If you find yourself with a free weekend coming up soon, then why not pack up the car and hit the road? Getting out of the city and exploring something new will create new memories and experiences. You're more likely to remember a spontaneous day trip than you would remember hitting your favourite brunch spot in the city over and over and over again. No matter how good their eggs benny is, it's probably not as good as what awaits you less than three hours outside of Vancouver.

Being spontaneous is good for you! It shakes you out of your routine and if you're an over-thinker or over-planner, then there's actually good medicine in letting go of the reigns a little and just showing up to a new place with no expectations or plans. 

Here are 14 spur of the moment day trips you can take that are less than three hours from Vancouver: 

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park

Driving distance from Vancouver: 2.5 hours

Hiking trails and this gorgeous lake waters await you at Joffre Lakes. This place is great for seasoned hikers and seeing all three of the Joffre Lakes has got to be on your bucket list one day, so why not now?

Bridal Falls

Driving distance from Vancouver: 2 hours

It's an easy drive out to Chilliwack to visit the delicate waterfalls of Bridal Falls. This day trip is perfect if you want to get out into the woods a little and see some of nature's magic without spending a lot of time on the trail. Good for beginners!

Bellingham

Driving distance from Vancouver: 1.5 hours

It's easy to forget how close we are to the United States. It's worth the drive down not just for the shopping, but there's a cute part of Bellingham called Fairhaven that has adorable small town vibes that make a day trip extra special.

Whistler Village

Driving distance from Vancouver: 1.5 hours

You don't have to plan on skiing or snowboarding to head up to Whistler. Walking around the village and playing tourist is so much fun! Don't forget to hit up Cow's Ice Cream while you're there, or for adult-fun check out a vodka tasting at the coldest ice room in the world

Chihuly Gardens and Glass

Driving distance from Vancouver: Just under 3 hours

You can squeak into Seattle in just under three hours, so why not try it! There's more than just Pike Place Market and the Space Needle in the Emerald City. This unique glass garden and gallery is amazing.

Gibsons

Driving distance from Vancouver: 2 hours

The little town of Gibsons makes a fun day trip because you get to take a ferry to get there! Once you arrive, be sure to check out the beaches and hit up local breweries, artists galleries and cafes.

Fraser Valley Cider Company

Driving distance from Vancouver: 1 hour

Get out of the city and head straight to the country! This cidery in Langley has an adorable country barn-style patio right next to the apple orchard. Sip cider all afternoon here and breath in the country-fresh air. 

Deep Cove

Driving distance from Vancouver: half an hour

Short but sweet, a drive out to Deep Cove has everything you could want in a day trip. There's the beach, there's the Quarry Rock hike and there's even small-town vibes and life-affirming doughnuts at Honey's! It's the day trip with minimal driving but maximum fun. 

Harrison

Driving distance from Vancouver: 2 hours

For a day trip that's all about chilling by the lake, Harrison has got to be the place to go. Whether you want to check out the hot springs, wander through the town or walk along the shore you'll have lots to do once you step out of your car.

Rocko's Diner

Driving distance from Vancouver: 1.5 hours

The quintessential day trip for Vancouverites has to be heading to Rocko's. This spot is in Mission and it's where they filmed the pilot for the series Riverdale. This is one of the best spots to go for old-school diner vibes.

Salt Spring Island

Driving distance from Vancouver: 2.5 hours

For a more far-flung destination, head to Salt Spring Island. You can visit farms, go kayaking, check out the Salt Spring Saturday Market or just drive around the island and see what you can find.

Skagit Valley

Driving distance from Vancouver: 2 hours

For a scenic drive not too far from the sea, check out Skagit Valley! They even have their own tulip festival so you can drive around from farm to farm.

Sacred Mountain Lavender Farm

Driving distance from Vancouver: 2.5 hours

The largest lavender farm in BC is one of the most refreshing and relaxing destinations for a day trip. Don't miss out on these massive fields of flowers.

Alta Lake

Driving distance from Vancouver: 1.5 hours

Alta Lake in Whistler is the perfect day trip destination for paddleboarding, kayaking or even swimming! It's one of the most picturesque spots on our list and the way the lake is surrounded by mountains reminds you of why we call it Beautiful British Columbia. 

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