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20+ Beautiful Weekend Getaways from Vancouver

Sunset over boat dock in Tofino, BC, one of over 20 weekend getaways from Vancouver

While Vancouver is a beautiful city with lots to offer, sometimes you just want to get out of town. Living here my whole life, I’ve been on more weekend getaways from Vancouver than I can count. I’ve put together a great list of over 20 weekend trips you can do from Vancouver. There’s something for everyone on this list from city-breaks to beach-town chill outs, to adventurous mountain towns, to foodie destinations. Since, I’m an outdoorsy person, most of the trips have an adventure focus, but there are lots of options for less sweaty activities too. All of these trips are a few hours’ drive (and in some cases ferry) away, and some of them you can do without a car. So here are my picks for the most beautiful weekend getaways from Vancouver.

 

NOTE: Most of the places below are open for travel now, but check first before you make plans. I included them all on the list because I want this post to be helpful after the pandemic is over.

 

Hey there: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you make a purchase. Thanks for supporting my website! -Taryn

 

Here’s a custom Google Map I made for you. I shows all of these beautiful weekend getaways from Vancouver, plus a few of the attractions, restaurants and attractions that I recommend.

 

Bowen Island

A BC ferry goes past the end of a dock on Bowen Island near Vancouver

The view from the dock on Bowen Island

Tiny Bowen Island is just minutes from Vancouver but feels worlds apart. This Howe Sound island is mostly forested, with lots of small beaches, which makes it a great place for kayaking and hiking.

The village of Snug Cove at the ferry dock has a few restaurants to choose from, but the pizza at Tuscany Restaurant is amazing. If you have a sweet tooth, check out Cocoa West Chocolatier for incredible (but expensive) handmade chocolates. Yoga and meditation are also really popular here, with several retreats on the island. 

How to Get to Bowen Island from Vancouver

Take the 20-minute ferry to Bowen Island from Horseshoe Bay. If you don’t have a car, you can take transit to the ferry and on the island. 

Where to Stay on Bowen Island

Airbnb: There are no hotels on Bowen Island, but there are lots of really cute cabins on Airbnb for rent. Book now

 

Squamish

Stawamus Chief mountain in Squamish

The majestic Stawamus Chief seen from the Squamish River estuary. The town is hidden behind the trees and out of the frame to the left.

Squamish is also known as the adventure capital of Canada. It sits at the head of Howe Sound sandwiched between mountain ranges. It has world-class hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, and kiteboarding.

For less heart-pumping adventures, ride the Sea to Sky Gondola up to a gorgeous mountain viewpoint, visit Shannon Falls, or swim at one of the lakes. If you get hungry, stop by Mags 99 for a giant burrito, or head to the Howe Sound Brewing company for pizza and craft beer.

How to Get to Squamish from Vancouver

Head north on Highway 99, the Sea to Sky Highway for 1 hour to Squamish. There is so much to see on the drive that I actually put together an entire Sea to Sky Highway road trip guide. If you don’t have a car, you can take a shuttle bus to Squamish.

Where to Stay in Squamish

Sunwolf Riverside Cabins: We stayed in these adorable cabins on a winter trip to Squamish. Bonus: Fergie’s Restaurant is on the property so getting the best breakfast in town is easy! Book now

Howe Sound Inn: This boutique hotel in the heart of downtown has a great craft brewery downstairs. Book now

Alice Lake Provincial Park Campground: The large campground here is really popular. More info

 

Whistler

The suspension bridge at Whistler Peak with a view of the Whistler valley below

The suspension bridge at Whistler Peak. You can see the town amongst the lakes in the valley below.

Whistler is a great weekend trip from Vancouver at any time of year. In the summer you can ride the Peak 2 Peak Gondola up the mountain for amazing views, go swimming in the lakes, stroll through the village, or hit up the famous mountain bike trails. Whistler also has some of the best hiking trails around. In the winter you can downhill ski and snowboard of course, but Whistler also has plenty of beautiful snowshoeing trails.

Whistler Village has a huge variety of restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops. I loooove the baked goods from Purebread. We usually stop at High Mountain Brewing after a hike – it’s the original spot to get craft beer in town.

