Vancouver is amazing and the city itself offers many fun weekend options for locals and tourists alike. However, if you’re looking to spend a weekend outside of the city, the sky’s the limit! There is truly something for everyone and for every budget.

In this post, we will list weekend destinations from downtown Vancouver by driving distance from the farthest to the closest. We will also include the bus/train/ferry options, if available, in case you’d rather not drive.

By Car: This list features places and activities that you can drive to for the weekend (or for a long weekend) from Vancouver. We live in downtown Vancouver without a car and usually rent one from Expedia for our weekend trips.

By Bus/Train/Ferry: If you don’t want to, or would prefer not to rent a car, many of these destinations can be reached via bus, ferry, and/or train, which we’ll tell you about for each destination.


20. Portland, Oregon (For long weekends)

Distance from Vancouver: 7h 45m

Why it’s worth visiting:

Portland is a weird, fun, pretty city full of charm that is perfect for a long weekend from Vancouver.

We enjoyed beer tasting at many craft breweries, explored the diverse thrift and coffee shops, and ate some great Mexican food. If you’re a fan of Portlandia, you have to give it a go!

For rock climbers and hikers, there is also the nearby and stunning Smith Rock to visit.

How to get there:

Drive! (or fly)

Accommodation:

There are some cheap hotel and Airbnb options or you could camp in a park outside of the city.

19. Revelstoke, BC

Distance from downtown Vancouver: 5h 50m

Why it’s worth visiting:

Every adventure sport imaginable awaits you at Revelstoke, in any season of the year. Home of the beautiful Mount Revelstoke and Glacier National Park, you will not be left wanting for views.

Revelstoke was also called a “must do trip” on National Geographic’s Ultimate Adventure Bucket List.

How to get there:

Driving is best.

Accommodation:

There is something here to fit every budget and every type of adventure, from tent campgrounds to luxury resorts.

18. Tofino, Vancouver Island

Distance from Vancouver: 5h 30m

Why it’s worth visiting:

Tofino is a small town on Vancouver Island that isn’t quick and easy to get to—so you know it will be an actual ESCAPE from “real life.” Here you can visit quiet inlets, walk around old growth rainforest, and marvel at the most incredible sunsets over the ocean.

If you want to get even more secluded, visit Hot Springs Cove 1.5 hours north of Tofino to hang out in a little “private” cove with natural hot springs.

 Tofino also has a local arts culture, food tours, kayaking, canoe tours, surfing, and more!

How to get there:

The fastest route from downtown is to drive to Horseshoe Bay Ferry terminal, take the ferry, and drive to Tofino. Bus options to and from ferries are possible but will take much longer.

Accommodation:

It’s possible to stay in budget campgrounds such as Green Point Campground or the unique Wildpod Glamping. Airbnb homes and cabins are also a great choice for a weekend getaway, depending on your budget.

17. Olympic National Park, Washington

Distance from Vancouver: 4h 30m

Why it’s worth visiting:

You could actually spend much, much longer than just a weekend in Olympic National Park. It’s absolutely stunning and has four regions: coastline, alpine, temperate rainforest, and drier forests of the east side. There is so much to do including hiking, boat tours, fishing, hot springs, and more!

How to get there:

Driving is best for this one.

Accommodation:

There are many campgrounds to choose from and Airbnbs if you prefer.

16. Penticton, Okanagan Valley, BC

Distance from Vancouver: 4h 15m

Why it’s worth visiting:

Penticton is a city located in the Okanagan Valley. It has a dry climate, making it ideal weather for vineyards—which is why the Okanagan is famous for producing some of the best wine in North America and beyond.

It’s situated between two lakes, so you can go swimming, paddle boarding, and any other water sport you can think of. It’s also famous for rock climbing and hiking in the stunning nearby Skaha Bluffs.

How to get there:

Driving is the best option for this one.

Accommodation:

There are plenty of cheap campgrounds near Penticton as well as hotels and Airbnbs. This is a popular destination in the spring and fall so be sure to book early.

15. Skookumchuck Hot Springs, BC

Distance from Vancouver: 4-5h (depending on road conditions)

Why it’s worth visiting:

This one holds a special place in my heart because we’ve gone here for a couple of my birthday trips. It’s a really rugged hot tub experience in the woods next to a campground. Not an easy place to get to, it’s usually quite serene and only draws those willing to make the long journey.

I love the hippie feel to this place and waking up hearing the rushing water of the huge Lillooet River. 

How to get there:

Driving (and down some bumpy logging roads)!

Accommodation:

Car camping or tent camping onsite.

14. Leavenworth, Washington and/or The Enchantments

Distance from Vancouver: 4h

Why it’s worth visiting:

If you’ve never been to Germany but wish you could, this is the place for you! Leavenworth is modeled on a Bavarian village, and although it may sound like a touristy, kitschy ruse—trust us, the charm of this little place is genuine and will succeed in drawing you in.

