7 of the best stops on the Sea-to-Sky highway

The Sea-to-Sky Highway — also known as Highway 99 — winds north from Vancouver to Pemberton. It only takes a couple of hours to drive the 163.13 km stretch of road, but we recommend taking your time and turning it into a two or three-day trip to make the most of those tumbling waterfalls, turquoise glacial lakes and record-breaking towns. And, to help you on your way, we’ve cherry-picked seven of the best stops on the Sea-to-Sky Highway in British Columbia.

Where are the best stops on the Sea-to-Sky Highway?

1. Vancouver

It’s well worth lingering in this show-stopping city before heading off along the highway. From Stanley Park (one of North America’s largest urban green spaces) to beautiful beaches to delicious dining, there’s something for every taste and budget. It’s a diverse city too, divided into a collection of neighbourhoods that are each packed with personality.

Walks in Vancouver

2. Porteau Cove

Located on the most southerly fjord in North America, Porteau Cove Provincial Park is beloved for its sweeping sunset views, vast pebbly beach and driftwood playgrounds. It’s just 38 km north of Vancouver and boasts a beautiful 44-site campground with electric hook-ups, 16 walk-in sites, shower facilities and a whole outdoor kitchen. You don’t need to spend the night here though; Vancouverites often hop up here for kayaking, canoeing and scuba diving with dolphins, seals and other Pacific marine life. The park is open all year round, but if you’re thinking about camping you’ll need to book your spot far in advance.

best stops on the sea-to-sky highway

3. Squamish

Once a quiet logging town, Squamish has soared in popularity in recent years. Between its soaring snow-capped mountains, sparkling turquoise lakes and lovely, laid-back downtown, we’re not surprised. The town is home to some of the highway’s superstar sights, including the much-talked-about Sea-to-Sky Gondola. This 10-minute ride soars 885-metres above sea level and offers jaw-dropping views over the Howe Sound and coastal mountains. At the top, the 9,000 sq. ft. Summit Lodge boasts expansive decks offering sweeping views, two restaurants and a wobbly walk over the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge.

It’s also home to Shannon Falls —  B.C’s third tallest waterfall, the Stawamus Chief and a handful of brilliant breweries.

Thinking about stopping in Squamish for longer? Check out the 7 best things to do in and around Squamish. 

best stops on the sea-to-sky highway

4. Garibaldi Provincial Park

Named after its towering 2,678-metre peak (rather than the biscuit or the Italian patriot), Garibaldi Provincial Park is one of the province’s most popular hiking spots. It stretches across a whopping 1,950 sq. km and encompasses five main trail areas, as well as cross-country ski routes. There’s a handful of award-winning trails, including the Cheakamus Lake hike and the Elfin Lakes Trail, as well as dozens of lesser-known routes. Best of all is the 9-km Garibaldi Lake hike, which finishes up at the turquoise-coloured alpine lake set against a breathtaking backdrop of snow-capped mountains.

5. Brandywine Falls Provincial Park

This spectacular 70-metre waterfall is set in an equally impressive 143-hectare park. To reach the waterfall, it’s a short stroll through the forest to a platform overlooking the top of the falls. It offers jaw-dropping (and knee-wobbling) views over Daisy Lake and wildlife-rich landscapes.

6. Whistler

Famed for being the world’s largest, best-equipped and most popular ski resort, Whistler is a winter wonderland. Come December, thousands hotfoot here for adrenalin adventures on the slopes and apres in the Alpine village. There’s plenty to keep tourists occupied the rest of the year too, from Canada’s longest zipline to black bear spotting.

Those with a head for heights should hotfoot to the record-breaking PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola, which stretches between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. It offers 360-degree views over volcanic peaks, coastal rainforests and ancient growth, as well as over 50 km of hiking trails too.

Thinking about staying in Whistler our of snow season? Check out the 7 best things to do in and around Whistler this summer. 

best stops on the sea-to-sky highway

7. Joffre Lakes

Technically, Joffre Lakes is a little further on from the Sea-to-Sky Highway, but it’s well worth the detour. The park comprises of three terraces glacial lakes, each more impressive than the last. In winter, they’re covered in snow but in summer the lakes turn emerald green. It’s just what your Insta-feed needs.

Allie D'Almo

Allie is a passionate traveller with a hearty interest in great food and stories. She likes to travel slowly, particularly to underrated and underloved places. She’s lived in Italy and is now based in London, where she spends most of her time either plotting her next trip or writing about her last one.

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