5 Day Trips You Can Take From Vancouver

Map flat lay- day trips to take from Vancouver, BC

Disclosure: This shop was compensated by Collective Bias, Inc., and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CanadianTire #QuakerState #CollectiveBias

It’s that time of year when we all get back into our Fall routines, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t time to squeeze in some fun family time around school and activities. Road trips and travelling are a popular activity for families any time of year, but if you’re looking for some shorter trip ideas, I’m sharing a few day trips you can take leaving from Vancouver. Whether you live in the city or one of the surrounding cities, you’ll be able to reach any of these places without spending the whole day on the road/ travelling.

The best part about these day trips is they don’t require as much planning/ packing, making them easy to organize and prepare for. Some simple prep before you go is all you need: pack up a cooler, get the kids outfits and bags ready the night before, make sure your car is gassed up and good to go (have you checked the fluids/ given it an oil change recently?), and maybe pack some driving snacks for everyone to keep them happy. And even though Summer is winding down, these day trips from Vancouver are fun year- round.

DIY oil change with Quaker State available at Canadian Tire

1. Whistler

This place doesn’t need much of an intro. With it’s year- round activities, there’s always plenty to do. Whether you prefer hiking, biking, skiing/ snowboarding, or want to relax and enjoy good food, it’s all here (for good eats check out El Furniture Warehouse where all meals are $4.95). The drive along the Sea to Sky Highway is beautiful with plenty of places to stop along the way (Shannon Falls is my favourite pit stop), but there’s also the mining museum, Hells Gate, and plenty of other scenic stops/ attractions along the way.

Approx. 1.5- 2 hours drive from Vancouver.

2. Cultus Lake/ Chilliwack

Growing up I loved visiting Cultus Lake or the water slides across from the lake in the Summer. Rent a boat and go wakeboarding or slow things down and go fishing- the lake is a popular Summer spot, but beautiful all year (it doesn’t have to be hot and sunny to enjoy a picnic lakeside!). Chilliwack is a favourite day trip spot for families living in Vancouver and surrounding areas who want to get away and enjoy the country without having to go too far from home, and it’s gaining more and more attention for it’s growing local scene. Family- friendly events are held throughout the year, including markets, BBQs, craft beer festivals, and a corn maze (just to name a few) so even if it isn’t the middle of Summer there’s still plenty to enjoy.

Approx. 1 hour 15 min drive from Vancouver

3. Fort Langley

If you don’t want to go as far east as Chilliwack, Fort Langley is another scenic locale, within an hour’s drive of the City. Visit the Fort and soak up some local history, enjoy a variety of shopping and eating options (Trading Post Brewing’s Eatery and Ritual Ice Cream are two of my favourites, also check out Little White House, a converted heritage house featuring a boutique and cafe); or go for a walk in/ around this scenic town. The Fort- to- Fort Trail is a great option if you enjoy biking/ hiking, and you can rent kayaks, paddleboards, and canoes if you want to spend some time on the water. This historic town is full of character and has plenty to offer visitors who want to get away from the city within a short drive.

Approx. 45 min drive from Vancouver

4. Bowen Island

Being a city on the coast, Vancouver isn’t far from countless islands accessible by ferry and Bowen Island is just a quick 20 minute ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay in North Vancouver. This is the perfect place to slow down and enjoy ‘island time’. When you’re here it’s easy to forget how close to Vancouver you are. When you arrive off the ferry any number of choices await in Snug Cove, including restaurants and shops; you can also rent paddleboards and kayaks right by the marina/ ferry dock. If you enjoy handcrafted, artisanal work, Artisan Square is home to shops and galleries featuring locals artists/ artisans and just a quick drive up the hill from Snug Cove. Drive further into the island for scenic hikes and other activities (if you’re a yoga lover, Nectar Yoga B&B is worth a visit, even if you’re only there for the day).

Approx. travel time: 20 min ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay in North Vancouver

5. Vancouver Island

Hop on the ferry from Horseshoe Bay or Tsawassen and head to the Island for a day. Visit the province’s capital and hit up a museum or go shopping in downtown Victoria or check out any number of other cities/ attractions on the Island. Tofino is worth the extra drive once you get off the ferry, or stop in Ucluelet for a closer option; both offer up beautiful beaches and during storm season the waves are an attraction in themselves. Cathedral Grove on the way is a natural wonder that you’ll want to stop at (perfect for a picnic lunch and stretching your legs, and be prepared to take lots of nature photos among these old- growth trees) and Coombs is a quirky little town that’s fun to visit. For a ferry ride and drive, you’ve got plenty to choose from, you just have to decide how to spend your time.

