Looking for a fun family-friendly weekend getaway from Vancouver? Look no further! Here are six of our favourites.
Whistler – less than a two-hour drive north of Vancouver – is the perfect family getaway any time of year. In the winter, take your tykes down the snowy slopes. If skiing or snowboarding isn’t your thing, try dog sledding or snowshoeing. And, in the summer, horseback riding, mountain biking, and zip lining are popular options. Don’t forget to take a stroll around the Village, where you can stock up on souvenirs, toys and tasty treats.
If you have kiddos who love the outdoors, then Squamish is the place to go. Located just an hour’s drive north of Vancouver along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway, Squamish has plenty of outdoor activities for families with energy to burn. When the weather’s nice, hike the Stawamus Chief, head to Porteau Cove or stroll around Alice Lake. When the snow hits the ground, go for a snowshoe around the summit of the Sea to Sky Gondola.
The Fraser Valley – home to Chilliwack, Langley, and Abbotsford – will please the budding foodies in your family. Less than an hour’s drive southeast of Vancouver, this area is known for its agriculture. While the region has plenty of wineries and breweries, the Fraser Valley’s farms will satisfy the whole family. Favourites include Maan Farms (for strawberry picking), Willow View (for apple picking) and Krause (for pie tasting).
Tofino, located on Vancouver Island’s west coast, is filled with family-friendly things to do all year round. Rent surfboards or boogie boards, go sea kayaking, check out the tidal pools, take a boat to Hot Springs Cove, watch the storms roll in, build sandcastles or roast marshmallows on the beach. The flight from Vancouver is just under an hour. If you take the ferry and drive the winding road from Nanaimo, the trip will take you five hours.
Victoria, located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, will excite the little historians in your crew. Travel back in time as you walk along the waterfront: the historic buildings here (like the Parliament buildings and the Fairmont Empress hotel) date back well over 100 years. And, there’s plenty to learn at the countless museums in town: Royal B.C. Museum, Craigdarroch Castle, and Emily Carr House are all popular choices. The trip to B.C.’s capital city will take you a half hour by plane or around three hours by ferry.
While the Okanagan Valley, made up of Vernon, Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Penticton, Oliver and Osoyoos, is known for its wineries, there is plenty of family-friendly fun to be had, too. Float down the Penticton River Channel, check out Kangaroo Creek Farm just outside of Kelowna or pick your own produce at Davison Orchards in Vernon. There are also plenty of parks and beaches to discover in the summer and ski hills to shred in the winter. The Okanagan is located a five-hour drive east of Vancouver.