Short And Sweet Road Trips From Vancouver That Aren’t To Kelowna - Narcity

Short And Sweet Road Trips From Vancouver That Aren’t To Kelowna

Get creative when you hit the road 🚙

Road trips are an amazing way to spend time with your friends and bond over the shared experience. Travelling in your own province can still be exciting and you're always going to find something new no matter where you roam!

There are so many places in and around B.C. that you can discover during a short and sweet road trip. When you hit the road, you're bound to find beaches, cute small towns and plenty of places to go hiking.

Check out these cool places on your next road trip and forget about Kelowna for a while. Don't forget to stock up on snacks and fill up your water bottles for the adventure!

Hell's Gate

@dearpinkdayembedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 2.5 hours

Head up to Boston Bar and see the Fraser River at its most wild! Unfortunately, the retro tram will be out of commission until the spring of next year. You can still check out the river and go hiking nearby. There are small and historic towns nearby like Yale, Hells Gate and Boston Bar that are worth visiting!

Galiano Island

@lostinnaturewildandfreeembedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 2.5 hours

The beautiful, untamed coast of Galliano Island is home to unique geological formations like these caves. Once you make the ferry trip over to Galliano Island, you can explore the whole place by car in a short amount of time. Don't miss out on a visit to Shell Beach and keep your eyes open for one of the Island's many artisan galleries.

Cape Flattery

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Driving distance from Vancouver: 6 hours

It's a bit of a longer drive to get to Cape Flattery, but if you take a look at it on a map then you'll see just why it's so worth the drive. It's perched right at the edge of Washington State. It's the most northwestern point in the continental United States! The choppy, rugged coastline you'll find here will take your breath away.

Cascade Falls

@perpelitzbembedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 1.5 hours

Find Cascade Falls in Mission, just a short distance from Vancouver. There is a small suspension bridge that leads you right past the picture-perfect waterfall. If you love road trips that end with a forest adventure, then a drive to Cascade Falls has to be on your bucket list. 

Clover Point

@danielkitchen1embedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 3 hours

Wander along the Vancouver Island waterfront at Clover Point. This oceanfront park near Victoria is connected along a trail to other nearby parks like Ogden Point.

Mayne Island

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Driving distance from Vancouver: 2.5 hours

Driving can get a little stressful. Especially on long weekends when the roads are full of tourists. If you make the trip out to Mayne Island, you'll be rewarded with relaxing peace and quiet. This sleepy town is never all that busy with tourists so you'll have the run of the place to yourself. 

Cowichan Bay

@bridgy_drumsembedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 3.5 hours

Spot orcas in the water at Cowichan Bay. This seaside town is a lot of fun to explore, especially if you love the ocean and all things nautical. If you're interested in exploring the area more, you go to the very popular Kinsol Trestle hike.

Shuswap Lake

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Driving distance from Vancouver: 4.5 hours

Explore the provincial parks that surround Shuswap Lake. The drive out here is really spectacular and once you arrive at the lake you're rewarded with clear blue waters and surrounded by a pristine shoreline.

Garibaldi Lake

@samdsquireembedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 1.5 hours

It's pretty unbelievable how close this place is to Vancouver. This could be one of the best spots in all of the province. Drive up here to experience the lake and its nearby meadows and forested hiking spots. This alpine lake has turquoise blue waters that will look good no matter how bad of a photographer you are. 

Pender Island

@debramhunterembedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 3 hours

A road trip to Pender Island is so simple! The best part about a visit is that two hours of your whole journey will just be spent on the Ferry, so there's very little driving involved. Visit Poet's Cove and Otter's Bay marinas if you want to get out on the water for yourself. If you can, spend a night or two at one of their plentiful and adorable bed and breakfasts.

Qualicum Beach

@alburdenembedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 3 hours

You don't have to drive far to find incredible beaches and plenty of small-town charm. Qualicum Beach is a bit of a hidden gem in B.C. and it makes a short and sweet day trip from Vancouver.

Mystic Beach

@ryanfloodphotoembedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 4 hours

Everyone loves Mystic Beach! It's easily one of the most popular spots on Vancouver Island. Part of the fun of going on a road trip is having an epic destination in mind that keeps you going. There's no better endpoint than Mystic Beach where you'll see cliffs, a waterfall and a chance to hang out on an oceanfront beach swing.

San Juan Islands

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Driving distance from Vancouver: 4 hours

The United States has a bunch of Islands just like we do, but the San Juan Islands are seriously worth checking out. You can visit historic buildings like this lighthouse. There are also cute spots to visit along the way like lavender farms and an alpaca ranch. The coolest thing about San Juan Island is that you can actually see B.C. from the coast!

