10+ Unusual Things to Do in Squamish

Embark on a melodic journey down the Squamish Valley Music Trail, where a symphony of unexpected encounters awaits... Who will you meet?
Date Published
March 8, 2024

Table of Contents

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If you're all about breathing in culture faster than a shopaholic swiping their credit card at a sale, then the Squamish Valley Music Trail is your jam. We're talkin' toe-tappin', heart-racin' beats that have more flavor than a Squamish craft beer. And speaking of which, when was the last time you got to kayak across a lake as serene as Grandma’s old rocking chair? That's what Alice Lake is offering—plus, those ever-helpful canoe and kayak rentals, people!

Now, if you're ready to get your mind buzzing more than a bee in a botanical bonanza, let’s deep dive into this undiscovered treasury of things to do in Squamish. We're spillin' all the local beans—from eagle eyeballin' in Brackendale to testing your grip on the granite climbing routes that make this spot a vertical playground.

Traverse the Squamish Valley Music Trail

Let's talk tunes and trails, my friend! Imagine ambling along the paths where the sweet sounds of the Squamish Valley Music Festival once soared. This isn't just your ordinary walk; it's a cultural cavalcade, a musical pilgrimage if you will, right in the heart of nature's acoustic hall.

Bring along your curiosity for Squamish cultural events, because this is where melodies and mountains meld. You're not just here to see; you're here to feel the rhythm of the place. Like, seriously, can you hear the echoes of past festivals? The cheers, the chords, the choruses, all harmonizing with the whispering winds of the valley.

And hey, it's not about sprinting from spot to spot either. Take your time, let the playlist of the environment set your pace. You're on the hunt for a vibe that sets your soul ablaze, amidst the backdrop of one of the most picturesque gig venues ever.

This trek is superb for those who slide on the scale from serene wanderer to the zealous groover. It's not just about finding a space but losing yourself in the symphony of sights and sounds. It's where legends of the stage once stood, where the thrum of a bassline met the foothills, where folks from every walk of life came together in a symphony of togetherness.

So maybe you chill with a solo vibe, or you're wrangling your squad for an offbeat adventure, but guess what? This trail whispers tales to those who listen, tales spun from past Squamish Valley Music Festival anthems. So tap into the tunes, the tradition, and let the trail tune you into Squamish's unique beat.

And, dude, while you're immersing in the harmonies of history, nearby Alice Lake is like the chill green room, ready to cool you down with some smooth lake vibes. Or trek a little further, and Britannia Mine Museum offers a deep dive into heritage pretty much harmonizing with your soul.

Go ahead, make a day of it! From sunrise serenades to evening encores, this music trail is more than a walk—it's your backstage pass to the heartstrings of Squamish.

Kayak the Serene Waters of Alice Lake

Imagine the gentle lap of clear water against the side of your kayak, the peaceful silence of nature enveloping you, and the breathtaking view of mountains stretching up into the sky. Alice Lake Provincial Park isn't just a spot on the map – it's your escape from the bustle, a serene adventure that's calling your name. Whether you're paddling solo, with a buddy, or with your family, the serene waters of Alice Lake are like a group hug from Mother Nature herself.

Got love for a good canoe or maybe want to take a kayak for a spin? Lucky for you, Alice Lake brims with canoe and kayak rentals. You don't need to lug your own boat; just rock up and rent one. You'll want to spend at least a couple of hours here, soaking in the views, maybe even spotting some local wildlife. It's like Mother Nature put on her best dress just for your visit.

Alice Lake is perfect for both the chill solo traveler looking for some paddle time and families who want to share a laugh as they paddle in sync, or out of it — hey, we're not here to judge your paddling skills.

Now, what's a good adventure without some nearby treasures? After your kayaking session, you can stretch your legs on a trail or cozy up for a picnic. If your muscles are shouting, "More, more, more!" then why not dive into some more outdoor magic around the park? Just remember, always play it safe and wear your life jacket. Safety is cool, people.

