Things to do in BC

Day trips in BC

Vancouver has a lot to offer, but the surrounding areas make great day trips too! Here are just some of the nearby attractions:

Vancouver Island and Victoria

Vancouver Island is one of the best places in the world to look for whales. It’s a beautiful ferry ride from Vancouver too. Find out more about the island on the Hellobc website.


Whistler is famous for its snowy peaks and skiing opportunities. Two hours' drive from Vancouver; it can also be accessed easily by bus and train. Find out more by visiting the Whistler tourism website.

Bowen Island

A short ferry ride from Vancouver, Bowen Island offers rainforest and ocean in one visit. Find out more by visiting the Bowen Island Wikipedia website. From Waterfront and Granville Island some small ferry services connect you directly to Snug Cove on Bowen Island in less than an hour's boat ride.


The town of Squamish is located between Vancouver and Whistler. It's home to the Stawamus Chief, the second-tallest freestanding granite monolith in the world. There are many hiking opportunities to one of its three peaks, with breathtaking views over the ocean. Find out more by visiting the Squamish tourism website.

Okanagan Valley

A visit to the valley could include wine touring, fruit orchards, mountain biking, swimming or boating on Lake Okanagan, skiing and golfing opportunities. Find out more at the Hellobc website. UBC has a campus in Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley.


The city of Vancouver is surrounded by national parks so there is a huge array of hiking opportunities. These include:

  • Local mountains (Cypress, Seymour, and Grouse Mountain)
  • Lynn Valley and Lynn Canyon
  • Capilano Pacific trail
  • The Lions
  • Baden Powell Trail
  • Howe Sound Crest Trail
  • Stawamus Chief in Squamish

Find out more on the Vancouver trails website.


If you love skiing, Vancouver is the right place for you! As well as skiing on the local mountains, Whistler and Mount Baker also have great slopes. Whistler Blackcomb has some good deals for UBC students including:

  • Ski passes at significantly reduced prices
  • Edge cards 1, 5, 10 days
  • Rental equipment
  • Greyhound bus connection from UBC

If you need a place to stay, check out the UBC Whistler Lodge.

Outdoor equipment

There are great places to shop for outdoor equipment on 4th Avenue West at Burrard and on Broadway (9th Avenue) at Ontario. You may also want to join the UBC Ski and Board club.


Vancouver is home to many beautiful parks. Worth visiting are:

  • Pacific Spirit Park / Endowment Lands which includes 50km of forested walking, cycling and horseback riding trails
  • UBC Botanical Gardens
  • Van Dusen Botanical Gardens
  • Stanley Park which includes1000 acres of second-growth forest, Pitch and Putt golf course, beaches, restaurants, and a beautiful walk along the seawall.

Find other parks in BC on the BC Parks website.


As well as the huge variety of sports on campus, there are lots of activities to try in the city too. Some you might like to consider are:

  • Vancouver Ultimate League (VUL)
  • Urban Rec (Volleyball, Soccer, Softball)
  • Vancouver Rowing Club
  • Dragon Boating at False Creek
  • Jericho Sailing Centre


Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies does not recommend any commercial enterprises but provides this list of local services for information only.