5 Top Day Trips from Vancouver

Summer is right around the corner and so it is time to start planning those summer getaways, but here is the best part, I get to live where people vacation and so I don’t have to go far to plan a perfect trip. Here are some of my favourite places to escape that are just a short drive or ferry from Vancouver.

1. Squamish – 45 minute drive from Vancouver

Ok I might be a little biased here since I call Squamish home but this mountain town is the perfect getaway. Just a short 45 minute drive from Vancouver you can be in the Adventure Capital of Canada. For the daredevil in you there are incredible hikes, mountain bike trails, and of course climber routes at the tip of your finger. They also just opened up a new waterfront park so there is also access to the oceanfront. For those that are a little adventure adverse there are some incredible hidden gems in town. Great local restaurants and shops,  lakes to relax at, art exhibits, and the gondola is a must visit.

Must Do

  • Take in an epic view of the Sound: There are some pretty intense hikes in Squamish, but Murrin is one that the whole family can do – and it offers some of the most beautiful views in all of Squamish.
  • Enjoy Taco Tuesday: There are some delicious local restaurants, cafes, and breweries but one must visit is Luz Tacos. It is a very authentic spot.
  • Relax at the Lake: Cat and Alice Lake are beautiful spots, but if you want to get away from the crowds, make your way up to Levette Lake.
  • Go up the Gondola: The Sea to Sky Gondola is a must visit. There are so many different trails with incredible views of Squamish, delicious food, and activities for the whole family.

 

 

2. Whistler – 1.5 Hours from Vancouver

A little bit further up the Sea to Sky Highway is the famous Whistler Village. While it is famous for its winter skiing, you might be surprised to know that they actually get more visitors during their green seasons. I absolutely love Whistler in the summer time. From the world famous bike park, beautiful alpine hikes, gourmet restaurants, and stunning lakes to cool off on a hot day Whistler is perfect for adventure enthusiasts and families alike. I love that you can go up the gondola and explore the beautiful alpine terrain in the summer months.

Must Do

  • High Note Trail Hike: This is one of my absolute favourite hikes in all of BC. The best part is if you take the Peak Chair it takes a lot of the elevation out of the hike making it more accessible.
  • Visit Alta Lake: I love hanging out here in the summer. The park is beautiful and the mountain views are second to none
  • Sip on Sake Margaritas: I love Sushi Village, some of the best sushi I have ever tasted and it is such a  fun vibe.

3. Bowen Island – 1 Hour Ferry Ride

I love that B.C. is so connected via the ferry system that you can be on an epic adventure on an island in an hour. Bowen Island is such a charming place to visit. I love going paddle boarding or kayaking in the area – and make sure to look out for wildlife, I had a chance to swim with the seals. I love cycling around the island as well. They also have some delicious restaurants to check out.

Must Do

  • Go for a paddle: I love paddle boarding and I had so much fun going off the coast here
  • Visit the Snug: I love the fresh coffee and casual breakfast eats
  • Bowen Art Tour: Bowen is filled with incredible artists across the entire island.

4. Fraser Valley – 2 Hours From Vancouver

The beautiful Fraser Valley is located by the Coast and Cascade mountain ranges, offering lots of outdoor adventures, it is also home to the Fraser River, and lots of farmlands – which help nourish the restaurants, craft breweries, and wineries in the area. You can plan to explore the entire area by taking the Circle Farm Tour. This tour directs you to specialty farms, delicious treats, heritage sites, and other special events.

Must D0

  • Stay at the Sandpiper Resort: You will get the full R&R experience at this beautiful resort located right on the river, and if you are a golfer that is a bonus – the resort has a beautiful course. Oh and during the fall months you can spot hundreds and hundreds of eagles
  • Visit the beautiful flowers: The Laketown Flower Festival is the largest in Canada. Wonder among the tulips, lavender, and sunflowers all summer long.
  • Buzz over to Campbell’s Gold Honey Farm: learn about all things bees and honey and you have to sip some specialty honey wine.

5. Pemberton – 2.5 Hours From Vancouver

Pemberton is one of those places that is just too good to be true. Nestled at the base of the famous Mt. Currie. There is amazing hiking and biking in the area and lots of unique farm lands where you can sip local brews and visit some animals. There are also some amazing camping sites in the area, both provincial and recreational sites.

