The gateway to British Columbia, Vancouver is nestled on the boarder of Canada and the USA making it the perfect hub for weekend getaways. Vancouver is known for being an outdoor lovers paradise, it has the city feel but is within close proximity to the mountains and nature. There are a variety of weekend trips from Vancouver and they vary per season.

British Columbia boasts a plethora of landscapes so it’s easy to get out and experience beaches, mountains rainforests and more. There are tons of options for weekends away from Vancouver and some as close as a 30-minute ferry journey. Almost all of the destinations on this list will need a car, so grab your favourite road trip buddies!


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1.Victoria – An Historic Weekend Trip From Vancouver

The Capital of British Columbia, Victoria is an easy last minute getaway from Vancouver. A quaint city located on the southern tip of Vancouver, Victoria is home to many historic buildings and outdoor spaces. 

With Victoria being within close proximity to so many beaches, it has a slower pace of life compared to that of Vancouver. There are many great places to go for a walk and enjoy the sights. Some of the most popular areas include Beacon Hill Park and the Oak Bay Marina.

Afternoon tea is a must when visiting this historically Victorian city. The Empress hotel offers one of the most popular afternoon teas in Victoria. However there are many other places off the radar that offer just as good an experience. 

How To Get There

Victoria is accessible by plane, floatplane or ferry/car. The best way to get there is by car. In total the driving time with ferry crossing is approximately 3 hours. You’ll need to get the ferry from the Tsawwassen terminal to Swartz Bay and then drive south to Victoria. 

Where To Stay

The Fairmont Empress Hotel

Oak Bay Beach Hotel

Helm’s Inn

Photo of the Empress Hotel in Victoria - a large orange/red brick hotel with vines cascading down the front and 4 turret like towers. Sitting in front of the hotel is the inner Victoria Harbour filled with small yachts.

2. Tofino – For Beach Lovers and Surfers

Located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Tofino is a surfing paradise. Whether you are visiting in the summer or in the winter, Tofino is is a great option for a weekend away. 

Even if you aren’t into surfing there is plenty to see and do in Tofino. The beaches are this town’s biggest attraction. McKenzie, Chesterman and Cox Bay beaches are the most popular, while Tonquin Beach is a cute little hidden cove further north. 

Tofino is also famous for it’s dining options. Reserve a table at Wolf in the Fog, one of Tofino’s best rated restaurants. Or for something a little more casual, delve into Tofino’s food truck scene, including Wildside Grill and the ever famous Tacofino. Head to Rhino Coffee and Tofitian Coffee for your caffeine fix. 

Although I recommend visiting in the summer, the colder months have their perks too. Not only is it cheaper to visit in the winter, it’s quieter and is when storm season begins, which is fun to sit and watch the waves crashing against the the rocky shoreline. 

How To Get There

Getting to Tofino is best done by car. You’ll need to drive north to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal and take the ferry to Nanaimo. From Nanaimo you’ll drive 3hours to the other side of Vancouver Island to reach Tofino. In total the journey will take between 5 and 6 hours. 

Where To Stay

Pacific Sands Beach Resort

Middle Beach Lodge

Related: Best Things To Do In Tofino – Vancouver Island’s Ultimate Beach Destination

Photo of a calm rocky beach with flat sand on the left and rocks on the right. In the far background are the peaks of mountains and just in front of them an island filled with green fir trees.

3. Salt Spring Island – Perfect Weekend Trip For Foodies

Salt Spring Island makes up part of the Gulf Islands that lie off the coast of mainland BC. It sits close to the coast of Vancouver Island and is an easy getaway from Vancouver. The island was originally inhabited by Salishan people before being settled by immigrants in 1859.

Salt Spring Island is best visited in Summer and is the perfect destination for foodies and beer enthusiasts. Salt Spring Wild Cider House is one of the top things to do on Salt Spring Island, their ciders are carefully curated and made from wild apples grown on the island. Cider flights are available to order and flavours include elderberry and apricot. 

Salt Spring Island Cheese is where all the cheese lovers head to when visiting Salt Spring island. Pretty soft cheese’s come packaged adorned with beautiful flowers, you can also purchase a variety of jams in store too.

For outdoor lovers, Salt Spring Island is home to some beautiful outdoor areas. Mount Maxwell is one of the island’s most popular hikes featuring panoramic views of the Island. After a day of hiking the best thing to do is simply relax!

How To Get There

Salt Spring Island is accessible by ferry at the Tsawwassen ferry terminal. Make sure you are boarding the correct ferry, as not all ferries from this terminal will stop at Salt Spring. The total driving journey time will be approximately 3 hours. 

