Best Day Trips from Vancouver
Vancouver is an amazing city that has a lot to offer. Nonetheless, you might feel like leaving the city for a day and explore the surrounding area.
No matter for which reason you want to head out, whether you want to escape the hustle and bustle for a bit or go and experience some more nature, there are tons of great activities, adventures and places waiting for you just outside the city limits that will give you a true taste of Canada's nature and wildlife.
So, if you feel like escaping the city, opt for one of these 5 amazing day trips (or all of them at best!)...
1. Deep Cove
Deep Cove is a small community in the eastern part of the District of North Vancouver. You can reach it by car or take a bus there from the city center. Despite being only half an hour away, Deep Cove is everything but busy and simply feels like paradise (check out the picture above). It looks like the little picturesque cove town written about by many authors: One main street with cozy coffee shops and restaurants, a small park with lots of benches and picnic places next to the small but incredibly beautiful beach.
Simply sitting there, enjoying the view of the cove surrounded by tree covered hills would be reason enough for a visit already but there are even more. For starters, there is a kayak rental offering lessons and simply renting out boats all day long. Paddling along the coast line is the best way to explore Deep Cove and to discover beautiful houses situated in the hills and hidden behind the trees. If the water is clear, you might even be able to see some starfish on the ground. The best time to go for a tour is as soon as the shop opens since the bay looks stunning in the morning light.
If you still have some energy left after paddling or looking for another sporty activity, opt for a hike to Quarry Rock. 1,25-mile-long trail starts right behind Deep Cove’s beach. It’s quite steep but not to hard to walk since wooden stairs have been built at some stretches. The hike will take you through the forest up to the rock, from which you’ll have a panoramic view onto the Cove and it’s surrounding parts. Depending on the weather conditions, you might even be able to view some of Vancouver’s skyscrapers. So, even if you’re not the sporty type, go for that hike, it’s worth it!
No matter how you spent your relaxing day at Deep Cove, you should end it with a delicious dinner on the main street where you can sit outside in one of the numerous restaurants. Despite being a small town, Deep Cove has a lot to offer when it comes to food: You’ll find everything from classical burgers, sandwiches and pizza to fancy salads, pasta, seafood and even sushi. The perfect way to end your day!
2. Capilano Suspension Bridge
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is great for anyone who likes adventure and wants to experience nature. It might not be the cheapest activity (47$ for an adult) but it’s worth the money since there’s a lot to do. For example, you can start your adventure by walking over the 137 meters long suspension bridge which spans the canyon about 70 meters above the Capilano River.
Arriving on the other side, you can continue your way to the treetop adventure where smaller suspension bridges will take you from tree to tree on canopy level. Back on the ground, there’s a beautiful walking path to explore parts of the canyon. Last but not least, there’s the cliffwalk, a very small walkway right above the canyon that will give you a true adrenaline kick!
3. Mount Seymour
Mount Seymour might not be as spectacular as Whistler Mountain but therefore it’s easy to reach from Vancouver downtown. Once you arrived on top either by car or by bus, there are numerous trails to choose from. They come in different difficulties and take from an hour up to a whole day. Take a look at the information boards or look up the trails on the internet before you go there to choose one that matches what you want to do. Most trails come across one or several viewpoints that offer incredible views. You should opt for one of those hikes!
4. Sea to Sky Gondola
This trip is a great option for anyone who wants to enjoy having a great view without having to climb up a mountain. The small Gondola which fits eight people will take you to the top of Stawamus Chief in a breathtaking ride offering panoramic views of the mountains and Howe Sound Glacier. You will arrive at the Summit Lodge where you can enjoy the scenery, a drink and a bite to eat.
There are many trails starting at the Lodge that will lead you around the mountain, offering even more breathtaking views. Most of them are quite short and easy to walk. If you are up for a bigger hike, there is the possibility to walk skip the Gondola and instead walk up or down (or both) Stawamus Chief mountain via the Sea to Summit walk. Note that this is a very demanding hike with an elevation gain of about 900 meters.
5. Whale Watching in Steveston
Last but not least, a trip that has nothing to do with hiking since it’s not that much about exploring nature but rather wildlife. Canada has lots of whales, especially killer whales which it is famous for. The peak time for spotting them is from June to September and there are many other whales to see all year around.
Whale watching tours are offered all around Vancouver and even downtown, but Steveston is the best option since it’s a spot where lots of whales are staying throughout the year. Furthermore, the town itself is worth a visit, being an old little fishing town with great restaurants located right at the sea serving fresh sea food.
Furthermore, there’s an extensive network of beautiful walkways and parks along the coast line. Go for a walk or simply have a seat and breath in some salty air to finish your day trip of perfectly.
By Alina Correll