Pacific Marine Circle Route

@a.a.marchandembedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 3 hours

If you want to go for a drive without a real destination in mind, then try out the Pacific Marine Circle Route. It will take you from Victoria along and the coast to Port Renfrew and then back to Victoria via a northern route that takes you through majestic rainforests. This is the perfect trip to familiarize yourself with Southern Vancouver Island.

White Rock

@_laviede_embedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: less than an hour

Head out to White Rock for a quickie road trip that will transport you to a quiet beachfront town. The boardwalk is fun no matter what time of year you go and it's always cool to see the train run on its tracks right alongside the beach. Drive out here for some fish and chips and call it a day. The whole road trip will barely make a dent in your gas tank!

Bowen Island

@layla_v_fadousembedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 1.5 hours

There's no shorter and sweeter road trip from Vancouver than heading to Bowen Island. The total travel time includes a 20-minute ferry ride. You can drive around the whole island if you like and find a spot to go hiking or mountain biking. Or, if you're like me, you can check out local farmers markets and hang out in the adorable centre of town right by the ferry terminal. Don't forget to shop and get a snack at the adorable Branch & Butter.

La Conner

@the_mantoothembedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 2 hours

Our proximity to the United States means that we're able to check out a ton of cute Washington towns. La Conner looks straight out of an 80's movie and I doubt that much there has changed since the 80's. A drive out here would be the perfect romantic getaway!

Point Roberts

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Driving distance from Vancouver: less than an hour

Although you'll have to technically cross the border to get here, Point Roberts is pretty close to Vancouver. Head here to pick up cheap gas, beer and spend time at their beaches. 

Ambleside

@brensetterembedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: less than an hour

Although this hardly counts as a road trip, if you don't make it out of Vancouver very often then you'll appreciate a visit to Ambleside. The beach and waterfront park are perfect to check out on a clear day for cool views of Vancouver. 

Stawamus Chief

@stevasteveembedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 1 hour

One of the best drives in the province has to be a drive along our Sea to Sky highway. The quintessential Vancouver day trip, a road trip to the Stawamus Chief is great if you love hiking and seeking out the most amazing views.

Belcarra

@sheshebebe30embedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: less than an hour

The drive out to Belcarra is pretty breathtaking. This spot near Port Moody is basically just across the water from Deep Cove, but you feel like you're in a really isolated part of the province when you come out here. You can visit nearby Sasmat Lake and take a hike through Belcarra Regional Park.

Harrison Mills

@marknstormembedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 1.5 hours

Road trip out to Harrison Mills to check out their rivers and historic sites. There are plenty of opportunities to get out into nature here with your friends. You can even drop by some of the farms in the area to take tours of dairy farms and find out how to make cheese. 

Botanical Beach

@moondrizzembedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 4.5 hours

Your inner explorer is begging you to drive out to Botanical Beach at Port Renfrew. For over 100 years, people have come here to study the amazing variety of ocean life. Make friends with the sea lions and discover the creatures living inside the tidal pools.

Oyster River

@thewanderlustballerinaembedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 4 hours

This one-of-a-kind spot makes for a fun road trip! You'll have to make it over to Vancouver Island to find this amazing swimming spot. Don't forget your swim suit.

Gabriola Island

@nat_bombembedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 3.5 hours

Gabriola Island makes for a sweet road trip because there's a lot of art and culture to discover on the island. Plus, if you love beaches, then you'll go crazy for their surreal windswept shores with their caves and other formations. 

Mount Baker

@johnwingfieldembedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 2.5 hours

Just over the border, Mount Baker offers winter sports, hiking and camping. Mount Baker is actually an active volcano and it's almost always capped with white snow. No one is expecting you to climb to the summit, but driving out to the base and exploring the woods nearby gives you cool views of the massive mountain. 

Loggers Lake

@erinmc2211embedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 2 hours

Love driving up to Whistler? Instead of stressing to find a parking spot at the Village, head to Loggers Lake. This lake is actually inside an extinct volcano! It's a bit of a hike to get here you get to stand inside the crater of an old volcano and that's pretty cool.

Cathedral Grove

@lochfit91embedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 3.5 hours

If you haven't been to Cathedral Grove yet, then you'll definitely want to make the trip from Vancouver to see this place. Going here gives you insight into what Vancouver might have looked like before colonisation. You'll be dwarfed by towering ancient trees as you walk through the conservation area.

Harrison

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Driving distance from Vancouver: 2 hours

There's more to Harrison than just their hot springs resort. This lakefront town has fun shops and tasty restaurants to check out. You can walk along the beach or check out the hiking on nearby Bear Mountain for more of a challenge.

Hornby Island

@jakecarter_embedded via  

Driving distance from Vancouver: 5 hours

People make comparisons between Hawaii and Hornby Island for its clear waters and stunning white sand beaches. It's a bit of an adventure to get here since you need to take two ferries, but it also gives you less time behind the wheel!

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