Where To Stay

The Sanctuary Resort & Spa

Photo of two deck chairs surrounded by trees overlooking a harbour filled with boats and yachts and a small tree filled mountain in the background
Salt Spring Island – Photo Credit: Alex Beattie on Flickr – Used under Creative Commons License

4. Bowen Island – A Relaxing Getaway From Vancouver

Bowen Island sits just off the shore of West Vancouver and can be accessed by taking the ferry from the Horseshoe Bay terminal. The ferry duration time is around 20-minutes, making Bowen Island a quick getaway from Vancouver.

Bowen Island is the place to come if you want to relax and escape the city. Home to several outdoor parks including Crippen Regional Park and Killarney Lake, It’s the perfect getaway for outdoor and nature enthusiasts. Kayaking is widely available in Bowen Island and the most popular activity here. 

How To Get There

There is little public transport on Bowen Island so this getaway is best done by car. Since Bowen Island is within close proximity of Vancouver it makes for a quick last minute getaway or even a day trip. From Downtown Vancouver drive north to the Horseshoe Bay terminal and catch the Bowen Island Ferry. Total journey time will be approximately 1.5 hours. 

Where To Stay

Artisan Suites on Bowen

English Rose Cottage

Photo of a rocky shoreline with green fir trees and small mountains in the background.
Bowen Island – Photo Credit: GoToVan on Flickr – Used under Creative Commons License

5. Galiano Island – A Good Option For Those Without A Car

Galiano Island sits just between the lower mainland and Vancouver Island. It makes up part of the Southern Gulf Islands. 

The ferry sails directly to Studies Bay, the main town on Galiano Island and where you’ll find most of the Island’s amenities. With this being the case, Galiano is the perfect Island getaway for foot passengers as well as those bringing a car. 

Galiano is home to many independent and unique art galleries, rent a bike and cycle the Island to take a tour of the various art galleries. 

Put on your hiking boots and hit the many trails on Galiano. Mount Galiano is the most well-known and famous hikes on the Island, featuring panoramic views of the Coast Mountain range, Mount Baker and Vancouver Island.

How To Get There

Galiano Island is another weekend trip option that’s close to Vancouver. Take the ferry from Tsawwassen to Galiano. Total driving time will be approximately 2.5 hours.

Where To Stay

Galiano Oceanfront Inn & Spa

Galiano Island – Photo Credit: Howard Greenwood on Flickr – Used under Creative Commons License

6. Sunshine Coast – Great For Beer Enthusiasts

The Sunshine coast of British Columbia stretches 177km from Howe Sound to the start of Desolation Sound, so there are multiple destinations for a weekend away from Vancouver. 

There is tons to do on the Sunshine Coast. From food tours to hiking and outdoor sports and activities. It’s also great for people who want to relax by the beach. Since there is something for everyone, the Sunshine Coast is a great option for family getaways near Vancouver. 

For beer enthusiasts the Sunshine Coast Ale Trail is just one of the many things that attract visitors to this area every year. 

How To Get There

Drive north to the Horsehoe Bay ferry terminal and take the ferry to Gibsons/Langdale. Once you have arrived at the connecting ferry terminal you can drive a few minutes to Gibsons or carry on to Sechelt or Powell River on the Northern Sunshine Coast. 

Where To Stay

Gibsons

Gibsons Garden Hotel

Sechelt

Tranquility Bay Waterfront Inn

Powell River

Beach Gardens Resort & Marina

Photo of a harbour with lots of boats and yachts docked on the right hands side. On the left are houses and cabins.
Gibsons Landing Photo Credit: Devlon Duthie on Flick – Used under Creative Commons License

7. Ucluelet – A Great Escape During The Fall

Ucluelet, known by locals as “Ukee” is a great alternative to Neighbouring Tofino. Or why not pair them together and spend a long weekend exploring both. Ucluelet is fun to visit all year-round but it’s especially good in Storm Watching season. 

The wild pacific trail is one of the top things to do in Ucluelet. This 45-minute trail boasts breathtaking ocean views and takes you to the 100+ year-old Amphitrite Point Lighthouse. This lighthouse is one of the most photographed Lighthouses in Canada and was once the default screen saver for Windows. 

The Ucluelet Aquarium is a catch and release Aquarium showcasing BC’s marine life, and gives us an insight into the different species that call this area home. 

Fuel up at Foggy Bean Coffee Company or grab a sweet treat at Zoey’s Bakery & Café. Watch the sunset from the patio at Currents Restaurant while sipping on wine and enjoying the fresh ocean air.

