35 Fun Day Trips From Vancouver

Golden Ears Provincial Park

Last Updated on April 10, 2023

Vancouver is a fantastic destination to visit. With so much to do in the city, it feels like you could never run out of things to experience, making it easy to forget about the surrounding area. However, while there are several awesome things to do in Vancouver, there is also a lot to discover outside of it. If you are looking for some fun day trips to take from Vancouver, BC, look no further.

We have put together a list of some of the best day trips that will keep you entertained and out of the city. From exploring charming small towns to visiting world-famous attractions, there is something for everyone on this list. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and explore all that British Columbia has to offer!

But before you go, we should tell you that many of the places listed below will leave you wanting more time to explore. Do not say we did not warn you!

35 Fun Day Trips From Vancouver

Table Of Contents

Peak 2 Peak


Just a short drive from Vancouver, BC is the world-famous ski resort town of Whistler. This day trip is perfect for those who love to hit the slopes or enjoy some winter activities. Even if you do not ski or snowboard, there are plenty of other things to do in Whistler like shopping, dining, and exploring the beautiful mountain scenery.

There is a ton to do in Whistler when there is no snow on the ground as well. In the summer you can go for a hike or bike ride on one of the many trails, go golfing, white water rafting, or ziplining. There is also an array of shops and restaurants to keep you busy.

Whistler is a popular day trip destination for Vancouverites!

Things to do in Whistler:

  • Peak to Peak 360 Experience – You will feel like you are in another world as the World Record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola takes off and sets your mind on a 360° experience. You will be able to see two mountains, and 50+ km of hiking trails with vistas that overload any senses: all while experiencing early summer snow walls changing over time or blooming wildflowers and ancient glaciers.
  • Enjoy the thrills of rafting down Green River.
  • Fly like a superhero with one of the many ziplining options in Whistler, including the longest zipline in North America.
  • Get that adrenaline pumping at the Whistler downhill mountain bike park.
  • Jump off a perfectly good bridge at Whistler Bungee.
  • Explore an open-air art gallery made from abandoned trains at the Whistler train wreck hike.
  • Admire bears in their natural habitat on a bear-watching tour.
  • Go off-roading in a RZR or ATV.
  • Enjoy the mountain scenery when you tee off at world-class golf courses.
  • Take a heli-tour over the Coast Mountains.
  • Relax for the day at the popular Scandinave Spa.
  • Wander incredible multimedia displays at Vallea Lumina, Whistler’s Forest of Enchantment.
  • Explore the past at Parkhurst Ghost Town.
  • Dance in the treetops at Whistler’s Treetop Adventure course.
  • Experience the real Olympics bobsled track.
  • Learn Biathlon Rifle Shooting At Whistler Olympic Park.

Whistler is a location where we recommend spending at least a weekend.

Read Next: 50 Fun Things To Do In Whistler In Summer


If you are looking for a day trip that is a little more low-key, then head to Victoria, BC. This charming city is located on Vancouver Island and is known for its British colonial architecture, gardens, and waterfront views. Take a stroll through the world-famous Butchart Gardens, visit the Parliament Buildings, view the totem poles at Thunderbird Park, and enjoy afternoon tea at one of the many quaint cafes.

For a truly unique experience, do not miss high tea at the Fairmont Empress. This elegant hotel overlooks Victoria Harbour and serves up a delicious selection of finger sandwiches, pastries, scones, and tea.

Whether you are looking to relax or explore, Victoria has something for everyone.

Victoria is another place with a lot to do. If you can spare more than one day, you will not be disappointed.

Granville Island

For a day trip that is fun for the whole family, head to Granville Island. It is not truly an island, but this vibrant neighborhood is home to an indoor public market, art galleries, shops, restaurants, and more. There is also a water park, Kid’s Market, and playground for the kids.

Granville Island is easily accessible by public transit from Vancouver and is the perfect place to spend a day exploring. Add more fun to the adventure by taking an Aquabus to get to and from Granville Island.

Harrison Hot Springs

Harrison Hot Springs is a beautiful day trip destination in the Harrison River Valley, located just a few hours from Vancouver. This small town is situated on Harrison Lake and is known for its hot springs, which are said to have healing properties. You must be a guest of the Harrison Hot Springs resort to use the hot springs there.

