- Best of Vancouver and Victoria
- Vancouver Island: High Tea to Low Tide
- Vancouver’s Totem Poles
- Vancouver’s Best Hiking
- Family Fun in Vancouver & Victoria
- Focus on Vancouver and Victoria
- Vancouver Weekend Getaway
- Victoria Weekend Getaway
- A Tour Through Time
- Inside Passage Cruises
- Outdoor Adventures
- Winter Fun in Vancouver & Victoria
Including all of the best outdoor attractions and adventures around Vancouver is impossible in one week, so I’ve put together an itinerary that includes the most unique and varied experiences. As a nature lover, I assume you’re an early riser. You’ll need to be, because this is a full week’s worth of fun—with a special treat to wind up the trip.
After checking into your Vancouver accommodation, rent a bike to explore Stanley Park. Ride around the seawall and time your tour to end with dinner at one of the many restaurants along Denman Street.
Cross Lions Gate Bridge and take a morning stroll through North Shore. Choose between the Grouse Mountain Skyride and a hike in Cypress Provincial Park before heading for Whistler. Go canoeing on Alta Lake, and then enjoy dinner and a drink in Whistler Village.
Rent skis or a snowboard (yes, even in summer) and make a few turns on the Horstman Glacier via lift access up Blackcomb Mountain. After a late lunch, drive down to Horseshoe Bay and catch a ferry to Nanaimo.
Tell the experts at Ocean Explorers Diving in Nanaimo that you want to try a wreck dive, and let them choose a dive site that best suits your experience. After drying off, head west, stopping at the Old Country Market in Coombs for a healthy lunch, and then at He-tin-kis Park to admire the colossal old-growth forest. Choose a Tofino accommodation such as Pacific Sands, where you can boil up crab purchased from the dock.
Live to Surf will outfit you with a wetsuit and surfboard for a morning of fun in the breakers of Chesterman Beach. Take a lesson if you’ve never surfed before. Head into town for an afternoon whale-watching tour. Spend the night in Port Alberni.
If you leave Port Alberni early, you’ll arrive in Victoria well before lunch. View downtown from sea level by renting a kayak, and then paddle over to Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub. Spend your last night lapping up the luxurious surroundings of the Brentwood Bay Lodge & Spa, enjoying a signature Essence of Life massage for the full effect.
Finally, you get to sleep in before taking the ferry back to Vancouver and catching your flight home.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition