With 4 days, there are a number of road trips to choose from to escape the city, whether you're looking to head into the mountains, explore the coastline, or enjoy the laid-back vibe and great breweries of small towns. All of these can be customized based on your interests, where each explores a different side of what British Columbia has to offer.

Itinerary #1: Sea-to-Sky Highway

Highlights: Mountains, lakes, local breweries Driving time: 3 h 45 min Distance: 150 miles (240 km)
Sunset from one of the many viewpoints between Vancouver and Squamish
The iconic Sea-to-Sky Highway between Vancouver and Whistler
Day Route Driving Time Overnight
Day 1 Vancouver to Squamish 1 hour Squamish
Day 2 Squamish to Whistler 45 min Whistler
Day 3 Explore Garibaldi Provincial Park   Whistler
Day 4 Whistler to Vancouver 2 hours Vancouver

Whistler and the iconic Sea-to-Sky Highway is the most popular getaway destination for local Vancouverites. In a short amount of time, you'll get out of the city and into the rugged mountains of the Coastal Range which stretch up to Alaska. Although this route is well-trodden, it's easy to escape the crowds and seek out unique outdoor experiences. Consider spending a night in Squamish (a smaller, less touristy version of Whistler) or heading north past Whistler to Pemberton and Joffre Lakes Provincial Park. See the full itinerary.

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Itinerary #2: Sunshine Coast Getaway

Highlights: Coastal towns, outdoor adventure Driving time: 5 h 30 min Distance: 85 miles (135 km)
Sechelt Inlet, Sunshine Coast
Sechelt Inlet, Sunshine Coast
Day Route Driving Time Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Vancouver, Drive to Sechelt 3 hours Sechelt
Day 2 Explore the Lower Sunshine Coast   Sechelt
Day 3 Sechelt to Vancouver 2 h 30 min Vancouver
Day 4 Depart Vancouver    

A short drive and ferry ride away from Vancouver is the Sunshine Coast, with long stretches of coastline, inlets, islands, and laid-back coastal communities. Often overlooked for Whistler, this is a great place to find relaxation and outdoor activities. The towns of Gibsons, Sechelt, and Powell River have become well-known for their craft breweries, with great camping, B&Bs, and wellness retreats nearby. During the day, rent kayaks or charter a boat to explore the islands and inlets. See the full itinerary.

Itinerary #3: Pacific Marine Circle Route

Highlights: Beaches, old-growth forests, history Driving time: 5 h 30 min Distance: 170 miles (270 km)
Gordon Bay Park on Cowichan Lake
Gordon Bay Park on Cowichan Lake
Day Route Driving Time Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Victoria, Drive to Sooke 1 hour Sooke
Day 2 Sooke to Port Renfrew 1 h 30 min Port Renfrew
Day 3 Port Renfrew to Victoria 3 hours Victoria
Day 4 Depart Victoria    

Within easy striking distance of Victoria, this circle route gets you away from the crowds and into the old-growth forests and storm-swept beaches that Vancouver Island is famous for. On the first day, stop to explore a number of beautiful beaches as you head toward Port Renfrew. In Port Renfrew, grab a drink at the local pub or hike a section of the West Coast Trail, the island's most famous hiking route. Then, drive north through old-growth forests on narrow backroads before exploring the first nation's history of the Cowichan Valley. Finally, end the road trip with a visit to local vineyards before ending back in Victoria. See the full itinerary.