Must Do 

  • Visit North Arm Farm: The kids will absolutely love it. They can feed the animals, pick berries, and grab a bite while staring up at the beautiful mountains.
  • Sip at the Beer Farmers: I love enjoying a beer on this scenic farm
  • Enjoy an epic hike: Joffery Lakes is one of the most special hikes in B.C. visit all three glacier lakes.

We are so lucky to live in a place where every turn and trail leads to breathtaking views, epic adventures, and endless fun for the whole family. And the best part is, you don’t have to travel very far from Vancouver to experience some of the beauty this province has to offer.

Happy exploring my friends,

xo

Mia

There’s No Place Like Home: Pemberton

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Beautiful mountains? Check 

Crystal clear lakes? Check 

Picturesque views? Check 

Outdoor activities? Check 

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Pemberton sure has a lot of check marks making it the perfect place to escape for a weekend. It is a beautiful town located just 20 minutes North of Whistler and is nestled at the foot of the majestic Mt Currie. The town offers everything from summertime hikes and bike rides to winter skiing and snowshoeing.

 

I had a chance to explore beautiful Pemberton this fall. The leaves were changing colour while the sun was still shining bright. It made for breathtaking views and plenty of fun.

I think Pemberton is the perfect getaway for a weekend adventure outside of Vancouver and here are some tips to make sure you have the best time there.

 

Where to Stay

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On our trip we stayed at Sweetwater Lane Farm B&B and I honestly cannot say enough good things about this adorable spot. This B&B is located on secluded 7 acre farm just outside of Pemberton. Inside there are four large bedrooms that offer incredible views of Mount Currie. A dinning place and open kitchen made for the perfect spot to relax. The B&B also offers fresh daily breakfast picked straight from the garden outside.

 

The farm itself offers so much to do and see. It is home to pastured poultry (there was even a fresh chicken for us to eat upon arrival), pigs, a milk cow, and two miniature donkey’s called Leroy and Lilly. They were basically like giant dogs. There is also a vegetable farm and fruit trees, and of course stunning views.

 

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Day 1: Exploring, walking, and biking 

Exploring: I started the day off just walking around the farm. There was so much to see right in the backyard, literally. From picking some of my own vegetables to playing with the Lilly and Leory, it was hard to even get off the property

Walking: Alas, I finally set off to explore outside. I was told there was a beautiful river not too far from the property so I started walking to find out more. The river is part of Lillooet Lake. To access we had to walk through a forest area, with Mount Currie constantly the view point. The river was truly beautiful and a little bonus it was the salmon crossing season so we saw a ton of fish.

Biking: What happens when you put mountains and breathtaking views together? You get the perfect combination for some mountain biking. Pemberton has plenty of biking trails, even for beginners like myself. You are basically riding right on the Sea to Sky corridor so you really are in for a treat when it comes to the views.

Day 2: go on the most epic hike 

The main reason I wanted to come to Pemberton in the first place was to hike Joffre Lakes. I had seen pictures of this amazing spot, but needed to experience it for myself. I was totally unprepared for the hike ( I didn’t even have a water bottle so please make sure you are more prepared for me). But it was so worth the struggles.

Know before you go: Like I mentioned I was really unprepared and Joffre Lakes is a pretty strenuous hike. It is 11km total and it took us about 3 hours round trip. So make sure you got your 10 essentials 

As for the actual hike, it includes three stages. Stage one is the first lake, which is located on the lower level and is a beautiful spot, but just wait until you get to the second lake. The water was crystal clear, the trees were a mixture of red, orange, yellow, and green, and the sun was beating down. I have never seen something so beautiful in my entire life.

We thought about going down after the second lake, but we kept pushing ourselves and I am so thankful we did. We stumbled upon a waterfall on the way up to the third lake. Once we arrived at the final lake we were greeted by deep blue water, rocks, trees, and above it all a glacier that was streaming downwards. We spent about 20 minutes at the top just taking in the sights and the fresh air. It was magical.

I can honestly tell you this was the most incredible hike I have ever done, and that the views were the most beautiful I have seen in my whole life. It was one of those places that you don’t truly believe in the magic until you have expierneced it for yourself and even when it is right in front of your eyes, it is hard to believe that this beauty is real.
Joffre Lakes is a must do, and definietely a hike that I will be doing again, over and over, and over again.

 

Well there you have it. Your guide to a weekend getaway in Pemberton. I cannot wait to explore this amazing spot again and would love any recommendations of what else I should see and do when I am there.

In the meantime happy exploring my friends.

xo

Mia

Pemberton in pictures