How to Get to Whistler from Vancouver

Drive north from Vancouver for about 2 hours on the Sea to Sky Highway (Highway 99). The drive is so scenic that you’ll want to make lots of stops. Read my Sea to Sky Highway road trip guide for all the details. If you don’t have a car you can take a shuttle bus to Whistler. 

Where to Stay in Whistler

The Westin Resort and Spa: If you want to splurge, this is the place. My now-husband took me here to impress me when we were first dating. Book now

Summit Lodge Boutique Hotel: Apartment-style suite hotels are really popular in Whistler. This one is right in the village and gets great reviews. Book now

 

Pemberton

The view of Upper Joffre Lake from above. One of the best hikes in Whistler

The view of Upper Joffre Lake from above. The hike is a short drive from Pemberton.

Pemberton often gets overshadowed by Whistler, its flashier neighbour to the south. But Pemberton makes a great weekend getaway from Vancouver. It’s a chill, small town surrounded by mountains with lots of hiking and mountain biking trails. (Nearby Joffre Lakes is gorgeous.)

But it also has a strong farming and ranching history. Head to North Arm Farm for u-pick berries, a produce stand, and a cafe. Or book a horseback ride – Pemberton has more horses per capita than any other place in BC!

How to Get to Pemberton from Vancouver

From Vancouver, head north on Highway 99 (the Sea to Sky Highway) past Whistler to Pemberton, about 2.5 hours from Vancouver. If you’re looking for scenic places to stop on the drive, check out my Sea to Sky Highway road trip guide. If you don’t have a car you can take a shuttle bus to Whistler, then switch to public transit to Pemberton.

Where to Stay in Pemberton

Pemberton Valley Lodge: Highly rated all-suite hotel near downtown Pemberton and an easy walk to the One Mile Lake trails. Book now

Airbnb: There are lots of cute cabins and tiny houses for rent near Pemberton. Book now

Nairn Falls Provincial Park Campground: I’ve stayed at this campground a few times. It makes a great basecamp for day hikes in the area. More info

 

Sechelt and the South Sunshine Coast

Beach in Sechelt

Beach in Sechelt by David Stanley on Flickr. Used under CC by 2.0.

Sechelt is located on the Sunshine Coast, a short ferry ride from Vancouver, making it the perfect weekend trip. Make sure you also check out the nearby villages of Gibsons, Roberts Creek, and Halfmoon Bay next to the Pacific Ocean, surrounded by forest. There are tons of opportunities for hiking, mountain biking, and kayaking. But lots of people prefer to book a stay at a cabin or resort with a water view, then just chill out.

The Sechelt area is also an emerging destination for foodies and artisans with weekend farmer’s markets in Sechelt, Gibsons, and Roberts Creek. With lots of new craft breweries, distilleries, cider houses popping up, the area now has its own Sunshine Coast Ale Trail. My husband loves the beer at Persephone Brewing near the Langdale ferry terminal.

How to Get to Sechelt from Vancouver

From Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver, take ferry to Langdale then head north on Highway 101 (the Sunshine Coast Highway). Make a reservation for the ferry as it can get booked up. It takes about 2.5 hours to get to Sechelt from Vancouver, including the ferry ride. If you don’t have a car you can take public transit on both sides of the ferry.

Where to Stay in Sechelt and the South Sunshine Coast

Rockwater Secret Cove Resort: This one has is special for me since it’s where I got engaged! The luxury tent cabins are unreal and worth the splurge! Book now

Airbnb: There are tons of cute cabins for rent near Sechelt. Alfie the A-frame is particularly adorable. Book now 

Roberts Creek Provincial Park Campground: This forested campground is in between the ferry terminal and Sechelt. More info

 

Powell River and the North Sunshine Coast

Hiker on Tin Hat Mountain the Sunshine Coast Trail in British Columbia, Canada.

Standing on top of Tin Hat Mountain on the Sunshine Coast Trail near Powell River. That’s Powell Lake below me.

Sleepy Powell River is a bit more off the beaten path than Sechelt to the South. It’s a logging town with tons of outdoor adventure possibilities. The 180km-long Sunshine Coast Trail runs through the outskirts of town, making Powell River a great jumping-off point for  day hikes if you don’t have time for the whole thing. It’s also the starting point for the Powell Forest Canoe route and home to some off-the-beaten-path rock climbing.

