Winter can get a little boring in Vancouver. There isn't a whole lot going on and it's expensive to take advantage of the skiing and snowboarding nearby! One way to remedy the winter blues is to go on a little adventure outside the city and reignite your creative spark by discovering something new!
Whether you're looking for a romantic winter date idea or just want to get away from the city for an afternoon, a spontaneous day trip can be super fun! If you're looking for ways to save money this winter, then going on a little day trip is a great alternative to an expensive date night or getaway. All you need is a car (or a compass card and a whole lot of patience) to be on your way!
Here are 25 ideas for spontaneous day trips, big and little, that you can take from Vancouver this winter.
Republica Coffee Roasters In Fort Langley
Republica Coffee Roasters is one of the most charming places in one of the most charming towns in B.C.! Tucked in Gasoline Alley in Fort Langley, this small, low-key coffee shop is hidden amongst old buildings and unique shops. If you want to get out of the city without compromising your coffee quality.
Hike The Goldstream Trestle In Victoria
Feel like jetting off to Vancouver Island for the day? Stretch your legs after your ferry ride on this easy hike! It's not advisable to actually walk on the trestle since there are no safety guards and it can get slippery, but it still fun to check out and perfect for photos.
Boundary Bay Beach in Tsawwassen
The drive out to Tsawassen is strangely relaxing. I think it might be because it's so flat and the farmland in nearby Delta is so peaceful! Head to Boundary Bay Beach and walk along the ocean as the waves gently lap the shore.
Harmony Donuts in North Vancouver
This quirky spot in North Vancouver makes a great, quick trip from Vancouver if you want to get out of the city without being stuck behind the wheel all day. This doughnut shop is so atypical and it's great to bring friends here to check out the shop. Plus, the doughnuts are amazing. You can even bring them with you on a hike in North Van or check out Cates Park and eat your doughnuts on the beach. Luckily for us, we can do that here in Vancouver even in the Winter!
Birchwood Dairy In Abbotsford
This dairy farm and farm shop in Abbotsford is worth the drive if you love fresh, gourmet ice cream. You can also tour the farm here and make friends with the adorable cows!
Walk The Shoreline Trail In Port Moody
Not too far from Vancouver but still far enough away to feel like you're in a new place, Port Moody has a ton of cool things to check out! If it's nice and sunny, then it's worth checking out the Shoreline Trail. You'll get amazing waterfront views and its far less busy in the Winter than in the Summer.
Free Brewery Tours At Howe Sound Brewing In Squamish
Amazing beers are just a quick drive up the Sea to Sky! It's free to tour this famous B.C. brewery, and their pub is a super cosy spot to chill out with friends on a rainy day.
You have probably driven right by Sidney on your way to Victoria a dozen times before! This little seaside town goes at its own pace, but if you look closely there are so many adorable things to check out, from local coffeeshops and bookstores to wacky museums and a fantastic sea wall.
Neufeld Farm Market in Abbotsford
This year-round farmers market is a hidden gem in Abbotsford. Head out here to stock up on fresh and affordable produce. When you buy right from the farm, you cut out all the money and freshness lost in transportation. Plus, it's harder to find healthy produce in the middle of Winter! If you love cooking, then you should definitely take a day trip out here.
Whyte Lake In West Vancouver
This unique hike in West Vancouver is really fun to check out. You really feel like you have the woods all to yourself! It's just above Horseshoe Bay, so you can go eat lunch in the village after.
Cat Lake In Squamish
Cat Lake is usually a popular Summer spot for swimming and camping, but in the Winter it takes on a whole new character. You can walk along the heavily forested trail that circles the lake and catch glimpses of the misty and mysterious lake as you go! It's a great easy hike to do if you don't feel like heading all the way up to Whistler but still want to get into the mountains a little.
Eat Farm Fresh At Muddy Waters Cafe In Harrison Hot Springs
This is one of the most popular spots in Harrison to fill up on good food. Their food is all locally sourced and it's an unexpectedly casual farm to table dining experience! The restaurant is bright and right on the lake.
See The Magical Brandywine Falls In Whistler
Just outside Whistler, you can find these falls that become absolute magic in the Winter. If you have snow tires, venture up the Sea to Sky and head out on a Wintry hike in search of this glistening hidden gem!
Free Cider Tastings At Sea Cider On Vancouver Island
Voyage to Vancouver Island and check out this cidery where you can sample the goods for free! You'll definitely want to pick up a few bottles of this affordable, crisp and delicious cider. This might not be the ideal way to obtain vitamin C, but I'm pretty sure it helps in some way to combat cold season. Don't quote me on that, talk to your doctor to see if getting your vitamin C from cider is right for you.
Castle Fun Park In Abbotsford
There's no better place to escape the cold and jump into fun than Castle Fun Park! Whether you just want to take silly photos and play a few games or you want to go all-out on a mini-golf adventure, you're bound to have a great time here.
Camp Lifestyle + Coffee Co. In Whistler
Part-coffee shop and part-camp supply store, this shop in trendy Junction Function in Whistler is a must-see! Sip lattes and shop from their selection of curated luxury outdoor lifestyle gear. It's a truly British Columbian experience!
Sip Kona Coffee And Eat Poke Bowls At Islands Cafe In White Rock
Pretend it's Summer and head to this Hawaiian-themed cafe in White Rock! Tropical vibes and flavours will lift your spirits on even the most chilly of Winter days. Wrap up with a walk on the pier and grieve for the ruined pier while you're in White Rock!
PoCo Heritage Museum and Archives
This hidden gem in PoCo is so incredible! Check out the 'Secret Life of Trees' exhibit to learn more about the trees around you. This is a cute way to spend an afternoon with someone who's not from around here and give them a taste of the outdoorsy, nature-loving culture of Vancouver.
Play Pin Ball In An Underground Arcade At Oak & Thorne
This spot in Langley has a little underground pit where you can play pinball and other arcade games! This is a great place for a meal any time of day and it's perfect to watch sports. Their menu is solid with traditional pub fare and a few quirky options thrown in for good measure. They even have a gluten-free and vegetarian menu!
Play With Cats At The Sanctuary In Richmond
If you need a little TLC, then head out to this sanctuary in Richmond and give these cats some love! There are so many affectionate four-legged and furry friends here just waiting to meet you.
Hike The 'Abby Grind' In Abbotsford
The Fraser Valley has a Grouse Grind of their own! You'll be treated to a sweeping view of the valley when you hustle your way up the hills to the peak. The best part about this hike is that, unlike the Grouse Grind, it's open year-round!
Pendray Tea House In Victoria
It's always tea time in Victoria. If you want to escape to an English paradise for a day, then head out to Victoria for a spectacular treat. This is one of the most classic places to go in Victoria for Afternoon Tea, and if you're craving a little comfort this winter, then it's perfect for you!
Village Books & Coffee In Steveston
There really aren't enough of these coffee shop book store combo places around! This one in Steveston is the perfect place to hunt for literary treasures. Spend some time browsing titles and read over your new find over a coffee. If you can't escape Vancouver this Winter, then just escape into a good book.
Eat At One Of These Amazing Restaurants In The Suburbs
Vancouver's diverse foodie culture is bleeding out into the suburbs, resulting in some of the best restaurants being outside of the city. New West, PoCo, Burnaby and Richmond have some of the best restaurants around! Find one on this list that's worth the drive!
Hike The Vedder River Rotary Trail In Chilliwack
This flat, gravel trail along a river in Chilliwack makes for a great afternoon walk with friends! Bring along a thermos of your favourite coffee and walk along the gentle path with your friends.