How To Get There

Getting to Ucluelet is almost the same driving directions as Tofino. You’ll take the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo and drive through Port Alberni along the Pacific Rim Highway until you get to the turn off for Tofino, here you’ll turn left instead of right and carry on until you reach Ucluelet. Since both towns are so near, you can even do them in the same trip! 

Where To Stay

Waters Edge Shoreside Suites

The Cabins At Terrace Beach

8. Whistler – An Adrenaline Junkies Dream Weekend Trip

Whistler is an easy weekend getaway from Vancouver. Known for being a world-class ski resort, Whistler is fun to visit in the winter and summer! Mountain biking and hiking are popular in the summer, while the winter is great for skiing and snowshoeing. If visiting in the winter, there is still plenty of activities if you don’t ski! 

Whistler is a hiking paradise, Garibaldi Provincial Park offers multiple day and overnight hike options. There are multiple restaurants in Whistler offering a world-class fine dining experience, while the Scandinave spa is the perfect way to wind down after a busy day.

How To Get There

Getting to Whistler from Vancouver is pretty easy. The best way to get to Whistler from Vancouver is by driving the Sea to Sky Highway, one of the most scenic road trips in Canada. The total journey time takes around 2 hours. 

If you don’t have access to a car getting to Whistler is still relatively easy. You can opt to take the Epic Rides bus from Downtown Vancouver.

Where To Stay

The Fairmont Chateau Whistler

The four Seasons Resort & Spa

The Crystal Lodge

Pangea Pod Hotel

Photo of a red cable car from a ski resort in the winter with snowcapped mountains in the background and tons of trees below dusted in white snow - Whistler is an easy weekend vacation from Vancouver as it doesn't require a car
Whistler is an easy weekend vacation from Vancouver as it doesn’t require a car

9. Squamish – For Outdoor Adventures

Squamish is a little closer to Vancouver than Whistler, so you’ll be cutting your driving time by around 40-minutes. Many people by-pass Squamish on their way to Whistler or simply make it a quick stop off. But Squamish is well-worth your time!

Some of the best attractions in British Columbia can be found right here in Squamish. The Sea to Sky Gondola is one of the top attractions in Squamish, along with famous hikes such as the Stawamus Chief.

There are tons of micro-breweries here to check out including Howe Sound Brewing, A-FRAME Brewing and Backcountry Brewing. As for food, Squamish has some amazing restaurants. My personal favourites for casual dining are Sonny Chibas for the best fried chicken and tacos, or The Wigan Pier for authentic Fish & Chips (it’s amazing, trust me I’m English)

During the months of November to February Squamish becomes home to hundreds of Bald Eagles. If you’ve ever wanted to witness a Bald Eagle in the wild, this is the place to do it!  

How To Get There

Drive the Sea To Sky Highway!

Where To Stay

Executive Suites Hotel & Resort

Sandman Hotel & Suites

Photo of a girl wearing a buffalo plaid dress walking towards the camera with arms stretched out , in the background is a flowing river and faint mountain peaks.
The Squamish Estuary is a great area to go for a relaxing walk

10. Pemberton – Small Town Getaway With Great Mountain Bike Trails

Located just 30-minutes north of Whistler, Pemberton doesn’t draw as many tourists, and I think that’s a great reason to check it out! Spending a weekend in Pemberton is just the right amount of time to see this small mountain town. Since it’s less touristy than Whistler, it still has that small town feel which I love! 

Pemberton is home to many amazing hikes and mountain bike trails. You can also take helicopter rides and go horseback riding through the Lillooet River. North Arm Farm is a fun area to take kids or check out the awesome views of Mount Currie. 

Pemberton is also a good place to base yourself if you’re an avid hiker. Pemberton is around a 30-40 minute drive from the famous Joffre Lakes hike. There are also many more trails to explore for all fitness levels in the surrounding area. If visiting in the summer, One Mile Lake is the place to go to cool off and try some stand-up paddle boarding. 

How To Get There

The same directions as Whistler, except you’ll keep driving north and around 30-minutes after you leave Whistler you’ll arrive in Pemberton. 

Where To Stay

Pemberton Valley Lodge

11. Lillooet – Great For Camping & Road Trips

Head even further north on the Highway 99 and you’ll arrive in the town of Lillooet. Lillooet may not be a major tourist destination but it still makes for the perfect weekend trip from Vancouver. Why? Lillooet is home to some great hikes and outdoor spaces. One of my favourite easy hikes is the Seton Lake Lookout.

Lillooet is also home to this area’s only winery – Fort Berens, which is set against the most beautfiful mountain backdrop. There is a fine-dining restaurant onsite complete with stunning views.

