Day trips Vancouver

Exploring Southwestern British Columbia from Vancouver is a great way to spend a vacation. If you are hosting visitors or are a regular visitor to Vancovuer then a day-trip to somewhere nearby can be a great change and highlight of a trip.

Whale Watching
Whale Watching is possible from 2 popular locations: Granville Island and Steveston, in Richmond. You can take a guided boat tour from either of these locations into the Georgia Strait.

Horseshoe Bay
The community of Horseshoe Bay is the ferry departure point for BC Ferries going to the Sunshine Coast, Bowen Island and Nanaimo. Horseshoe Bay can be reached by public transport bus and by driving. The best (scenic) route is through West Vancouver along Marine Drive. Horseshoe Bay has a collection of nice restaurants overlooking the small harbour.

Gibsons and Sechelt
A short ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay takes you to the Sunshine Coast. The beautiful towns of Gibsons and Sechelt are just a short drive and also accessible by public transport. Both Gibsons and Sechelt are located on the coast and are a great place to visit to shop, stay and relax.

Bowen Island
Bowen Island is located close to West Vancouver and accessible by ferry from Horseshoe Bay (15 minutes). Another suggested way to get to Bowen Island is to rent a boat from West Vancouver or Granville Island. The island is less than an hour by boat from either of these locations and picnic locations are located very close to the harbour at Snug Cove.
Bowen Island has beaches and hiking trails as well as some interesting shops and nice restaurants.

Fort Langley
The historic village of Fort Langley (and Greater Vancouver Zoo) is a short drive on Highway 1 south-eat from Vancouver. Fort Langley is home to many cultural events and also quite a few historic attractions including: Aldor Acres, BC Farm Machinery & Agricultural Museum, Chief Sepass Theatre - Langley Fine Arts School, CN Station, Dogwood Christmas Tree Farm, Fort Langley Community Hall, Fort-to-Fort Trail, Fort Wine Co., Langley Centennial Museum, and Thunderbird Show Park.
The Fort Langley National Historic Site of Canada is a historic village depicting the colonial period of Canada's history.

Deep Cove
Just 15 minutes north of Vancouver (east of North Vancouver) is the community of Deep Cove. Located at the mouth of Indian Arm, Deep Cove is a popular spot to rent kayaks and canoes and explore the calm and quite waters nearby.

45 minutes north of Vancouver on Highway 99 (Sea to Sky Highway) is the city of Squamish. Located at the head of Howe Sound, Squamish is a popular destination for rock climbers and outdoor enthusiasts. River rafting and kayaking is a year-round activity in Squamish.
There is also the Railway Heritage Park, BC Mining Museum, and nearby are Shannon Falls Provincial Park and Alice Lake Provincial Park which both boast hiking trails and peaceful spots to relax.

Further along the highway from Squamish is the mountain resort town of Whistler. Known for the famous ski resort Whistler Blackcomb, Whistler is a year-round tourist destination.
In the Winter there is skiing, snowboarding, snowmobiling all of which often carry on into the summer months due to the long lasting snow fields.
In Summer months Whistler is filled with people hiking, golfing, climbing, mountain biking and ATVing.
Whistler is a mountain town surrounded by outdoor activities and related events but there is also things to do year round for people who are looking to do less active things. There are a number of parks, beaches, easy walking trails and also the Alpine-styled Whistler Village which is filled with shops and restaurants.
More about Whistler

The Provincial Capital of British Columbia is Victoria, located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Accessible by ferry from Tsawwassen (45 minutes south of Vancouver) and also by floatplane and helicopter from downtown Vancouver to downtown Victoria.
Victoria is home to the oldest Chinatown outside of Asia and most visitor attractions, including the BC Museum and Provincial Legislative Building, are located along the edges of the Inner Harbour.
More about Victoria

Ferries from Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay go to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island as does the passenger ferry, the Harbour Lynx, from downtown Vancouver. Nanaimo is an industrius city and also known for its outdoor activities including watersports, scuba diving, mountain biking and so on.
More about Nanaimo

Fraser Valley
West on Highway 1 (Trans Canada Highway) from Vancouver takes you to Abbotsford and on to the Fraser Valley. The Fraser Valley is a popular hunting, fishing and camping destination and also the main access route from the populated Greater Vancouver to the interior of British Columbia and rest of Canada.
Towns in the Fraser Valley include Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Rosedale, Agassiz, Harrison Hot Springs and Hope.

South of the border into the USA and Washington State is Seattle. Seattle is about a 3 hour drive, 4 hours by bus but can be longer if the border is busy. Busy times include the weekend and holidays. Seattle is also accessible by train from Vancouver but departures are limited so make sure you check the time and date works for your trip.

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