Both tourists and locals alike begin to seek the best day trips from Vancouver in winter once the temperatures begin to dip. This is the perfect time to explore the region’s unparalleled beauty away from the crowds of summer.
From ski getaways to island escapes, there are numerous destinations to explore within a few hours’ drive from Vancouver.
So, whether you are an adventure enthusiast or simply looking for a serene escape, these five Vancouver winter day trips are sure to ignite your wanderlust. Let’s get moving!
The 5 Best Winter Day Trips from Vancouver
Discover the Island Via a Victoria Seaplane And Ferry Tour
Embark on an exciting Victoria tour from Vancouver, starting with a thrilling floatplane journey across the Salish Sea. The seaplane tour offers stunning aerial views of snow-covered peaks as you relax and enjoy the scenic flight.
Once on the island, you can explore Victoria’s top attractions at your own pace. Butchart Gardens is open year-round and is extra special during the holidays. For broader coverage, you can also consider hopping on the Victoria hop-on hop-off bus.
After a day of exploration, the journey back to Vancouver concludes with a comfortable coach ride to Swartz Bay Terminal for the ferry ride back to the city.
See The Canyon Lights At The Capilano Bridge
Looking for something a little closer to home? Well, how does 20 minutes from downtown sound? The Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver offers a thrilling experience alongside its scenic beauty in the crisp mountain air.
During the winter season, the bridge transforms into a joyous end-to-end, multi-coloured changing display known as Canyon Lights, which illuminates both the bridge and the canyon below. Trust me, it’s a mesmerizing sight.
Additionally, the park’s Treetops Adventure and Cliffwalk receive a colourful makeover with festive live music, the captivating Arc de Lumina, and the world’s eighth-tallest Christmas tree, making for an irresistible winter day trip in Vancouver.
Traverse the Thrilling Sea-to-Sky Gondola
Looking for an unforgettable winter day trip from Vancouver? How about climbing the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish? I assure you, this majestic wonder is where thrilling sights and outdoor adventure come to be.
Enjoy a 10-minute ride ascending 885 meters up Mount Habrich on this Austrian-style gondola.
Once aboard, you’ll be treated to breathtaking panoramic views of Howe Sound, the majestic Coast Mountains and the beautiful Stawamus Chief through the gondola’s floor-to-ceiling windows.
You’ll find minimal waiting time, a handful of viewing points, a suspension bridge, and backcountry access. The gondola promises a seamless and enjoyable experience, leaving you with lasting memories of stunning vistas and thrilling moments.
Related: How to Get to the Sea to Sky Gondola
Visit the World-Class Resort of Whistler
Renting a car in Vancouver unlocks the chance to experience one of the world’s most beautiful drives and explore BC’s most famous resort town.
Whether you’re a sports enthusiast or looking for a relaxing getaway, Whistler is not to be missed – especially for winter activities.
A co-host of the 2010 Olympic Games, Whistler stands out as a 5-star ski resort with an array of gourmet restaurants and spa experiences like Scandinave Spa, making it a top choice for day trips from Vancouver.
Plus, a whole host of Whistler tours from Vancouver are available for those without a vehicle. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this extraordinary destination on your BC adventure.
Go Skiing in the Local Mountains
Vancouver is said to be one of the few cities where you can hit the beach and go skiing on the same day. While you likely won’t want to take a dip in English Bay in January, a host of Vancouver skiing options are available in the mountains surrounding the city.
Heading to Whistler should be at the top of your list, but it requires a 90-minute drive. Looking for an alternative? Grouse Mountain, Cypress Mountain, and Mount Seymour provide a veritable winter wonderland within 30 minutes of your downtown hotel.
Known as the local mountains, these magnificent peaks not only offer fantastic skiing opportunities. They serve as a gateway to unforgettable outdoor experiences such as tobogganing, snowshoeing, tubing, skating and much more.
Vancouver Winter Day Trips FAQs
Any more questions about day trips from Vancouver in winter?
Vancouver’s location makes it perfect for a diverse array of winter day trips. Whether you’re looking for adventure or relaxation, there’s something nearby waiting to be discovered.
I’ve shared a few of my favourites. But you’re free to hit me up in the comments if you’re looking for something different. I’m sure something will tickle your fancy.
Until then, bundle up, stay safe, and enjoy the winter wonders of British Columbia! ❄️