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Vancouver is an epic city to spend time in, whether you’re living there or just visiting. One of the largest and most densely populated metropolises in Canada, Vancouver is a hustling and bustling, west coast seaport city with loads to see, do, and take in. In fact, the city is incredibly ethnically diverse, making it a melting pot of culture, heritage, and history! Partly for this very reason, Vancouver is known to be very modern and trendy, meaning that there are seemingly endless options for galleries, theaters, and other artsy type places to visit.

But sometimes, life in the city just gets a bit much, but luckily, if you would like to see something different for a few days, there are lots of awesome weekend getaways from Vancouver. Whether you’d like to get out into the mountains or explore one of Canada’s many quaint small towns, you’re sure to find a destination that piques your interest.

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The Best Places to Go for Weekend Trips from Vancouver

Weekend getaways Vancouver skyline as sunrise
Image via Pexels by Adi K

Vancouver is surrounded by a plethora of phenomenal locations for epic weekend getaways if you just need some time off from the busy city streets. Here are a few of the best options for weekend trips from Vancouver – good luck picking just one!

Whistler, British Columbia

View across Lost Lake towards forest in Whistler, BC
Image via Unsplash by Carlos Blanco

Of course, Whistler simply has to be on this list, so we’re going to start with this world-famous, snowy little town just north of Vancouver. If you’re a lover of Canadian winters and like to embrace the snow and all it offers, then you absolutely need to spend a weekend in Whistler – or more!

Not only is it a beautiful little winter wonderland, but there’s just so much to do. As a well-established holiday and resort town, everything is well-established and organized, so all you really have to do is decide what you fancy doing with your time and get on it – the rest will be history.

It’s also worth bearing in mind that although Whistler is renowned for its wintertime activities, it’s also an awesome place to visit in summer. The snow-covered mountains turn into sunny peaks just waiting to be explored and the lakes warm up, becoming a summer paradise. So whether you’re looking for a summertime or wintertime getaway, Whistler could be the place for you.

Here are a few of the coolest things to do during your weekend getaway from Vancouver:

Whether you want to just explore the landscape and enjoy the scenery or really get stuck in and hit the slopes, you’re bound to have an epic weekend in Whistler.

Distance Between Vancouver and Whistler: 120 km, an hour and a half

Where to Stay in Whistler: Blackcomb Springs Suites

Squamish, British Columbia

Squamish River view of mountains and the valley
Image via Unsplash by Suzanne Rushton

Squamish, British Columbia used to be one of the best and most well-known day trips from Vancouver or even Whistler, but today, it’s a holiday destination in its own right. It’s fast become known as the adventure capital of British Columbia, and there really is no guessing why! In Squamish, you can spend your days exploring the picturesque mountains, rivers, trails, and even the coastline. It really is a dream destination for outdoor enthusiasts, and if you’re on the hunt for day trips from Vancouver, Squamish is nice and close.

The views are just absolutely terrific – postcard-worthy material, to say the least – and the best part of the Squamish landscape is its diversity. That means that you can gaze out into the distance from beside a lake, the top of a mountain trail, within a river, or on the ocean – each one providing you with a different vantage point and exceptional views.

Best of all, while you’re exploring the gorgeous terrain, make sure you keep an eye out for animals of all sorts – whether it’s majestic birds or friendly horses from a local ranch.

Some of the best things to do in Squamish:

So stop wasting time wondering what you’re going to get up to! With so many epic things to choose from, Squamish is the perfect place for a weekend getaway, whether you’re looking for something for the whole family or romantic trips from Vancouver.

Distance Between Vancouver and Squamish: 65, an hour

Best Place to Stay in Squamish: Squamish Adventure Inn

Victoria, British Columbia

Image via Unsplash by Andre Boysen

The capital of British Columbia, Victoria is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island. Known as the garden city of Canada, it’s one of the oldest cities in the pacific northwest, and it offers lots of pretty views and cool things to do.

Now, we all know that Canadian winters can be pretty harsh. If you’re not a fan of the extreme cold and gnarly snow, Victoria’s mild winters are probably going to become your new favorite thing. Similarly, the city’s summers aren’t extreme either. They’re warm but mild, making for a great place to enjoy some sunshine but not have to suffer through unbearable heat. Win!

