32 Best Sea to Sky Highway Stops [2023 Guide]

If you’re heading to Vancouver, there’s one thing you absolutely can’t miss: driving up the Sea to Sky Highway. The Sea to Sky Highway is known as one of Canada’s most scenic drives. True to its name, the Sea to Sky Highway takes you from the sea (the Pacific Ocean/Howe Sound) to the sky (the peak of Whistler).

This remarkable stretch of road not only connects the vibrant city of Vancouver to the coastal gems of Squamish and Whistler, but also offers a plethora of unforgettable stops along the way. It stretches along Highway 99, following the stunning Howe Sound from Vancouver through Squamish and all the way to Whistler.

I first experienced this drive just three days after I moved to Canada when I headed north to Whistler from Vancouver. Since then, I’ve traveled this road countless times, through rain, snow, fog, and sunshine.

The drive from Vancouver to Whistler usually takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, and you can enjoy the picturesque scenery from your car window. But why not take the opportunity to stop and explore everything this route has to offer?

In this blog post, I’ll share with you the best stops along the Sea to Sky Highway (including some of my personal favourites!), so you can plan your trip and fully enjoy this amazing experience.

(This post is quite long as it is one of the most extensive Sea to Sky Highway guides. You can use the table of contents below to help you navigate through all the information)

A City Girl Outside contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through these links, I will earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks for reading!

Sea to Sky Highway Directions

The Sea to Sky Highway, also known as Highway 99, spans approximately 120 kilometres.

This road connects West Vancouver to Whistler, with the town of Squamish sitting about halfway between the two.If you’re looking for the best and fastest way to reach Whistler from Vancouver by car, this is it.

Although most people end their time in Whistler, the highway actually continues onward to the towns of Pemberton and Mount Currie before finally ending in Lillooet.

To access the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver, simply take the Lions Gate Bridge and follow the signs that direct you left towards Highway 99 and Whistler. Then, turn right onto Taylor Way and keep following the signs. Eventually, you’ll merge onto the highway after passing underneath it.

Initially, the highway is a combination of Highway 1 and Highway 99. Stay on this road for about 10 kilometres and be on the lookout for signs indicating the split towards Whistler.

Stay in the left lane to continue onto Highway 99, which is the Sea to Sky Highway. It is easy to reach Whistler from anywhere in the lower Mainland, just find signs to the Highway 1 West and eventually signs that say Whistler will start popping up.

You’ll remain on the same highway throughout the entire journey, making it easy to navigate.

Sea to Sky Highway Stops Map

Below is a map I’ve put together that indicates all the places mentioned in this post. You can click this link or the image below and it will take you to google maps.

Experience The Sea to Sky Highway Without A car

If you don’t drive or have a car, and you’re not planning to rent one for your trip to Vancouver, there are still several ways to reach Whistler from Vancouver without your own vehicle.

Sea to Sky Shuttle Services

A shuttle bus is how I first experienced the Sea to Sky Highway. In fact it was on the old Greyhound buses before they were decommissioned. However there are still shuttle busses in operation that will take you the same route.

  • YVR Skylynx, which serves Vancouver airport, downtown Vancouver, Squamish, and Whistler.
  • Squamish Connector, providing services from downtown Vancouver, West Vancouver, and Squamish.
  • Epic Rides, operating between downtown Vancouver and Whistler.

It’s important to note that these busses are not designed as a tour and will only take you from A to B without stopping. However, you will still have the opportunity to enjoy beautiful views through the window during the journey.

For the best views, sit on the left side of the bus when going North and the right side when going South. This was a tip someone told me just before I arrived in Vancouver.

