Squamish is having a moment. From hikers to mountain bikers, well-heeled outdoor enthusiasts from across the globe are now flocking to the tiny town in British Columbia, discovering the hidden gem that nearby Vancouver and Whistler residents have kept under wraps for some time. Surrounded by towering granite mountains and lush forests, with sweeping views of Howe Sound, Squamish is a paradise for elite adventurers. Here’s our action-packed guide for making the most of a weekend getaway to this scenic spot.
What to do
Squamish offers numerous ways to enjoy the rugged wilderness. A mecca for bikers from around the world, you can get in on the trail action by booking a private lesson with the Sea to Sky Adventure Company, based at the impressive 5,773-square-foot Squamish Adventure Centre. On our three-hour morning ride, a well-travelled British mountaineer (and former Royal Air Force reservist) took us on a high-adrenaline tour near Alice Lake, stopping for photos with old growth trees along the way.
Getting out on the water is also a must, and Canadian Outback Rafting’s breezy Scenic Twilight Float will take you on a leisurely sunset ride down the lower Squamish River, surrounded by landmarks like Shannon Falls and the Stawamus Chief. Hiking the storied monolith should also be on your agenda, but you can also opt for a more low-key afternoon soaking up the same Instagram-friendly views on the Sea to Sky Gondola, and enjoying a relaxed forest walk at the top. Before leaving, be sure to head out with Sea to Sky Air for a truly spectacular Squamish Explorer flyover of the Tantalus mountain range and the Rumbling, Serratus and Zenith glaciers—guaranteed to be awe-inspiring.
Where to eat
In recent years, a wave of young outdoor enthusiasts has migrated to Squamish—and they’ve brought their artisanal tastes with them. You can now dine exceedingly well in this town, with a range of offerings to please even the most refined of palates. The Salted Vine Kitchen + Bar is a champion of the local dining scene with expertly crafted, farm-to-table dishes. Think creamy burrata and heirloom tomatoes with a fabulous basil pesto, and bucatini vongole with shaved garlic, manila clams, and crispy pancetta. All topped off with a divine chocolate fondant for dessert, plus house-made fruit jellies. (The Salted Vine’s chorizo frittata at Sunday brunch is nothing to sneeze at either.)
While in town, stop by the thriving Squamish Farmer’s Market where you can sip herbal brews from Trinity’s Tea Creations or traditional sweet Mexican horchata from Aguas Frescas, or pick up a jar of handmade strawberry rhubarb jam from Moe’s Pantry to take home. Finally, after a day of adventuring, head to the Zephyr Café for some relaxed downtime and a seriously good cup of coffee.
Where to stay
At the rustic-chic Executive Suites Hotel & Resort, suites feature balconies with postcard views and handy kitchens—perfect for cooking up all of your Farmer’s Market loot. The resort also has a pool and hot tub to soak in post-ride or -hike. Bonus: you can bring your dog along for the weekend, so your canine companion won’t miss out on all the fun.
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