5 Fun Weekend Getaways From Vancouver

If you live somewhat close to Vancouver, there's no shortage of fun things you can do. We've gathered our 5 favorite weekend getaway ideas that's both cheap and fun!

There’s certainly no shortage of fantastic weekend getaways when you live somewhat close to Vancouver. Even if you’re willing to drive several hours to get there, it’s going to be worth your time and money.

Oh, yep, we just went ahead and said the “M” word. As much as most of us love vacation trips, they all come with some sort of price tag. Some trips can be costlier than others, but most will take some sort of chunk out of your bank account regardless.

Plus, what’s cheap to one person may be downright expensive for someone else. Basically, it’s all subjective. However, with all that in mind, we wanted to do our best to compile a list of five extremely fun weekend getaways from Vancouver that don’t have to feel as if you’re spending your life savings.

The 5 weekend getaways from Vancouver include:

  1. Bowen Island
  2. Seaside Hotel in North Vancouver
  3. Whistler
  4. Stanley Park
  5. Emerald Lake Lodge

Let’s dive into those weekend getaway destinations a little bit more, shall we? Now, let’s just be clear, the following getaways aren’t going to be as cost-effective as some of the cheapest camping ideas for couples to enjoy, but that’s a little different anyway!

1. Bowen Island

brown rocky mountain beside seafront
Image credits: Connor McLeod

If what you’re looking for is a weekend getaway that truly feels as if you’re getting away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, a trip to Bowen Island is one of the best ways to go. Roughly speaking, via Horseshoe Bay, it’s about a 20-minute ferry ride from Vancouver.

Regarding how expensive the weekend can be, you can kind of tailor that to your needs. For example, the price can start to skyrocket very quickly if you decide to enjoy the yoga retreats that the island is commonly known for. If you just wanted to enjoy a quaint bed for the weekend, you could stay within a much narrower budget.

It’s also not as if the yoga retreats are all there’s to do on the island. There are many parks that you can visit from the Bowen Island Ecological Reserve to the Apodaca Provincial Park. Additionally, many beaches can be explored and visited, and there’s also a plethora of hiking trails that can be enjoyed.

Oh, and if you visit Bowen Island, be sure to look out for all the wildlife present. Overall, Bowen Island is truly a sight to see, and one of the best weekend getaways from Vancouver regardless of budget.

2. Seaside Hotel in North Vancouver

the front of the seaside hotel in north vancouver
Image credits: Seaside Hotel Vancouver

Wow, you want to talk about an amazing and epic view from a hotel. That’s what you get from the Seaside Hotel and given that this getaway is just making mention of this specific hotel, you can choose rooms based on your budget. The activities you choose to indulge in outside of the hotel can also be based on your own budget.

From special events to a spa room, this hotel offers a lot of the goods. It’s right next to the Vancouver Harbour too, hence the name Seaside Hotel. We could continue to describe it ourselves, but we feel the official site does a better job than we ever could:

It’s a unique, stylish place to call home while you find adventure just minutes away. With state-of-the-art amenities, signature design guest rooms, and unbeatable linens, Seaside gives you a taste of real luxury, with views of everything waiting to be discovered. Each room echoes the natural world nearby with natural wood detailing, exquisite marble bathrooms with dazzling chrome finishes and a large reclaimed wood focal wall to bring the forest into your room. Large windows let in ample natural light, and can be dismissed easily with motorized window coverings, standard to every room.

– Seaside Hotel Vancouver

Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. This hotel is going to cost more than your average motel, but you can still opt for the cheaper suites and still enjoy a wonderful time.

3. Whistler

an overview of the whistler park
Image credits: Lesly Derksen

If you’re someone who enjoys skiing and snowboarding, a trip to Whistler is easily one of the most recommended weekend getaways from Vancouver. It’s located roughly two hours north of Vancouver and is home to the world-famous Whistler Blackcomb.

It’s one of the largest ski resorts in North America, and the main site dubs it the absolute largest in North America. If skiing and snowboarding aren’t really your things, though, the Olympic Park also offers other thrilling activities such as ski jumping, tobogganing, and snowshoeing.

