No matter how much you love living on campus and spending time with your newfound friends, it’s always a joy to get off of campus and experience the amazing sights and places that are around the Lower Mainland. Here are five great day trips that are all a reasonable drive from Columbia’s campus.
Depending on where you’re headed, it can take between 40 – 75 minutes to get there, but the drive is so worth it! There is something for everyone to enjoy – whether it’s taking a walk along the Sea Wall, strolling through Stanley Park, Shopping on Robson or taking in a concert at any number of unique venues Vancouver has to offer, your day will be well spent. If you’re looking for a new place to eat, Vancouver is filled with ethnic restaurants, great coffee shops and new places to enjoy, so it’ll take a while to test out each one!
Fun, culture-filled shops and city streets await you after the 2.5 hour drive to Seattle, along with the first-ever Starbucks store! Pikes Place Market is a quick-paced, eclectic, multi-story shopping centre full of record stores, flower stands, artisan shops and spots to grab a bite to eat (and of course a coffee or tea). If you venture into the general vicinity of the market though, you’ll be sure to hear the shouting and chaos of the fish market – don’t forget to duck as they toss orders back and forth! After exploring the shops and experiencing the first Starbucks store, stopping by the famous (and disgusting) gum wall is a must.
Please note you’ll need a valid Canadian passport or Enhanced Driver’s License to cross the border.
Regardless of your recreational interests, Whistler is an amazing getaway. The shops, restaurants, village life and beautiful scenery all around you will be enough to nudge you into relaxation mode! Whether you’re hoping to try out some of the best skiing on world class slopes during the winter or check out breathtaking views during the summer, jumping on the Peak2Peak will be a worthwhile experience! With Whistler being just over 2 hours away, it is close enough to go for the day, but far enough to go for a weekend (to really feel like you’re away from life) and experience all it has to offer.
Othello Tunnels, Hope, BC:
A part of the Kettle Valley Railway, the Othello Tunnels (just outside of Hope, BC) linked the coast of British Columbia to the Kootenay Region. The five tunnels you’ll see along the trails provide breathtaking views and allow you to experience the river in ways that are rarely possible. If you go during the salmon run, you may be able to see the fish fighting their way up the river, which shows a whole new level of perseverance and determination. The hour drive, large parking lot and gravel walking trails through the tunnels and along bridges make it easily accessible for people of all ages and activity levels as well.
Please note that the tunnels are closed October 31st – April 1st due to dangerous winter conditions.
White Rock, BC:
Whether you grew up in the prairies or right next to the coast, everyone loves a day by the ocean. The beaches, the vastness of the water and the shops along the beachfront means there is something for everyone. At White Rock beach, just 45 minutes from campus, you’ll find great seafood restaurants, a promenade to walk along the beach, fun shops to explore and copious amounts of space to spread out a blanket and enjoy the atmosphere!