Sorry, Metro Vancouver, but there isn’t a rockstar among your many patios with a view as epic as the patio at the summit of the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish.
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Perched 885 metres above Howe Sound, you can soak up the sun with food and drinks, and take in one of the most jaw-dropping vistas in the region that literally goes from sea to sky.
There are two ways up, and how you go is up to your own level of adventure. One option is to step into your hiking shoes and make your way up on foot; this area is home to some incredible paths for ascending without leaving terra firma. Download a trail map and choose your adventure for which way you’ll go to get to the Summit Lodge.
Of course, it is the Sea to Sky Gondola, so you can also purchase a ticket to ride, and head up to the top that way. It’s a pretty breathtaking experience, and a smooth trip with stunning views from every angle.
Once you get to the top, you can continue your adventure with a trek across the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge, which leads to more trails for exploring, as well as one that loops you back to the Summit Lodge (perfect for those a little shaky-legged from the bridge crossing). Kids will love the play area, plus there’s a dogs-only zone, as well as fun set-ups like an axe-throwing activity.
The Summit Lodge has plenty of food and drink options, from the summertime outdoor BBQ stand to the casual cafe with salads, burgers, wraps, and lots of choices for kids and vegetarians. They’ve got all sorts of beverages, including a great selection of local beers; keep you eye out for the Howe Sound Brewing Sky Pilot Pale Ale that’s in honour of exactly where you’re hanging out.
Visitors typically spend about two hours at the summit, so plan your trip accordingly. During the summer, the attraction is open Sunday through Thursday from 10 am to 6 pm, and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am to 8 pm, but be sure to check their website for specifics about last rides, trail updates, and more. And save time for drinking in the views on this killer patio.
Naturally, what goes up must go down. If you hiked up, you can always get a one-way ticket to glide back down on the gondola, too. The Sea to Sky Gondola offers ticketing deals for families, season passes, as well as an online pre-order discount, though you can also just walk up to the window to purchase admission.
Address: 36800 BC-99, Squamish (2 km south of Squamish on Highway 99)