Where To Stay On The Sea to Sky Highway


  • Executive Suites Hotel & Resort: This hotel offers spacious suites with fully equipped kitchens, balconies, and mountain views. It features an outdoor pool, hot tub, fitness center, and on-site restaurant.
  • Sandman Hotel & Suites Squamish: Located near downtown Squamish, this hotel offers modern and stylish rooms, an indoor pool, hot tub, fitness center, and an on-site restaurant.
  • Howe Sound Inn & Brewing Company: Situated in a historic building, this hotel features cozy rooms with rustic charm. It is also home to a popular brewery and pub, serving craft beers and delicious food.

Check out my Squamish hotel guide for more accommodation options.


  • Four Seasons Resort Whistler: Situated in the Upper Village, this upscale hotel offers luxurious rooms and suites, an outdoor heated pool, spa, fitness centre, and on-site dining options.
  • The Westin Resort & Spa: Located at the base of Whistler Mountain, this hotel offers comfortable rooms, an outdoor heated pool, hot tubs, a spa, fitness centere and several dining options.
  • Pan Pacific Whistler Village Centre: This all-suite hotel is centrally located in Whistler Village and offers spacious suites with fully equipped kitchens. It features a rooftop saltwater pool, hot tubs, fitness center, and complimentary breakfast.


  • Pemberton Valley Lodge: This hotel offers spacious suites with kitchenettes or full kitchens, comfortable beds, and beautiful mountain views. Guests can enjoy amenities such as a heated outdoor pool, hot tub, fitness center, and complimentary bike rentals.


Camping is a great option if wanting to spend a bit of time exploring the Sea to Sky Highway, especially during the summer. Camping also allows you to spend longer exploring the provincial parks – and you’ll wake up to some incredible views.

Camping is available all along the Sea to Sky Highway. Most provincial parks offer camping including Porteau Cove, Stawamus Chief, Alice Lake and Garibaldi Lake. There is also camping at Cat Lake, Cal-Cheak and Whistler Olympic Park.

Vancouver to Whistler: Sea to Sky Highway Stops

Some of these suggestions may need a few hours, others are just pit stops while some will require an overnight stay. This Sea to Sky Highway itinerary will take you through one of the most scenic routes in BC. 

The drive from Vancouver to Whistler is definitely one you won’t forget. Most people will whizz on past as Whistler will be their final destination, but you can easily make this into into a road trip spanning anywhere from 2 days to a week!

If you want to do the drive in a day and just see the scenic stuff – you can! If you have some more time and want to stay overnight in several places – you can! It’s completely amendable. This guide features some of the best Sea to Sky attractions – let’s go!

1. Vancouver

If you’re heading north on the Sea to Sky Highway, you’re probably going to start in Vancouver and the city is worth exploring before heading out on your Sea to Sky road trip. There is a lot to do in Vancouver so I would recommend spending at least 2 days in Vancouver.

As Vancouver is part of a coastal rainforest, it experiences a temperate climate, making it a great year-round destination. There are many great things to do in Vancouver in winter too.

2. Stanley Park & Lions Gate Bridge

Visiting Stanley Park in Vancouver is a must for anyone exploring the city. Stanley Park spans an impressive 1,001 acres, it’s almost as big as Downtown Vancouver itself!

This expansive park offers a range of activities and stunning natural beauty. One of the highlights is driving to Prospect Point, which is known for offering some of the best views in all of Vancouver.

From Prospect Point, you can witness the incredible sight of the iconic Lions Gate Bridge and the picturesque Burrard Inlet. It’s a perfect spot to capture breathtaking photos and soak in the beauty of the surroundings.

3. Lighthouse Park

As the name suggests, Lighthouse Park is famous for being the home of Point Atkinson lighthouse, a National Historic site since 1994. The park itself spans approximately 75 hectares and features a network of hiking and walking tails.

The park is renowned for being a great example of one of the few remaining old-growth forests in the lower mainland. Reaching the famous lighthouse wasn’t the easiest. The viewpoint isn’t easily signposted and it is easy to get lost in the park. For this reason I do recommend checking out the map beforehand.

While Lighthouse Park isn’t directly on the Sea to Sky highway, it is a quick detour worth exploring.