Lillooet is a great area to learn more about British Columbia’s Indigenous history. The Lillooet Museum showcases Lillooets history. The Museum itself is housed in what was once an Anglican Church first built in 1860.

From June to October the Lillooet Farmer’s Market happens every Friday and features handcrafted soaps to seasonal produce. 

How To Get There 

Drive the Sea to Sky Highway to Pemberton, carry on North to Mount Currie and stay on the Highway99. Follow Lillooet Lake Road through the Duffey Lake Road and keep going north until you reach Lillooet.

Where To Stay

Reynolds Hotel

Photo of a girl sitting high up a mountain in the wind overlooking a bend in the road with mountains and a blue lake in the background.
Seton Lake Lookout Hike
Photo of a girl kicking up water in a clear blue lake with a mountain drop in the background.
Seton Lake, Lillooet

12. Kelowna – Perfect For Wine Lovers

Located in the Okanagan Valley, Kelowna makes the perfect escape for people who love warm weather and wine, making it one of the best romantic getaways near Vancouver! It’s one of the warmest parts of BC during the summer and is home to many lakes that are perfect for cooling off in. 

Kelowna makes up part of the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia’s premier wine making region, which makes this getaway the perfect destination for wine lovers. The vineyards are naturally this towns biggest attraction. Some of the most popular vineyards to visit are Quail’s Gate, Tantalus Vineyards and Sandhill wines. The best way to experience Kelowna’s vineyards is through a wine tasting tour. 

If wine isn’t your thing, check out the Okanagan Spirits craft distillery. Their spirits are crafted entirely in the Okanagan from local ingredients and include whiskey, vodka, absinthe and gin. The Kelowna Farmers and Crafters market is the best stop in town for locally made cheese and other wares. 

When not indulging in Kelowna’s best food and drink, head for the lakes! Boats, kayaks, paddles boards and canoes can all be rented for a relaxing day on the water. 

How To Get There

Getting to Kelowna from Vancouver is best done by car. You’ll need to drive Highway1 towards Hope and then pick up the Coquihalla Highway/5 towards the Okanagan Highway/97c all the way until you reach Kelowna. 

Where To Stay

The Royal Kelowna – Bellstar Hotels & Resorts

Sandman Hotel & Suites Kelowna

Photo of a wine glass slightly filled with red wine with a vineyard, lake and mountains in the background - Kelowna is the perfect weekend getaway for wine enthusiasts

13. Seattle – Experience A Big City Getaway

Seattle is a 5 hour drive from Vancouver (not including time at the border) and can easily be done in a weekend. Seattle’s biggest attraction is it’s Pike Place market, a foodies paradise! Pike Place is famous for it’s fresh fish counter where you’ll get to witness the famous routine of fish tossing.

The best part is that most outlets are quick-service counter style, meaning you can try lots of little things! If you’ve got a sweet tooth this is the place for you. You can find mini cheesecakes, mouthwatering baclava and my personal favourite, Piroshki-Piroshki which brings a little slice of Russia to Seattle. 

There is tons to see and do in Seattle in a weekend. Grab a coffee at the famous original Starbucks store in Pike Place or leave your mark in Seattle forever at the grossly famous gum wall. Venture through some of Seattle’s best museums, including the Museum of Pop Culture or take a ride on the famous Monorail through the city. 

How To Get There

You can drive, take a plane or get a bus to Seattle. The easiest way is to fly however can be expensive. Driving is going to be the best way to get to Seattle for a weekend away, as you can drive around the city once you arrive and you can leave whenever you like instead of waiting to board a bus or plane.

To get to Seattle from Vancouver, drive south on the Highway 99 and pick up the Highway 5 once you cross the border. From here it’s a straight run and just follow the signs to Seattle. Total driving time is approximately 4 hours not including time at the US/Canada border. 

Where To Stay

Hilton Garden Inn Seattle Downtown

Grand Hyatt Seattle

Photo of a big neon red sign that says "Public Market" - Sign from Pike Place Market in Seattle

14. Manning Park – For Summer Camping Trips

For a truly outdoors experience look no further than Manning Park. Pack up your car camping gear and hit the road for a weekend filled with hiking, horseback riding and kayaking. No matter what the season, Manning Park is the perfect weekend getaway. Whether it a romantic trip, family trip or girls getaway. 

During the summer lightning lake fills with visitors wanting to cool off. Rentals are also available for canoeing, kayaking or paddle boarding. Winter brings activities such as snowshoeing, nordic skiing, ice skating, tobogganing or tubing.  

There are a number of dining options at Manning Park, whether it be a morning coffee from the Day Lodge, lunch at Pinewoods Dining Room or apres at the Bear’s Den Pub. 

