The thriving west coast seaport of Vancouver is one of the top destinations in British Columbia. With its mountainous landscape, excellent dining and vibrant art, music and theatre scene, there’s no shortage of things to do in the city. If you’re looking for something a little different and wondering what are the best day trips from Vancouver, here are some ideas to make the most of your trip.
With its diverse landscape and abundance of wildlife, Vancouver Island is a prime destination for nature getaways. You can see everything from snow-capped peaks to pristine beaches, wild orcas and beautiful black bears, and everything in between. The towns in Vancouver Island offer an array of activities and attractions as well, such as charming seaside towns and vibrant art galleries. If you’re taking a trip to the island, be sure to visit Victoria, which boasts numerous outdoor excursions and fascinating historic and cultural sites. You can get to Vancouver Island by a short ferry from the mainland.
The small village of Harrison Hot Springs is great for a little quiet and indulgence on your trip to Vancouver. Located on the banks of a lake, the village boasts mineral-rich hot springs and a myriad of outdoor adventures, such as hiking, biking and water sports. You could also take an ecotour to spot wildlife like orcas or humpback whales, explore Sasquatch Provincial Park or spend your time in the area’s shops and restaurants for a tranquil but upscale experience. Harrison Hot Springs is just a short driving distance from Vancouver.
If you’re looking to get out of Vancouver, just 1.5 hours away is Bridal Falls, a charming town in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia. It has many restaurants and lodging options, but it’s best known for its spectacular natural wonder, the Bridal Veil Falls. The falls are not only one of the highest in Canada, but they have a stunning veil-like effect while in motion. You can reach the falls by hiking and biking trails in Bridal Veil Falls Provincial Park, a vast wilderness area that surrounds the falls.
If you like winter sports getaways, Whistler is one of the best day trips close by Vancouver. It’s home to Whistler Blackcomb, a popular ski resort that offers everything from skiing and snowboarding to tobogganing and snowshoeing. The village has a lot of charm all its own, thanks to its chalet-like atmosphere and quaint amenities. You could spend your time enjoying the landscape, or visit local cultural attractions like Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre and the Audain Art Museum. Whistler is just a short driving distance from Vancouver.
If you’re trying to figure out where to go near to Vancouver, Squamish is a great option. The tranquil town is backed by picturesque mountains and beautiful, diverse wilderness. You could hike among waterfalls like Shannon Falls, take a ride on the Sea to Sky Gondola to take in the views of the landscape or stop for photos at Stawamus Chief, a dramatic granite monolith. The Britannia Mine Museum is another popular attraction, which takes you on an underground train tour of the old mining tunnels.
Just a short distance over the border is Bellingham, a coastal city in Washington State, that’s perfect for a day trip as it takes a little over an hour to drive. The city is a ferry port for Alaska and offers an array of fun activities, such as skiing on the Mount Baker volcano, learning about regional history and artwork at the Whatcom Museum and exploring the interactive science exhibits in SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention. You could also spend some time hiking and biking in the parklands, such as Larrabee State Park and Whatcom Falls Park.
Located on the outskirts of Vancouver, Langley is a charming city that’s just around 45 minutes driving distance. If you like wine, Langley’s position in the Fraser Valley provides multiple wineries and breweries nearby. You can tour the wineries yourself or take an organized tour to avoid anyone having to drive. You could also visit the Fort Langley National Historic Site, the former Hudson Bay Company’s fort and a fascinating structure near the small historic town of Fort Langley on the Fraser River.
One of the best day trips from Vancouver is the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, located only minutes away in North Vancouver. The park offers trails through lush coastal rainforest, a totem pole park, multiple restaurants and cultural exhibits related to the First Nations people. The highlight of the trip is the Capilano Suspension Bridge, a popular bridge attraction that’s suspended 70 metres above the Capilano River. While braving the walk across the bridge, you’ll get unbelievable views of the river and the ancient forest that surrounds it.
Ready to plan your adventure?
Vancouver is an excellent destination on its own, but it also serves as a wonderful base camp to explore the natural beauty of British Columbia. Now that you have ideas and inspiration for fun-filled day trips near Vancouver, visit Expedia to check out Vancouver vacations and get ready for your adventure!