The historic downtown is home to Townsite Brewing. On my last visit, we spent a fun couple of hours there tasting beer before heading to Costa del Sol in downtown Powell River for some tasty Mexican food. Don’t miss a trip to the cute village of Lund 30 minutes north of Powell River. Head to Nancy’s Bakery on the waterfront to get one of the famous cinnamon buns.

How to Get to Powell River from Vancouver

Take the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Langdale, then drive the Sunshine Coast Highway north to Earl’s Cove and take another ferry to Saltery Bay. From there, continue north to Powell River. The entire trip takes about 4.5 hours, but it’s really scenic. You can make a reservation for the Langdale ferry, but the Earl’s Cove-Saltery Bay ferry is first-come, first served. If you don’t have a car you can take public transit and the Sunshine Coast Connector bus. 

Where to Stay in Powell River and the North Sunshine Coast

Frolander Bay Resort: We found this great vacation rental on Airbnb and stayed for a few days while doing day hikes on the Sunshine Coast Trail. It’s a 2-minute walk from the beach and at night deer hung out in the yard. Book now

The Magical Dome: This quirky rental cabin near Lund has been on my list, but it was booked last time we went to Powell River. It looks like a hobbit house! Book now

 

Parksville

Beach in Parksville on Vancouver Island

Parksville Beach by Marneejill on Flicker. Used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Parksville is a beach town just north of Nanaimo on Vancouver Island. With kilometres of sandy beaches, it’s the perfect weekend getaway from Vancouver. In summer they have an incredible sandcastle competition.

And there are gorgeous waterfalls if you head inland: check out Englishman River Falls and Little Qualicum Falls. The quirky Old Country Market in Coombs is also a short drive away. (It’s the place that famously has goats on the roof!)

How to Get to Parksville from Vancouver

Take the ferry to Nanaimo then drive north on the Island Highway (Highway 19) to Parksville, 3 hours from Vancouver. If you don’t have a car you can take public transit to the ferry, then the Vancouver Island Connector bus. 

Where to Stay in Parksville

Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Resort: I know people who return to this beachfront resort year after year. Their Grotto Spa also looks really cool. Book now

Airbnb: There are a few cute cabins and vacation rentals really close to the beach. Book now

Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park Campground: The campsites here are right next to a huge sandy beach. Listen for sea lions across the bay at night. More info

 

Tofino

Cabins at Ocean Village on MacKenzie Beach in Tofino

The cabins at Ocean Village on MacKenzie Beach in Tofino

Tofino on Vancouver Island’s West Coast is a popular weekend getaway from Vancouver. Explore the long sandy beaches, go for a hike in the lush rainforest, or hit the waves at Canada’s most famous surf spot. If you’re looking to get a bit off the beaten path, head a bit south to the neighbouring town of Ucluelet, which is much quieter and just as cute. Or take a water taxi to the old-growth trees on  Meares Island or the sandy beaches of the Wild Side Trail on Flores Island.

Don’t miss the Tacofino food truck for some of the best tacos in BC. If you’re looking for sit down dinner, head to Shelter Restaurant. My husband and I had a great dinner there for our anniversary a few years ago.

How to Get to Tofino from Vancouver

Take the ferry Nanaimo and go north on the Island Highway (Highway 19), then west on the Pacific Rim Highway (Highway 4). It’s a 5.5-hour journey including the ferry, but it’s a gorgeous drive. If you don’t have a car you can take public transit to the ferry, then the Vancouver Island Connector bus. 

Where to Stay in Tofino

Ocean Village: These adorable gothic-arched cabins are right on the water at Mackenzie Beach. Book now

Island Village at Fred Tibbs: We stayed at these waterfront condos right in the centre of Tofino on an anniversary trip. Book now.

Pacific Rim National Park Campground: The campsites at Green Point are right next to Long Beach, a huge sandy beach. More info

 

Southern Gulf Islands

A dog and hiker on the summit of Mount Galiano on Galiano Island, one of the Gulf Islands near Vancouver

Hiking Mount Galiano on Galiano Island

The Gulf Islands are a group of over 200 small islands between Vancouver Island the mainland of British Columbia. Most people visit the larger Southern Gulf Islands: Saltspring, Galiano, Pender, Mayne, and Saturna. Each island has its own personality, but they all offer beautiful ocean views, beaches, forest hikes, farmer’s markets, and artisan studios.