Getting Ready

Prepping a day or two in advance can save time and make getting on the road go much smoother morning- of, especially if you’ve got kids along for the ride. Stock up on food and drinks (fill a few extra water bottles for good measure) and any clothing/ gear you’ll need for your activities of choice. It’s easy to forget, but making sure your vehicle is ready to hit the road- whether for a long or short drive- is important. Since your vehicle is going to get you to and from your destination it’s a good idea to make sure it’s in good working order and this is a good time to check the oil and do a DIY oil change if needed. You can get everything you need at your local Canadian Tire (they’re made for life in Canada after all 😉 ), including oil change supplies plus other essentials for road trips (coolers, camping chairs, etc).

DIY oil change with Quaker State available at Canadian Tire

Tips for Performing an Oil Change

  • check your car’s owner’s manual before you start to ensure you pick up the right oil for your car
  • make sure you have all the supplies you need including funnel, drip tray, wrench, jack and jack stands or ramps, latex gloves, oil, oil filter, and any other items specific to your vehicle (like a drain plug washer)
  • take the safety precautions necessary to perform a DIY oil change safely, such as using blocks behind the wheels of the vehicle so it doesn’t roll if on a ramp

DIY oil change with Quaker State available at Canadian Tire

What Oil + Where to Buy

If you’re looking for a quality oil, Quaker State® Ultimate Durability™ Full Synthetic Motor Oil is a great choice and you can stock up for a great price at Canadian Tire. Their oils have been tested in severe driving conditions to ensure they help your car perform to the standard your family needs and protects your engine through it’s use- and then some. It’s not the first few kilometers after an oil change that you’ll appreciate the difference, it’s the thousands you drive after- think stop- and- go traffic, idling, and extreme temperature changes (hello Canadian weather!), that test the quality of the oil you use.

Quaker State puts quality first and tests their products (they tested their oils in taxi fleets throughout North America, with the results proving their oils provide twice the protection of the industry standard throughout its life) to ensure they provide the performance and durability you need:

  • Durability- oil remains fresh thanks to the fuel- saving additive
  • Engine life- heat- activated viscosity improvers and anti- wear additives kick in as the engine temperature increases to maintain oil thickness/ help extend your engine life
  • Performance- superior lubrication flow and pumpability in below- freezing temperatures

If you have never done a DIY oil change before, ask a staff member at Canadian Tire to help you find everything you need, including the right oil for your car. Quaker State is a great option, and whether you plan a long or a short road trip it will help your car get your family everywhere you need to go. I hope this post has given you some ideas for places around Vancouver to visit (and a friendly reminder to keep your vehicle maintenance up to date)!

DIY oil change with Quaker State available at Canadian Tire

Now I want to know: What are some of your favourite day trips to take with your family?

5 Day Trips to Take from Vancouver

Fun in the Sun: Warm Weather Essentials

It’s finally SPRING! And that means longer days, warmer weather, aaaaaaand Summer isn’t too far away! Whether you’re planning a beach- y holiday or are just looking for some cute pieces for the warm months ahead, this post is all about the things to help you make the most of sunny days. So grab the SPF and your favourite pair of sunnies, it just gets better from here!

First up: swim suit. Pretty much a staple when it comes to Summer and a necessity when you’re hopping on a plane to sit on a beautiful beach somewhere. This peachy suit is a 2- piece from The Secret Closet, perfect if you aren’t a fan of one- pieces but still like a little extra coverage. And for bikini lovers like me, you’ll also like that the strap is removable and the bottom is reversible (this one has a pretty floral print on the other side) and can be rolled down if you like a lower- lying bikini bottom. Also: anything with a little bit of sparkle makes you feel kind of like a mermaid, and how can you not have fun when you’re channeling your inner Ariel? 😉 You can visit The Secret Closet owner, Nicole, in Maple Ridge to try on the swim suits so you find one that’s the perfect fit and style- the hardest part is narrowing down all the cute choices!

