The 5 Best Tours and Excursions From Vancouver

There's so much to see and do outside Vancouver, including a day trip to Whistler | Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images
There's so much to see and do outside Vancouver, including a day trip to Whistler | Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images
Photo of Chloe Byrne
11 June 2020

Vancouver is a cultural wonderland with a historic heart. Days can be spent time-traveling to the old-world neighborhood of Gastown – complete with a whistling steam clock and Victorian buildings – or losing yourself in the colorful swirl of Downtown’s independent galleries. It’s a magnet for creatives, and with so much nature on its doorstep providing ample opportunities for hiking, biking and kayaking, a haven for adventure junkies.

ToursVictoria and Butchart Gardens Day Trip
From $199 per person
13 hours
4.7 (1401)

Discover the treasures of Victoria on this immersive tour. Traveling by ferry through the scattered jigsaw-piece-like Gulf Islands, you will dock at Vancouver Island and set off to British Columbia’s capital city. Once there, you’ll be free to dig out your camera as you are led around significant landmarks. Snap shots of Chinatown’s twisting red dragons, the famous woolly mammoth of the Royal BC Museum and the stately Parliament Buildings. Then it’s on to the Butchart Gardens – a horticulturalist’s dream, this floral paradise is made up of several parts, including a Sunken Garden and Japanese Garden.

ToursNorth Shore Hiking and Photography Tour
From $175 per person
10 hours

The North Shore’s spellbinding landscape deserves to be caught on camera, and this tour gives you the chance to do just that. As you are driven through the rugged countryside, a guide will fill you in on the history and cultural traditions of the area. Then you can juice up your photography portfolio while hiking along the root-twisted trails, through fairytale forests and up to the summit of Quarry Rock. At its peak you’ll be spoilt for choice between shooting striking views of Deep Cove, the midnight-blue stretch of sea or the Indian Arm ocean inlet.

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ToursFraser Valley Winery Tour
From $194 per person
5 hours
4.9 (21)

Venture into the heart of winemaking country on this tour of Fraser Valley. Set off for the town of Langley with an in-the-know guide will keep you entertained with stories about the region and the Greater Vancouver area. Over multiple stops, you’ll learn all about the grape harvest, history and winemaking process of each establishment. Bring extra cash if you’re looking to try the honey wine or a chardonnay once served to the Queen of England, as tastings are not included.

ToursWhistler Day Trip With Sea-to-Sky Gondola Ride
From $146 per person
11 hours 30 minutes
4.8 (18)

A parade of eye-popping views await on this tour along the famous Highway 99 to snow-capped Whistler. Winding past snaking fjords, cavernous lakes and weather-beaten shorelines, you will disembark at Squamish to take the Sea-to-Sky Gondola. As the cable car glides up the mountain, look out for the deep crease of Howe Sound and the torrent of Squamish River. At the top there is plenty of time to explore and grab a bevvy before it is on to Brandywine Falls. Once you’ve taken in the 230ft (70m) cascade and its rock-studded basin, you’ll wrap up the tour at Whistler Village before heading back.

ToursVancouver Island Bike Tour With Lunch and Wine Tasting
From $185 per person
12 hours
4.8 (6)

If you’re partial to an exploratory pedal, farm-to-table fare and a glass of wine, then this tour is tailor-made for you. Kicking things off with a ferry ride through the wildlife-spotted waters of the Strait of Georgia, you’ll then set off on a 34mi (55km) bike ride. As you follow your guide through the salty sea air of Saanich Peninsula you’ll be treated to incredible coastline views. Stop for a rustic lunch at a local cafe before ascending to a hilltop vineyard for a wine-tasting experience, followed by a leisurely cycle back along quiet country roads.

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