Photo credit: Destination Canada
5 Day Trip Ideas
River Rafting and Harrison Hot Springs
Vancouver’s close proximity to rugged wilderness makes it easy to plan an adventure-packed escape, even if it is just for the day. Hop in the car and drive less than two hours southeast of Vancouver, where you’ll find Chilliwack River Rafting, a fully-equipped rafting company providing thrilling, five-hour expeditions through the Chilliwack River Canyon. After your trip, drive back to Vancouver in time for happy hour, or venture an hour north to Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa instead, where you can unwind in five hot, mineral pools before enjoying a gourmet dinner at one of the property’s on-site restaurants.
Skiing, Spa Treatments and More at Whistler
If you’re looking to splurge on your upcoming vacation, take a side-trip up to Whistler, where you’ll find no shortage of lavish experiences, all within a two-hour drive from downtown Vancouver. During the winter, take advantage of world-class skiing and relaxing après ski activities at Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort. Or, if you make it up to Whistler during warmer months, spend some time on Fairmont Chateau Whistler’s par 72, 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. This upscale resort is also home to Vida Spa and a number of high-end restaurants.
Wine Tasting and Regional Dining
All around Vancouver, fertile agricultural land and lush vineyards provide the perfect getaway for food and wine connoisseurs. Start in Richmond, which is only 30 minutes south of downtown Vancouver, where you can sample award-winning ice wine at Lulu Island Winery. Then, fill up with lunch at one of Richmond’s many Asian-influenced restaurants, where you can indulge in authentic dim sum, Vietnamese pho and fresh seafood dishes. Afterward, continue east to explore other wineries in the Fraser Valley – the BC Wine Institute lists many tasting rooms in the area, all within an hour of Vancouver. Head back to the coast just south of the city and finish the day with a dinner of fresh, West Coast cuisine at one of the quaint restaurants along Crescent Beach in Surrey.
Exploring Bowen Island
Looking to get away without spending a fortune? Just take a trip to nearby Bowen Island, which is only a 20-minute ferry ride away from West Vancouver’s Horseshoe Bay. Here, you can take in the laidback vibe of rural island life while exploring small art galleries, cute shops, casual eateries and waterfront patios along Snug Cove. This island also offers plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, such as hiking through lush rainforests, swimming at serene beaches and mountain biking along forested trails.
Arts and Culture in Victoria
For a romantic escape with your sweetheart, plan a day trip to Victoria on Vancouver Island, only a 90-minute ferry ride from the Tsawwassen BC Ferries terminal (about 40 minutes from downtown Vancouver). With its breathtaking heritage buildings and unique attractions, this destination feels a bit like a mini-European trip, making it the perfect place to enjoy romantic activities with your amour. Indulge in a prim-and-proper afternoon tea, stroll through the blooming Butchart Gardens, cuddle in the back of a horse-drawn carriage or watch a theatrical production in one of the many arts centres — it’s all possible in this diverse city.