However, there is more to Harrison Hot Springs than just the healing waters. There are also plenty of hiking trails in the area if you want to explore the great outdoors, and during the summer you will find a plethora of water sports options, kayaking, and boat tours. In the summer, you will also want to stop at the gorgeous Green Point day-use area for a swim.

The village of Harrison Hot Springs is quieter in the winter months, but the nearby Sasquatch Mountain is popular for winter sports.

Do not miss Muddy Waters Cafe at their scenic lake-front location with a warm and welcoming atmosphere. With delicious baking and tasty meal options, using local products whenever possible, your taste buds will thank you.

Harrison Mills Eagle Viewing

The largest winter eagle migration happens in British Columbia, right down the road in Harrison Mills. Every day between November and March, visitors can watch as hundreds of bald eagles congregate in the area to feast on spawning salmon.

This is an incredible sight to see and a great day trip for those interested in birdwatching or photography.

There are a few different eagle viewing areas located around Harrison Mills, so be sure to do your research before you go.


Pemberton is a small town located in the Sea to Sky Corridor, about an hour’s drive from Vancouver. This day trip destination is perfect for those who love the great outdoors. There are plenty of hiking and biking trails in the area, as well as opportunities for fishing, horseback riding, and kayaking. If you’re looking to escape the city for a day and explore some of British Columbia’s stunning natural scenery, Pemberton is the place to go.

If you are in Pemberton in August, you will not want to miss the maze of 100,000 smiling sunflowers!

Read Next: Best Stops Along The Sea To Sky Highway (From A Local)

Mamquam Falls


If you are looking for an incredible adventure destination, look no further than Squamish, British Columbia. This picturesque town is nestled between the Vancouver area and Whistler, and it boasts some of the most stunning scenery in the province. From hiking and mountain biking to rock climbing and kayaking, there are plenty of ways to get your heart pumping in Squamish. And if you are looking for a break from all the activity, there’s no shortage of beautiful places to just sit back and take in the view. Whether you’re a seasoned adventurer or just getting started, Squamish is sure to have something for you.

Don’t miss the short hike to the beautiful Mamquam Falls and Alice Lake Provincial Park.


If you’re looking for a unique day trip outside of Vancouver, be sure to check out Steveston. This historic fishing village is located just a short drive away and is renowned for its fresh seafood. You’ll find plenty of seafood markets and restaurants where you can buy and enjoy some of the best fish and chips in the province. In addition to its delicious food, Steveston offers a beautiful waterfront setting that’s perfect for a leisurely stroll. Be sure to check out the boats while you’re in the area – you might even get lucky and see one come in with a fresh catch! Whether you’re a foodie or simply looking for a relaxing day by the water, Steveston is definitely worth a visit.

Also, do not miss checking out the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, a National Historic Site of Canada.

Fort Langley National Historic Site

Fort Langley

Fort Langley is a historic village located in the Fraser Valley, about an hour’s drive from Vancouver. This day trip destination is perfect for history buffs or anyone who wants to learn more about the early days of British Columbia. Take a walk through the streets of Fort Langley and learn about the town’s history at the Fort Langley National Historic Site. There are also plenty of charming shops and restaurants in the area if you need a break from all the learning.

Bowen Island

Bowen Island is a beautiful day trip destination located just a short ferry ride from Vancouver. This small island is known for its picturesque scenery, hiking trails, and beaches. Visitors can explore the island’s many trails, relax on one of its sandy beaches, or enjoy a meal at one of its restaurants. There are also a number of small shops and galleries on the island, making it the perfect place to find unique souvenirs. With its exceptional natural beauty and variety of activities, Bowen Island is an ideal destination for a summer day trip.

Sunshine Coast

The Sunshine Coast is a 180-kilometer paradise tucked into the southwest corner of mainland British Columbia. The shoreline extends from Howe Sound to Desolation Sound and is only accessible by boat, ferry, or plane.

The Sunshine Coast is a beautiful day trip destination. This coastal region is known for its stunning scenery, beaches, and hiking trails. In particular, the Sunshine Coast is well-known for its dramatic coastline, which features rocky cliffs, sheltered coves, and pretty PNW beaches. Spend some time immersing yourself in vibrant communities, reconnecting with nature, and unwinding in one of BC’s most beautiful settings.