Saltspring is the largest and most populated island, so it has the most things to do. Galiano is a bit smaller and a little more sleepy. (My sister used to live there so I wrote and entire guide to outdoor adventures on Galiano.) Pender, Mayne, and Saturna have fewer shops, restaurants, and services than Saltspring and Galiano, so do a bit of research before you go to find out what’s available. 

How to Get to the Gulf Islands From Vancouver

Ferries sail to the Gulf Islands from Tsawwassen. There are direct sailings to some islands, but for others you’ll have to take a ferry that stops at several islands, making the trip a bit longer. The views from the ferry are gorgeous, so you probably won’t mind. Travel time to the Gulf Islands from Vancouver is between 2 and 3.5 hours depending on the ferry schedule. 

Where to Stay on the Gulf Islands

Poets Cove Resort and Spa: I stayed at this waterfront resort on Pender Island once for a wedding and it’s gorgeous! Book now

Airbnb: Over the years we’ve stayed at some great Airbnbs on Saltspring and Galiano Island. Book now

Ruckle Provincial Park Campground: I LOVE the walk-in campsites at Ruckle Provincial Park on Saltspring Island. They are right on the ocean and have amazing views. More info

 

Victoria

The harbour in Victoria BC, an easy weekend getaway from Vancouver

Victoria’s harbour is pretty gorgeous

Victoria is British Columbia’s capital city, but it’s not a stodgy government town. It has a beautiful harbour, interesting museums, historical buildings, a foodie scene, and easy access to beaches and trails. I’ve visited Victoria countless times as I have several good friends who live there. One of my favourite things to do in Victoria is to bike the flat, scenic, and quiet Lochside and Galloping Goose trails. I also love walking in Beacon Hill park or along the Waterfront Trail on Dallas Road.

For indoor activities, I like the Royal British Columbia Museum and Craigdarroch Castle. Victoria’s compact downtown also is a great place to shop. I can’t go to Victoria without going to the fabulous Silk Road Tea store. If you want amazing baking, head to Fol Epi in Vic West. The croissants are sooo good.

How to Get to Victoria from Vancouver

Take the ferry to Swartz Bay from Tsawwassen, then head south on Highway 17 (Patricia Bay Highway) to Victoria. It’s a 3-hour trip. If you don’t have a car, you can take public transit.

Where to Stay in Victoria

Abbeymoore Manor: I’ve stayed at this historic B&B a few times since my friends used to live around the corner. It’s a beautiful house. And breakfast is included! Book now

Hotel Zed: This renovated motel has an amazing and photogenic retro vibe. It looks like an awesome place to stay on a budget. Book now

 

Pacific Marine Circle Route

A hiker explores a hidden waterfall inside a canyon near Sombrio Beach on the Pacific Marine Circle Route

Exploring a hidden waterfall at Sombrio Beach on the Pacific Marine Circle Route

The Pacific Marine Circle Route is a 260km-long loop road trip on Southern Vancouver Island. It’s the perfect length to drive over a weekend. The route starts and finishes in Victoria. The first half of the route travels along the coast past Sooke. You can stop for hikes in the rainforest, waterfalls, or visits to wilderness beaches. Spend the night in Port Renfrew, my favourite small town, and visit Avatar Grove, home of Canada’s tallest trees and the starting point for the famous West Coast Trail.

On the second half of the route, drive inland past more giant trees to Lake Cowichan and the farms in the Cowichan Valley. Finish the trip by heading back to Victoria along the Malahat Highway. Read my complete guide to the Pacific Marine Circle Route. It has everything you need to know to take this road trip including driving directions, where to stop, the best hikes, and more. 

How to Get to the Pacific Marine Circle Route from Vancouver

Catch the ferry to Swartz Bay from Tsawwassen. Take Highway 17 (Patricia Bay Highway) south towards Victoria, then follow Highway 1 west to Highway 14 (Sooke Road), which is the start of the circle route. It will take you three hours of driving and ferry to get to the beginning of the Pacific Marine Circle Route from Vancouver. 

