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The Best Day Trips From Vancouver

Want to make the most of your next trip to Vancouver? Fill up the tank and get ready to hit the road—these day trips are worth adding to your itinerary.

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Best day trips from VancouverPhoto: Shutterstock

Great Day Trips From Vancouver

Vancouver is a city unlike any other in North America, boasting both urban luxury and rugged mountain adventures at its doorstep. While the city itself is best explored by bike, a tour of the surrounding areas of the Sea to Sky Corridor and Lower Mainland—an essential part of any trip to Vancouver—will require a car. Let this roundup of the best day trips from Vancouver be your guide.

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Best day trips from Vancouver - Lynn Canyon suspension bridgePhoto: Shutterstock

Lynn Canyon

Across Burrard Inlet and the picturesque Lions Gate Bridge, you’ll find the North Shore with endless opportunities for hiking and biking. While most day trippers opt for Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Lynn Canyon Park provides an off-the-beaten-path alternative boasting waterfalls, boardwalks, a suspension bridge of its own (above), and 617 acres of forest and trails to explore.

Check out more of Canada’s most beautiful waterfalls.

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Best day trips from Vancouver - Deep CovePhoto: Shutterstock

Deep Cove

If your idea of the perfect day trip from Vancouver involves a paddle, look no further than Deep Cove. Rent your vessel of choice from your Deep Cove Canoe & Kayak Centre, then cruise around the calm waters of the cove while soaking up the incredible west coast mountain views. Round off your day with a hike up to Quarry Rock, then treat yourself to a decadent pastry from Honey Doughnuts & Goodies.

Find out what it’s like kayaking with humpback whales on the Johnstone Strait.

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Best day trips from Vancouver - Squamish Britannia Mine MuseumPhoto: Destination B.C./Heath Moffatt

Squamish

More than just a stop on the way to Whistler, Squamish is a worthy day trip from Vancouver in itself. Formerly a sleepy mining town, Squamish is now a mecca for adventurous travellers seeking the adrenaline rush from kiteboarding and other outdoor activities from the likes of Squamish Rafting Company and BeWild! Adventures & Wellness. Explore local history at the Britannia Mine Museum (above) and take in panoramic views from the Sea to Sky Gondola. For a private guided hike, recruit a professional local guide from Yervana.

Discover more hidden gems in B.C.

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Best day trips from Vancouver - Victoria via Harbour AirPhoto: Harbour Air

Victoria

For this day trip from Vancouver, you’ll need to leave the car behind! From the mainland, hop on board either a Harbour Air seaplane (above) or Helijet luxury helicopter transfer destined for British Columbia’s capital. As with all great day trips, getting to Victoria is part of the adventure, and en route, you’ll enjoy incredible views of the Gulf Islands and the Strait of Georgia. Once there, stop in for high tea at the legendary Fairmont Empress (one of Canada’s greatest hotels), dine at the Flying Otter (a dockside floating pub in the harbour), and explore B.C.’s rich history at the Royal B.C. Museum.

Here are more Victoria attractions worth exploring.

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Best day trips from Vancouver - Squamish Lil'Wat Cultural Centre in WhistlerPhoto: Shutterstock

Whistler

Getting in touch with nature is a key element in any day trip from Vancouver, and Whistler offers two distinct takes on that endeavour. First, visit the Squamish Lil-wat Cultural Centre (above) to learn about the Indigenous people who have called this region home for more than 14,000 years. Then, enjoy a bird’s-eye view of the awe-inspiring landscape with an exhilarating zipline ride with The Adventure Group, followed by a relaxing treatment at the renowned Scandinave Spa.

Discover 20 more things to do in Whistler (even without snow).

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Best day trips from Vancouver - Grouse MountainPhoto: Tourism Vancouver/Devin Manky

Grouse Mountain

Vancouver is nothing if not photogenic, and there’s no better vantage point of the city and its surrounding landscape than Grouse Mountain. The perfect day trip from Vancouver if you’re tight on time, taking the Skyride to the mountain’s summit delivers jaw-dropping views of the city skyline, and out to sea as far as Vancouver Island.

Did you know Vancouver is also the departure point for the legendary Rocky Mountaineer? Here’s what it’s like taking that iconic train ride through the Canadian Rockies.

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Best day trips from Vancouver - Fort Langley BCPhoto: Shutterstock

Fort Langley National Historic Site

British Columbia’s Gold Rush Trail is a multi-day road trip circuit that’s worthy of every Canadian’s bucket list. One of the stops on the route—Fort Langley National Historic Site—makes a great day trip from Vancouver, and is an essential experience for history buffs. Learn Indigenous history on a Kwantlan First Nations Cultural Tour, as well as how British Columbia joined Canada, with the opportunity to catch live historical reenactments.

Check out 10 more places in Canada every Canadian needs to visit.

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Day trips from Vancouver - Capilano Park totem polesPhoto: Shutterstock

Indigenous cultural tours

Vancouver and the Lower Mainland are home to the Squamish, Musqueam and Teleil-Waututh people, and a local Indigenous cultural experience is a fantastic way to learn their story. On a Talaysay Tours Talking Trees Tour, you’ll discover how the flora and fauna of the region’s forests have been a source of sustenance and medicine, while the Takaya Tours Canoe and Walking Tour highlights the role of the ocean in traditional transportation and as a food source. They’re both unmissable opportunities to build a connection with the places and people who have occupied these lands for millennia.

Here are 10 Indigenous authors you should be reading.

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Best day trips from Vancouver - Kilby Historic SitePhoto: Jonny Bierman

Kilby Historic Site

Also located on the Gold Rush Trail roughly 90 minutes east of Greater Vancouver is Kilby Historic Site. In this beautiful slice of rural B.C., you’ll travel back in time to the 1920s, when the mill town of Harrison Mills, B.C., was thriving. Explore the period general store, post office and hotel, and farm, then dine on a delicious slice of locally-baked pie at the Kilby Cafe.

Here are more must-see historical attractions across Canada.

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Best day trips from Vancouver - Inlet Park, Port MoodyPhoto: Shutterstock

Port Moody, B.C.

A must-visit destination for beer-lovers, Port Moody is a stop on what’s known as the B.C. Ale Trail. Here you can sample authentic B.C. craft beer on “Brewer’s Row” (make sure you buy some bottles for your designated driver to enjoy later), then take a stroll through the town’s scenic Inlet Park (above) and Shoreline Trail.

Discover the best Canadian attractions you’ve never heard of.

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Best day trips from Vancouver - Othello TunnelsPhoto: Jonny Bierman

Othello Tunnels

Bitten by the hiking bug? There are few trails more stunning—or unique—than those you’ll find in Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park, a two hour drive east of Vancouver. Here, at the Othello Tunnels, you’ll hike the granite mountains along trails that traverse former railroad tunnels and bridges. The incline is gradual, making for an accessible trek through this awe-inspiring landscape that includes jagged cliffs and deep canyons.

Now that you know the best day trips from Vancouver, check out 10 Canadian road trips everyone should take at least once.