7 Best Road Trips Near Vancouver This Fall

The leaves are starting to fall and the children are back to school. The forecast is still sunny for a while, but those cool (and sometimes rainy) fall days aren’t far off. But that doesn’t mean it’s time to put the holiday mood aside until next summer — in fact, fall can be a great option for a quick getaway from the city. If your kids aren’t in school yet or are young enough to take a few days off without too much hassle, the coming months between summer vacation and the December vacation rush can be ideal. . Popular destinations are often less crowded during the fall. Get out your maps, pack your bags and check out some of our favorite fall road trips near Vancouver:

7 Great Fall Trips Near Vancouver

The sunny coast

Because it takes a ferry to get there, many people think the Sunshine Coast is one of the island chains along the British Columbia coast. It’s actually on the mainland, but the only way to get there is on a 40-minute ferry from Horseshoe Bay in North Vancouver. The southern part of the Sunshine Coast is probably the best for a short getaway, but you’re spoiled for choice: check out Gibsons, Halfmoon Bay, Pender Harbour, Sechelt and other communities. Known for its quirky little restaurants and unique art shops, as well as its bakeries and candle makers and just about every other small business one could imagine, there are plenty of shopping and dining options. Or skip it all altogether and just take in the beauty of the area: towering trees, sun-kissed creeks and endless trails to explore.

Estimated travel time from Vancouver: 30 minutes plus 40 minutes ferry

Harrison Hot Springs

Known for its namesake resort hotel (which has thermal pools exclusive to its guests), there’s plenty to do in this small town even if you don’t stay the night. But there are other hotels and rentals to stay at when visiting Harrison Hot Springs, many of which overlook the lake itself. Hike the trail along the shore, enjoy a swim in the man-made lagoon (Harrison Lake is a cold body of water, so the lagoon and its sandy beach create a warmer environment for children and adults to spend the swimming day that often continues into September), rent a go-kart for four or enjoy a meal by the water. Drive through town to Sasquatch Provincial Park for trails and fishing.

whistler

People come from all over the world to visit the world-famous ski resort of Whistler – and it’s right on our doorstep. Enjoy the glorious Sea to Sky Highway through North Vancouver, Britannia and Squamish (there are some neat stops along the way, so take your time and get some extra sightseeing fun on the way up.) Most popular in winter for snow sports, and all summer long for hiking and biking and general sightseeing, it’s still a gorgeous spring and fall destination. Go mid-week for a little less traffic and enjoy a wide variety of food options (from picnics to ice cream to fine dining) and activities.

Estimated travel time from Vancouver: 90 minutes

Manning Park

Known as a family destination, Manning Park is a great place for the family who loves the great outdoors. From trail hikes to bike rides, there’s plenty to do here in the off-ski season. It also gives you the opportunity to take a drive along the old Crowsnest Highway, which is less frequently used to cross British Columbia, but runs through Manning to Osoyoos and beyond to the Kootenays (and possibly Alberta.) Wildlife abounds here, with sightings of roadside moose not unusual. Choose from cabins and camping for accommodation, with a variety of dining options.

Estimated travel time from Vancouver: 2 hours and 30 minutes

Osoyoos

If you’ve never been to Osoyoos, this might be the fall to check it out. Located in what is geographically a desert, this unique region can seem otherworldly compared to the temperate rainforest of the coastal areas around Vancouver. With plenty for kids and adults alike (think golf, wineries, beaches, and pools galore at local hotels), there’s definitely something for everyone in this community on the south end of the coast. Okanagan region and just before the US border.

Estimated travel time from Vancouver: 4 hours and 30 minutes

Seattle

Speaking of the United States, it might be a while since you crossed our southern border to visit the United States. Seattle is packed with well-known highlights — from Pike Place Market to the Space Needle — but countless lesser-known activities and events. For the kids, there’s the Seattle Aquarium, Woodland Park Zoo and the Olympic Sculpture Park, to name a few, while parents can take advantage of the great local restaurants and gorgeous views. Located on beautiful Puget Sound, Emerald City has served as the backdrop for countless movies, so keep an eye out for familiar locations from your favorite films.

Estimated travel time from Vancouver: 2h30

Victoria

Head to British Columbia’s capital for a quick jaunt that feels like a great escape, thanks to a beautiful ferry ride from Tsawwassen to Schwart Bay (and back, on the return trip.) Discover Chinatown in Victoria, the BC Legislative Buildings, Harbor Center and dozens of other popular sites. Older kids and teens might like Butchart Gardens, which is en route from the ferry to downtown Victoria. Or skip the city sights and explore local trails and natural areas. Mount Doug Park offers a scenic hillside walk with trails to the top of the mountain with views that stretch for miles.

Estimated travel time from Vancouver: 1 hour plus 2 hour ferry ride

Tagged under: road trips, family road trips, road trips near vancouver, road trips from vancouver, autumn road trip

Category: attractions, outdoor games, active

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