Whether you are looking for a relaxing day by the sea or an adventure in the great outdoors, the Sunshine Coast has something to offer everyone.

Golden Ears Provincial Park

Golden Ears Provincial Park is a day trip destination located just outside of Vancouver in Maple Ridge. This large park is home to hiking trails, lakes, and waterfalls. It’s the perfect place to escape the city and enjoy some time in nature.

The park is especially popular in the summer when people can cool off in Alouette Lake or take a hike, like the popular trail to Gold Creek Falls. There are also plenty of trails for all levels of hikers, from easy walks to more challenging hikes. No matter what you’re looking for, Golden Ears Provincial Park is sure to have something for everyone.

If you visit during the peak summer months, you may need to secure a day pass off of the BCParks website.

Golden Ears Provincial Park is one of our favorite places to go camping every summer. Reserve your spots early because they fill up FAST!

Read Next: The Ultimate Guide To Kid Friendly Hikes Near Vancouver

Capilano Suspension Bridge

The Capilano Suspension Bridge is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vancouver. Spanning across the Capilano River, the bridge provides stunning views of the river and the North Vancouver area. The bridge is also home to a variety of shops and restaurants, making it the perfect place to spend a day exploring. With so much to see and do, the Capilano Suspension Bridge is a must-visit destination for any traveler to Vancouver. The bridge itself is an engineering marvel, and the views from the top are simply breathtaking.

Be sure to take a walk across the bridge and take in all the sights and sounds of this incredible forest experience.

Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vancouver. Located in North Vancouver, this popular day-trip destination features a gondola ride to the top of the mountain, where you can enjoy stunning views of the city and the surrounding area. Grouse Mountain also offers a variety of other activities during the summer, including hiking, biking, ziplining, and bird watching. During winter, Grouse Mountain becomes a winter wonderland for all of your favorite winter activities and the Peak of Christmas.

During the summer the Grouse Grind is a popular way to get up the mountain, with a gondola ride back down. Beware though, it is not an easy hike. Arrive wearing comfortable clothes and ready to get a big leg workout.

Whether you’re looking for a breathtaking view or an adrenaline-pumping adventure, Grouse Mountain is sure to have something for everyone.

Sturgeon Fishing

If you’re looking for a fun and unique way to spend a day, look no further than sturgeon fishing on the Fraser River. This popular day trip from Vancouver is perfect for those who love to fish. Go on a guided fishing tour to try and catch one of these massive creatures. There are several locations to get out on the water.

Sturgeon fishing can be done from the shore or from a boat, and many anglers consider it to be a challenging and rewarding experience.

Sturgeon fishing in British Columbia is catch and release, so you can feel good knowing that you are helping to preserve this species.

Cypress Mountain

Cypress Mountain is a popular year-round destination for both locals and visitors to Vancouver.

In the winter, the mountain is a popular place to go skiing and snowboarding, with runs suitable for all levels of experience. You will not want to miss the magical Lights to the Lodge, where a snowshoe trail is lit after dark.

During the summer, the mountain is open for hiking and mountain biking. Also, do not miss a thrilling ride on the mountain coaster.

Whether you are looking for a challenging hike or an exciting day on the slopes, Cypress Mountain has something to offer everyone.

The views from the top of the mountain are stunning, and on a clear day, you can see all the way to the city.

Deep Cove

Deep Cove is a day trip destination located just outside of Vancouver in North Vancouver. This small village is known for its picturesque scenery, kayaking, and canoeing. There are also a few restaurants and cafes if you need to take a break from all the exploring. Be sure to pack a lunch so you can enjoy a picnic by the water.

Deep Cove is also one of the best places to find starfish near Vancouver.

The Quarry Rock hike is extremely popular and offers stunning views of Deep Cove and the surrounding area. This trail is currently closed, but check the trail website for updates on its opening.

Also, do not miss out on grabbing some famous Honey Doughnuts & Goodies; they are legendary and taste like heaven.

