Top 5 Places to Stop Along the Sea-to-Sky Highway

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The Sea-to-Sky Highway, an incredibly scenic road that runs along the coast from Vancouver to Whistler and beyond, is known as one of the most beautiful drives in the world. It boasts spectacular ocean and mountain views, and an abundance of outdoor adventure along the way. Pass towering rock faces that plunge into the sea, cascading waterfalls, thick temperate rainforest and small coastal communities. Howe Sound glitters below, framed by glaciers and jagged peaks.

We recently asked our Facebook fans to recommend their favourite stops along the Sea-to-Sky Highway, and here are their top five picks:

5. Porteau Cove

The rocky shores of Porteau Cove with mountains in the foreground and a dark, cloudy sky above.

Porteau Cove Provincial Park. Photo: 3dpete via Flickr

Scenic Porteau Cove is located between the village of Lions Bay and Squamish. This popular provincial park offers a stunning mountainous view out over Howe Sound, and a pebbly beach to explore. Travelling with a tent? Porteau Cove Provincial Park is home to 44 camp sites, and it is a popular spot for divers, with two sunken vessels and a series of man-made reefs.

4. Shannon Falls

Shannon Falls cascading down with lush green trees surrounding the falls and blue skies above.

Shannon Falls Provincial Park. Photo: Ruth and Dave via Flickr

Visible right from the Sea-to-Sky Highway, these magnificent falls cascade down a series of cliffs from 355 metres (1,165 feet) above the highway. This provincial park is the perfect place to get out and stretch your legs, or stop for a picnic lunch en route to Whistler. Stroll along an easy trail that follows Shannon Creek to a spectacular viewing platform.

3. Sea to Sky Gondola

A hiker in a red jacket looking out over the trees and misty fog and clouds on top of the wooden viewing platform at the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola.

Above the clouds at the Sea to Sky Gondola.

Ride the Sea to Sky Gondola up 885 metres (2,904 feet) to unforgettable views over Howe Sound and the surrounding Coast Mountains. The ride is about 10 minutes, and it gives you access to several hiking trails, viewing platforms, a lodge offering food and beverage services, and a 100-metre (328-foot) long suspension bridge. For a challenge, hike to the top and take the gondola down.

2. Squamish

A wooden dock with red railings and colourful sailboats floating in the Squamish harbour, with the Stawamus Chief looming in the background.

Colourful Squamish harbour. Photo: keepitsurreal via Flickr

Squamish is known as “The Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada.” Here there are hiking trails to suit every fitness level, provincial parks in every direction, and all kinds of water activities available in the ocean, rivers, and lakes. The community is a renowned mountain biking and rock climbing destination, and it is well known among windsurfers and kiteboarders. There isn’t much you can’t do in Squamish.

1. Brandywine Falls

Brandywine Falls cascading down into a pool of water with cliffs and green trees surrounding the falls.

Brandywine Falls Provincial Park. Photo: daveynin via Flickr

And our fans’ number one stop along the Sea-to-Sky Highway is the dramatic Brandywine Falls, which plummets straight down for 70 metres (230 feet). Brandywine Falls Provincial Park is located just south of Whistler, and it offers hiking and mountain biking trails, as well as some great spots for a picnic. The highlight of the park is the viewing platform overlooking the falls. In the distance, you can see Daisy Lake and the distinctive Black Tusk mountain peak.

Do you have a favourite place to stop along the Sea-to-Sky Highway? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Featured image: A view of the Chief along the Sea to Sky Highway. Photo: Bob Young