Vancouver Celebs Reveal Their Favourite Day-trip Destinations

Local personalities recommend their favourite day trips near the city and share insider tips for their top destinations

Ann Luu, Weather Anchor, CTV News Vancouver

Deep Cove

“One of my favourite day trips is very local and very close. Deep Cove in North Vancouver is just across the bridge with so much to do. We love taking friends and family who visit there and love going there ourselves.

“We usually pack a small lunch and hike Quarry Rock. It’s great because it’s pet-friendly and the view at the end is spectacular. It’s not too difficult of a hike so everyone can do it.

“After enjoying the view while snacking on lunch, we hike down and head to the water where we rent kayaks and paddle around Indian Arm.

“It’s not a day trip without doughnuts, so a stop at Honey Doughnuts is a must for me and my husband. Then we pop into Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers for a pint before heading home.”

Gloria Macarenko, Host, “Our Vancouver” CBC Television & Host, CBC Radio


“I don’t want to leave the impression that I’m a hiking fanatic, but every time we have out-of-town visitors I love to take them to the Chief in Squamish, with a stop at Shannon Falls on the way.  It’s best to avoid weekends and holidays because the trail can sometimes feel like an ambulatory freeway as you navigate the crowds. The big payoff of course, is the spectacular view of Howe Sound. Find a great spot on the smoothed-out rocks and enjoy a picture-perfect picnic. You’ve earned it!”

Dawn Chubai, Host, Breakfast Television on City


“We are so fortunate to live in beautiful B.C. as there are many options for short trips. At just over an hour away, my husband and I love making our way to Langley for lunch. Our destination is always Bacchus Bistro at the Chaberton Estate Winery. The restaurant is lovely and if the weather is on our side, we sit out on the patio where you can see just some of the 55 acres of the vineyard.

“The food is delicious (try the quiche of the day) and if you have room for dessert, prepare to have your mind blown. Before heading back to Vancouver, we always pick up some of their award-winning wine and on the way home, the conversation is always the same: we should go back more often!”

Jason Pires, Sports Director/Anchor, CTV Vancouver

Squamish, Steveston and port moody

“Living in Coal Harbour, a regular escape from downtown is essential. One of my favourite spots is the Stawamus Chief near Squamish. It’s a great hike and has spectacular views! Take a packed lunch for the peak, or on way back stop in West Van to splurge at the Whole Foods salad bar and grab a piece of pie at Savary Island Bakery.

“When I head south, the destination is Steveston for fresh prawns right off the dock and fish and chips at Pajo’s. It’s just a nice vibe walking around the village and people-watching.

“And if I head east in the summer, it’s Buntzen Lake. There’s an awesome trail around the lake and then I dip into the refreshing water. While out that way in Port Moody, I always stop in at Rehanah’s Roti Shop—she has the best rotis in the Lower Mainland! Try the goat curry.”

Fiona Forbes, Host, Shaw TV Vancouver


“I have so many favourite day trips, it’s tough to narrow it down! I recently went up to Grouse Mountain and had the chance to enjoy some of their Summer of Flight activities and met a new friend Daenerys (pictured above) at the Birds in Motion demonstration which was super cool.

“They’ve just launched their Skyride Surf Adventure where you can head up the mountain on the rooftop of the Grouse Mountain Super Skyride—I haven’t done this yet, but it’s on the bucket list. Doing the Grind is also a favourite and challenging way to get to the top.

“You can check it all out on a brand-new episode of my show Where You Live on Shaw TV this August!”

Aubrey Arnason, Film & TV Director/Actor


“My favourite local day trip is Whistler. The scenic drive on the Sea to Sky highway is magical. We always make a pit stop 15 minutes before Squamish at the Galileo Coffee Company for a hot chocolate in the winter or a lemonade in the summer.

“After arriving in Whistler, I love to visit the Scandinave Spa for a massage followed by a hot-and-cold pool cycle, then saunas and the quiet rooms. I will admit the quiet rooms are a challenge for me at first because I love to chat, but after I surrender to the silence it’s perfection. I always try to time the drive back to Vancouver with the sunset. It is so inspiring to head back to the city while watching the sun set on the Pacific Ocean.”

Aleks Paunovic, Film & TV Actor


“Heading up to Whistler, we always need to get an amazing coffee at Zephyr Cafe in Squamish. Then we hit Nita Lake Lodge in Whistler. There’s such a great energy at this place and the rooms are massive (perfect for a big dude). We do some kayaking overlooking the beautiful stillness of the lake, then get right into some mountain biking and ride into the village, which is one of my favourite places to get away. And, of course, we gotta hit Zephyr on the way back or the trip won’t be complete.”

Jim Gordon, Host, The Travel Guys & CTV Film Critic

Harrison Hot Springs

“There are some wonderful day trips Vancouverites can enjoy which are close by. One of my favourites is Harrison Hot Springs. Ever since we filmed our first Travel Guys episode there in 2003, I’ve travelled to Harrison many times either for a day trip or for an overnight getaway.

“There is so much to do there, whether it’s golfing, hiking, fishing, kayaking or a number of other water sports. The surrounding area is breathtakingly beautiful and peaceful (and coming from the noisy city, this setting is perfect).

“Another big attraction is the soothing, healing waters you can experience in places like the Harrison Hot Springs Resort. There is great history and points of interest to be discovered there as well (legendary star Clark Gable visited back in the ’30s).

“As for the food, there are all types of choices, from fine dining to burgers. And the great news? It’s only 90 minutes away!”

Steven Schelling, Global TV Fabulist, Fashion Stylist and Writer


“If I’m going to get myself together enough to leave the house for the day, I’m not coming home that night.

“That said, my favourite overnighter is Victoria. It’s a 35-minute flight on Helijet from Coal Harbour to the Inner Harbour followed by my usual MO: a bike tour with The Pedaler (the Castles, Hoods & Legends tour is my favourite) and a quick pit stop next door to Le Petit Dakar after my ride for a jar or two of the best West African hot sauce this side of Benin to take home.

“Then it’s off to Fishhook to snack on one of Chef Kunal Goose’s seafood tartines, cocktails at Little Jumbo and dinner the “IT” hot spot, Agrius before collapsing onto my bed at Magnolia Hotel and Spa.”

Kate Gajdosik, Meteorologist/News Anchor, Global BC


“When a rare day off comes around, the first thing I want to do is relax and unplug. Thankfully, in our beautiful province, one doesn’t need to stray far to relax, unwind and feel like they’ve gotten away. There are a lot of places I like to wander, like Crescent Beach or hiking the trails in the Lynn Canyon Headwaters.

But my favourite local day trip is Whistler. A trip to the Scandinave Spa for a rejuvenating dip in the hot baths is always a must. As is, of course, wining and dining. My favourite place to eat is Araxi Restaurant & Oyster Bar. It’s got an outstanding menu, delicious seafood, friendly service and an impressive wine list.

“There are so many great getaways for a day, and so many reasons to love living in B.C.”