It’s also an outdoorsy haven, surrounded by views and trails and activities to do such as kayaking, rock climbing, and mountain biking.

If you happen to visit in the fall or winter, you’re sure to be further charmed by Oktoberfest festivities and Christmas lights. Be sure to check out the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum and the beautiful Icicle Creek.

The Enchantments is a mountainous wonder full of pure hiking magic and it is an absolute must-see if you’re in the area. However, a permit is required for overnight stays and is difficult to come by. Enter the lottery and you may get lucky!

How to get there:

Your best option is to drive. There are train tickets available on Wanderu in the $100 ballpark.

Accommodation:

Options for camping (outside of the Enchantments permit area) include Eightmile Campground and Leavenworth / Pine Village KOA. There are also hotels and Airbnbs available for rent.

13. Victoria, Vancouver Island

Distance from Vancouver: 3h

Why it’s worth visiting:

Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and offers a calmer, quieter city vibe in comparison to Vancouver.

Popular activities in Victoria include whale watching, visiting the gorgeous Butchart Gardens or the Craigdarroch Castle, or spending the day doing more adventurous activities such as kayaking, fishing or sailing. There is plenty to do here in Victoria to keep you busy for the weekend.

How to get there:

You can drive + ferry or take a longer trip on public transit and the ferry.

Accommodation:

All options are open to you in Victoria. There are quite cheap B&Bs and motels, to very luxurious hotels and resorts.

12. Seattle, Washington

Distance from Vancouver: 2h 30m

Why it’s worth visiting:

Seattle is a big urban city with much to offer. Sightseeing is endless, from the Space Needle to the Freemont Troll to endless hunting for the world’s best coffee… you could spend much more than a weekend here.

How to get there:

Driving to Seattle is very straightforward, with a bit of annoyance waiting at the border (look up any necessary U.S. visas before going). Bus and train prices to Seattle are quite reasonable on Wanderu.

Accommodation:

You can find the full range of accommodation in Seattle, from budget motels to fancy 5-star accommodation. Before booking, consider the distance from your accommodation to the tourist attractions you’re most interested in visiting—especially if you won’t have a car with you.

11. Sechelt, Sunshine Coast, BC

Distance from downtown Vancouver: 2h

Why it’s worth visiting:

This is one of the easiest places to reach from Vancouver that also feels very remote and vacation-y.

The Sunshine Coast is 180 km (110 mi) long, located northwest of Vancouver. It is connected to the BC mainland but due to the mountainous terrain, requires taking a ferry to reach it. There are no bridges connecting it to Vancouver, making it the perfect holiday spot to really “get away” from the hustle and bustle of city life.

There are many activities to do in and around the village of Sechelt including hiking the more than 800 trails in the area (like the beautiful Hidden Groves). There is no shortage of lovely rocky and rugged beaches to check out, plus many restaurants, cafes, and cozy cabin rentals.

How to get there:

You’ll need to take a ferry to get to the Sunshine Coast. Depending on whether you’re planning on driving, going on foot, or riding your bike, there are different ferry options available. Please take a look at the Sunshine Coast Tourism website for a breakdown of the best ferry options depending on your preference.

Accommodation:

There are budget campground options such as Porpoise Bay Campground, some fancy 4-star hotels, and everything in between. However, especially if going with a group, this would be a perfect weekend for an Airbnb cabin getaway.

10. Harrison Hot Springs, BC

Distance from Vancouver: 1h 45m

Why it’s worth visiting:

Harrison Hot Springs is a place to enjoy year-round, but you will have fewer crowds to contend with in the winter. It’s located on the shores of turquoise glacier-blue Harrison Lake.

Along with the natural spring hot tubs, you can enjoy hiking, biking, kayaking, and more in this gorgeous region.

How to get there:

You can drive here easily from downtown Vancouver or take one of several bus routes.

Accommodation:

There are many options in the area for camping including Hot Springs RV and Campground and Sasquatch Provincial Park. For a fancy getaway, there are many resorts, Airbnbs, and upscale hotels with stunning views to rent.

9. Whistler, BC

Distance from Vancouver: 1h 45m

Why it’s worth visiting:

Whistler is home to the famous Whistler Blackcomb, one of the largest ski resorts in North America, and something that you should definitely check out. Any time of year, you can do the Whistler Peak to Peak experience, which will give you a 360-degree angle on some of the most incredible views in the entire natural world.

Whistler also offers other adrenaline activities such as ziplining and skydiving; and has a shopping and nightlife scene as well.

How to get there:

You can drive from Vancouver or take a very affordable bus ride from one of the many advertised, leaving from the city center.

Accommodation:

There are many budget camping spots around Whistler, Airbnbs, and luxury resorts—whatever suits you for the weekend!

8. Pemberton, BC

Distance from Vancouver: 2h

Why it’s worth visiting:

For so many reasons! You can visit turquoise glacier lakes at the popular nearby Joffre Lakes or see the beautiful waterfall at Nairn Falls Provincial Park. You can do every outdoor activity you can think of around Pemberton.

