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)
Vancouver to Squamish
Squamish to Whistler
Explore Garibaldi Provincial Park
Whistler to 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.
Plan your trip to British Columbia Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
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)
Arrive in Victoria, Drive to Sooke
Sooke to Port Renfrew
1 h 30 min
Port Renfrew to 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.