stops at 5 wineries over 6 hours. About the author Ash I’ve lived in 5 countries and created content for travel websites like eDreams and Amex Essentials, but here I finally get to work my passion project – my hometown, Vancouver!
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BEST Canada Vancouver Day Trip from Seattle USA | WA.
You can absolutely visit Vancouver from Seattle in a day. Depending on the border line-ups (and whether or not you have Nexus) your drive will be anywhere from. Looking for travel tips for returning home or visiting Canada? Here you’ll find a travel checklist, videos, frequently asked questions and more.
– How to Travel from Seattle to Vancouver (And Vice Versa!) – Our Adventure Journal
We greatly appreciate your understanding and cooperation. Thank you again for choosing to tour with us! During the actual trip, the tour guide or driver has the right to appropriately adjust the tour sequence, stay time or assembly time of scenic spots according to the weather, traffic, and other conditions to ensure the smooth progress of the trip. If the scenic spots are temporarily closed or closed on a particular holiday, etc. The opening hours and capacity limits of certain attractions and national parks will be subject to change from time to time due to the COVID pandemic.
When the operating hours and capacity restrictions have an impact on the itinerary, it shall be regarded as force majeure. Thank you for your understanding. Children under the age of 8 require a booster seat in order to participate in the tour group. Please make a request when booking the itinerary so that we may have the booster seat ready in advance.
Please understand that the violations and fines are borne by the guests themselves. There is no need for a booster seat for bus travel on the day of travel, and the fee can be refunded to the guest. Normal health conditions are required to participate and enjoy our full itineraries. Contact us for specific policies or information regarding passengers with disabilities who do need to provide advance notification to make a reservation.
Guests are required to bring their own relevant documents and materials required for entry or cross-border travel. Whether they can enter or leave the country is subject to the decision of the customs of each country. The inability to enter the country is a force majeure factor, and the paid tour fee will not be refunded. We may alter these terms and conditions from time to time and post the new version on the website.
It is your responsibility to check it on the website regularly and prior to making a reservation. Unless specifically stated otherwise herein or required by law, JUPITER LEGEND Corporation shall not be liable for any consequential, compensatory, indirect, incidental or punitive damages arising out of or in connection with the performance of its obligations under these terms and conditions. Luggage is subject to inspection when crossing international borders.
You will be asked to declare any items subject to duty upon crossing the border. Passengers must claim all luggage at the border crossing point before proceeding. No luggage is allowed across the border unless claimed by a passenger. Pets and animals are not allowed on the vehicle. This product is a group activity. If you choose to leave the group, please inform in advance, and obtain the consent of the tour guide.
You need to sign the departure agreement form and the unfinished part will be regarded as your own abandonment. The group fee will not be refunded. Gift items in the itinerary that cannot be given away due to force majeure factors such as traffic and weather conditions or personal reasons may be subject to change. Please understand that the fees will not be refunded. Most travelers can participate This experience requires good weather.
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start date of the experience. Read reviews, discover additonal experiences or contact Jupiter Legend Corporation on Tripadvisor. Pass by. Stanley Park. See details. Vancouver ChinaTown. Steam Clock. FlyOver Canada. Granville Island. You’ll return to the starting point.
About the operator. By: Jupiter Legend Corporation. Got to see interesting places that we would not have visited without going on this tour. It’s a great trip but incredibly long. Luckily we had Hao who is an excellent driver who knows the area well and ma …. I like this trip very much. I didn’t go to the sky walk to the weather, but the scenery is still beautiful. Thank y …. Jorge M. Very nice, confortable, a very willing guide, beautiful places.
I recommend it. If you like German food, you can fi …. The trip is so fun. The fall was super wonderful. Nice tour guide Wendy and driver. Good experience. Very beautiful, next time I come by helicopter and boat, I will come again.
Don’t miss this tour! We were lucky enough to be the only participants on this tour so we essentially had a private tour of Chicago! Sco …. Next up, we put together a little surf-and-turf course with steak tartare toast slathered in a parm aioli and the halibut ceviche, accompanied by avocado, lime, cilantro, puffed tapioca, both sublime and impossible not to finish.
Even though we were kind of stuffed, we still had to order dessert. Give the diners what they crave and throw in something surprising. Well done. Of course, we were tempted to stay longer. You cannot truly enjoy the full flavor of this beautiful city in a quick day trip, but dipping in for a memorable meal is pretty special, too. This is a BETA experience. You may opt-out by clicking here. More From Forbes. They have a myriad of plush rooms on offer, an incredible rooftop bar with incomparable views, and countless other amenities to ensure you have an unforgettable stay in the Emerald City.
Private Rental — If having your own place to stay appeals in Seattle, then you should consider a private apartment rental during your trip. There are a number of fantastic properties to choose from, ranging from unique stays like this urban treehouse to basic one-bedroom apartments.
Click here to find the best private rentals in Seattle! Click here to browse more hotels in Seattle! A Vancouver to Seattle road trip is the perfect weekend adventure with so many things to see and do in such a short distance! Are you planning a Seattle to Vancouver drive? Have any questions about this route?
Let us know in the comments! Originally from Washington State, she is a slow traveler and digital nomad. When she isn’t writing, she is most likely befriending stray cats or sitting by the sea and daydreaming about the next adventure while eating copious amounts of fruit.
Hi On May 26 we dock in Vancouver at Saturday at 8am and plan to hire a driver to get to Seattle airport hotel around 6pm. What to do? The cable car looks like a good start. No hikes Pleasant stops and views with no stress. Table of Contents. Vancouver, Canada. View of Puget Sound. Hall of Mosses in Olympic National Park. Wenatchee in autumn. Iconic Bridge at Deception Pass. Whatcom Falls Park. International Buddhist Temple in Richmond.
Cable Car to Grouse Mountain. I am sure you can arrange shuttles to the north shore from there as well. Yes it would be feasible if you’re up with an early start. I would suggest going to Granville Island for lunch. There’s a large indoor market they’re also lots of art galleries and shops. Do-able, but could make for a long day. The Capilano Suspension Bridge is great. A few minutes up the road is Grouse Mountain. Take the tram up and enjoy a great lunch with spectacular views at the top. Or, if you are quite fit and active and want a good workout, you can actually hike up.
It’s called the Grouse Grind and it’s a very popular hike more like a grind straight up hill! Have lunch then take the tram down. If you can afford it budget wise and time wise, I’d recommend spending the night downtown and travelling back the next day. Good luck! If you’re not entirely set on Vancouver, one of the more interesting day trips from Seattle is to Victoria , BC via high-speed passenger ferry aboard the Victoria Clipper. It’s about 3 hours only slightly more than the drive from Seattle to Vancouver and the scenery is unequalled as you sail by the San Juan Islands as well as sailing into Victoria Harbour.
You might even spot an Orca pod! Border crossing times can be long, the time I went to Vancouver from Seattle, it took me like hours. Yes you can, but it is a pretty long drive, maybe take the train instead?