Spend five days in western Canada, starting in Vancouver, where you'll visit museums, historic landmarks, and trendy neighborhoods. Then, take the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway to the picturesque village of Whistler. Hike, bike, ski, or take the Peak 2 Peak Gondola to enjoy the outdoors before returning to Vancouver and touring Victoria, the capital of British Columbia.


  • See the highlights of Vancouver on a Hop-On, Hop-Off bus tour 
  • Drive the Sea-to-Sky Highway between Vancouver and Whistler
  • Ride on the record-breaking Peak 2 Peak Gondola
  • Do a tour of Vancouver Island and nearby British-influenced Victoria

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Vancouver, City Tour Vancouver
Day 2 Drive to Whistler, Hike Chief Peak Whistler
Day 3 Drive to Vancouver, Visit Grouse Mountain Vancouver
Day 4 Ferry to Vancouver Island, Explore Victoria Vancouver
Day 5 Depart Vancouver  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Vancouver, City Tour

Downtown Vancouver with mountain views
Downtown Vancouver with mountain views

Welcome to western Canada! Get a first glimpse of Vancouver on a Hop-on, Hop-off bus tour. A local guide will provide an insightful perspective on the city's history as you pass through the vibrant downtown and its must-see highlights like Canada Palace, Coal Harbour, Chinatown, Stanley Park, and the Entertainment District

The two most recommended stops are Granville Island and Vancouver Aquarium. Granville is a transformed space from an industrial wasteland to a thriving cultural hub. Head to Public Market and peruse through more than 50 food stalls, then see the work of Canadian artists and designers at Railspur District. Carry on to the aquarium to glimpse over 60,000 underwater creatures and 30 exhibits. 

Day 2: Drive to Whistler, Hike Chief Peak

Peak to Peak Gondola in Whistler
Sail high above the British Columbia landscape on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola in Whistler

This morning, hit the road and head north to Whistler along the Sea-to-Sky Highway, one of the country's most iconic drives. On the way, stop at Squamish, an access point for the Chief Peak. Stop to complete one of the trails to the summit. Alternatively, take a gondola up to Summit Lodge, where you'll get excellent views of Howe Sound. Grab lunch at the lodge before continuing the drive.

Once in Whistler, you'll have a free afternoon to walk around the chalet-style pedestrian village. Pamper yourself in one of the town's many spas, or ride to the top of the ski area via the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. As the world's longest unsupported cable car, the gondola runs between the summits of Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains and provides easy access to alpine hiking and biking trails.

Day 3: Drive to Vancouver, Visit Grouse Mountain

The scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway between Whistler and Vancouver
A segment of the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway between Whistler and Vancouver

Drive back to Vancouver on the Sea-to-Sky Highway. Before arriving in the city, stop at the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Cross the iconic (and wobbly) suspension bridge across the raging Capilano River. Then, climb to the Treetop Adventure and walk through the forest canopy on a series of suspended footbridges set 110 feet (30 m) up. 

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Continue the day of fun by heading to Grouse Mountain. In the winter, hit the slopes to ski, snowboard, and snowshoe with ocean views. In the summer, take the gondola to the peak before hiking or ziplining down. You can also do a canopy tree adventure or play an 18-hole round of disc golf. Enjoy the 360-degree views of Vancouver from the alpine restaurant at the top at any time of year.

Day 4: Ferry to Vancouver Island, Explore Victoria

Victoria's Parliament lit up at twilight
Victoria's Parliament lit up at night

Take a ferry from Horseshoe Bay and cross the Strait of Georgia to arrive on Vancouver Island, known as the "island of eternal spring." Upon disembarking, start a tour with the First Nations people of the Cowichan tribe. Admire their totems and learn more about their history and traditions before stopping for an educational visit to the Quw'utsun Cultural Center.

Continue your discovery of the island with a walk around the beautiful Butchart Gardens, then proceed to the provincial capital of Victoria. Highlights include the marina, the Parliament Buildings, the Royal Museum, the Empress Hotel, and the Wax Museum. After a day of sightseeing, return to Vancouver by ferry in the evening.

Day 5: Depart Vancouver

Aerial view of Vancouver
Aerial view of downtown Vancouver

If you have time, head out in the morning for a last walk around downtown Vancouver. Then, head to the airport and board a flight back home.

More Great Canada Itineraries

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Map of Western Canada Mountain Road Trip: Vancouver to Whistler  - 5 Days
Map of Western Canada Mountain Road Trip: Vancouver to Whistler - 5 Days