With 5 days, you'll want to focus on a specific region of British Columbia given the first and last days of your trip will likely be spent getting there and back again. You'll then have three full days to really enjoy the experience without feeling too rushed, whether your goal is to base yourself in one location or experience a new destination each day. Each of the following routes focuses on a different region and can be further customized to create the perfect adventure.

Itinerary #1: Pacific Rim Adventure

Highlights: Whale watching, coastal rainforest, hiking Flying time: 2 hours (Two domestic flights)
Hiking through coastal rainforest in the Pacific Rim
Hiking through coastal rainforest in the Pacific Rim
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Vancouver Vancouver
Day 2 Vancouver to Pacific Rim (1 hour) Pacific Rim
Day 3 Explore Pacific Rim National Park Pacific Rim
Day 4 Pacific Rim to Vancouver (1 hour) Vancouver
Day 5 Depart Vancouver  

From downtown Vancouver, it's a short scenic floatplane flight directly to Tofino in the heart of the Pacific Rim National Park. Here, bunker down in a B&B or wilderness lodge along the coast and spend three days exploring the rainforest trails, driftwood-strewn beaches, and the abundant wildlife by kayak. For the more adventurous, you can camp on one of the islands or charter a boat or floatplane to remote hot springs. See the full itinerary.

Itinerary #2: Okanagan Valley Vineyards

Highlights: Vineyards, lakes, biking/hiking Driving time: 11 hours Distance: 580 miles (930 km)
A vineyard overlooking a Kelowna subdivision
A vineyard overlooking a Kelowna subdivision
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Vancouver, Drive to E.C. Manning Provincial Park (2 h 30 min) E.C. Manning Park
Day 2 E.C. Manning Provincial Park to Kelowna (3 hours) Keremeos
Day 3 Explore around Kelowna Kelowna
Day 4 Kelowna to Vancouver (5 h 30 min) Vancouver
Day 5 Depart Vancouver  

This route takes you into the heart of British Columbia's wine country, where you'll find hundreds of local wineries (as well as craft breweries). It's also the warmest region in the province with numerous lakes where you can escape the heat. Kelowna, the largest city in the region, has a number of great restaurants and shops, but it's the small towns and scenic backroads where you'll escape the crowds and stumble upon this region's true charm. For outdoor lovers, there are also a number of great biking and hiking trails to choose from, such as the Kettle Valley Railway Trails. 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)
Waterfalls on Gordon River near Port Renfrew
Waterfalls on Gordon River near Port Renfrew
Day Highlights 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 Cowichan Bay (2 hours) Cowichan Bay
Day 4 Cowichan Bay to Victoria (1 hour) Victoria
Day 5 Depart Victoria  

This road trip is easily accessed from Victoria and takes in many of the things that Vancouver Island is famous for—windswept coastline, waterfalls, coastal rainforest, and an abundance of local history. Spend the first couple of days exploring the beaches and coastline as you head to Port Renfrew before veering inland through old-growth forest. The majority of the route follows scenic backroads that were recently paved. With short driving distances each day, you'll have plenty of flexibility to linger or head out on a longer forest or water-based adventure. See the full itinerary. 

Itinerary #4: Sea-to-Sky Highway

Highlights: Mountains, lakes, local breweries Driving time: 4 h 30 min Distance: 150 miles (240 km)
Brandywine Falls Provincial Park en route to Whistler
Brandywine Falls Provincial Park en route to Whistler
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Vancouver Vancouver
Day 2 Vancouver to Squamish (1 hour) Squamish
Day 3 Squamish to Whistler (45 min) Whistler
Day 4 Explore Garibaldi Provincial Park Whistler
Day 5 Whistler to Vancouver, Depart (2 h 30 min)  

This iconic highway takes you from downtown Vancouver up into the nearby mountains of the Coastal Range and is a popular escape for those looking to get out of the city for a few days. Most people head straight to Whistler where they base themselves for a couple of days, but we recommend driving slowly and taking time to explore the countless hiking trails, waterfalls, and viewpoints along the way. The smaller towns and provincial parks around Whistler are great for escaping the crowds and getting outdoors in a short amount of time. This route is best suited for those who love the mountains and outdoor activities. See the full itinerary.

Itinerary #5: Sunshine Coast Getaway

Highlights: Coastal towns, outdoor adventure Driving time: 5 h 30 min Distance: 85 miles (135 km)
Relax on the Sunshine Coast
A peaceful evening on the Sunshine Coast
Day Highlights 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 Explore Vancouver's Downtown & Neighborhoods Vancouver
Day 5 Depart Vancouver  

Travelers often overlook the Sunshine Coast in favor of Whistler, but this is the perfect route to relax, unwind, and enjoy the beauty of British Columbia's coastline. After taking the ferry from Horseshoe Bay just outside of Vancouver, you'll enter the Sunshine Coast and make your way north along the coast. Gibsons and Sechelt are the perfect towns to base yourself out of, with great restaurants, local breweries, and wellness resorts. See the full itinerary.