Traveling Canada’s Sea to Sky Highway: Everything You Need to Know

A Roadtrippers Guide to British Columbia's Sea to Sky Highway

This Sea to Sky Highway travel guide covers the recommended stops, road trip tips, the best spots to see, where to eat, where to stay and more!

British Columbia’s Sea to Sky Highway runs from Vancouver to Whistler and is brimming with scenic ocean views, gushing waterfalls, lofty mountains, and photogenic suspension bridges. During the month of July, I took five days to explore this area of British Columbia.

This British Columbia Sea to Sky Highway travel guide covers our road trip tips, the best spots to see, where to eat, where to stay and more!

 

Traveling the Sea to Sky Highway in British Columbia, Canada

 
As someone who hates driving long distances alone, I couldn’t help but love that the entire route is only about 2 hours each way without any stops. The best part about road trips — in my opinion — is stopping along the way for hikes, photo shoots, and leisurely meals. And believe me, the views from this route will be begging you to pull over for a photo.

River of Golden Dreams Sea to Sky Highway Whistler

 

Recommended Stops Along Sea to Sky Highway

 

Brandywine Falls

Brandywine is a stunning 230-foot waterfall located in Whistler. It’s an easy 10 to 20 minute walk from the parking lot to viewing platform. The parking lot is easy to miss right off the highway, so make sure to watch for signs.

Brandywine Falls Sea to Sky Highway

 

Lynn Canyon Park & Suspension Bridge

After a quick weekend on North Vancouver Island to kayak with whales, I began my solo road trip at the Vancouver Airport, where I picked up my rental car. From there, I headed to North Vancouver to see the Instagram famous Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge.

I was prepared for a hike to the bridge, but found it sits right near the entrance to the park. If you visit during the summer months, you may have a tough time getting the bridge all to yourself for that perfect shot.

Read more: What to Pack for a Winter Trip to Canada

Sea to Sky Highway Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

 

Shannon Falls

Shannon Falls in Squamish is the third tallest waterfall in British Columbia. My time here was a little comical. In a dress and flip flops, I was determined to get up close to this waterfall. Mind you, there is a spot that overlooks the falls that does not require much of a hike, but I decided to go rock climbing up the creek bed to the base of the falls so I could take this photo. Was it worth it? Definitely!

Shannon Falls Sea to Sky Highway British Columbia

 

Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish

The Sea to Sky Gondola opened in May of 2014 and instantly became a popular stop along this route. At the top of the gondola, you’ll find the 100-meter Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge which connects the Spirit trail and Spirit Viewing Platform. Eight different hiking trails can be accessed from the top, so make sure to give yourself enough time at this stop!

Read more: The Best Canadian Destinations for Solo Travelers

Sea to Sky Gondola Suspension Bridge British Columbia

 

Peak 2 Peak Gondola in Whistler

I took the Peak 2 Peak Gondola on a cloudy summer day, so the low hanging clouds made this a magical ride. There’s 360-degree views of Whistler Village on the way up and stunning mountain peaks at the top. During the summer months, the mountain trails are filled with downhill mountain bikers so you might even catch a few doing tricks off the jumps.

Read more: The 12 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Alberta, Canada

 

Scandinave Spa Whistler

After a day of hiking, my favorite thing to do is relax in a jacuzzi — or better yet, one of the soaking pools at Scandinave. If you want the full Scandinavian baths experience, it consists of a cycle in which you start with heat, plunge into cold, and finish off with relaxation in order reach an increased state of well-being. This Nordic tradition helps with the elimination of toxins, decreases inflammation, and stimulates circulation.

Scandinave Spa Whistler British Columbia

 

Whistler Seaplane Tour

When I visit stunning locations, I’m always looking for a way to view them from the air as well as from the ground. Harbour Air offers multiple seaplane tours of the Whistler area. My personal favorite is the 40-minute Ultimate Glacier tour which flies over the turquoise waters of Garibaldi Lake and gives an up close look at Black Tusk.

Read more: The Best Photo Locations in Alberta, Canada

Glacier Lake Sea to Sky Highway

Seaplane Flight Whistler Harbour Air

Sea to Sky Highway Whistler Seaplane Flight

Whistler Seaplane Tour Harbour Air

 

Where to Stay Along Sea to Sky Highway

 

Lonsdale Quay Hotel

I spent my first night in North Vancouver at Lonsdale Quay Hotel, which is located right inside Lonsdale Quay Market. Lonsdale Quay Hotel sits beside the Vancouver Harbor in the perfect location for experiencing the up-and-coming foodie culture in this area and it’s only a 10 to 15 minute drive to Lynn Canyon Park.

