Best Weekend Trips to Take from Vancouver

Need a break from city life? Here are some popular trips to take from Vancouver.

Image via: instagram.com/tourismkelowna

Are you looking for some vacation inspiration? For all you British Columbia residents, why not look in your very own backyard? BC has so much to offer in terms of natural beauty and diverse cityscapes. From exploring the inner harbour in Victoria to going bouldering in Nelson, check out the best weekend trips to take from Vancouver.

Victoria

Trade one BC city for another by taking a two-hour ferry ride or 12-minute flight (yes, really) to the province’s capital.

Though Victoria won’t allow you to escape the hustle and bustle of city life completely, it is a much sleepier city with a different vibe to Vancouver.

Enjoy walking around the inner harbour (perhaps even feed the seals or embark on a whale watching tour) and don’t miss a trip to The Butchart Gardens, which is genuinely one of the most spectacular landscaped gardens in Canada. End your visit with a hike on the island – Lone Tree Hill and Mount Wells Regional Park are some of the most popular hiking trails.

Nelson

Nelson is located in the British Columbia interior (it’s closer to the Alberta border than it is to Vancouver), so this isn’t recommended as a road trip if you only have a weekend to spare. Instead, opt for a flight that will get you there in less than an hour and a half. Upon arrival, you’ll be treated to a completely different BC experience.

Nelson still has the rugged, outdoorsy atmosphere of Vancouver, but in a much smaller space and with a much more hipster vibe.

Of course, there is no ocean, just Kootenay Lake; nevertheless, Nelson provides an ideal spot to enjoy nature. There are lots of hikes, as well as mountain biking, rock climbing, swimming, and boating. Nelson also has the added benefit of being home to an artsy community that has brought microbreweries, top-notch coffee shops, farmers’ markets, and festivals of all kinds to the area.

Whistler

Whether it’s in the winter or summer, there is so much to explore in Whistler.

Beyond skiing and snowboarding, Whistler boasts beautiful hiking trails, an epic zipline, picturesque golf courses, their peak to peak gondola, mountain biking, and even helicopter tours.

Plus, there are plenty of lakes, beaches, and parks to relax and have a picnic. Another major bonus is that Garibaldi Provincial Park (with the stunning, glacier-like lake) is a short distance from Whistler, making this easily doable on your trip.

Finally, being only an hour and a half drive from Vancouver, Whistler makes an easy vacation destination if you only have a day or two to spare.

Kelowna

Girls trip to wine country? Yes, please! Like Nelson, Kelowna is also located in BC’s interior; however, it’s only about four hours from Vancouver by car, making it a much more appealing road trip.

In Kelowna, you can expect the crystal clear waters of Lake Okanagan, acres and acres of vineyards, rolling hills for days, and hotter temperatures.

There is much more humidity in inland BC than there is on the coast, so be sure to dress appropriately and bring sunscreen!

Some of the most popular wineries in the area are Quails’ Gate Estate Winery and Summerhill Pyramid Winery, and all will offer delicious wines and beautiful scenery as you sip.

Emily Southey
Emily Southey is a freelance writer from Toronto and it was during her time studying History and English that she became interested in writing. When she's not working, you can typically find her in a museum, baking cupcakes, or watching Disney musicals.