Whether you're after that 'zen' moment or looking to amp up your Instagram with some killer nature shots, drifting in a kayak at Alice Lake is like finding an 'off' switch for real life. Alice Lake is where you become the captain of your own adventure, even if it's just for a day.

Uncover the Mysteries at Britannia Mine Museum

You ever wonder what secrets the earth holds deep beneath our feet? Well, brace yourself for an adventure that's all about discovery and nostalgia at the Britannia Mine Museum! Imagine yourself squeezing into a miner’s hard hat and setting off to explore the nooks and crannies of a historical mine.

The Britannia Mine Museum is not just any dusty old exhibit; it's a journey into the past, where the echoes of the miners' pickaxes seem to resonate off the walls. Squamish heritage exploration comes to life here. With actual mine tunnels that invite you to clamber through, and the gargantuan Mill No. 3 that’s sure to make your jaw drop, you’re not just learning about history, you’re practically living it!

Feel the coolness of the underground air as you:

  • Ride a mine train deep into the mountain's heart and learn what it took to extract precious minerals.
  • Marvel at the massive machines and learn about the mining processes that were ahead of their time.
  • Stir up some fun (and maybe a bit of gold dust) as you try your hand at gold panning—finders keepers!

Got kids with you? They'll be totally engrossed in the interactive exhibits designed to make them feel like little prospectors. And for the grown-ups? Well, let’s just say the rush of finding a tiny flake of gold is universally thrilling.

Reconnect with the intense heritage of Squamish and feel the grit and determination of the miners who once called this place their daily grind. Give yourself a good two hours here; the stories are plentiful and the sights are something you won’t forget in a hurry.

And remember, this isn’t your run-of-the-mill museum walk. It’s an immersive dive into the history of Squamish and its monumental mining heritage. So throw on that hard hat, step into the boots of a 20th-century miner, and dig into a treasure trove of stories at the Britannia Mine Museum. It’s more than just sightseeing; it’s like traveling back in time and hitting the heritage jackpot!

At the heart of Squamish's cultural scenes is the Brackendale Art Gallery, a cozy haven for art enthusiasts and the creatively curious. Imagine stepping into a warm, eclectic space where local art leaps from every corner, telling the unique stories of Squamish through color and texture. Got a couple of hours to spare? That's perfect for soaking up all the intimate vibes this gallery has to offer.

The Brackendale Art Gallery isn't just a place to look at pretty pictures—it's a vibrant, evolving space that encapsulates the soul of Squamish art galleries. It's the kind of joint where you can strike up a chat with local artists or mellow out on a comfy couch with a book in hand, surrounded by inspirational works that make you question, "Why can't my living room look this cool?" Whether you're a single adventurer with an eye for aesthetics or a family treasure-hunting for that unique piece that screams 'you!', this gallery welcomes everyone.

What makes it even more special? After wandering between canvases and sculptures, you can catch a local performing arts show or music event—they're known for hosting some real knee-slapping, foot-tapping gigs. It's not just an art gallery; it's a cultural hub that'll make you feel like a Squamish insider. You'll leave with that warm, fuzzy feeling that only comes from experiencing true community spirit. It's like a big bear hug from the world of art!

Before you leave, peek into the venue's cozy café, serving up heartwarming treats that are perfect for a post-gallery debrief. And trust me, whether you come alone or with your rowdy band of art-lovers, time will slip away in the most delightful manner while you're here. Check their latest schedule and exhibitions online to plan your visit.

So, why not make a day of it? Snuggle up with Squamish culture and let the intimate Brackendale Art Gallery be your guide to the artsy side of life! 🎨

Bask in the Beauty of Porteau Cove at Dusk

Imagine the hues of the sunset painting the skies in pinks and oranges as you stand at one of the best viewpoints in Squamish. Yes, Porteau Cove Provincial Park is where you need to be as twilight embraces the day. Now, if you're asking, "What makes Porteau Cove Provincial Park so special at dusk?" Well, it's the way the sky's colors reflect on the calm waters, creating a picture-perfect moment for photographers, romantics, and anyone who appreciates nature's artwork.