Where to Stay on the Pacific Marine Circle Route

Wild Renfrew: We stayed at these gorgeous waterfront cabins in Port Renfrew. They even have patios with fire pits. Book now

Trailhead Resort: This budget place is really popular with hikers starting or finishing the West Coast Trail. Book now

Pacheedaht Campground: I’ve camped here a few times and it’s gorgeous. Some of the sites are right on the beach. More info

 

Bellingham, Washington

View of the waterfront in Bellingham, Washington

Fairhaven neighbourhood of Bellingham. Photo credit: Tourism Bellingham

Bellingham, Washington is more than a place to do some cross-border shopping or buy cheap groceries. It’s actually a cute college town on the ocean with a historic district called Fairhaven. Bellingham is also a craft beer haven with 16 micro-breweries, many of which are gastro-pubs as too.

One of the best things to do is cruise along Chuckanut Drive, a twisty road along the coast through the forest with some great views. There are also lots of hiking and mountain bike trails, quiet country roads for road biking, and kayaking in sheltered bays of Puget Sound.

How to Get to Bellingham, Washington from Vancouver

Head south from Vancouver on Highway 99 to the border then continue south on I5 to Bellingham. The drive will take about 1.25 hours. If you don’t have a car you can take the Bolt Bus.

Where to Stay in Bellingham, Washington

Hotel Leo: The rooms at this downtown hotel have really cool modern decor. Book now

Airbnb: There are lots of cute rentals in Bellingham and on Chuckanut Drive. Book now

Larrabee State Park Campground: This campground on Chuckanut Drive is right on the water with easy access to hiking trails. More info

 

Whidbey Island and Deception Pass, Washington

View of the Deception Pass bridge on Whidbey Island from Lighthouse Point

The Deception Pass bridge on Whidbey Island from a hiking trail at Lighthouse Point in Deception Pass State Park

Tucked into the north end of Puget Sound, the Deception Pass area is strikingly beautiful: tiny tree-covered islands, swirling currents, and sea cliffs. I love hiking in Deception Pass State Park or enjoying the view from the famous bridge.

Long and narrow Whidbey Island has lots of other pretty spots too including Ebey’s Landing, WWII era defences at Fort Ebey and Fort Casey, wineries, farmers markets, whale watching tours, and sleepy historic towns. 

How to Get to Whidbey Island and Deception Pass, Washington from Vancouver

From Vancouver, go south on Highway 99 and cross the border, then continue south on I5. Head west on Highway 20 to Deception Pass and Whidbey Island. It’s a 2-hour drive.

Where to Stay in Whidbey Island and Deception Pass, Washington

Captain Whidbey Inn: This historic house is now an amazing looking B&B. Book now.

Airbnb: There are tons of vacation rentals on Whidbey Island. Lots of them are right on the water too. Book now

Deception Pass State Park Campground: I love camping here – you can walk to the beach and there are lots of hiking trails. More info 

 

Seattle, Washington

Seattle skyline at night

Seatle’s skyline is pretty spectacular. That’s Mount Rainier in the background

Seattle is a gorgeous city, sitting between the waters of Puget Sound and the snowy peak of Mount Rainier. Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, the world’s first Starbucks, and the Museum of Pop Culture are all must-sees. Lots of visitors on a weekend getaway from Vancouver take in a baseball, football, or soccer game.

To get a bit more off-the-beaten-path, I recommend the Underground Tour, where you’ll learn a bit about the city while walking through historic underground tunnels.

How to Get to Seattle, Washington from Vancouver

It’s an easy 2.5-hour drive from Vancouver to Seattle. Take Highway 99 south to the border, then continue on I5 to Seattle. If you don’t have a car you can take the Bolt Bus.

Where to stay in Seattle

Ace Hotel: This hipster spot is in Belltown, a trendy neighbourhood close to downtown. Book now

Airbnb: Seattle can be a pricey city, but you can usually find good deals on rental apartments on Airbnb. Book now 

 

Harrison Hot Springs

The hot springs pools at Harrison Hot Springs Resort

The hot springs pools at Harrison Hot Springs Resort. Photo credit: Harrisonresort.com

Harrison Hot Springs is a small resort community in the Fraser Valley. The main attraction is the hot springs, which are piped into a series of pools at the Harrison Hotsprings Resort as well to a public community pool. (Did you know we have lots of other amazing hot springs in Canada?)