 

Nita Lake Lodge

With so many stops along the Sea to Sky Highway between North Vancouver and Whistler, you may want to book a hotel somewhere in Squamish for a night, but I chose to pick a home base in Whistler instead. There’s plenty to do in Whistler — for foodies and outdoor enthusiasts — and since I had never been to this mountain town, it turned out to be a wise decision.

Nita Lake Lodge’s lakeside property and numerous nearby walking trails did make it difficult for me to want to leave, but luckily the village is just a short drive away (or you can take the lodge’s complimentary shuttle). I highly recommend leaving some time to paddle one of their canoes out on Nita Lake — or if you are looking for a longer paddle, it’s very close to the River of Golden Dreams.

Read more: Essential Travel Tips for North Vancouver Island

Nita Lake Lodge Whistler Sea to Sky Highway

 

Where to Eat Along Sea to Sky Highway

 

Pier 7 Restaurant & Bar in North Vancouver

Not only does Pier 7 have one of the best views in North Vancouver, but the food is delicious too! I highly recommend the Fresh Shucked Oysters, Truffle Frites, and the Short Rib Tagliatelle.

Pier 7 Restaurant North Vancouver

 

StonesEdge Kitchen in Whistler Village

StonesEdge Kitchen in Whistler describes their menu as Wholesome Comfort Food Fusion. I’m still dreaming about their Buffalo Chicken Sandwich and Chicken Meatball Bowl with thai coconut curry broth. This is not a place you want to miss when you come to Whistler!

Read more: Eastern Newfoundland Travel Guide & Packing Tips

 

La Cantina Urban Taco Bar in Whistler Village

When I think of the best tacos, I think of street tacos from Mexico. You won’t find those here, but I actually like La Cantina’s tacos better than Mexican tacos! The tacos are small and a little overpriced, but you can get the same ingredients in a HUGE burrito and get way more for your money. The meat is slow cooked and melts in your mouth. I wish this place was a chain so they would open one in San Diego.

 

Plan Your Trip to British Columbia

After traveling consistently for over 10 years, we’ve come to trust and rely on a few websites to help us find the best deals on flights and accommodation.

Flights:

  • Going is the first place we check when searching for cheap flights. If you sign up for their email alerts, you’ll receive flight deals at up to 90% off. I have traveled all over the world using their flight deals.

Accommodation: 

  • Booking.com offers savings on hotels, apartments, and villas in 80,000 destinations worldwide. You can browse hotel reviews and find the guaranteed best price on hotels for all budgets.

 

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Road Trip Tips Sea to Sky Highway British Columbia

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7 Comments

  1. Robert @ Gr8 Travel Tips says:

    What a great article on this part of the west coast of BC. I am so fortunate to live in this part of the world! We always enjoy strolling along Shannon Falls and the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish is a must do when visiting this area. The views are incredible! Robert

  2. April Yap says:

    I’ve been in North Vancouver just to visit my friends last year and after reading this article, one thing is on my mind….Suspension Bridge! haha.. walking over those rocks and tall trees….. so exciting! 🙂

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      The suspension bridges were definitely one of the highlights for me!

  3. Melissa @ Suitcase and Heels says:

    Wow, so many great places to stop. I had no idea. I was in BC with my mom in 2009 and we took the bus from Vancouver to Whistler just for a day trip so we wouldn’t have been able to stop but if I’m back that way I’ll be sure to check out a few of these places. Those suspension bridges are unreal!

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      I LOVED the suspension bridges. I heard how easy it is to take the bus, especially for winter travel in Whistler. I didn’t mind the drive though. It’s not like driving in San Diego or LA, thank god!

  4. Cam Wears says:

    So glad you had fun in our little corner of the world! We visit many of these spots on a monthly bases. We actually live a few blocks from the Lonsdale Quay, so we’re there every week. Our family has a business there called The Soup Meister.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      I can’t believe I forgot to hit you guys up while I was in North Vancouver. Everything seemed like a whirlwind, but it would have been great to finally meet you!