Let's break it down. You, standing there, the cool breeze gently playing with your hair, the soft sound of lapping waves blending with the twilight chorus of birds—the whole world in a serene standstill. This isn't just any other spot; it's a sanctuary for the soul and a feast for the eyes. Porteau Cove isn't just a provincial park, it's a natural masterpiece that gets even better as the day winds down.

A handful of pointers for your visit:

  • Pack a cozy blanket; the evening chill can be a sneaky one.
  • Bring a camera, because no one’s going to believe you saw colors like that without proof.
  • Hang around a bit after sunset; the stars here are no joke.

Whether you're seeking solitude, coziness with a loved one, or just a stellar end to an adventurous day, Porteau Cove's twilight spectacle is astonishingly moving. So, how long should you linger? That's the beautiful part – time here seems to pause, so stay until the stars command the sky; this isn't a hurry-up kind of place.

Porteau Cove welcomes all—singles looking for peace, families making memories, and couples stealing kisses under the twilit sky. This spot is especially epic for those with a pang for the dramatics in natural settings. It’s not mainstream, it’s not always spoken of, but it’s unmissable. Get your heart ready for some serious fluttering because Porteau Cove at dusk is pure magic.

Embrace the Challenge of Elfin Lakes Trail

Let's talk trail talk. Ready to embrace a real challenge? Because the Elfin Lakes trail is not just a stroll in the park – it's a vibrant adventure, full to the brim with natural splendor and leg-burnin' fun. Squamish hiking trails are legendary, and this one tops the chart.

The Elfin Lakes trail offers you over 22 kilometers of heart-pumping excitement. It's not just about walking – oh no – it's about conquering those two majestic peaks in Garibaldi Provincial Park. Sounds daunting? You bet it is, but oh-so-rewarding with views that are nothing short of breathtaking!

Imagine sparkling alpine lakes and panoramic mountain vistas that'll make your Instagram followers green with envy. The trek to the lakes is a journey fit for eager explorers who aren't afraid to break a sweat. Whether you're a seasoned hiker or someone looking to step up their game, this trail is the perfect mix of challenge and charm.

Spend a full day in the embrace of nature, maybe even an overnight stay at the cozy Elfin Lakes hut – just a heads-up, you'll need to reserve in advance. And it's not just a summer thing. In winter, those trails are perfect for snowshoeing and skiing, that is if you're up for a frosty challenge.

As for the crowd? This trail is a haven for the adventurous souls. Families with teens, couples, and solo hikers who can handle the distance and elevation will fit right in. Just remember to pack enough snacks, water, and your camera for those jaw-dropping scenic shots.

When you find yourself up there, amidst the clouds, the sense of accomplishment is overwhelming. And the crisp mountain air? Tastes like pure victory. Celebrate conquering one of the top Squamish hiking trails and immerse yourself in the high-altitude ecstasy. Trust me, it's a must-do for that bucket list of yours. So, lace up those boots, fill up that water bottle, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure on the Elfin Lakes trail.

Eagle Watching Adventure in Brackendale

Eagle watching tours offer an unparalleled wildlife experience right here in Brackendale. Each winter, the area becomes a bustling hub for one of the largest gatherings of bald eagles in North America. Imagine yourself, wrapped up snug, the crisp air brushing your cheeks, as you gaze upon these majestic birds swooping and soaring above.

In Brackendale, eagles are the stars of the show. As you embark on a tour, the guides, with eagle eyes of their own, point out the spectacular sight of these raptors perched in the treetops or gliding along the river. Wildlife spotting in Squamish doesn't get any more exciting than this!

  • Learn about the bald eagles from experienced guides
  • Capture breath-taking photos of eagles in their natural habitat

The community's love for these birds is so strong, there's even an Eagle Festival and Count held each year. And let's talk numbers – we're not spotting a couple of eagles here; we're talking hundreds, even thousands, depending on the salmon run!