It’s also a great spot for hiking and mountain biking. In the summer, boating is really popular and there’s also a cool pop-up waterpark in the lake.

How to Get to Harrison Hot Springs from Vancouver

Go east on Highway 1, then take Highway 9 north to cross the Fraser River. On the other side, go left onto Highway 7 for a minute, then right onto Hot Springs Road. It’s a 2-hour drive to Harrison Hot Springs from Vancouver.

Where to Stay in Harrison Hot Springs

Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa: Staying at this hotel gets you exclusive entrance to their deluxe hot springs pools. Book now

Sasquatch Provincial Park Campground: Camping at the lakes in this park is popular since it’s a short drive to Harrison Hot Springs. More info

 

Manning Park

Lupines and wildflowers at Poland Lake in Manning Park

Incredible wildflowers on an alpine hiking trail in Manning Provincial Park

E.C. Manning Provincial Park is one of BC’s most popular parks. In the winter it has a ski resort and lots of snowshoeing trails. In the summer it’s one of my favourite places to hike with kilometre upon kilometre of wildflower meadows.

You can also go canoeing on Lightning Lakes, walk nature trails, and spot wildlife. The ground squirrels are particularly cute. In the winter, they have a downhill ski area, cross-country skiing, and tons of snowshoeing trails

How to Get to Manning Park from Vancouver

From Vancouver, head east on Highway 1. Just past Hope, take Highway 3 into Manning Park. It’s a 2.5-hour drive from Vancouver.

Where to Stay in Manning Park

Manning Park Resort: The only lodging in the heart of the park, they have cute cabins and a pool. Book now

Manning Provincial Park Campground: There are four campgrounds in the park, but the nicest sites are at Lightning Lake. More info

 

Kamloops

The view of downtown Kamloops from the Panorama Inn

The view of Kamloops from the Panorama Inn. Photo credit: Destination BC/TanyaGoehring

I have family in Kamloops, so I’ve spent a lot of time in the area. It has an incredible network of hiking and mountain biking trails, many of which are right in the city. The beaches along the riverfront are a great place to go for a swim or head out of town to the nearby lakes.

Kamloops has also gotten into the craft beer scene lately, with five breweries and two taphouses in town. With its sunny climate, a weekend in Kamloops can be just what you need to escape the rains in Vancouver in spring and fall. 

How to Get to Kamloops from Vancouver

Go east on Highway 1, then continue on the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) just past Hope. The drive takes about 3.5 hours.

Where to Stay in Kamloops

Fairfield Inn and Suites: I’ve stayed at this hotel a few times recently while visiting family. It’s a newer hotel so the rooms are really nice, but the prices are quite reasonable. Plus it includes breakfast. Book now

Sandman Signature Kamloops Hotel: This new hotel has a fabulous location right on the riverfront. Book now.

 

The Okanagan

Looking down on vineyards in Summerland in BC's Okanagan region - one of over 20 great weekend getaways from Vancouver

Vineyards in Summerland in the Okanagan

The Okanagan is a big region, stretching from Sicamous in the north to Osoyoos in the south. Okanagan Lake runs through the middle of the valley, along with lots of other smaller lakes, perfect for boating and with great beaches. You can base yourself in the major city of Kelowna, or explore some of the cute small towns like Oliver and Penticton.

If you head to Osoyoos, be sure to visit Nk’mip Desert Centre. It showcases Canada’s only desert and the culture of the local Sylix people. The hot and dry climate is also ideal for orchards and vineyards. There are over 200 wineries to visit, but I like the smaller organic ones near Summerland. (I’ve got details on how to visit them in my self-guided Summerland winery tour.)

How to Get to the Okanagan from Vancouver

From Vancouver, head east on Highway 1, then take the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) to Merritt. Switch to Highway 97-C east to get to Kelowna. It’s a 4-hour drive from Vancouver. 

Where to Stay in the Okanagan

Sparkling Hill Resort: This adults-only spa-focused resort near Vernon has amazing views and luxe rooms. Book now

Hotel Zed: Like their sister location in Victoria, this budget motel in Kelowna has an incredible retro look. Book now

Okanagan Lake Provincial Park Campground: This large campground is right on the shores of Okanagan Lake. More info

 

Wells Gray Provincial Park

Helmcken Falls in Wells Gray Provincial Park - an easy weekend getaway from Vancouver

Helmcken Falls in Wells Gray provincial park. This viewing platform is an easy 5-minute walk from the parking lot.