4. Whytecliff Park

Situated in West Vancouver, Whytecliff park is one of the first stops you should visit on the Sea to Sky Highway. The park sits on the coastline of Howe Sound, surrounded by cliffside mansions.

The main attraction of Whytecliff Park is its stunning shoreline featuring rocky cliffs. When the tide is low, you can brave the rocky walk to Whytecliff islet, but make sure you have grippy shoes as it can get slippery! (I managed it in heeled boots but would recommend something sturdier) 

5. Horseshoe Bay

Horseshoe Bay is a quaint coastal town that services one of the main BC Ferries port close to Vancouver. There are some cute shops, cafés and restaurants in the area. Although I wouldn’t make this stop unless you are spending more than one night along the Sea to Sky Highway.

If you’re staying in Horseshoe Bay, there is a not-so-secret lookout where you can watch the ferries come and go. The Horseshoe Bay Lookout was once a hidden gem in Vancouver, but is now a super popular platform where you can witness some of the best Vancouver sunsets.

6. Porteau Cove

Porteau Cove is a must-do on the route from Vancouver to Whistler. It is one of the top places to watch the sunset near Vancouver.

The day-use area is a perfect spot to stretch your legs. Make sure not to miss the chance to walk on the pier, offering fantastic views of the surrounding mountains. There’s also a campsite at Porteau Cove, but it’s notoriously difficult to secure a spot since it’s one of the best campsites near Vancouver.

7. Britannia Beach & Britannia Mine Museum

With a population of around 300 people, Britannia Beach was first developed between 1900 and 1904 as a residential area for workers of the Britannia Mining and Smelting Company.

This quaint town now holds the Britannia Mine Museum, where you can delve into the fascinating world of mining and learn about its impact on the region. The museum showcases intriguing exhibits and offers underground tours that take you deep into the mines.

After exploring the museum, grab a bite to eat at the Mountain Woman, a small café specializing in fish & chips. Operating out of a school bus, the Mountain Woman has been a staple in Britannia Beach since 1984. Don’t forget to try their milkshakes – they’re incredible!

If you’re in the mood for burgers and coffee, check out the Outbound Station. This new joint has taken the place of the old Galileo Coffee Company and offers mouthwatering burgers along with a great selection of coffee. It’s a fantastic spot to refuel and enjoy a tasty meal.

8. Murrin Provincial Park & Quercus Viewpoint

Murrin Provincial Park is located directly off the highway, making it one of the most accessible stops along the Sea to Sky Highway.

Browning Lake, with its warm water and sandy beach, is an incredibly popular swimming spot and can be seen from the highway. On weekends this park can get incredibly busy so it’s best to come early.

If you’re looking for something more adventurous the Quercus Lookout is a short but steep hike that I like to refer to as “The Mini Chief”. For experienced hikers this is considered one of the easiest hikes in Squamish. While you’re there, be sure to watch out for rock climbers scaling the nearby cliffs.

9. Shannon Falls

Shannon Falls sits at 335 metres high making it third highest in BC. On a clear day the falls are even visible from the highway! You’ll definitely hear and feel the falls before you see them.

This area surrounding Shannon Falls is great to visit on a summers day as the trails are perfectly groomed and shaded – making it the perfect place for a picnic!

As this is one of the most accessible places along the Sea to Sky Highway it does receive a high level of traffic, especially on weekends. It’s recommended to come as early in the day as you can to avoid long lines.

10. Sea to Sky Gondola

The Sea to Sky Gondola is the easy way to achieve hiking the Chief. If you’re low on time or not really into hiking, this would be a great alternative for those iconic Howe Sound views. Although it will save you 5 hours and some exhaustion, it will cost you to do so. At the top are several hiking trails suitable for all abilities, a suspension bridge spanning 100-metres, a cafe, and a few lookout points. 

If you are visiting in the summer and staying a night or two in Squamish (and I highly recommend you do) you can purchase sunset tickets (entry after 4pm) for the Sea to Sky Gondola at a discounted price.