So, why should you jet off to Brackendale for this experience? It's not just about the birds. It's the thrill of being part of nature, the knowledge you gain, and the stories you'll tell. Whether you're a solo adventurer with a penchant for birdwatching or a family looking to thrill the little ones with real-life "Angry Birds", this is an exhilarating experience for all ages.

Wrap up the day with a stroll around the area, where local cafes will welcome you with a hot chocolate or a steaming cup of joe, perfect for warming those fingers after a day out in the wild.

Forget the zoo; the real adventure awaits you right in the heart of Brackendale, where nature puts on a show that's truly wild. Just remember, the best time to spot these eagles is from late November to early February, so plan accordingly, and don't forget your binoculars!

Experience Climbing at the Stawamus Chief

Impressive, towering, and just waiting for you to conquer it—Stawamus Chief promises an exhilarating climb that you'll brag about for years. It's not just a hike; it's a journey. One of the largest granite monoliths in the world, the Chief, as locals affectionately call it, serves up Squamish climbing spots that are globally renowned.

Imagine the bragging rights after scaling one of those sheer granite faces. And if you're picturing a climbing experience bathed in the admiration of fellow climbers and enveloped by stunning panoramas, then you're already halfway up the cliff! Whether you're a novice looking for a memorable first climb or a callused-hand expert, the Chief has something for you.

As you plan to spend anywhere from 2 to 4 hours on your Stawamus Chief hike, keep your energy high and your spirits higher. This is a place where local climbing enthusiasts mingle with visitors from around the globe, creating a community perched on the side of a rock. Suitable for the daring solo adventurer or the tight-knit group of thrill-seekers, this wonder is equally awe-inspiring for families looking to inject some adrenaline into their outing.

Nestled just within eyeshot of the town, you'll find yourself lost in the magnificence of nature yet never too far from a refreshing post-climb brew or bite. And when the dusk starts to settle on the horizon, the best viewpoints in Squamish paint the sky with colors you'll carry in your heart forever.

Ready to chalk up and make memories? Lace up those climbing shoes, and remember, it's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves. Now, go unleash your inner mountaineer at the Stawamus Chief, and let the natural high wash over you as you survey the land from the peak that you just dominated!

Savor the Tastes at a Local Brewpub

What's brewing in Squamish might just surprise you! The town has become a hotspot for craft beer lovers who want to sip on something local and delicious. Sure, you might be thinking, "It's just beer," but oh, honey, these aren't your average suds. These brewpubs and distilleries in Squamish are concocting some serious magic in their barrels.

Imagine this: after a long day of adventure, you're kicking back with your pals, clinking glasses filled with the finest ales that have a Squamish twist. These brewmasters are like the Willy Wonkas of the beer world, each with their own secret recipes and locally sourced ingredients that make your taste buds sing. And if you're into the whole "pair your meal with your beer" scene, you're in for a treat. The Squamish dining experiences are just as thoughtfully crafted as the beers they're serving up.

Now, who's this brewpub extravaganza for? Let's be real, it's great for just about anyone who appreciates the finer things in life (you know, like a killer IPA or a smooth, rich stout). Couples looking for a cozy night out? Check. A group of friends rehashing the day's escapades? Absolutely. And if you're riding solo, no sweat – the locals are as friendly as they come. You'll be a part of the Squamish crew in no time.

You should definitely carve out an evening for this liquid journey. Go on, let the golden glow of the brewpub beckon you in as the sun sets. Spend a couple of hours or make it the highlight of your night – time well spent either way. Just remember, it's all about savoring the flavors and the moments they bring.

And don't even get me started on what's nearby! You've got the sweeping mountain views playing backdrop while you're buzzing on hoppy happiness. So, grab your crew, or make some new friends, and get ready to toast to the night ahead in one of Squamish's local gems. Cheers to that!

Cycle the Off-the-Beaten Squamish Biking Routes

Imagine pedaling along hidden paths surrounded by towering trees, with the song of the river playing in the background. That's Squamish biking routes for you, friend! These trails aren't just your run-of-the-mill dirt tracks; they're an entire world of excitement packed with the mountain biking spirit that Squamish is known for.

