Day Trips and Tours from Vancouver

Day Trips and Tours from Vancouver

A glass-skyscraper city with a stunning mountain backdrop, Vancouver mixes modern metropolis with natural beauty in every corner. From the vibrant nightlife of Gastown and Yaletown, to Stanley Park's endless trails, Vancouver is a postcard-worthy destination for a million reasons and counting.

But once you set foot outside the city limits on a Vancouver day trip, you'll discover what this region is all about: breathtaking vistas, wildlife encounters and plenty of activities to fill your vacation days.

From the world-famous slopes of Whistler to the dramatic views from Grouse Mountain and Shannon Falls, not to mention the world-class hiking opportunities at Stawamus, there's something to keep every adventure-obsessed, nature-loving traveler satisfied.


A short flight or boat ride from Vancouver, Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and a great place to start your exploration. Sitting on Vancouver Island, this underrated town boasts colorful flower gardens, charming old buildings (including the British Columbia parliament buildings) and outdoor activities galore.

Whether you're admiring Butchart Gardens' 55-acre floral displays or biking along Dallas Road Waterfront Trail, you'll be impressed by Victoria's vibrant beauty. Don't miss the chance to explore downtown Victoria with its unique boutiques and cafés. Take a stroll down Government Street or take a tour of Craigdarroch Castle for an unforgettable experience in this picturesque city.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Soaring 70 meters above the Capilano River, this suspension bridge is one of Vancouver's most popular tourist attractions. As you make your way across the swaying bridge, you'll get stunning views of the lush forest below and a unique perspective on nature as you peer through the treetops.

The surrounding park is full of fun activities for everyone as well, including the Tree Top Adventure, Cliffwalk and the Capilano Salmon Hatchery (the latter is free to visit). The Capilano Suspension Bridge, which is only a half-hour drive from the downtown core, is located right next to the Cleveland Dam and a stone's throw from Grouse Mountain.


Easily Canada's most famous ski resort town, Whistler is only a two-hour drive north of Vancouver. This iconic mountain village offers year-round activities and stunning views of the Coast Mountains and Blackcomb Glacier. For winter adventurers, there are endless opportunities to ski or snowboard at world-class resorts, while summer months bring whitewater rafting and zip-lining in the great outdoors.

On any Whistler day trip from Vancouver, you'll be able to explore everything that this dynamic town has to offer. From visiting Squamish's Sea to Sky Gondola for panoramic views of Howe Sound, to taking an ATV tour through old-growth forests, there's something here to satiate every outdoor enthusiast.

Butchart Gardens

Overflowing with color, fragrance and life, Butchart Gardens is a quintessential stop when visiting Vancouver Island. Less than a 30-minute drive north of Victoria, this 55-acre oasis features 900 species of plants, 26 greenhouses and a variety of blooming flowers that make it an ideal destination for photographers and nature lovers alike.

Take in the beauty of the Sunken Garden with its winding pathways and abundance of roses, or explore the Mediterranean Garden's lush foliage and colorful blooms. From the classic beauty of the Japanese garden to the vibrant colors of the Rose Garden, Butchart Gardens mesmerizes with its unique mix of plants and wildlife.

Traveling with kids? Don't miss the Rose Carousel, a fun attraction for all ages. Many tours to Butchart Gardens from Vancouver include round-trip transportation and time to explore other areas of Vancouver Island, making it a great choice for first-time visitors.

Grouse Mountain

Towering over North Vancouver at an elevation of more than 1,200 meters, and sitting just 15 minutes away from downtown Vancouver, Grouse Mountain is one of the most exciting places to visit in the greater Vancouver area, year-round.

During the summer, it’s a great spot for hiking, mountain biking, gondola rides, zip lining and even lumberjack shows. In the winter months, Grouse Mountain transforms into a premier destination for snowshoeing, skiing and snowboarding.

But even if you're not into outdoor sports, a day trip to Grouse Mountain from Vancouver should be on your list for the panoramic views alone — from the top, you're greeted with a stunning overview of the city, its surrounding mountains and even Vancouver Island (on a clear day).

Sea to Sky Gondola

Found in Squamish, an outdoor adventure resort town located about an hour away from Vancouver, the Sea to Sky Gondola delivers stunning views of Howe Sound and the surrounding area's forests, mountains and rivers.

On a 10-minute ride aboard the gondola, you'll ascend to an elevation of nearly 880 meters, giving you access to amazing views and opportunities for exploration. Most Sea to Sky Gondola day trips from Vancouver include round-trip transportation, as well as time to explore Squamish and its local breweries and eateries.

Indian Arm

For a chance to explore nature in its purest form, head out on an Indian Arm day trip from Vancouver. This still-water fjord stretches around 17 kilometers north of Burrard Inlet and cuts between several photogenic parks: Bencarra Regional Park, Mount Seymour Provincial Park and Say Nuth Khaw Yum Provincial Park.

The remote location here provides visitors with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and a chance to observe local wildlife. Most Indian Arm day trips from Vancouver include a boat ride with a multiple-course lunch served!

Shannon Falls

Located about an hour's drive from Vancouver, Shannon Falls is the third-tallest waterfall in British Columbia. Its cascading water drops 335 meters, making it an impressive sight to behold — and a great photo opportunity!

Stawamus, Squamish and the Howe Sound are all in the immediate vicinity and are often combined with a visit to Shannon Falls. Most Shannon Falls day trips from Vancouver include round-trip transportation and a guide who will share all sorts of stories about the area's history, geography and culture.

Howe Sound

Stretching from Vancouver all the way north to Squamish, Howe Sound is a major fjord spanning close to 42 kilometers. It's known for its stunning views of the surrounding mountains, islands and waterfalls, and serves as a popular day trip destination for those who want a nature-focused escape.

A popular way to explore Howe Sound is on a boat tour that departs from Vancouver. Most tours include stops at various points along the fjord, like Anvil Island, the Pam Rocks — known for their friendly seals — and the Bowen Island caves.


For a chance to get up close and personal with Vancouver's natural beauty, head out on a Vancouver day trip to Stawamus Chief — a granite dome located in the nearby town of Squamish, about an hour's drive north.

Dramatic and impressive, it’s considered one of North America's largest monoliths, rising more than 700 meters above sea level. Excursions here usually include transport, a guided hike along the Stawamus Chief Trail and a stop at a nearby brewery for a well-earned post-hike reward.

Alpine Lakes

British Columbia boasts some of the most beautiful Alpine Lakes in all of Canada. On a seaplane tour from Vancouver, you can witness these stunning natural wonders from above, taking in breathtaking views of nearby Mount Mamquam and Whistler Mountain.

Depending on your day tour of choice, you may get to land the seaplane on the lake (provided not visiting in winter), have a picnic, or even take part in an invigorating hike.

Garibaldi Lake

Located in Garibaldi Provincial Park, about an hour and a half north of Vancouver, Garibaldi Lake is considered one of British Columbia’s most picturesque alpine lakes. Famous for its striking, turquoise hue and sitting between Squamish and Whistler, the lake regularly welcomes visitors from near and far.

Usually lasting around 12 hours, Garibaldi Lake day trips from Vancouver often are centered around guided hike along the main trail — lasting 8 hours, the trek is 18 kilometers and ascends 820 meters in elevation, so it's not for the faint of heart.