7 Family-Friendly Day Trips from Vancouver

You don’t have to venture too far out of the city to experience an exciting escape from Vancouver. These seven day trip destinations offer something fun and active for everyone in the family.

1. Visit Squamish

Head north along the scenic 45-minute Sea to Sky highway. Pan for gold or delve deep into the mines at the Britannia Mine Museum. Ride the Sea to Sky Gondola for stunning views of the Howe Sound fjord and Garibaldi Ranges. All ages can test their climbing skills on the Via Ferrata.


2. Explore Steveston

This historic fishing village in south Richmond is home to two National Historic Sites.  At the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, discover how things worked at the largest of the salmon canneries that once lined the coast. Then head over to Britannia Shipyards and experience what life was like for workers in Steveston’s fishing industries a century ago. Pick up some fish and chips from Fisherman’s Wharf, and enjoy them picnic-style on the nearby beach in Garry Point Park.


3. Tour the Fraser Valley

Travel back in time to historic Fort Langley, the “birthplace of British Columbia” and a former Hudson’s Bay Company fur-trading hub. Enjoy a self-guided Circle Farm Tour of local farms, dairies and wineries. Sample artisanal cheeses, fruit and dairy products, and visit with the family farm animals.


4. Visit the George C. Reifel Bird Sanctuary in Delta

Get back to nature and view hundreds of bird species. Feed the ducks and black-capped chickadees, or spot owls in a bird blind. Visit the sanctuary on a summer Sunday to coincide with the popular Ladner Village Market.


5. Board the Boat to Bowen Island

Take the scenic 20-minute ferry from Horseshoe Bay. Enjoy an easy walk around Killarney Lake or a brisk bike ride along the island’s windy roads. Access Snug Cove shops for beach picnic supplies. Rent kayaks in the cove or tighten your boots for a climb up Mount Gardner.


6. Rent Kayaks in Deep Cove

Photo: Claudia Laroye

This small village in North Vancouver is the perfect kayak launch point. Paddle over to Jug Island near Belcarra Regional Park. Refuel back at Honey’s Doughnuts, then tackle the Quarry Rock hike for a great view of your earlier marine adventure in Indian Arm.


7. Drive up to Whistler

Head up Whistler Mountain to enjoy an alpine hike and a ride on the Peak 2 Peak gondola. Keep an eye out for black bears and cubs as you ascend the mountain. Rent touring bikes and cruise around Lost Lake. For a cultural family adventure, visit the Audain Art Museum or Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.

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