Got your helmet? Great, because mountain biking in Squamish takes you from beginner-friendly cruises to trails that will have even veteran riders' hearts pounding. Squamish isn't nicknamed "The Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada" for nothing – here's where you literally go off the beaten path.

  • Breath-taking Views: Look around as the Squamish valley unfolds below you, with sights that'll make you stop – not just for a breather but to take in that insta-worthy panorama.
  • Hidden Gems: Discover the lesser-known trails where the sound of your bike's tires crunching on dirt might be the only thing accompanying you.
  • Trail Variety: From the thrill of navigating rocky descents to the joy of zippy forested singletracks, Squamish has a route to match your vibe.

Now, you might be thinking, "Do I dare tackle those trails?" And the answer is a resounding 'yes!' Whether you're rolling solo, with your ride-or-die friends, or your thrill-seeking family, these trails cater to every kind of explorer. And let's face it, who needs crowded attractions when you can have the serenity of nature as your playground?

Invest a morning or an entire day, because time here moves as fast or as slow as you wish. Easy access from nearby trailheads means you'll spend less time planning and more time riding. Just be sure to pack a picnic, because you'll want to soak up all the good energy nature throws at you. And with options for every skill level, your ride can be as chill or as challenging as you decide.

So slap on some sunscreen, grab a map, and venture out to the Squamish biking routes that beckon to adventure-seekers like you. And don't forget to stop by local shops to gear up or snag a trail guide – the locals know the best spots and are always ready with tips to make your ride epic.

Delight in the Squamish Farmers Market Finds

Imagine strolling through a wonderland where every step introduces you to a new sensory delight. You're at the heart of Squamish's community spirit at the Squamish Farmers Market. It's where the locals come not just to shop, but to meet, greet, and eat! The market buzzes with the kind of warmth only a tightknit community can brew, and you're invited to join the fun!

What can you find at the Squamish Farmers Market? Well, let me tell you, it's not your average grocery run. Here you can bag a bounty of super fresh, home-grown fruits and veggies that have danced in the morning dew just hours before. And it's not just about what's on your plate, folks.

  • Local arts and crafts in Squamish
  • Fresh, organic produce
  • Baked goods that make your sweet tooth sing
  • Handcrafted jewelry and more!

The air is spiked with the mingling aromas of artisan bread and sweet, berry jams. Oh, and let's talk about the crafts! Local artisans seem to have the magical ability to turn everyday objects into treasures; it's like wandering through an outdoor gallery under the blue Squamish skies.

Swing by to scoop up heirloom tomatoes, chat with the friendly farmers who grew them (they've got stories to tell!), and yes, you're not leaving without one of those to-die-for pies. Got a taste for something exotic? There's always a vendor offering something to tantalize your adventurous palate.

If supporting local artisans and farmers sends your heart aflutter, then the Squamish Farmers Market is your happy place. You'll rub elbows with happy families, couples, and singles all soaking in the laid-back ambiance. And for those with a flair for the creative, you're smack in the middle of inspiration-central.

Spend a leisurely morning or afternoon, the market's perfect for a stroll that'll fill up your bags and your soul. And hey, even the little ones will be distracted long enough with the music and colors that you'll get some peace and quiet. Not too much though—it's buzzing with playful energy, after all!

Take in a Show at the Squamish Adventure Centre Theatre

Imagine the lights dimming, the audience hushing, and the velvet curtain about to part. That's right, Squamish isn't just about outdoor thrills; it's a place where the arts take center stage too! And what better way to immerse into the local culture than catching a live performance at the Squamish Adventure Centre Theatre?

Now, if you're thinking of family-friendly activities in Squamish, this theater offers shows that keen kiddos and adults alike will adore. Whether it's a heartwarming play, a knee-slapping comedy, or a thought-provoking drama, there's a mix for all tastes. Here's the best part: with just 1-2 local theater shows running at any time, it's intimate, it's exclusive, and it's oh-so-Squamish.

