5 staycation destinations to explore within an hour's drive of Vancouver

Jul 16 2020, 8:00 am

Summer is for making weekend plans, reconnecting with nature, and discovering the great outdoors and by the great outdoors, we namely mean outdoor patios.

For a little while, the pandemic had us worried that our summer plans wouldn’t come to fruition. Thankfully, things have taken a turn for the better as the gradual reopening of the BC economy has coincided with the beginning of the summer season.

While destinations far abroad might remain under consideration, the upside is there’s plenty of weekend getaway fun to be had at these staycation spots. And the most gratifying part is they’re all within a short drive from Vancouver.


Chestnut Springs/Tourism Chilliwack

Located within the stunning Fraser Valley, Chilliwack is a self-proclaimed “great place to chill, and an even better place to thrill,” in reference to the quaintness of the town and its surrounding natural charm.

We’d recommend starting the day at Chestnut Springs (one of the city’s many artisanal cafes) with a warm cup of coffee and a pastry. Located near the breathtaking Chilliwack River Valley, Old Yale Brewing brews up handcrafted beers inspired by the surrounding landscape.

For those in the pursuit of something more on the “thrill” side of things, head out for a day of adventuring on the river with Chilliwack River Rafting or rent a paddleboard on Cultus Lake with Main Beach Boat Rentals.

Afterwards, you can hang out on the patio at Lakeside Beach Club with a glass of wine in hand. Cleanse your palate with something sweet at nearby Frosty’s Ice Cream, the place to go for a scoop of the best flavours in the valley.


City of Burnaby/Tourism Burnaby

Those looking to reignite their love of nature won’t have to search very far. Nearby Burnaby is overflowing with natural beauty and outdoor activities.

For one, the city boasts a total of two golf courses and pitch and putts for those eager to take out their clubs. Urban cycling trails are also aplenty and an ideal way to get around while taking in all the sights on the scenic paths.

Local Burnaby Mountain’s enormous conservation area is abundant with vigorous hiking trails, bike paths, and leisurely nature walks. Family-friendly parks — like Central Park, Burnaby Lake Park, Deer Lake Park, Barnet Marine Park, and Fraser Foreshore Park — are ideal settings for a picnic. The city’s diverse dining scene also makes for tons of local takeout options. If you’re feeling thirsty you can also visit local brewery Dageraad and their newly built patio.

The 1920s heritage village at Burnaby Village Museum in Deer Park is also a great place to nerd out on history while taking a relaxing stroll. From there, you can saunter over to Burnaby Heights, stopping by Glenburn Soda Fountain for an old fashioned soda, or delicious sundae.


Langley is all about keeping things fresh. This paradise of locally produced wine, beer, spirits, and cider is a place to connect with and celebrate the growers that cultivate all of the delicious things we love to consume.

Local breweries — like Trading Post Brewery, Five Roads Brewing, Camp Beer Co., and Dead Frog Brewery — all offer their own range of fresh, inventive flavours of ale. Locally handcrafted using freshly pressed apples, the cider at Fraser Valley Cider Company is ideal for those craving something sweet or crisp.

Wine lovers rejoice: grapes are also bountiful in this agriculturally rich region. Drop by one of the nine wineries including Blackwood Lane Winery, Chaberton Estate, Festina Lente Estate, or Glass House Estate for a wine tasting, or explore the leafy vineyards where all the magic happens. Nearby Krause Berry Farms is also home to fresh local produce, baked goods, wine and waffles!


Tuscan Farm Gardens/Tourism Abbotsford

Make a weekend getaway to trendy and picturesque Abbotsford where “farm meets table” and “spirit meets nature,” according to the locals.

Enjoy shopping in the town’s historic downtown at local boutiques, like Montrose & George General Store, Bureaux Modern Mercantile, Hemingway Books & Records, and Spruce Collective. Local cafes like Oldhand and Duft & Co Bakehouse offer an array of freshly brewed coffee and baked goods.

Hit up Restaurant 62 for some farm-to-table goodness, or stop for lunch and beers on the expansive lawn at Field House Brewing.

Plan your weekend around the Tuscan Farm Gardens Lavender Bloom and enjoy the fragrant and picture-perfect floral fields, as well as their lavender-infused natural products and food offerings.


Fisherman’s Wharf/Tourism Richmond

The thriving city of Richmond is packed with character, rich history, and rugged natural landscapes.

Start your day by exploring the city’s secret Instagram spots, like Minoru Park’s manmade waterfall in central Richmond, Paulik Park by Garden City Lands, and London Landing Wharf along River Road in south Richmond.

Boost those energy levels and get your heart pumping on Richmond’s 80 km worth of flat bike trails. Bike along the South Dyke Trail up to the historic fishing village of Steveston where you can take a stroll through Garry Point Park and visit two national historic sites to learn about the city’s fishing history.

Spend the afternoon cruising the coast with Vancouver Whale Watch or Seabreeze Adventures and witness whales playing in their natural habitat. Delight in a well-earned dinner at the Buck & Ear Pub before collapsing into bed for some zzz’s at the newly renovated Steveston Hotel.

Use this summer as an opportunity to discover the riches of Vancouver’s nearby towns and cities. The simple act of getting away for a weekend means unplugging, recharging, and creating lasting memories.

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