Horseshoe Bay

Horseshoe Bay is a day trip destination located on the western tip of West Vancouver, at the entrance to Howe Sound and Sunshine Coast. If you want to see Vancouver Island, Bowen Island, or the Sunshine Coast, you will need to catch the ferry at Horseshoe Bay.

Horseshoe Bay is a pleasant destination to visit even if you don’t intend on taking the boat. Spend the day at Horseshoe Bay and have lunch there.

The Trolls Restaurant is a popular option for a delicious meal, and there are a few delicious bakery options in town. Skip rocks at the rocky beach, and the kids will love the newly renovated playground that will soon be re-opening.

If you are not catching a ferry, you will need a little more adventure to fill up a day trip. While you are in the area, Whytecliff Park offers stunning views of Howe Sound and Bowen Island. At low tide, climb the rock path to the little island where you can spot seals. Whytecliff Park is also one of the most popular scuba diving spots in Vancouver. Whytecliff Park is a beautiful place to explore both above and below the water, and it is no wonder that it is one of Vancouver’s most popular spots.

Next, head to Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver, located in a residential neighborhood. It is a popular place due to the easy trails, gorgeous forest, and stunning views. Plus, it is a National Historic Site of Canada.

South Surrey Beaches

Another great day trip option is to spend the day at the beach in South Surrey. The most popular beaches are Crescent Beach and White Rock Beach.

Crescent Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Surrey.  The water is perfect for swimming, boating, and windsurfing. There is also a large grassy area perfect for picnics, frisbee, and sunbathing. The beach is very family-friendly and during summer there are lifeguards on in the swimming area, but only during designated hours. Crescent beach is the perfect place to spend a summer day!

Cresent Beach is also one of the best places to find starfish near Vancouver at low tide.

White Rock beach is one of the most popular beaches in the Surrey area. The beach is rocky at high tide, but reveals a PNW dream at low tide, with stunning views of the nearby mountains. There are also plenty of amenities on the main strip, including restaurants, bars, and shops. White Rock Beach is a great family destination by day but is also well known as a party location by night.

The highlight of White Rock beach is definitely the pier. Stretching over half a kilometer into the ocean, it is the perfect place to take a leisurely stroll or watch the waves crash against the rocks below. Whether you are looking to relax or have some fun, White Rock beach is sure to have something for you.

Do not forget to get some ice cream to complete your beach day.

Cultus Lake Waterpark & Adventure Park

Cultus Lake Waterpark & Adventure Park is a day-trip destination located just outside of Vancouver in Chilliwack, within the resort town of Cultus Lake. This popular destination is perfect for those who love the outdoors. The waterpark has slides, a wave pool, and a lazy river.

Cultus Lake Adventure Park is an outdoor amusement park with mini-golf, a roller coaster, and a variety of other fun rides. Either option will give you a fun day out.

Extend your stay in the area and have two full days of fun!

Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park

Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park is a day-trip destination located just outside of Vancouver in, you guessed it, Chilliwack. This popular destination is perfect for those who love hiking and camping. There are many trails to explore in the park and stunning views of the lake.

Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park is also a fantastic place to camp during the summer.

One of the most popular hikes in Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park is Lindeman Lake.

Sea To Sky Gondola

Sea to Sky Gondola is located in Squamish, British Columbia. The gondola takes passengers from the base of Howe Sound up to the summit of Sky Pilot Mountain. The journey takes approximately ten minutes and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains and ocean.

The Sea to Sky Gondola is open year-round and offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy. In the summer, there is hiking and mountain biking, and in the winter, there is skiing, snowshoeing, and tubing.

There is also a restaurant at the top of the gondola, the Sky Pilot Eatery, which offers panoramic views of Howe Sound. The Sea to Sky Gondola is a great way to experience the beauty of Squamish and is an adventurer’s paradise.

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is a day trip destination located just outside of Vancouver in Pemberton. This popular day-trip destination is perfect for those who love hiking and camping. There are three lakes to explore in the park and stunning views of the mountains.

The first lake, Lower Joffre Lake, is a quick walk from the parking lot, making it the perfect place for a swim or a paddle. The second lake, Middle Joffre Lake, is even more beautiful, with views of glaciers and mountaintops. The third lake, Upper Joffre Lake, is the most popular spot for hiking and camping. From here, you can get some of the best views in the park.