Wells Gray Provincial Park is located in British Columbia’s interior north of Kamloops near the town of Clearwater. It’s a huge park with giant lakes and lots of hiking trails. But it is famous for its waterfalls. There are 8 waterfalls easily accessible from the main park road, plus dozens more in the backcountry. Don’t miss 141m-high Helmcken Falls. It’s the 4th-tallest waterfall in Canada. (Check out my guide to visiting waterfalls in Wells Gray.)

The park is in ranch country, so if you want to live like a cowboy, there are tons of lodges nearby where you can go horseback riding or have a cook-out. 

How to Get to Wells Gray from Vancouver

Head east from Vancouver on Highway 1, then take the Coquihalla Highway (Highway 5) to Kamloops. Continue north from Kamloops on Highway 5 to Clearwater, then turn left onto Clearwater Valley Road and follow it into the park.

Where to Stay in Wells Gray

Wells Gray Guest Ranch: Located right in the park, this Western-style property has great cowboy vibes. Book now

Across the Creek Cabins: These cute cabins are nestled in the forest inside the park. Book now

Wells Gray Provincial Park Campground: Camp near a waterfall and lake at the Clearwater Campground. More info

 

Revelstoke

Paragliding in Revelstoke, BC

Tandem paragliding above Revelstoke. It was both amazing and terrifying

Revelstoke is the ultimate BC mountain town: it has world-class mountain biking, hiking, skiing, and paragliding from the highest launch in North America. I spent a weekend there last fall and couldn’t believe how much I loved it. It also has one of my favourite things: hot springs! There are several hot springs a near town, including the gorgeous undeveloped Halfway River Hot Springs.

Revelstoke also has a surprisingly robust culinary scene for such a small town with a little farmers markets, great restaurants, micro-breweries, and not one but TWO distilleries! Check out my guide to things to do in Revelstoke to plan your trip. 

How to Get to Revelstoke from Vancouver

Head east from Vancouver on Highway 1, then take the Coquihalla Highway to Kamloops. From there, continue east on Highway 1. It’s a 6-hour drive from Vancouver to Revelstoke.

Where to Stay in Revelstoke

The Regent Hotel: We stayed at this somewhat upscale, family-run hotel on our trip to Revelstoke. It was nice without being pretentious. Book now

The Cube: This budget hotel has a really cool cube-inspired look. It’s perfect for outdoorsy visitors because it has a gear drying room and a shared kitchen. Book now

 

Go Camping

Tents in a rainforest campground in British Columbia. Camping is one of many great weekend getaways from Vancouver

Camping is a great weekend getaway from Vancouver

One of the cheapest ways to go on a weekend getaway from Vancouver is to go camping. There are lots of amazing camping spots fairly close to town. You can camp on a lake, by the ocean, or in the mountains. However, camping is popular so make a reservation in advance to make sure you get a spot. Below are some of my suggestions for the best campgrounds near Vancouver.

Where to Go Camping Near Vancouver

Porteau Cove Provincial Park: This oceanside campground is on the Sea to Sky Highway in between West Vancouver and Squamish. If you have a tent, the walk-in sites near the water are sooo gorgeous. More info

Alice Lake Provincial Park: This popular campground at the north end of Squamish is near four lakes. There are kayak rentals on-site, plus tons of hiking and mountain biking trails. More info

Nairn Falls Provincial Park: Situated just south of Pemberton, this campground is a great place to base yourself for hikes in the area or visits to Whistler. It also has one of the best waterfall hikes near Vancouver. More info

Golden Ears Provincial Park: This Maple Ridge park has three large campgrounds on Alouette Lake near lots of trails. You can rent canoes and kayaks too. More info.

Cultus Lake Provincial Park: This popular provincial park has four campgrounds along the sandy shores of Cultus Lake. It’s a popular spot for boaters or just hanging out on the beach. More info

 

With over 20 weekend trips from Vancouver on this list, I’m sure you’ll find one to add to your list. What is your favourite weekend getaway from Vancouver? Tell me in the comments.

 

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