11. Stawamus Chief

The Stawamus Chief is a gigantic rock formation that looms above the town of Squamish.

The Chief is one of the best and most popular hikes in Squamish. There are 3 peaks on the chief all varying in difficulty. Many people opt for the shorter trip to the first peak, which is the most popular choice.

I’ve only ever done the third peak which is the longest in distance and does require climbing up lots of big rocks. Whichever peak you choose you’ll be able to see the incredible landscape and views of Howe Sound. 

It’s important to note that this hike involves numerous steps, staircases, ladders, and chains. While many find it exciting, it may not be suitable for everyone. If you don’t want to brave hiking the Chief but want photos with it, there are some easy hikes in Squamish that feature views of the Chief such as the Estuary Trail and Smoke Bluffs.

12. Downtown Squamish

Squamish has undergone extensive development in recent years. When I first came to Squamish in 2016 there wasn’t much in the way of its Downtown Core. Since then, numerous independent stores and coffee shops have established themselves in the area, breathing new life into the downtown scene.

If you happen to visit on a Saturday during the spring, summer, or fall, make sure to check out the Farmer’s Market. It’s a lively event with live music, local crafts, fresh produce, and delicious baked goods. If you plan to spend a night or two in Squamish, check out my detailed Squamish travel guide.

One of my favourite locals spots in Squamish is the Sunflower Bakery. They sell some of the best donuts in the area as well as baked goods and sandwiches. On top of this they serve my favourite Vancouver coffee, 49th Parallel.

13. Brackendale

Bald Eagles at Brackendale Eagle run taken by Matt in February!

Did you know Squamish has the largest population of Bald Eagles than anywhere else in the world? I was blown away by this fact, but there are over 1,300 Bald Eagles that flock to this area every year during the Squamish Salmon Run.

The best time to spot a Bald Eagle in Squamish is from November to December. We ventured into Brackendale one February and saw over 40 Bald Eagles in around 2-hours! The best place to spot Bald Eagles is from the Brackendale Eagle Run area.

If you’re a fan of the Netflix show “Virgin River” many of the scenes are filmed right here in Brackendale. The Watershed Grill located at Eagle Run is the set of Jack’s bar and a great place to come for lunch (I recommend the Chicken and Brie Sandwich!)

14. Alice Lake Provincial Park

Alice Lake is a must see on your drive from Vancouver to Whistler. It’s a fantastic destination for various outdoor activities like camping, swimming, fishing, mountain biking, and hiking.

If you’re seeking an easy Squamish hike, I recommend the Four Lakes Trail. It’s a mostly flat trail that can be completed in just 2 hours. During the summer, you can take a refreshing swim in the lake or rent a kayak or paddleboard. It’s the perfect place to cool down on a hot day.

The sign to Alice Park is well sign-posted and hard to miss. To reach Alice Lake, simply turn right at the flashing yellow light on Alice Lake Road from the Sea to Sky Highway and follow the road that leads into the park.

15. Cat Lake

Cat Lake, located just a 15 minute drive north of Squamish is a fantastic destination, especially on hot summer days. The warm water is perfect for swimming, and you’ll find an abundance of fish to observe or catch.

With 50 walk-in campsites surrounding the lake, you’ll find a loop trail connecting different sections of the campground, various beach access points, and a day use picnic area with a small dock.

Besides camping and swimming, Cat Lake is known for its mountain biking trails, which attract dirt bike and trials bike enthusiasts.

16. Brohm Lake

Unlike Browning Lake, you can’t see Brohm Lake from the Sea to Sky Highway. But it is definitely worth checking out. This park is home to an extensive network of trails (I mean extensive). If you are embarking on a hike here I would recommend bringing GPS.

One of the best views in Squamish can be witnessed from this park, The Tantalus Viewpoint. This hike leads to incredible views of the Tantalus Range. There are also beautiful views of the Squamish River along this trail.