How To Get There

Manning Park is an easy short trip from Vancouver as getting there doesn’t require getting a ferry and it’s a short 2-3 hour drive away. 

To get to Manning Park take the Highway 1 towards Hope and pick up the Crowsnest Highway/3 towards Manning Park. 

Where To Stay

Photo of a lake on a windy day with trees and a small green mountain in the background. In the foreground is a wooden dock with upside down white canoes lined alongside each other. Manning Park is a 2-3 hour drive from Vancouver
Manning Park – Photo Credit: James Wheeler on Flickr – Used under Creative Commons License

15. Revelstoke – A Perfect Winter Skiing Trip

Revelstoke is famous for being a great alternative to the busy resort of Whistler Blackcomb. Although it is famous for being a winter destination, it’s also a great option for a weekend away during the summer months. 

The winter offers world class skiing, nordic skiing and held-skiing. For those who aren’t so steady on their feet or legs, there are plenty of activities that are perfect for all abilities including dog sledding, snowshoeing or simply kicking back with a nice hot chocolate at a picturesque chalet. 

The summer months bring around activities such as golfing, zip lining, rock climbing and mountain biking. It’s also a great place to base yourself to access surrounding hiking trails. 

A ride up the gondola at Revelstoke Mountain offers breathtaking views and mountain vistas. Head to the lakes for canoeing, Kayaking and paddle boarding or end your day with a gin making class at Jones Distillery.  

How To Get There

Revelstoke is around an 8 hour drive from Vancouver so best done on long weekends. To Get there take the Highway 1 towards Hope, pick up the 5 and then once you reach Kamloops pick up the 1 again and follow signs straight to Revelstoke. 

Where To Stay

Sutton Place Hotel Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Coast Hillcrest Hotel

Quaint small town with histric downtown buildings with a snow capped mountain in the background. The town of Revelstoke is great option for a weekend trip from Vancouver.
Revelstoke – Photo Credit: Ana Grosner on Flickr – Used under Creative Commons License

16. YoHo National Park – Nature and Hiking Getaway

YoHo National Park sits on the border of British Columbia and Alberta. Although a popular destination for weekend trips, it gets significantly less visitors than Lake Louise which sits just across the border in Banff National Park. 

YoHo is most famous for it’s crystal clear turquoise Emerald Lake and many people make this a quick stop on their road trip through the Canadian Rockies. However, YoHo National Park has far more to offer and there is plenty to keep you entertained over 2 or 3 days. 

There are 400km’s of hiking trails in YoHo and one of the most popular trails is the Takakkaw Falls trail which leads to one of Canada’s highest waterfalls. If looking for something a bit more challe

nging, the hike to Lake O’hara features some of the best mountain panorama’s in this region. 

A weekend trip to YoHo National Park can also be adapted for those who want to relax. A luxury stay at Emerald Lake Lodge is the perfect romantic getaway. 

How To Get There

The Journey to YoHo National Park is the longest on this list. The total driving time will be approximately 8/9 hours and takes the same route as getting to Revelstoke. Once you reach Revelstoke, keep driving for about 2 hours and you’ll reach the town of Field which is right at the entrance to YoHo National Park. 

Where To Stay

Emerald Lake Lodge

Cathedral Mountain Lodge

Photo of a tuquoise blue lake with rocky mountains in the background and red canoes in the foreground, next to a red cabin in the distance surrounded by fir trees.

17. Alaskan Cruise – For Those Who Like To Travel Slow

Vancouver is a great hub for long weekend trips including cruises. Vancouver’s cruise terminal is centrally located at Canada Place which means hoping on a ship and sailing away is great option for a short vacation. 

Alaska Cruises make up a substantial amount of cruises out of Vancouver’s terminal and there are a variety of itineraries to choose from. Some offer 3 to 4 day trips all the way to two weeks. 

How To Get There

Getting to Alaska in this case will be via a cruise ship. However in order to get to the cruise terminal you’ll have to get to Canada Place. This can be done by car, bus or train depending on which area of Vancouver you are coming from. 

Where To Stay

Since the cruise will be your accommodation on this weekend trip, here are some suggestions for hotels to stay at the night before departing on your Alaskan Cruise.

Fairmont Waterfront

A highway lined with wild trees leading up to a big snow topped mountain in the background. Alaska is a great place to spend a weekend on a cruise ship.
Hop on a cruise ship and explore the US state of Alaska

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17 Weekend Getaways From Vancouver, Canada
Best Long Weekend Trips From Vancouver
Best Weekend Getaways From Vancouver, BC
Best Weekend Trips From Vancouver, Canada