You'll find yourself among locals who treasure this gem as much as the surrounding natural beauty. After the show, you can chat up the cast or mingle with your fellow theater lovers.

So, how long should you spend there? Well, set aside a couple of hours for the performance and maybe a little extra to take in the atmosphere. It's perfect for a family night out, a date, or even a solo outing if you love soaking up culture. And, let me tell you, this spot is perfect for those of you who yearn for a dash of adrenaline during the day and a sprinkle of creativity at night.

Grab a ticket, take your seat, and let Squamish's storytellers whisk you away. Who knows, it might just be the highlight of your trip – and you can thank me later!

FAQ

Q: What are some unique things to do in Squamish?

A: Try soaring on the Sea to Sky Gondola, rock climbing the Stawamus Chief, or white-water rafting the Elaho River for an adrenaline kick.

Q: What are some things to do in Squamish today?

A: Check out local events at the Squamish Adventure Centre, hike the Smoke Bluffs Park, or visit the West Coast Railway Heritage Park.

Q: What are the best activities in Squamish during winter?

A: Winter brings snowshoeing in Garibaldi Provincial Park, eagle watching tours, and cozying up in local coffee shops.

Q: What can you do in Squamish at night?

A: Enjoy craft breweries, dine at waterfront restaurants, or catch live music at various venues around town.

Q: What are some free things to do in Squamish?

A: Explore the scenic waterfront trails, visit Shannon Falls, or wander around the historical Downtown Squamish for no cost.

Q: What's there to do in Squamish this weekend?

A: Attend farmers' markets, join a local cultural festival, or take a scenic bike ride along the Mamquam River trails.

Q: Is Squamish BC worth visiting?

A: Absolutely, with its breathtaking nature, outdoor activities, and cultural experiences, Squamish is a must-visit for adventure enthusiasts.

Q: What is Squamish known for?

A: Squamish is famed for its stunning natural landscapes, outdoor adventure opportunities, and being the "Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada."

Q: What activities can seniors enjoy in Squamish?

A: Seniors can enjoy leisurely walks at the Estuary, scenic drives on the Sea to Sky Highway, and cultural experiences at local museums.

Q: Should I stay in Squamish or Whistler?

A: Stay in Squamish for a quieter experience close to nature or pick Whistler for its vibrant ski resort atmosphere and nightlife.

Final Words

Alright, you've made it through the ultimate Squamish to-do list, from tapping your toes at the Squamish Valley Music Trail to marveling at local masterpieces in the Brackendale Art Gallery. You've kayaked Alice Lake, geeked out at Britannia Mine Museum, and basked in the glory of Porteau Cove. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

Whether you're scaling the Stawamus Chief or tasting the best brews in town, Squamish delivers. You also can't beat the primetime eagle watching or those off-the-chart biking routes. And let's not forget chilling at the farmers market or catching a show at the Adventure Centre Theatre.

To wrap this adventure up, remember, Squamish isn't just another spot on the map; it's where memories are made. So, soak it all in, because from here on out, the only question is, what epic things to do in Squamish will you tackle first?Ever sat down and thought, "Hey, what if Mother Nature had a secret stash of mega-adventures hidden in one spot?" Yeah, well, hold onto your hiking boots, because Squamish is that stash, and it's about to blow your adventure-loving socks off. Nestled between the luminous glaciers and lush forest of British Columbia, Squamish is like the cool kid at the outdoor activities table, bragging rights included. This ain't just a sleepy stop on the Sea-to-Sky Highway—this is where the wild things are (cue eagle screeches and the thud of a kayak paddle).

Meet the Author
Isabella Kai
Isabella Kai, the Instagram wordsmith, crafts tales that captivate hearts worldwide. A dedicated foodie, she whips up culinary delights and pairs them with stories that make your taste buds dance. Beyond the screen, she's on a mission to visit every artisan bakery in town.
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