Squamish is one of the top 52 places to go in the world according to The New York Times and I’m so lucky to have it located about an hour away from Vancouver. A lot of people like to spend the afternoon here before heading to Whistler. I love visiting because of the beautiful nature and hidden food and brewery scene.
The scenic drive along the Sea to Sky Highway is breathtaking with many stops along the way. The most popular places to go hike is the Stawamus Chief, which can take 3 -6 hours but not meant for everyone. The Sea to Sky Gondola is a fun experience going up to walk the suspension bridge as well as watching the scenery when its a nice sunny day.
I on the other hand love to take it easy and experience what the locals love to do.
Getting around: Drive
The best way to get to Squamish and the surrounding areas is to drive. There are no Ubers or Lyft in British Columbia. You can take a Greyhound bus from Vancouver to Squamish, but as restaurants and attractions are spread apart, the easier way to get around efficiently is driving.
Coffee Stop: Counterpart Coffee
Counterpart Coffee is a small-batch coffee roastery but they have a coffee bar tucked away in the complex that they are located inside. It is easily missed, but when you find it, you’ll love their coffee to get you started for the day. I enjoyed their lattes.
Brunch: Fergie’s Cafe
Fergie’s Cafe is a local and tourist favourite for their benny’s and caesars. There is a reason why they have been voted Best Breakfast for the past few years. So delicious.
Short Hike: Bandywine Falls
30 minutes north of Squamish is Brandwine Falls Provincial Park featuring a 70m gorgeous waterfall. It is a short and easy hike to get to the falls. There are also picnic areas if you want to sit around and enjoy your own snacks.
Sights: Tantalus Look Out
On the way back from Brandywine Falls, make sure to stop at Tantalus Lookout for views of the mountains and river. It also has a good view of Squamish from far away. Very easy to park and take in the sights.
Lunch: Kululu Cafe
Kululu Cafe has caught the attention of local and visitors even though they haven’t been open for very long. They serve delicious Japanese cuisine with fresh and simple flavours that taste awesome. Their rice bowls and noodle soups are delicious. I highly recommend the tuna trio bowl which has toro, tuna and spicy tuna on top of rice.
Tasting: Gillespie’s Fine Spirits
Gillespie’s Fine Spirits is a small batch distillery in Squamish. We came for a tour and tasting to see what they were all about. John and Kelly started Gillespie’s to create a greener, more sustainable business model for distilling alcohol. Check out their tasting room on Wednesday to Saturday to sample their variety of spirits. They also have their cocktail lounge open every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night for Craft Cocktails made with local ingredients.
Brewery: Backcountry Brewing
Backcountry Brewing in Squamish is a craft brewery that opened in 2017. They join the great craft brewery scene in Squamish as the 3rd craft brewery here. They serve up beer flights so you can try the array of beers they create. They have a stellar food menu as well and their pizzas are really popular.
Late Night Eats: Mag’s 99
Mag’s 99 is a Fried Chicken and Mexican Cantina in Squamish just on the highway. A popular spot for a quick bite of fried chicken and chimichangas. People love coming here after drinking or if they want something fast and cheap.
Sights: Porteau Cove
Porteau Cove Provincial park is beautiful right at dusk. As there is minimal light pollution, it makes it great for stargazing if you are passing by on a clear night. If you are a scuba diver, they are open for recreational diving. Under the water, you can see reefs and sunken treasures.
Looking for more recommendations?
If you want more recommendations to see what else to do in and around Squamish, check out Tourism Squamish as they have tons of recommendations for the Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall.