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10 Best Day Trips from Vancouver

10 Best Day Trips from Vancouver

Searching for the best day trips from Vancouver to go on?

Located on the west coast of Canada, Vancouver is a gorgeous city with a perfect blend of city life and nature.

You’ll find plenty of incredible restaurants and fun things to do in Vancouver, with plenty of outdoor activities and stunning scenery in and around the city.

There are tons of great opportunities for day trips from Vancouver, whether you’re in the mood for a scenic hike or kayaking on a beautiful lake!

Here are some of the best day trips to go on from Vancouver, British Columbia!

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Plan your Vancouver trip

If you’re planning a visit to Vancouver, here are some other posts to help you plan your perfect trip:


Best day trips from Vancouver


Snowmobile tour with The Adventure Group in Whistler, British Columbia!

Whistler

Whistler is an incredible destination to visit year-round, and it’s around an hour and a half drive from Vancouver.

From riding RZR off-road vehicles in the summer to snowmobiling in the winter, you’ll find so many incredible activities worth doing in Whistler!

RZR tour with The Adventure Group in Whistler, British Columbia

The drive on the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler is also absolutely breathtaking, with winding views of the Pacific Ocean, forests, and mountains.

The town itself is also super cute, with plenty of fantastic restaurants and shops to explore.

If you’re looking to do a little getaway, peep out my weekend itinerary and 3-day itinerary in Whistler!

Travel time from Vancouver: 1 hr 25 min to 1 hr 50 min drive


Guided horseback riding tour with Copper Cayuse Outfitters in Pemberton near Whistler, British Columbia

Pemberton

Drive a little further past Whistler to Pemberton, a village municipality known for its seed potatoes.

Witness the beautiful landscapes on horseback at Copper Cayuse Outfitters or go for a quick hike at Nairn Falls Provincial Park.

You can even enjoy spirits made with organic Pemberton potatoes at Pemberton Distillery!

Travel time from Vancouver: 1 hr 50 min to 2 hr 20 min drive


Hiking at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park in Mount Currie, British Columbia
The second lake, Middle Joffre Lakes.

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park

Joffre Lakes is quite a bit of a drive and quite a bit of a hike, but it’s so worth the day trip from Vancouver!

It’s about a 2 to 3 hour drive one-way, and the hike itself is around 3 hours.

You’ll get to hike to three glacier-fed lakes: Lower, Middle, and Upper Joffre Lakes.

Hiking at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park in Mount Currie, British Columbia
The third lake, Upper Joffre Lakes.

Be sure to wear proper hiking gear and pack plenty of water, whether you’re visiting during summer or winter!

We’ve done this hike twice now, and we couldn’t believe the amount of people wearing jeans and slippers or even carrying no bags or supplies at all.

Hiking Joffre Lakes Provincial Park during the winter
We didn’t pack much water the first time we hiked Joffre Lakes, but luckily we were able to eat snow to quench our thirst.

If you hike it during summer, pack bear spray (get it at Canadian Tire) and brush up on how to use it safely.

I may or may not have accidentally set off bear spray right at Adam while in our parked car one summer…

If you hike Joffre Lakes during winter, be sure to bring crampons and snow pants – it’s pretty difficult to hike back down the trail otherwise and you’ll be falling on your butt a lot!

Travel time from Vancouver: 2 hr 10 min to 2 hr 50 min drive


Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, British Columbia

Squamish

Squamish is located about an hour north of Vancouver, you’ll actually pass it on the way to Whistler!

The town is surrounded by a myriad of beautiful forests, lakes, and mountains, making it a fantastic spot for all kinds of outdoor adventures.

Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, British Columbia
A view from the top of Howe Sound, the southernmost glacial fjord in North America!

You can do all kinds of fun outdoor activities from hiking, to white-water rafting, to rock climbing.

You can head up the Sea to Sky Gondola for stunning views and visit Shannon Falls, one of BC’s tallest waterfalls.

Surprisingly, you’ll also find some pretty fantastic food spots and restaurants in Squamish!

Travel time from Vancouver: 45 min to 1 hr 5 min drive


Stawamus Chief Trail

If you’re up for an epic day hike, you can take on the Stawamus Chief Trail near Squamish.

Also known as the Chief, this challenging hike to three scenic summits is truly an uphill battle, and you’ll even be climbing chains and ladders along the way.

The whole hike is 7 kilometres and takes around 6 hours for the average person, but you can opt to just hike to the first peak, which is 4 kilometres and takes around 2 to 3 hours.

Definitely wear proper hiking gear and bring plenty of water.

