It’s absolutely the summer of local exploration. So, why not plan a few day trips around Vancouver over the next few weeks? There’s a ton to explore around the region. Whether you’re looking for mountains, islands, small towns… you name it, and it’s probably a stone’s throw from the city.
Here are 10 great day trips around Vancouver. Just make sure to check with the destination beforehand to learn any COVID-19 protocols that might be in place!
Instead of crowding around Whistler, stretch out your trip to Squamish by stopping at the Britannia Mine Museum, Porteau Cove, and Shannon Falls. Go try and spot a seal in Brackendale (eagles are really only present in the winter). And if you’re feeling really touristy, hop on the Sea to Sky Gondola. Finally, stop by Mag’s 99 for some great fried chicken and Mexican food, then turn around.
White Rock has got two things to check out- the Pier and the Promenade. Both closed for quite some time due to COVID-19, but they’ve come back and are ready for you to check ’em out. This is a great choice if your day trip ends up being a half-day trip since you took your time getting breakfast.
A staple day trip for Vancouverites, Deep Cove is a picturesque community. Rent a kayak in the morning for a couple of hours, grab some lunch, then hike up Quarry Rock and survey the scene. Once you’re done, treat yourself to a donut from Honey. Heck, buy em beforehand and eat them at the top!
Harrison Hot Springs
Just an hour and a half outside of Vancouver, Harrison Hot Springs has got two great reasons to spend a day there. First off is the ever-popular Harrison Hot Springs Resort (the outdoor ones are still open for summer). But there’s also that giant floating waterpark out there. So, head down with a few friends and go bounce around for a couple of hours beforehand.
Golden Ears Provincial Park/Maple Ridge
This is definitely a destination for your most active friends. Pack lunch beforehand and go walk/hike around one of the biggest parks in BC. Tackle the trail up Golden Ears, or keep things a little more lowkey by walking along the creeks and lakes in the area. Afterward, swing by Big Feast so your friends can say they ate a restaurant featured on “You Gotta Eat Here”.
A big, scenic lake east of Abbotsford, Cultus Lake is good for a large group of friends. You can lounge on the beach all day, or, you can go all in and head to the Cultus Lake Waterpark (which recently reopened) for some real fun. Personally, we would do a little bit of both.
So your friends want to take a ferry but you don’t want to go all the way to Vancouver Island. Fear not, because Bowen Island is only 20 minutes from Horseshoe Bay. Explore the area, shop around a little bit, then maybe hike up Mt. Gardner before you head back to ‘civilization’. Definitely one of our top picks for day trips around Vancouver.
One of the two ‘culture’ trips that we recommend, Steveston is a quaint little community south of Richmond. Explore the various museums and galleries, including the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, a national historic site. Then, walk around the harbour a little before you grab some delicious seafood from Pajo’s, located right on the water.
We’re big fans of history, and Fort Langley has got it in spades. We recommend that you actually drive past it a little bit first so that you can visit the Greater Vancouver Zoo and look at the cool flamingos/giraffes/whatever suits your fancy. Then, head into town, go to the sweet Village Antiques Mall, and hit up Fort Langley proper, a 19th-century fur trading post.
And that’s our guide to some great day trips around Vancouver that you can take this summer! Now get out there and safely enjoy all that this province has to offer, folks!