Whether you are looking for a relaxing day by the water or an adventurous hike, Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is the perfect destination.

Wine Tours in Langley

Langley is a beautiful day trip destination located just outside of Vancouver in Langley. This popular destination is perfect for those who love wine tasting and exploring different wineries.

There are many wineries to visit in the area, each with its own unique style and flavor. The scenery is stunning, with gorgeous views of the countryside. You can spend the day walking around the vineyards, tasting different wines, and enjoying the fresh air.

Other well-known wineries include Backyard Vineyards, Fort Wine Company, Neck of the Woods Winery, Township 7 Winery, Vista D’oro Farms & Winery. Chaberton Estate Winery is the oldest and biggest winery in British Columbia’s Fraser Valley, as well as the fifth-largest winery in all of British Columbia.

Langley is proof that you do not need to go all the way to the Okanagan to enjoy wine tasting. At the end of the day, you’ll have a new appreciation for Canadian wine.

Britannia Mine Museum

The Britannia Mine Museum is a great place to learn about the history of mining in British Columbia. Located in Squamish, the museum is situated on the site of the former Britannia Mine, which was once one of the largest mines in the world. The museum offers a variety of exhibits and tours that showcase the hard work and ingenuity of the men and women who worked at the mine. Visitors can also try their hand at panning for gold, and there’s even a replica mine shaft that kids can explore. With its stunning location and fascinating exhibits, the Britannia Mine Museum is sure to be a hit with everyone in the family.

Bellingham, WA

If you are looking for a hidden gem in the Pacific Northwest, look no further than Bellingham, Washington. Just a short drive from Vancouver, BC, this charming city is more than just a cross-border shopping destination. It is home to an abundance of parks and trails. Whether you are looking to hike through towering evergreens or stroll along a peaceful beach path, you will find it all in Bellingham. And with its convenient location, Bellingham makes the perfect day trip for those who want to explore the great outdoors.

Hell’s Gate Airtram

Situated in the Fraser Canyon, Hell’s Gate Airtram is one of British Columbia’s most popular tourist attractions. The airtram takes passengers on a short but stunning journey over the turbulent waters of the Fraser River, providing breathtaking views of Hell’s Gate itself – a narrow gorge where the river is forced through a narrow opening.

The air tram itself is a marvel of engineering and has been operational since 1965. It consists of two large cabins that seat up to 36 passengers each and is suspended from a central cable that runs across the top of the gorge. The journey lasts just a few minutes, but it is an unforgettable experience.

If you are looking for an adrenaline-fuelled day out, Hell’s Gate Airtram is definitely worth a visit!

If you have extra time, you may want to include stopping at the Othello Tunnels and the historic Alexandra Bridge.


Nanaimo is a city located on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It has a population of about 90,000 people and is the second largest city on the island. Nanaimo is a popular tourist destination due to its proximity to Vancouver and its many natural attractions, such as beaches, forests, and parks. The city is also home to several museums, art galleries, and historical sites. Visitors to Nanaimo can enjoy a variety of activities, such as hiking, biking, golfing, and fishing. There are also numerous restaurants and shops in the city center. Whether you are looking for an adventurous vacation or a relaxing getaway, Nanaimo has something to offer everyone.

Cross-Border Shopping

For anyone who loves a good deal, cross-border shopping from Vancouver to Washington is a great way to enjoy a day shopping. The Seattle Premium Outlets are worth the drive.

U.S. customs allows shoppers to bring only a certain worth of goods back into the country duty-free, depending on how long they have been gone. It is important to know your limits.

Keep in mind that wait times at the border can vary depending on the time of day and day of the week, so it is best to plan ahead. With a little bit of preparation, cross-border shopping can be a fun and rewarding experience.

Porteau Cove Provincial Park

If you are looking for a beautiful place to enjoy the outdoors, then you will want to check out Porteau Cove Provincial Park. Located just a short drive from Vancouver, the park offers stunning views of Howe Sound. With its sandy beaches,  deep blue waters, and one of the best views along the Sea to Sky highway, the park is a truly unique place. Visitors can enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, and picnicking in the park.