On weekends the parking lot is on the small side so it does fill up quickly with locals in the summer looking to cool off. To get to Brohm Lake, simply turn left at the sign indicating Brohm Lake off the Sea to Sky highway.

17. Tantalus Range Lookout

The Tantalus Mountains are located to the west of Squamish and one of the most impressive Sea to Sky Highway viewpoints. Although there are only a few trails (like Lake Lovely Water) that lead to the rugged summits, you can still enjoy a stunning view by pulling over on the road.

The best way to see this viewpoint is heading south towards Vancouver, the lighting is best first thing in the morning. However if you are heading north there is a viewpoint on the right that also showcases these mountains.

There is no left turn into the main viewpoint when going north, please do not attempt this as it is very dangerous to do so.

18. Garibaldi Provincial Park

Garibaldi Lake is a stunning turquoise blue alpine lake and ranks among the best hikes in Whistler and British Columbia. It’s a long hike, so make sure you allocate a full day for the trip (another reason to extend your Whistler road trip)

The round trip covers a distance of 18km and involves an elevation gain of 800m. It will take at least 6- 8 hours to complete.

If you’re up for a challenge, you can extend your hike to include Panorama Ridge or Black Tusk. Camping overnight is also an option.

To reach Garibaldi Lake, keep an eye out for the sign indicating Garibaldi Provincial Park. After crossing a bridge, turn right onto Daisy Lake Road. The trailhead is located 2.5 km down the road from the Sea to Sky Highway.

19. Brandywine Falls Provincial Park

The next stop on this Vancouver to Whistler road trip is the mighty Brandywine Falls. This stunning waterfall cascades down a sheer cliff, plunging into a pool below.

Standing at approximately 70 meters tall, Brandywine Falls is one of the most popular Sea to Sky Highway attractions. The trail to the falls is fairly flat and leads to several scenic viewpoints. In the winter months the falls freezes over and is a sight to behold, it also makes a great trail if you want to snowshoe near Whistler.

To reach Brandywine Falls, simply turn right at the sign indicating Brandywine Falls off the highway. If the gates are closed, you cannot park here and run the risk of being towed.

20. Whistler Olympic Park

Known as the Nordic venue of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, Whistler Olympic Park is situated in the picturesque Callaghan Valley just south of Whistler.

Whether you prefer exploring the park on cross-country skis or snowshoes, or trying your hand at biathlon, the park provides equipment rentals, lessons, adult and children’s ski camps, and dog-friendly trails for skiing and snowshoeing.

If you’re visiting during the summer, you can relax and unwind at the newly constructed campground and check out some of the top hikes near Whistler.

21. Alexander Falls

Alexander Falls is a stunning waterfall near Whistler and although not as popular as Brandywine Falls or Shannon Falls, it is just as impressive.

With a height of 43 meters, the waterfall cascades down multiple tiers, creating a captivating sight. There is no hike necessary here as the falls are visible straight from the parking lot! 

Alexander Falls freezes in the winter months making it a great snowshoeing trail in Whistler. You can access the trail via the Callaghan Country. You will need to purchase a pass to access this trail.

22. Whistler Bungee

Whistler Bungee is probably the most unique attraction on this list of stops along the Sea to Sky Highway. I’ve never Bungee Jumped before but if you crave adrenaline this may be for you!

Imagine plunging 50 meters in a freefall from a narrow bridge into the stunning Cheakamus River canyon. The river, fed by glacial waters, showcases a mesmerizing bright blue hue.

To reach the bungee jumping site, head to Calcheak Forest Service Road in Whistler, BC.

23. Whistler Train Wreck

The Whistler Train Wreck is one of the top things to do in Whistler in summer. This trail leads to a series of de-railed box cars that are now covered in colourful graffiti.

The trail is flat for most of the way making it one of the easiest hikes near Whistler. It’s also one of the few hikes in Whistler that are accessible via public transport.

