The city is awesome, but every now and then it's nice to take a quick break from the hectic streets. For a change of scenery, there are lots of places near Vancouver that are perfect for a day trip.
These places are all a short ride away (only 1 to 2 hours) and will place you in a new environment which is sure to refresh your routine. All of these spots will prove to be fun and affordable so what are you waiting for?
For those with a little extra $$ in your pocket, pricier activities are listed with a *.
1. Bowen Island // 1 hour 17 min from Vancouver (includes 20 min ferry ride)
Hike to Doorman Point for an incredible view of the mainland. Free.
Rent sea kayaks or stand up paddle boards from Bowen Island Sea Kayaking and explore the lovely waters around the island. $45 for a single kayak, $20 for a paddle board.
Visit Bowen Island Pub in the centre of Snug Cove. Approximately $40 for a meal for 2 with drinks.
Stroll through Artisan Square, known as the cultural hub of Bowen Island. There are shops, galleries and spas, along with fine foods. Galleries are free.
Mountain bike in Quarry Park and make sure to check out Winter Waterfall and Rock Garden while touring the area. You can rent bikes from Spin Cycles. $39 for hardtail bike for 1 day.
2. Fraser Canyon // 2 hour 14 min
Take a beautiful ride over the rushing water of the Fraser River in the Hells Gate Airtram. $22 for round trip tram ride, museum, suspension bridge, and observation decks.
Get some exercise on the Fraser Canyon Hiking Trails. Free.
*If you are willing to spend a little bit extra, white water power rafting Hells Gate is an unforgettable experience! $159 day trip.
3. Sunshine Coast // 2 hours 10 min (includes 40 min ferry ride)
Tan on sandy beaches along the stunning coast. Free.
Waterfront Shopping in Gibsons is quite a delight. Depends what you buy.
Guided walking art tour of Gibsons' Landing. Many Aboriginal art displays and culturally significant exhibits are featured during the tour. $15.
*Horse back riding adventures with Farm Ventures. $50 per hour.
4. Harrison Hot Springs // 1 hour 35 min from Vancouver
Go Fishing at Harrison lake. Or just simply enjoy the water and the many pristine beaches. Free.
Hot springs public access pool if you can't get into the Harrison Hot Spring Resort & Spa. $9.
Flip around at Harrison's floating water park. You need a group of 15, but if you can put it together, it looks totally crazy. $30 per person.
*If you got the dough, take a scenic or eagle watching jet boat tour on Harrison River. $69 per person.
5. Squamish // 1 hour from Vancouver
Go on any of these breathtaking hikes. Free.
On Saturday, peruse the farmer's market and purchase some the tastiest, freshest produce around. Depends what you buy.
Hang out at Alice Lake for a perfect summer day of swimming and relaxing. Free.
Go to BC's third largest water fall - Shannon Falls! Free.
*Float down the river at twilight and observe the magnificent scenery and wildlife. Leaves from Executive Suites Hotel & Resort. $79 daily at 7 pm.
6. Bellingham, WA // 1 hour 23 min from Vancouver
Visit Whatcom Falls Park to see nature's splendor south of the border. Free.
Walk the streets of the Fairhaven Historic district. The culture is infatuating and there are lots of great places to eat. Free.
Go on a shopping spree at Bellis Fair mall. If you want to save some money by shopping in America, this is as close as it gets for your convenience. Depends what you buy.
Hike the 8 mile (km is for Canada) loop called Chain Lakes. It's a gorgeous trail and an amazing way to see Mount Baker area. Free.
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