Lodging options are available from the resort so if you wanted to make a weekend just out of the ski resort alone, you could do just that. It may be cheaper to find a local hotel, though, so just keep that in the back of your mind.

Now, even with warmer weather, Whistler is home to other enjoyable activities such as golfing, biking, and hiking. And at the hub of the town, you can enjoy a compact pedestrian village that has a chalet-style to it.

Really, though, the town is known for having some of the top skiing in the world. For skiers, this has to be considered the very best of the weekend getaways from Vancouver. On that topic, when skiing, figuring out what to wear under your ski pants can be one of the hardest decisions to make.

4. Stanley Park

a bench in the middle of a very green park
Image credits: Mike Benna

Stanley Park is dubbed as the first, largest, and most beloved urban park in Vancouver. While you could always just make a day out of visiting the park, there’s so much to do that you could easily make it the main event for the entire weekend.

And when we say that there’s so much to do, we really mean it. From going to and enjoying Canada’s largest aquarium to exploring the 400-hectare natural West Coast rainforest to enjoying the scenic views of the water, majestic trees, mountains, and sky along the park’s Seawall, there’s a lot to indulge in.

We didn’t even mention the kilometers of trails that can be hiked and explored, and also the historical, cultural, and natural landmarks that make the park so infamous. Great eats can also be enjoyed, in addition to the wonderful local wildlife and the gorgeous beaches.

Near the park, you could book a hotel to stay for the weekend. And on the small chance that you start to get bored with Stanley Park, you can surely find other attractions around the area to enjoy.

Another really cool thing about the park is you could explore it with a guided tour if you wanted to get the most out of the visit. When discussing weekend getaways from Vancouver, it’d be a shame not to mention this one.

5. Emerald Lake Lodge

the emerald lake lodge on a snowy night
Image credits: Zachary Kyra-Derksen

Okay, so the thing about Emerald Lake Lodge is it’s a respectable drive from Vancouver. It’s nestled in the serene Yoho National Park, and it’s roughly an eight-hour drive away. However, the sheer beauty of Emerald Lake Lodge makes it worth the drive for just about anyone and everyone.

Even when traveling to the destination, there are many amazing sights to see through Revelstoke and Kamloops. The lodge is located on a private island and is aimed to allow its guests to disconnect from their busy lives and reconnect with nature and family.

In other words, if you’re looking for the best tech-heavy weekend getaways from Vancouver, you might want to avoid this one. Emerald Lake Lodge promises an electronics-lite experience with limited cell phone service and guest rooms without TVs.

According to the main site: “Built of hand-hewn timber and featuring massive stone fireplaces, Emerald Lake Lodge includes an elegant dining room, quiet reading and sitting rooms, conference facilities and a games room. From upper and lower verandas, the vistas of surrounding mountainscapes are breathtaking here. Few destinations in Canada offer the unique mix of luxury and nature that Emerald Lake Lodge offers.”

However, it’s truly the view and the surrounding nature that makes this such an unforgettable weekend getaway. You also better believe that you’ll be able to enjoy some fantastic hiking trails, though you might want a pair of hiking poles if you plan on doing any hiking up in these parts.

Final thoughts

To be honest, this is just a small glimpse of the many terrific weekend getaways from Vancouver. And as we mentioned near the beginning of this post, the getaways listed above will all come with a price. We tried our best to veer away from the really expensive options.

Then again, besides being subjective, even with the trips listed above, you can dictate how much money you spend and don’t spend, quite honestly. Regardless, Vancouver is a tremendous vacation destination.

Speaking of vacations, something hiking enthusiasts like to do is travel the United States looking for the best beaches with hiking trails. Huh, who would’ve known? We’ve already compiled a list of some of the best! If you’re interested in checking that out, go ahead and click that link.

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Tyler Jones

Tyler is much like a swiss knife. Even though he has a degree in Computer Science, he knows almost everything there is to know about camping. He has been writing for HeadlessNomad since 2021 and has contributed with over 100 articles. If you have an outdoor-related question, then Tyler much likely knows the answer.