24. Whistler Village

You’ve arrived in Whistler! Whether it be rain or shine, a few days in Whistler is definitely a must. If you’re visiting in summer there is plenty to do including mountain biking, hiking, and camping in Whistler.

In the winter it’s famous for its world-class skiing at Whistler Blackcomb Resort. If you’re not a skier there is plenty to do in Whistler for non-skiers such as snowshoeing and snowmobiling.

On top of this Whistler hosts an array if festivals all-year from the Ski & Snowboarding festival, Crankworx, Whistler Beer Festival and Cornucopia food festival.

Extend Your Sea to Sky Highway Drive

The road trip from Vancouver to Whistler is just as beautiful as it sounds, but that doesn’t mean it has to end here. If you’re looking to spend even more time in British Columbia there are just as many must-see sights further afield. Here are some more ideas for your trip!

25. Green Lake Lookout

If you decide to head north of Whistler you’ll pass by the Green Lake lookout. Green lake is a glacial fed lake that is… bright green (how could you tell?) It’s actually one of my favourite lakes in Whistler and worth exploring if you have the time.

There are lots of biking trails around this area as well as short hikes that overlook the lake. Harbour Air also operates out of Green Lake and offers scenic views above Whistler.

If you only have time for a short stop, you can pull over on the road and get some quick snaps at the lookout.

26. Nairn Falls

Nairn Falls is about halfway between Whistler and Pemberton. The falls cascade down a series of rocky ledges, creating a mesmerizing display of rushing water and mist.

The short hike to the falls is relatively easy and offers beautiful views of the surrounding forest and mountains. Once you reach the viewing platform, you can witness the powerful force of the falls up close.

27. Pemberton

Pemberton is on a much smaller scale than Squamish or Whistler and despite being so close to the Resort of Whistler it still managed to retain its small-town charm.

One of my favourite places to visit in Pemberton is North Arm Farm. Nestled at the base of Mount Currie it’s great for a fun pit stop to stretch your legs. The onsite restaurant boasts a farm-to-table experience. You can also purchase produce from the farm and the shelves are stocked with hand-made preserves (the strawberry jam is amazing)

I also recommend checking out the Beer Farmers which is a craft brewery and farm located along the Pemberton Meadows Road. I really enjoy sitting here with a beer flight and walking through the sunflower fields in late August.

28. Lillooet Lake

Lillooet Lake is a glacial fed lake with a bright green colour. This area is one of the top places to camp near Whistler. Campgrounds include Strawberry Point, Twin One, Lizzie Bay and Driftwood Bay. On a hot day Lillooet Lake is great for swimming and paddle boarding.

29. Joffre Lakes

Joffre Lakes is a stunning collection of lakes with mesmerizing blue-green waters, giving it that distinct Canadian charm. Despite its rise in popularity Joffre still remains one of my personal favourite hikes in BC.

The hike to reach these picturesque lakes covers approximately 10km, and in comparison to other nearby hikes, it is relatively moderate in difficulty.

Joffre is an incredibly popular area. If you want to hike this trail it’s best to come as early in the day as you can. I personally won’t hike this trail after 8am due to the crowds. You will also need a BC Parks Day Pass to access this trail now.

30. Duffey Lake

This next section of the drive is called the Duffey Lake Road and is one of the most scenic drives in Canada. You’ll pass by Duffey Lake on the left hand side of the road. There is a boat launch and small parking area where you can make a quick pit-stop for any photos.

While there is no camping at Duffey Lake Provincial Park, there are campgrounds further up the road such as Rogers Creek and Cottonwood.

31. Seton Lake & Seton Lake Lookout

The Seton Lake area offers multiple hiking trails, picnic areas and a beach. This area was first inhabited by the interior Salish St’at’imc (STAH-tleum) people, and their underground homes can still be seen here.

I absolutely love Seton Lake. In the summer the water temperature is just perfect and a great way to cool down on a hot day.

If you want to experience of the top hikes near Lillooet, the Seton Lake Lookout is one of the best Sea to Sky Highway scenic stops. This short hike leads to a lookout of a bend in the road with Seton Lake in the background.

32. Lillooet

Lillooet is home to one of the only wineries in the Sea to Sky area. Fort Berens is Lillooet’s first winery, opening in 2009.

The winery and vineyard sit on 65 acres, complete with an onsite restaurant. Take time to stretch your legs on a self-guided tour of the vineyard, then sample some of BC’s very own wine. Fort Berens wines are available to purchase across BC liquor stores – the perfect souvenir!

Sea to Sky Highway Driving Times

If you drive without stopping from Vancouver to Whistler, it usually takes around 1 hour and 40 minutes to 2 hours. During winter, it might take longer because of the snowy conditions and the traffic from people going to Whistler for skiing.

If you plan to make many stops along the way, it’s best to set aside a whole day. Having explore the Sea to Sky corridor for the last 7 years, I’d recommend splitting the trip into 2 or 3 days.

Local’s Tip: It’s important to keep in mind that the Sea to Sky Highway connects a major city with a resort town, and it is expected for there to be delays on weekends and holidays.

I tend to leave Whistler on long weekends as the crowds are very high. The traffic leaving town on a Sunday (peak of summer and winter) can be backed up for hours. My recommendation is to either leave very early Sunday morning, or to stick around Whistler, have dinner and leave in the evening.

Tips For Driving The Sea To Sky Highway

It’s always best to to check the driving conditions before you leave on your epic road trip. You can check the Sea to Sky Highway conditions by visiting the web cam here in advance.

The Sea to Sky Highway is open for driving all year round, but the optimal time to travel from Vancouver to Whistler is from June to September when the hiking trails become accessible after the snow has melted. It is advisable to plan your trip on weekdays during this period to avoid the crowds that flock to the highway on weekends

As the highway is used by both locals and tourists, it can get quite busy. It is important to stay in the right lane unless passing and drive courteously. Due to the frequency of accidents, it is advisable to maintain a slow speed, even if local drivers are going faster.

From October 1st to March 31st, it is essential to equip your vehicle with winter tires or mud + snow tires to comply with regulations and avoid potential fines on your Vancouver to Whistler road trip. Services along the highway are limited, except in Squamish where you can find gas stations, restaurants, and shops.

If you’re doing this drive over several nights you shouldn’t have a problem, plus watching the sunset over Howe Sound is pretty spectacular.

Where to Eat & Drink on the Sea to Sky Highway

Britannia Beach

The Mountain Woman and Outbound Station are two of my favourites in Britannia beach and both are directly on the highway just a couple minutes from each other.


There are an abundance of places to eat in Squamish. Fox and Oak offers some of the best donuts in all of the Sea to Sky corridor. If you’re looking for brunch places in Squamish, the Crabapple Café and Fergie’s Café are both great contenders.

The Watershed Grill is one of my personal favourites, as mentioned in this post already. If you’re looking for a casual charcuterie board and wine, Cordelia’s Locket is a new spot that’s recently opened located right on the river.

If you’re looking for a tasty treat to complete a day of outdoor adventures in Squamish, Alice + Brohm goes beyond ordinary ice cream. Their real fruit ice cream is infused with chunks of fresh berries – yum!

If you want to experience some of the best breweries in Squamish, both Backcountry Brewing and A-Frame Brewing are both amazing.


Whistler Village is renowned for its fine-dining scene and you should experience at least one fine-dining experience during your time here. Some of my favourites include The Wildflower, Araxi, Il Caminetto and the Rim Rock Café in Whistler Creekside.

Locals tip: If visiting in the Spring or Fall there are “shoulder season” deals at most restaurants!

My favourite cheap eats in Whistler include Peaked Pies, Wildwood, Splitz Grill, Pasta Lupino and the Southside Diner.

Sea To Sky Highway Stops: FAQ

Is driving the Sea to Sky Highway worth it?

