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

I Fell in Love With a Truck!… {Review}

Will and I have driven Ford vehicles for years. Between the 2 of us we’ve owned 4 since we’ve been driving and have joked that our driveway looks like a mini Ford dealership. The first vehicle I bought and paid off was a Ford Ranger and the day I sold it to buy my current vehicle- a Ford Escape- was a little heartbreaking. When we decided to jump at the chance to preemptively buy a more family- friendly vehicle, I had to say bye- bye to my baby. I loved that little truck, and have never given up on the idea that I might own another one again…
And then I got the chance to test out an F- 150 this Summer. I literally jumped for joy (see Instagram for that photo). I got to try it out for daily use (how much room for car seats and all our stuff? how difficult would it be to park?) and drive it to beautiful Bowen Island for a girls weekend getaway (how much stuff could we pack into this thing?!). I’m not usually the one to offer to drive, but this baby practically purred and it was such a pleasure to drive I was excited to get behind the wheel as much as I could.
For all of you that follow the blog on Instagram and saw my blog post about my girls weekend getaway, you have probably seen photos of the F- 150 I got to enjoy driving for a week. Ford Canada trusted me with this beauty to use and abuse for 7 days and it was really hard to give it back. Really. Seriously. Hard. We’ve discussed what our next vehicle will be if we decide to have a 3rd kid and/ or want to buy something that will suit our lifestyle as our kids get older- think camping, hunting, road tripping, etc- and this was a great chance to see if an F- 150 would suit our needs. Our Escape is great, but we know that we would eventually like a bigger vehicle and we both love the idea of an F- 150.

Having the chance to drive this truck for a week gave me enough time to get comfortable driving it and testing out all the features. At first I was a little nervous driving such a big vehicle, but within minutes of driving it I felt right at home. This truck was a bit of an ego- boost for me- I loved driving it and it was such a smooth, quiet ride. Sitting up high is a fun way to drive and it makes parking easy- you can see all around the vehicle, and if you need it, there is back- up assistance. This had been another thing I was curious about and while I think it takes a bit of practice, this truck wasn’t so challenging to park that I had to take up 2 stalls (at least not after a few tries! 😉 ). I prefer to back into a stall and the benefit of a truck is you can see the back end when you reverse, so I was more comfortable parking this way. And of course, for those of you who prefer, you can use the back up assist for extra help. See below for photos and vehicle features!

What I loved:

The fuel economy(!!!)

This was one of my big questions I had about moving up to a truck: what would it be like on gas? And I was really impressed with the answer I got. I expected to have to fill it up after only a few days of driving (I’ve heard horror stories about how some trucks are on gas) but I didn’t have to until I returned it after 7 days of driving, including a 120 km round- trip drive to Bowen Island. And the low- tank indicator hadn’t even come on yet. Thank you Ford for the 3.5L EcoBoost engine!

The comfort

This baby was spacious! Whether it was us with the kids, or the 5 gals heading to Bowen, there was always plenty of room to spare. And the seats were so comfortable. Ford has really thought of everything when it comes to driving in comfort and it didn’t hurt that this truck was gorgeous inside and out (the twin panel moon roof made for some beautiful Summer driving). When I would get in and push- start the engine, the driver’s seat would slide into my preferred position and we were off! 
Everything else
It’s hard to narrow down everything I loved about this truck, because I really loved it all- from grille to tailgate- and it was such a pleasure to drive. The other things I appreciated were the touch screen that managed everything from my phone, music, GPS, and back- up assistance, (the list goes on), the heated/ cooled leather seats that were as comfortable as recliners to sit in, and the spacious cab and box- you can fold up the rear seats for extra room or store items under them, which is great for families looking for a practical option. This truck also had manners- when you opened the doors, the side rails would automatically come out so you could step up into the cab, and would automatically withdraw when the door closed. I know this is a novel thing to mention, but I appreciated features like this- especially with two little ones to pack in and out!
When the time comes to buy another vehicle, an F- 150 is definitely at the top of our list and this experience helped us see what owning a truck like this would be like and answered our questions regarding things like fuel economy, space, and features we would appreciate in our next vehicle. Whether for function or pleasure, there’s a reason F- 150s are such a popular choice. For more vehicle features that come standard on the Ford F- 150 Limited, see below.

Standard Features on the Ford F- 150 Limited

Pro Trailer Backup Assist with Hook- Up Light
Simply turn a knob to indicate how much you need to turn the trailer and the system will steer the truck to turn the traler to the desired amount
8″ LCD Productivity Screen
All the information you need right in front of you including furl usage and towing data with a customizable home screen
Seasonal Comfort
Stay comfortable no matter what time of the year with heated/ cooled front seats, dual- zone electronic automatic temperature control, and a heated steering wheel
Safety First
Collision warning with brake control if sensors detect a potential collision with the car ahead of you. Adaptive cruise control detects traffic slowing and decelerates in response using sensors in the grille
Seeing is Believing
Class exclusive 360 degree camera with split- view display stitches images together from 4 cameras (in the grille and tailgate, and under each side mirror) so you can see all sides of the truck
Voice- Activated Sync 3
Make a call with the push of a button and the sound of your voice
Voice- Activated Navigation System
Hands- free, voice activated technology helps you find your destination while keeping your hands on the wheel
Blind Spot Information System
Sensors detect traffic in driver’s blind spot and provides a visual warning 
Power & Efficiency
3.5L Ecoboost engine delivers 6% higher city and 11% higher highway fuel efficiency over previous model for an efficient and durable driving experience
Reverse Sensing System
Provides audible alerts to help you avoid obstacles while backing up
Twin Panel Moonroof
Extends over the front and back seat to allow for beautiful overhead views and fresh air with the push of a button
Fully Flat Load Floor
Flip up the rear seats in SuperCrew models for extra space 

A big thank you to Ford Canada for giving me the chance to drive this beautiful truck! 

For more information about Ford and their current vehicle line up, visit the Ford Canada website and find them on social media:
Facebook: Ford Canada
Twitter: @FordCanada
Instagram: @fordcanada