Driving from Vancouver to Whistler on the Sea to Sky Freeway is a brief journey by street journey requirements, however this stretch alongside Freeway 99 in British Columbia is crammed with so many issues to see and do, it will probably take days to discover. We’ve rounded up the highest points of interest from Vancouver to Whistler together with locations to remain, the place to eat, and what adventures available.
Having lived in Vancouver, we’ve pushed the Sea to Sky Freeway many instances in our lives, nevertheless it wasn’t till we revisited it as vacationers that we really took our time to absorb all the highest points of interest alongside the Sea to Sky hall. So sit again, benefit from the views, and begin planning your individual street journey from Vancouver to Whistler BC.
Sea to Sky Freeway Street Journey
The Sea to Sky Freeway is just 154 km (95 miles) lengthy and the drive time from Vancouver to Whistler might be achieved in a mere 90 minutes. If you wish to plan an awesome Sea to Sky Freeway street journey, plan on 4 to 5 days. This journey is excellent and there are such a lot of issues to do you want time to go mountain climbing, discover its epic waterfalls, immerse in its historical past and take within the sights. So let’s get began.
Locations to Go to from Vancouver to Whistler
Spend the night time in Vancouver and discover considered one of Canada’s greatest cities for no less than a day. There are a lot of issues to see in Vancouver that can preserve you occupied from the waterfront path on False Creek to historic Gastown and the well-known Granville Island. Listed below are just a few of our prime recommendations for issues to do in Vancouver.
The place to Keep in Vancouver
The Opus Vancouver is a wonderful boutique lodge situated in Yaletown that’s strolling distance to every part. This trendy lodge was named one of many prime accommodations by Forbes and the highest luxurious property in BC.
It had a number of the friendliest service we’ve skilled at a lodge. It should be that recent West Coast air that makes everybody joyful! We extremely suggest it. Plus there are nice choices for eating and nightlife shut by and its only a quick stroll to the waterfront.
Stanley Park and Downtown
We recommend beginning with exploring Stanley Park. Lease a bicycle and take a spin across the Sea Wall. You’ll want to cease on the Marina for a number of the greatest views of the Vancouver Skyline. An important cease can be the Stanley Park Totem Poles at Brockton. The totem poles show the indigenous tradition of British Columbia which may be very prevalent alongside the Sea to Sky Freeway aka British Columbia Freeway 1.
Spend the remainder of the day exploring False Creek with a very good chunk of time at Granville Island. Granville Island is crammed with eateries, boutique purchasing, artists studios, and even a theatre. It’s a enjoyable spot to hang around. Then take the water taxi throughout False Creek to stroll alongside the waterfront to Gastown. Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood was based by Gassy Jack Deighton in 1867. There’s plenty of purchasing and eating in Vancouver.
Capilano Suspension Bridge
In your second day in Vancouver, head out within the morning to see the well-known Capilano suspension bridge. The Capilano Bridge is a 137meters lengthy (450 ft) suspension bridge swinging 70 meters (230 ft) above the Capilano River. That is the star attraction, however there may be additionally a excessive ropes treetop journey they usually provide guided strolling excursions by way of the rainforest. There are free shuttles from downtown Vancouver, however in case you have a automotive, we recommend driving since it would be best to discover the opposite sights close to Vancouver.
Grouse Mountain Gondola
Grouse Mountain is house to some nice snowboarding proper close to the town middle. There additionally Cypress Bowl and Mount Seymour for winter sports activities, however Grouse Mountain has a number of summer time actions and issues to do. To get to Grouse Mountain, cross the Lions Gate Bridge that takes you into North Vancouver.
Grouse mountain is a year-round vacation spot simply quarter-hour from downtown Vancouver. Take the Grouse Mountain Gondola up for magnificent views of Vancouver. If you’re touring within the winter, snowboarding is certainly so as however in case you are not into snowboarding or visiting throughout one other season, there’s a zipper line journey, lumberjack present, two resident grizzley bears that get pleasure from a pure sanctuary, eating, and mountain climbing. Learn extra: 14 Greatest Hikes in Vancouver to Benefit from the Nice Outdoor
Hit The Seaside
If mountain climbing and heights aren’t your issues, You might spend the day trying out Vancouver’s seashores. Vancouver has just a few cool seashores to go to. Chances are high you already visited Second and Third Seashores when biking round Stanley Park. And when working your means from Stanely Park in the direction of Granville Island, there’s English Bay Seaside (the place we used to reside) and Sundown Seaside. However if you happen to go throughout English Bay to Kistalano, there are much more seashores.
