British Columbia is large, and beautiful, and there’s so much to do. One of the best ways to see the province is by car. There are roads for every kind of driver – whether you prefer winding mountain roads or scenic highways, roads that go through vineyards or those that offer views of stunning seascapes – you’ll find them all here. The only downside is that you’re spoilt for choice when you’re planning a road trip. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best roads for a drive around Vancouver. So, pack your snacks and get into gear for unforgettable days out exploring BC.
The size of BC means you can be on the road for days and never get bored. Here are a few trips that are not to be missed.
The Pacific Marine Circle Route
The best way to do this route is to do it at your own pace, stopping at places that pique your interest and doing things you want to do. The Pacific Marine Circle Route is 255 kilometres long, starting at Victoria. Take one day or take five, this road loop has something new to offer at every turn – from beaches that surfers dream of to vineyards and beautiful lakes. For the foodies, we highly recommend spending some time in Sooke, known for its fabulous restaurants.
The Sea-to-Sky Highway
You’ll see where the highway gets its name as you drive along this stunning route that winds from Vancouver to Pemberton, just north of Whistler. 162 kilometres long, the route boasts of soaring cliffs and the sea on either side of you as you drive along. It’s easy to get carried away by all the tourist attractions along the way, so it’s best to plan what you want to do before you hit the road. One stop that shouldn’t be missed is the Sea to Sky Gondola, where a ride in a cable car to the top gets you sweeping views of Howe Sound, a UNESCO Biosphere Region.
The Mountains and Vineyards Circle Route
This indulgent 1260-kilometre-long escape is best enjoyed with that special someone and/or your closest friends. Spend a week to 10 days treating your senses to the exquisite bountifulness that BC has to offer. Take your time tasting regional wines paired with local cheeses, soak in the therapeutic waters of hot springs, up your golf game or breathe in some of the freshest air in the world while hiking or mountain biking in the many scenic stops along the way.
Not every trip needs to be long. If you’re looking for where to go when you’re short on time, look no further. Pick a spot and start exploring…
Located in West Vancouver, Lighthouse Park is a scenic gem that is perfect for a day out with a short drive. Along with the Lighthouse itself, which is National Historic Site of Canada, the Park boasts the largest uncut rainforest in the Lower Mainland. There are plenty of hiking trails in the park and it’s a great place to go birdwatching too. If you’re looking for a place to take your furry best-friend, you’ll be pleased to know that “well-behaved dogs” are allowed off leash on the trails.
While you can get to Bowen Island without a car, having your own vehicle gives you the freedom to really explore the entire area. Drive to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver and take a 20-minute ferry ride to Snug Cove to leave city life behind. Drive your car around until you find the perfect little cove to spot some whales, catch up on your reading by a warm fire on the beach, or hike up Mount Gardner to get stunning views of Howe Sound, the Sunshine Coast, West Vancouver, and Burrard Inlet, if you’re feeling active. There are also several places to stay if you want to extend your trip.
Pick this one for a relaxing day out. A scenic drive from downtown Vancouver takes you to stunning viewpoints on the Burnaby Mountain. The mountain has plenty of picnic and play areas and trails. Art enthusiasts will love the Playground of the Gods sculptures created by Ainu sculptor Nuburi Toko and his son Shusei, based on their Japanese animistic traditions. Try and catch the stunning sunset views to complete your day out.
Ascent Car Rental has a selection of cars that are perfect to explore British Columbia. Whether you need plenty of luggage space, or a compact ride, our fleet has a vehicle suitable for your road trip needs. Get in touch with us today, to learn more about our fleet.