It’s also a stunning drive from Vancouver.

How to get there:

Driving is your best option for this one.

Accommodation:

There is camping in Nairn Falls and other locations nearby, and quite a few options for luxury vacation rentals and hotel rooms.

7. Bowen Island, BC

Distance from Vancouver: 1h 15m

Why it’s worth visiting:

Bowen Island is an adorable island just a 20-minute ferry ride away. It’s perfect for an easy, relaxing weekend getaway from the city.

Once you’re there, visit the adorably named Snug Cove Café and check out the World’s Smallest Candy Store. To enjoy the beautiful views, rent a kayak or paddle board—or hike Dorman Point.

How to get there:

Bowen Island can be reached by car and ferry, or by public transit from downtown Vancouver.

Accommodation:

There are plenty of cute B&Bs and Airbnbs to rent.

6. Alice Lake Provincial Park, BC

Distance from Vancouver: 1h

Why it’s worth visiting:

This is a beautiful park near Squamish and Brackendale perfect for camping and relaxing. It has four fresh water lakes for water sports such as fishing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and swimming. This is a camping getaway—one where you can truly soak up all that BC has to offer outside of Vancouver.

How to get there:

Driving to this one is best.

Accommodation:

There are many, many campsites or nearby hotels if you prefer.

5. White Rock

Distance from Vancouver: 1h

Why it’s worth visiting:

White Rock is a seaside town that can take less than an hour to get to from Vancouver. There are museums to visit, delicious restaurants, and a beach with gorgeous west coast sunsets.

Other notable activities in White Rock include walking the promenade and hanging out on the famous pier. It’s not far from Vancouver but you’ll immediately feel its relaxed, seaside vibes.

How to get there: Driving is very fast or there is public transit available from Vancouver which takes about half an hour more.

Accommodation:

There doesn’t seem to be much in terms of tent camping in White Rock, so splitting an Airbnb may be the best budget option. There are plenty of hotels and B&Bs available.

4. Squamish, BC

Distance from Vancouver: 55m

Why it’s worth visiting:

Squamish is a town between Vancouver and Whistler, famous for its iconic mountain the Stawamus Chief. Twilight, The Revenant, and other movies and TV series have been filmed here. You should definitely hike it on your weekend trip!

Another amazing thing to do is the Sea to Sky Gondola—which offers some of the most incredible views of the area without having to climb a mountain. The suspension bridge and views from here have been featured in such series as Altered Carbon on Netflix.

Other cool places in Squamish include Shannon Falls waterfall, bald eagle viewing in Brackendale, mountain biking, hiking, and more!

How to get there:

Driving is straightforward, and there are a number of buses available to get from downtown to Squamish, which take a bit longer.

Accommodation:

You can stay with rock climbers at the Stawamus Chief campground or one of the many other nearby campgrounds, or there are many hotels and vacation rentals available in the area. Try to book early for summer and winter.

3. Lion’s Bay

Distance from Vancouver: 30m

Why it’s worth visiting:

Lion’s Bay is a tiny village just north of Vancouver where you can relax with incredible views for the weekend. Not far from the city, but you may feel like you’re in another world. There is also a “secret” cliff jumping spot that you can ask the locals about.

The best thing to do in Lion’s Bay is relax. Or go on a hike, go swimming… enjoy the views!

How to get there:

Drive or take public transit (about 1h 30m).

Accommodation:

For a truly relaxing weekend, consider renting a beach Airbnb with friends. You won’t regret it.

2. Steveston Heritage Village, BC

Distance from Vancouver: 30m

Why it’s worth visiting:

This is a harbor village located south of Vancouver in Richmond. Steveston Heritage Village is a great place for whale watching and renting a bike to explore its more than 80 trails.

It also boasts incredible seafood and holds an annual seafood festival on July 1—Canada Day. If you’re looking for a no-hassle spot close to Vancouver, consider this quaint seaside town.

How to get there:

You can drive here quickly or it’s quite easy to get here on public transit.

Accommodation:

There are a number of highly rated hotels near the waterfront.

1. Horseshoe Bay, BC

Distance from Vancouver: 25m

Why it’s worth visiting:

Horseshoe Bay is a super cute little town north of Vancouver and home to the BC Ferries terminal. Most of the “activities” can be done quickly in this town so a trip here will either be for relaxing or for exploring the nearby areas.

You could rent a boat and check out the network of nearby fjords, or go kayaking or scuba diving. The town itself has cute little places to eat, including fish and chips and ice cream.

How to get there:

Drive or take Vancouver public transit.

Accommodation:

Because it’s so small, there aren’t many hotels to stay in in Horseshoe Bay but you can find some places available on Airbnb. There are also beautiful hiking trails and mountain views.


Ok, that’s it! What weekend destinations near Vancouver did we leave off that you love?! 🙂