The best road trips to take near Vancouver this rainy season

Nov 15 2019, 5:15 pm

As you can probably tell (or see), we have officially become Raincouver. And along with the rain comes the dreaded seasonal affective disorder, or aptly-termed SAD. But rather than wallow away in sadness indoors, why not hit the road and see some of the sights that are only made even better by the rain?

As much as we love the idea of staying in and watching television all day whilst the rain pitters and patters outside, there is an abundance of road trip destinations that are perfect to head to during the transition between fall and winter.

We’ve compiled a list of the best places to go on a road trip this rainy season, so that you can explore the beautiful scenery British Columbia has to offer — Netflix can definitely wait.

For your own safety, please make sure you are well prepared before heading out on your next adventure. Information on how to prepare for your trip and stay safe whilst out hiking is available from North Shore Rescue and AdventureSmart.



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What: Surrounded by mountains such as the Stawamus Chief, and located at the tip of the Howe Sound, there is plenty of outdoor activities to do in Squamish. A popular location amongst Vancouverites for camping, there are endless choices of mountain peaks and waterfalls to hike to. Take a drive along the Sea to Sky Highway, one of the most beautiful scenic drives in the world.

Where: North of Vancouver

Get there: A one-hour drive from Vancouver

Mystic Beach


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What: The hike to Mystic Beach on Vancouver Island is an adventure that is suitable for all levels of outdoor experience. On of the most scenic beaches in the area, Mystic Beach features a waterfall and a rope swing, and is a popular spot for photographers. During the rainy months, the waterfall flows heavily onto the beach itself, and is therefore the perfect time to explore this beautiful spot.

Where: Along the south-west coast of Vancouver Island

Get there: Approximately a four-hour drive (and ferry) from Vancouver



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What: Located in the heart of the Okanagan Valley in British Columbia, Kelowna is the perfect combination of urban and rural life. Whilst you’re in Kelowna, you must tour the local Okanagan region wineries, explore the various hiking trails and mountains in the area, and visit the farms and orchards for the freshest produce. Kelowna also experiences much milder winters and rainfall than Vancouver due to its inland location, so if you’re looking to escape the rain – this is the place to go.

Where: Okanagan Valley, British Columbia

Get there: Approximately a 4.5-hour drive from Vancouver

Hot Springs Loop


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What: One of the ultimate rainy season road trips, the Hot Springs Loop takes you through the Kootenay Rockies to some of the most beautiful natural hot springs in British Columbia. The circle features 13 stops to sight-see, dine, and soak your tired muscles in mineral-rich pools.

Where: Located in the Kootenay Rockies

Get there: The most ideal spot to start your road trip through the Hot Springs Loop is Cranbrook, a nine-hour drive from Vancouver



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What: With relatively dry winters and abundant sunshine, Lillooet is one of the top road trip destinations if you need an escape from the rain in Vancouver. With stunning mountain vistas, incredible lakes and rivers, as well as a rich history, you will find plenty to do in the area. A special spot for photography enthusiasts is the Seton Lake Lookout, which overlooks Seton Lake and the U-shaped Duffy Lake Road – definitely worth checking out.

Where: Located along the Fraser River, British Columbia

Get there: Approximately a 3.5-hour drive from Vancouver



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What: When it rains in Vancouver – that usually means snow in the mountains. The best part is, there is so much to do around the Whistler region, so even if you aren’t into snow sports, you will be able to find something to do. Also, Whistler is one of the must-visit locations from Vancouver, so take this season as the opportunity to give it a visit.

Where: North of Vancouver

Get there: A two-hour drive from Vancouver



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What: A popular destination for Vancouverites who want to get out of town for a while, Seattle is the perfect spot for a road trip this rainy season. With each neighbourhood in the city having its own distinct style and personality, as well as a great coffee culture, Seattle is a great city to drive out to and explore. The important thing is – Seattle, like Vancouver, is a city that receives a lot of rainfall, however this doesn’t prove to affect the sights and sounds of the city at all.

Where: The United States

Get there: Approximately a three-hour drive from Vancouver

Horseshoe Bay


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What: Horseshoe Bay is a small community at the western end of the North Shore, and is also where the ferry terminal for transport to places such as Vancouver Island is located. There are plenty of things to see around Horseshoe Bay if you are around for a day trip, including great seaside views and an abundance of charming shops throughout the village. Be sure to also check out Whytecliff Park, a natural marine sanctuary where you may be able to spot seals and other sea-life if you are lucky.

Where: West Vancouver

Get there: A 30-minute drive from Vancouver

North Shore Mountains


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What: Grouse Mountain, Cypress Mountain, and Mount Seymour are amongst the many mountains in the North Shore Mountain range, all three offering breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding area – as well as numerous trails and hikes through the forest of old-growth trees. The North Shore Mountain area is known for having plenty to do year-round, so don’t let the rain stop you.

Where: North of Vancouver

Get there: A 30-minute drive from Vancouver

Harrison Hot Springs


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What: Nestled within the mountains and in the heart of the Fraser Valley, Harrison Hot Springs and the surrounding area is a great local road trip destination. Filled with a charming history and of course, the natural hot springs, there is nothing better than spending a chilly, rainy day in the mineral-rich healing waters.

Where: Fraser Valley, British Columbia

Get there: A two-hour drive from Vancouver

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