#ExploreBC Road Trip: Vancouver & Sea-To-Sky

3 Days, 300 km (186.41 mi)

Vancouver & Sea-To-Sky #ExploreBC Road Trip with Viranlly Liemena

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If you like your scenery with a side of culinary adventure, then head to Richmond and the Sea-to-Sky Highway to follow in the footsteps of seasoned eater and imbiber Viranlly Liemena, a Vancouver local who set out to rediscover his own backyard. We describe Viranlly’s journey below, complete with his insider tips.

Part 1

Vancouver

Evo Car Rental in Vancouver

Start your journey in Vancouver, where urbanites without a car can pick up an Evo using the car share app. Round up your friends and pack your luggage for a road trip south to Richmond then up the Sea-to-Sky Highway. Fuel up with a coffee from one of Vancouver’s many cafes—Viranlly recommends Revolver in Gastown—before you grab a car and hit the highway.

Part 2

Richmond

Charming Steveston Village

Star your trip in Richmond, where the city’s multicultural population has made it a must-visit for international cuisine. Take an afternoon trip to the fishing village of Steveston for fresh-off-the-boat seafood, and a scenic stroll to walk off some calories. 

Viranlly’s highlights:
  • Chef Tony is the perfect way to start your day: the salted-egg-yolk custard buns are a must.
  • There’s no wrong answer when it comes to dessert in Richmond, but we opted for Tiger Sugar bubble tea for something a little lighter.
  • After dinner we walked around Terra Nova Rural Park to watch the sunset. It was beautiful.”

Part 3

Squamish

Sunwolf in Squamish

Leave Vancouver in the rear-view mirror and follow the Sea-to-Sky Highway as it undulates and curves around the Coast Mountains. Pull-over points allow for panoramic views of favourite local spots including Howe Sound, Bowen Island, and the Sunshine Coast as you drive up North America’s most southerly fjord.

Easily accessible adventure abounds in Squamish, where hotspots include Alice Lake (ideal for a cool dip) and glacial rivers where you might see black bears foraging along the riverside. 

Viranlly’s highlights:
  • “The flight over Howe Sound with Sea to Sky Air was amazing, and dinner at Salted Vine Kitchen + Bar was simple and well executed.
  • Alice Lake was also a nice stop—especially on a hot day when you just want to be in the water.
  • The Fisherman’s Cottage at Sunwolf was adorable. The interior is very cabin-chic: great kitchen, photogenic floor-to-ceiling bookcase, and the fact that it’s right by the river was the clincher.” 

Part 4

Whistler

Whistler's PEAK 2 PEAK

Next up? Stop in Whistler for outdoor and culinary adventures. The Village is bustling in summer, so take a mask to enjoy the patio life that has always been a key part of Whistler’s bar scene, alongside new outdoor eating options. Bars and restaurants are open with limited capacity, so book in advance if you have a favourite spot on your list. Work up an appetite with an adventurous UTV ride (Utility Terrain Vehicle: holding on is a workout in itself!) or take it easy by soaking up the incredible views on the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola. Or simply soak in the hot and cool plunge pools surrounded by fresh air and the forest at Scandinave Spa Whistler

Viranlly’s highlights:
  • “The Alta Bistro dinner at Audain Art Museum was an incredible experience (these dinners end September 4). The haute-picnic setup was complemented by great service and delectable food. The slow-cooked ribs came with an amazing morel mushroom tempura. Tip: If you ask nicely, they might give you a little extra.
  • Dinner at Il Caminetto was outstanding: the service, the wine and cocktails, and, of course, the food were all impeccable. Their secluded patio is one of Whistler’s hottest spots to see and be seen, and no visit is complete without the wagyu meatballs.
  • We ended the trip with cocktail hour at Bar Oso and their spectacular new cocktail menu: ‘Alpine Collins’ is essentially a Whistler summer day in a glass, and the cherries of ‘Cherry on Top’ are so good: savoury, tangy, herbal, and sweet all in one bite.”

Driving Directions

Part 1 - Vancouver
  • 6.25 km
  • 12 min
Show Map & Driving Directions

With smaller capacities and safety protocols in place, it’s best to book ahead if you want to visit a popular bar or restaurant, and don’t forget to pack your mask and hand sanitizer. We asked Viranlly how he prepared for the trip:

Packing for any trip during the COVID-19 era requires a couple extra items. New travel essentials include several hand sanitizers—I typically have one small bottle in every bag—cloth and disposable masks, extra packs of vitamin C, and anti-bacterial wipes are a must. I also packed several additional articles of clothing to make sure I had a change of clothes after every activity. The weather during this time is also a little tricky: it gets really hot and humid during the day, and balmy and windy at night.”

Travelling this route? Share your experiences with # explorebc

This road trip was created specifically for the unique travel circumstances of 2020. Information is accurate at the time of publication; we recommend you contact businesses directly to confirm availability.

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