Columbia Newton Ridge Hiking Boot
Columbia Newton Ridge Hiking Boot

I’ve been wearing my Columbia Newtons for 5 years now, and they’re still in pristine condition. They’re waterproof and they provide fantastic support for hikes.

Osprey Tempest 20L Backpack
Osprey Tempest 20L Backpack

If you do a lot of hiking, a lightweight hiking backpack is essential. I’ve been using my Osprey Tempest for 2 years now, and Adam has the men’s version (Talon 22).

Travel time from Vancouver: 45 min to 1 hr 5 min drive


Goldern Ears Provincial Park in British Columbia

Golden Ears Provincial Park

Golden Ears is one of the largest parks in British Columbia with plenty of stunning views, and it’s under an hour drive from Vancouver.

Alouette Lake is absolutely gorgeous and perfect for swimming in or stand-up paddle-boarding during the summer months!

Goldern Ears Provincial Park in British Columbia

You can rent canoes and kayaks on-site or bring your own.

Day passes are required to visit some areas of the park, and you can reserve two days ahead of your visit.

Travel time from Vancouver: 40 min to 55 min drive


Victoria, British Columbia
Photo by Vlad Vasnetsov

Victoria

Victoria is the charming capital city of British Columbia, and it’s located on Vancouver Island.

The hour and a half ferry ride is the best and most affordable way to travel to Victoria, and you can take in the gorgeous city skyline views.

If you’d prefer to get there quicker, you can also take a 35-minute seaplane flight from Vancouver to Victoria for about double the cost of the ferry.

The city has a rich history with plenty of stunning views and historical sites to visit, and you can do fun activities like whale watching or a seaplane tour!

If you’re a big foodie, you’ll definitely be interested in joining a guided food and history tour or a craft brewery tour.

Travel time from Vancouver: 1 hr 30 min ferry, 35 min seaplane flight, or 5 hr bus ride


Harrison Hot Springs in British Columbia
Photo by Adi K

Harrison Hot Springs

Located about an hour and a half drive east of Vancouver is Harrison Hot Springs, a small resort town on Harrison Lake, known for its natural hot springs and beautiful forest and mountain views.

The town is located on the shores of Harrison Lake and is surrounded by forests and mountains.

Treat yo’self to some relaxation at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa, or go on a hike on one of the gorgeous trails in the area.

Travel time from Vancouver: 1 hr 20 min to 1 hr 40 min drive


The gorge at Lynn Canyon in North Vancouver, British Columbia

North Vancouver

Looking for a short day trip to go on from downtown Vancouver?

Also known as the North Shore, there are plenty of fun things to do in North Vancouver – it’s a quieter part of Vancouver with plenty of beautiful nature to explore.

Explore Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, hike through Lynn Canyon (which also has a suspension bridge), or shop and dine at Lonsdale Quay Market.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in North Vancouver, British Columbia
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is especially magical during the holidays with all the pretty lights.

While you’re in North Vancouver, definitely hit up BjornBar Bakery for their incredible coffee, sandwiches, and pastries!

If you don’t have a vehicle or don’t feel like driving, you can even do this fun guided tour of the North Shore, which includes admission to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and Grouse Mountain.

Travel time from Vancouver: 12 to 20 min drive


Richmond

Dine your heart out in Richmond, one of the best cities in the country for authentic Asian cuisine.

It’s also known as the best place to eat Chinese food outside of China because of the large Chinese population!

Explore on your own and hit up some of the best Asian restaurants in Richmond, including G-men Ramen for ramen and Chicko Chicken for Korean fried chicken.

Or, go on a guided Asian eats walking tour where you can sample everything from Cantonese-style dim sum to Taiwanese eats!

Travel time from Vancouver: 20 to 35 min drive


Best day trips from Vancouver:

  1. Whistler
  2. Pemberton
  3. Joffre Lakes Provincial Park
  4. Squamish
  5. Stawamus Chief Trail
  6. Golden Ears Provincial Park
  7. Victoria
  8. Harrison Hot Springs
  9. North Vancouver
  10. Richmond

These were some of the best day trips to go on near Vancouver, British Columbia!

No matter where you go on a day trip near Vancouver, you’ll find plenty of beautiful scenery and fun activities to enjoy.

Have you gone on any of these day trips near Vancouver? What are some other awesome road trips to go on in and around Vancouver? Let me know on Twitter or Instagram!

Plan your Vancouver trip

If you’re planning a visit to Vancouver, here are some other posts to help you plan your perfect trip:

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Jessica Lam | Toronto lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and travel blogger | Diary of a Toronto Girl, a Canadian lifestyle blog


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Best day trips from Vancouver, British Columbia
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