 

Next up: beach essentials. Think cover up, towel, and bag. For travel, I think anything with a zipper is a good option to keep your personal belongings like wallet and travel documents safe. This striped beauty is my go- to for everyday and has doubled as a carry- all when I go away for a few days. If you’re in charge of plane tickets and passports when it comes to vacations, a passport holder is a great idea to help keep everything together and organized. The one below is made by Pecan Tree Creations, and there are a few options available including holders for up to 6 passports, so if you’re travelling with the whole family you can keep everyone’s passports and documents all together. It has an elastic closure to keep everything secure and you can pick from several pretty prints (how perfect would this be to give as a grad gift with some money tucked inside for someone you know planning a post- grad trip?).

If you like to cover up while you hunt down the perfect beach- side ice cream cone, there are so many cute options and I’ve shared two completely different ones below. The first is this pretty cover up from Jammy and Co that doubles as a dress when you wear a slip underneath. It’s lightweight and perfect if you want a light layer over top your swim suit, or want something that serves double- duty when you travel and saves on packing space. I love that it goes with anything and you can take it from beach to dinner with a quick change out of your swim suit and into a light layer underneath (they also make cute options in kids sizes if you’re looking for something for your little lady- how cute would twinning at the beach be?!). 

If you’re like me and love a good towel for the beach, or want a plush one to take on vacation, this wearable poncho towel from LOLL is a great option. Throw it over your other beach layers to stay warm with the ocean breeze, use it dry off, or use it to change in and out of your swim suit underneath. There’s a zip on both sides or pop it on and off over your head. I love how soft and thick it is- plus the hood is a nice added bonus to keep warm. Whether you lie on it to soak up some sun, or throw it over your bathing suit it’s great for the pool and beach (think walking to and from the beach/ pool at a hotel on vacation). If you’ve ever been on a cruise, you know that walking on deck while the ship is moving can make for an extra cool breeze and this would be perfect to stay warm, especially for those late- night dips in the pool. 😉 Also- how perfect would this be to curl up in for a fresh air nap? There are several designs available, including Turkish towel options and thick terry towels like this one. Whether for the beach, to take to a sunny vacation spot, or for Summers spent at home, this is a towel I’m glad to have discovered. Now I just need Summer to hurry up and get here!

 

    

OK, last thing I want to mention: I feel like vacations are an excuse to buy a few cute outfits. 😉 Or if you’re staying close to home this Summer, now’s the perfect time to start thinking about your warm weather wardrobe. You can’t beat a classic t- shirt, and the great thing is you can wear them year- round. Hawaii holds a special place in my heart and I love Aloha Kai’s line of apparel inspired by the Islands. This ‘You Had Me At Aloha’ tee goes with everything and is super soft and comfortable. Wear it with jeans until it really warms up or pair with shorts or cute skirt (might have to try this with a pretty tulle number as well 😉 ) … And then there’s this pineapple skirt from Lone Wolf Boutique– I don’t think it gets more fun than this! (I also can’t wait to wear this skirt with my swim suits this Summer). Owner Stephanie and I actually went to high school together and I was so excited to get to include her in this post (she’s also got a watermelon print skirt I’ve got my eye on that’s super cute). This outfit just makes me smile and I think is a great example of some of the fun things you can work into your Summer wardrobe.  And seriously- just try not to love that pineapple print. Just try. It’s just plain fun and that to me is what Summer/ vacation and the clothes that come with it are all about.

   

  

I hope this post gives you some ideas for the warm weather ahead! BC in the Summer can’t be beat and for those of you lucky enough to be heading on a vacation this year, I hope you enjoy a yummy cocktail on the beach for me. Now it’s just a waiting game until the hot days of Summer get here!

Source info (in order of appearance): 

Swim suit- The Secret Closet | Instagram: @nikkinordli

Swim suit cover up- Jammy & Co | Instagram: @jammyandco

Heart print passport holder- Pecan Tree Creations | Instagram: @pecantreecreations

Poncho Towel- LOLL | Instagram: @lollbeach

‘You Had Me at Aloha’ tee- Aloha Kai | Instagram: @alohakaiapparel

Pineapple print skirt- Lone Wolf Boutique | Instagram: @lonewolfboutique

Photography: Ally Fotografy 

Thank you to all of the brands that provided pieces for this post and to Ally for always being game for my crazy blogging antics (it was snowing earlier in the day that we shot these photos!).

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