A sunken ship has been used to provide interest for scuba diving and attract marine life. It also includes a number of artificial reefs.

The main draw of Porteau Cove is the historic ferry terminal, which has been transformed into a pedestrian pier. One of the finest views along the entire Sea to Sky Highway may be found on the pier, where you can take a walk.

Galiano Island

While the Gulf Islands of British Columbia are better for at least a weekend getaway, Galiano Island is one to consider doing as a day trip from Vancouver. It is only a 40-minute ferry ride, however, the ferry schedule will dictate how long you will have on the island. Take the first ferry on and the last ferry off for the most time. Also, make a reservation to be sure you will not be left behind by a full ferry.

Also, there is no public transportation on Galiano Island, so to make the most of your time for a day trip, you will want to drive onto the ferry.

Go Whale Watching

Vancouver is a beautiful city with a lot to offer, but sometimes it’s nice to get out of the city and explore the natural wonders of British Columbia. A whale-watching tour is a perfect way to do just that.

These tours depart from Vancouver and head into the Strait of Georgia, where you’ll have the chance to see orcas, humpback whales, and other marine life in their natural habitat.

The guides are knowledgeable and passionate about whales, and they’re always happy to answer any questions you might have. Plus, the scenery is simply breathtaking.

The peak season for whale watching is between May and October, when the salmon run migrates, giving you the best chance of seeing whales.

Point Roberts, Washington

Point Roberts, Washington is a unique community in the Pacific Northwest. Situated on a peninsula that juts south into Canada, Point Roberts is only accessible by land from the United States.

In addition to its proximity to Vancouver and Seattle, Point Roberts is also home to a number of golf courses, parks, and marinas, making it a popular destination for both tourists and locals alike.

There are several options for outdoor adventuring, including cycling, hiking, and beach combing. PNW beaches may be rugged, but at low tide, the ocean treasures are amazing.

There are only a few restaurants in Point Roberts, and some are seasonal, so double-check ahead of time when you are planning your trip so you know what to expect.

Photo: Luke Lawreszuk, Elfin Lakes


Garibaldi Provincial Park

Garibaldi Provincial Park is a beautiful, natural oasis located just a short drive from Vancouver, Canada. The park is home to towering mountains, pristine lakes, and old-growth forests, making it a popular destination for hikers, campers, and nature lovers. With so much to see and do, it is no wonder that Garibaldi Provincial Park is one of the most popular parks in the province. Whether you’re looking for an easy day hike or a challenging backpacking trip, you will find what you’re looking for in this stunning park. So come on out and explore all that Garibaldi Provincial Park has to offer!

Cascade Falls

Fraser Valley Waterfall Chasing

The Fraser Valley is the area surrounding Metro Vancouver, which extends from Mission to Abbotsford and Hope. The region also comprises Kent, Cultus Lake, Chilliwack, and Harrison Hot Springs.

There are many great waterfalls in the Fraser Valley for a day trip or two. Read our post about the Fraser Valley Waterfall Road Trip to help plan your waterfall adventures.

Our favorites include Cascade Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Flood Falls.

Tips For Taking Day Trips From Vancouver

  • It is worth it to make a ferry reservation when available, allowing you to really make the most of your time and ensure you have a ride back to Vancouver.
  • Dress in layers. British Columbia can really go through multiple seasons in a day!
  • If crossing the border, check rules and regulations for what you are permitted to take across and bring back at the end of your adventure.
  • If you are exploring beyond the core of Vancouver on your own, a vehicle is a must. Pick up and drop off your vehicle at Vancouver International Airport if you are flying into Vancouver.

Where To Stay In Vancouver

  • You will want to pay special attention to where your hotel is located.
  • Like other big cities, downtown Vancouver hotels will charge high parking fees, upwards of $50 a night.
  • For downtown hotels, we love the Pan Pacific and Fairmont Waterfront.


These are just a few of the many great day trips that you can take from Vancouver, BC. These 35  fun day trips are perfect for anyone looking to explore the area and experience all that it has to offer. From historic villages to beautiful parks and PNW beaches, there is something for everyone. So get out there and start exploring!

Do you have a favorite day trip from Vancouver that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below!


Love it? Pin it for later!