Yes! The entire journey offers something different around every corner. On this drive you can experience everything from lakes, waterfalls and mountains, to hiking, biking, canoeing and paddle boarding!

Where to stop for lunch between Vancouver and Whistler?

The perfect spot to stop for lunch is Squamish. My personal favourites include the Watershed and Fergie’s Café.

Where does the Sea to Sky Highway start and end?

The journey along the Sea to Sky Highway begins in the scenic neighborhood of Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver. While Whistler is often considered the final destination for many, the highway extends further to Pemberton, approximately 30 minutes beyond Whistler.

Is the Sea to Sky Highway easy to drive?

Navigating the Sea to Sky Highway can be demanding because of its twists and inclines, but it doesn’t present difficulties in terms of conditions of the road. By adhering to speed limits and heeding warning signs, you can safely traverse the route. During inclement weather, such as rain or snow, or when driving at night, it’s crucial to reduce your speed and exercise caution, as slippery surfaces can lead to skidding or sliding, particularly at higher speeds.

Do you need snow tires for the Sea to Sky Highway?

Winter tires are a requirement on the Sea to Sky Highway between October 1 and March 31. Ensure your tires have the snowflake symbol on them and must have a minimum tread depth of 3.5 mm and should not be worn out.

The police conduct random spot checks to ensure compliance with this requirement, and individuals found without appropriate winter tires may be issued tickets. If renting a car, ensure you request winter tires.

How long is the drive from Vancouver to Whistler?

The distance from Vancouver to Whistler is approximately 121 km, taking around 2-hours one way.

How long to spend on the Sea to Sky Highway Canada?

Although you can do the drive in 2 hours, I recommend spending at least 2 days to hit all the best spots and hikes.

Is the Sea to Sky Gondola worth it?

Yes, experiencing the Sea to Sky Gondola is definitely worth it despite the ticket price. It’s great for anyone who is short on time and wants to experience fantastic views of Howe Sound, or those who are unable to hike.

Booking tickets ahead of time is recommended to skip ticket lines.

Where are there public bathrooms on the Sea to Sky Highway

There are public bathrooms are Porteau Cove, Shannon Falls, Sea to Sky Gondola, Downtown Squamish, Brandywine Falls and Whistler.

About Rachael

Rachael is an avid adventurer and writer, originally hailing from London, England. She embarked on a life-changing journey by moving to Canada in 2016. Settling in the picturesque town of Whistler, British Columbia, Rachael found solace in the majestic beauty of the Canadian wilderness.

A City Girl Outside invites readers to embark on their own journeys of self-discovery and encourages them to embrace the transformative power of exploration.

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  1. One of my favorite drives for sure. Such beautiful scenery, I have to pinch myself that I’m not dreaming every time I see it and realise I live here!

  2. I’m so looking forward to doing this road trip next summer! I’m saving your post for later!! xx

  3. Fabulous post Rachel!
    I always love this drive. We go back and forth to Whistler a lot in winter, but going beyond up to Lillooet is SUCH a treat. 🙂 I have visited most of the rest of these spots, but I need to go and see those eagles!

    p.s. If you’d like another great place to eat in Pemberton, try the Pony. We had burgers there that were so good they made my Austrian friend cry! 😉

    1. We like the pony too! I was actually reading your blog on Lillooet the other day. I’ve not been yet, we planned to go this summer so we could check out the winery but problems with the car meant it didn’t happen 🙁 There is always next summer!

  4. There are some pretty spectacular views in Canada and I can’t wait to return to visit a few more of these locations! Thanks for all the great info!

  5. I’ve been to Vancouver and Whistler since I have family there from my dad’a side, but I haven’t immersed myself there enough. Your photos are so beautiful btw. This makes me want to go back

  6. Wow, looks so picturesque. Canada has been on my list for the longest. Your post makes me want to book a trip ASAP. Would love to go to these stops some day, thanks for sharing these recommendations!

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