The highest Vancouver seashores to go to listed here are Jerico Seaside, Kitsilano Seaside, Spanish Banks Seaside, and Wreck Seaside. Wreck Seaside is taken into account among the best nude seashores on the earth, so be warned, you’ll see a number of pores and skin. The rationale it was most likely chosen as a very good nude seashore is due to the five hundred steps main all the way down to the sandy seashore making it fairly secluded.
Stops on the Sea to Sky Freeway
After spending a few days exploring Vancouver and North Vancouver, it’s now time to hit the street and let the Sea to Sky Freeway street journey start. The drive takes us as soon as once more throughout the Lion’s Gate Bridge to North Van after which a drive by way of West Vancouver with a fast cease at Lighthouse Park earlier than getting into Horseshoe Bay. This, for my part the place the Sea to Sky Freeway actually begins.
A well-liked cease at Horseshoe Bay is Whytecliff Park. This marine sanctuary is house to shipwrecks and an abundance of Marinelife and may be very widespread with scuba divers. It’s nice for swimming, plus at low tide, you possibly can stroll out to Whytecliff Island. Be certain that to cease right here for some images and to absorb the view.
The subsequent cease is among the hottest points of interest alongside the Sea to Sky Freeway. The Britannia Mine Museum is a Nationwide Historic Website of Canada that was once the most important copper mine in the complete world. At present it is a wonderful interactive museum that takes guests on a prepare to the guts of the mountain to see the place miners dug for copper. Be sure to take a look at the brand new present, BOOM. The multi-sensory movie takes place within the huge 20 story constructing the place we study in a really entertaining means in regards to the 96-year historical past of mining in Squamish.
There’s additionally the “Linked by Copper: From Cells to Cell Telephones”, which provides a glimpse of how copper has influenced our day by day lives all through historical past since historic instances, from connecting us with electrical energy to wi-fi and defending us from dangerous micro organism. Learn extra about it right here.
Close by you possibly can cease at Britannia Seaside which was as soon as a booming mining city, however immediately it’s a small and charming village. Britannia Seaside was once some of the polluted areas in North America due to the copper mine mine, however in 2005, an enormous undertaking was undertaken to wash up the waters. At present, the waters of Howe Sound at Britannia Seaside are 85% recovered with marine life coming again increasingly more every year. You’ll want to test it out for your self.
The primary waterfall we come throughout between Vancouver and Whistler is Shannon Falls situated simply South of Squamish. The falls are a brief and straightforward stroll from the parking zone so be sure you get out and take a look! Shannon Falls is the third largest waterfall in British Columbia. There are a few completely different viewpoints to absorb the large 335-meter (1099 foot) cascade. From Shannon Falls, you can begin considered one of three treks to the Stawamus Chief.
Sea to Sky Gondola
The Sea to Sky Gondola takes you as much as Summit Lodge for superior views of Howe Sound. If you end up on the prime there are a number of viewing platforms, The Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge, and plenty of mountain climbing. This is among the premier points of interest on anybody’s Vancouver to Whistler street journey. (it was closed once we had been there, nevertheless it is among the prime points of interest alongside the Sea to Sky Freeway and to not be missed)
Sea to Sky Air
Because the Sea to Sky Gondola was closed, we nonetheless managed a chicken’s eye view by taking an unimaginable scenic flight on a floatplane over the Coast Mountains and Howe Sound with Sea to Sky Air. Our pilot David took us over the waters the place we landed on Howe Sound to toot round for some time in search of marine life. It was among the best scenic flights we’ve ever taken.
Driving from Vancouver to Whistler, the primary main group after Horseshoe bay is Squamish. This can be a good place to spend the night time and take a look at the websites and actions within the space. For a extra in-depth information learn 14 Wonderful Issues to Do in Squamish BC
The place to Keep Squamish
A wonderful place to remain in Squamish is Sunwolf Riverside Lodge. These log cabins are situated on the river in a forest setting. They’ve wood-burning stoves and a unbelievable restaurant that’s widespread with locals and vacationers alike. It makes you’re feeling as in case you are out in nature however has all of the facilities you want.
Identified merely as The Chief, the Stawamus Chief is a 702 meter (2,303 foot) granite cliff towering over the town of Squamish. Rock Climbers come from all over the world to deal with its routes. The Chief is Canada’s Reply to El Capitan.
You don’t need to be a rock climber to get pleasure from The Chief, you possibly can hike to the highest too! There are three completely different hikes, First Peak, Second Peak and, Third Peak hikes. (How unique proper?) When you have restricted time the First Peak is the shortest (4km spherical journey) and has lovely views.