Victoria is a smallish city so it’s pretty quick and easy to get around. So if you’re leaving Vancouver because you need a break from the massive city and busy streets, Victoria is a pretty different vibe. But best of all, it’s a trendy and fun city with lots to do and see.

Here are a few of the best things to do in Victoria:

Regardless of how you decide to spend your time, an escape to Victoria is hands down one of the best options for weekend getaways from Vancouver, full of incredible things to do and see. Don’t miss out!

Distance from Vancouver to Victoria:115 km, 3 hours

Where to Stay in Victoria: Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites

Sechelt and the South Sunshine Coast, British Columbia

weekend getaways vancouver Skookumchuk Rapids view of water
Image via Flickr by Isthmene Yoshizawa

Enjoy the laid-back vibe of Sechelt when you visit for a short weekend getaway from Vancouver. This sweet little coastal town is northwest of Vancouver, located on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast. With a community of only 10,000 people, Schelt is the perfect place to go if you’d like something a little different. Whether you spend all your time outdoors or exploring the town, you’re sure to enjoy your vacation.

Visiting in summer is definitely recommended, especially if you’re hoping to spend your days lounging on the beaches and soaking up some rays. But if you are there in winter, there’s still plenty to do in the town!

Here are a few of the best things to do in Sechelt:

Sechelt is an epic destination for weekend getaways because it truly is so diverse! You can go for a hike, a swim, and enjoy a show all in one day.

Distance Between Sechelt and Vancouver: 70 km, 2 hours

Where to Stay in Sechelt: The White House (not the White House, but a White House, so to speak)

Port Renfrew, British Columbia

Botanical Beach Provincial Park Coastline by trees and cliff
Image via Flickr by Mike W

A fisherman’s dream, Port Renfrew is a gorgeous lake district where you can go fishing galore and just enjoy the serenity of the great Canadian outdoors. You don’t necessarily need to be an expert seafarer either. If you like, you can take your own fishing gear along. But if you’d rather get some local insight and assistance, you should definitely consider doing a sport fishing excursion – this is great for both learners and experienced fishermen! Salmon, Steelhead, and trout are among the best fish you can catch in the area.

Port Renfrew is also home to wonderful greenery, including a few interesting and important trees – for instance, Red Creek Fir is Canada’s largest standing Douglas fir tree and Big Lonely Doug is the second largest. The trails and lakes in the area are truly breathtaking, allowing for some truly phenomenal views – best of all, there are loads of options available to you!

Here are a few of the best things to do during your getaway to Port Renfrew:

So jump in your car and hit the road, because Port Renfrew is just waiting to be explored!

Distance Between Vancouver and Port Renfrew: 220 km, 4 hours and 25 minutes

Where to Stay in Port Renfrew: West Coast Chalets

Final Thoughts on Unforgettable Weekend Trips from Vancouver

weekend getaways vancouver lions gate bridge aerial view
Image via Unsplash by Lee Robinson

We may not have mentioned all the possible places you can visit and things you can do in Vancouver – because, how could we – but these epic places are some of the best! Now, you don’t need to waste your precious time doing research on where to go, because we’ve done it all for you. With the five best places to go for weekend trips from Vancouver, along with the best things to do and top suggestions of places to stay, all you have to do make your choice for your weekend getaway from Vancouver.

So whether you’re a fan of hanging out at the seaside, fishing on the lakes, or exploring the art and culture scene in a town or small city, we’ve got you covered. So pack your bags and get out the door because there’s so much to see and do outside of Vancouver!

What are some restaurant recommendations in Whistler?

If you want to get a little fancy, try The Raven Room. Want to get your craft beer on, check out Coast Mountain Brewing. Looking for an energetic spot with great vibes, stop over at Tapley’s Neighbourhood Pub.

When are the best times of the year to see whales in Victoria?

Victoria’s Inner harbor is much closer to whale-watching grounds than what you can see in Vancouver. The best times for whale watching are when the waters are warmer like in late April to early October.

What are some easy to moderate trails in Squamish?

Panorama Trail, Coho Park Trails, and Shannon Falls are some beginner trails with a typical duration of 1-2 hours. Smoke Bluffs Park Hike, Brohm Lake Interpretive Forest, and Murrin Park Loop Trail are more difficult while still being between 1-3 hours.

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