Bald Eagles at Squamish River
In the event you keep at Sunwolf Riverside, you’ll be instantly on the Squamish River the place you’ll discover one of the best Bald Eagle sightings on the earth. Between November and February, a whole bunch of bald eagles flock to the river to munch on the abundance of salmon inventory. We had been there in October and we noticed a number of bald eagles ourselves, so one thing tells me they’re round all year long. We stood on the bridge overlooking the river and watched them sweep in for his or her catch earlier than sitting on excessive treetops.
Sea to Sky Half to – Squamish to Whistler Stops
After no less than 2 nights in Squamish, it’s time to hit the street once more and make your means in the direction of Whistler. There are many stops on this portion of Freeway 1, so make sure to take your time and benefit from the drive.
Garibaldi Provincial Park
Residence to the putting Mount Garibaldi, Garibaldi Provincial Park is an enormous recreation space at 480990 acres (194,650-hectares) in space. Fashionable mountain climbing trails from Diamond Head embody a cool hike out to Elfin Lake the place for $15 you possibly can keep in a cabin full with a propane range. This can be a widespread park for mountaineering and canoeing too!
The subsequent well-known waterfall on our Vancouver to Whistler journey is Brandywine Falls. It’s one other straightforward 10 to 15-minute stroll from the parking zone throughout a railway observe to a beautiful 70 meters (230 foot) dashing waterfall dropping right into a horseshoe canyon.
Congratulations you made it to Whistler! Whistler is considered one of Canada’s prime vacationer locations and we suggest staying no less than just a few days. Longer if you happen to plan on snowboarding or snowboarding! There are such a lot of issues to do in Whistler, it makes for a superb ending level to our Sea to Sky Freeway journey.
Whereas there, make sure to take a look at the Olympic Village, hit a number of the Olympic websites just like the bobsleigh to attempt your hand at a spin down the observe or head up the mountain for magnificent views on the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. There are nice mountain climbing trails and in case you are visiting within the winter, there are clearly very good winter points of interest however listed here are just a few concepts outdoors the conventional snowboarding and spa experiences in Whistler.
Prepare Wreck Path
The subsequent widespread cease on our drive from Vancouver to Whistler is the Prepare Wreck Path. Positioned on the Cheakamus River, the Trainwreck Path grew to become extra simply accessible to vacationers in 2013 after the municipality opened up the bridge to maintain individuals from crossing the prepare tracks to entry it. The path begins at Cheakamus Crossing and is a couple of 15-minute hike to an exquisite suspension bridge. After crossing the bridge, the stays of seven wrecked boxcars stand within the forest. They’re lined in graffiti making for wonderful picture alternatives.
The boxcars are stays from a 1956 prepare derailment from Lillooet. The prepare was delayed, so to make up time it was going practically twice the pace restrict. When it got here to a pointy curve on a slender part of the observe, it flew off the rails. Get coordinates right here from Google maps.
Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre
We had been to Whistler a number of instances and by no means made it to any of the indoor points of interest however I’m glad we lastly did! The middle is devoted to the historical past and tradition of The Squamish and Lil’wat tribes. It is a wonderful interactive museum.
Whistler Photograph Safaris
If you’re visiting Whistler through the summer time months, make sure to hop on a bear safari. Whistler Photograph Safaris takes you thru the Whistler Olympic Park seeking black bears. You additionally get a tour of the Whistler Olympic Park’s Ski Jumps and cross nation snowboarding tracks.
It’s an effective way to get out and discover extra of the encompassing Whistler and to see some wildlife alongside the best way. The ocean to sky freeway undoubtedly lives as much as its repute as one of many nice drives on earth. We have now a whole publish devoted to issues to do in Whistler right here so test it out to see all of the issues to do when you finish your Sea to Sky Freeway street journey.
The place to Keep in Whistler
We made our base on the Pan Pacific Mountainside situated instantly on the mountain. It’s nice for ski in ski out within the winter or for straightforward entry to the gondola in the summertime. And it has parking! We have now stayed in many various lodging downtown Whistler and you actually can’t go improper with any of them.
Watch our Sea to Sky Freeway Street Journey Video
Did you get pleasure from all of the wonderful issues you are able to do from Vancouver to Whistler? What are you ready for? Begin planning your drive alongside the Sea to Sky Freeway and ensure to spend a while in each Vancouver and Whistler, two of Canada’s most enjoyable and exquisite locations.
You’ll want to get the tunes prepared to your drive. We’ve put collectively the Final Street Journey Playlist.
Take a look at these superior Canadian Street Journeys