Starting in Vancouver and following British Columbia’s renowned “Sea-to-Sky Highway” Hwy 99 alongside the Pacific Ocean and through the Tantalus Range of the Coast Mountains to Whistler, this “bucket-list” British Columbia golf vacation encompasses all the highlights – signature designed golf courses, exciting après-golf activities, incredible culinary experiences and world-class accommodations. Play a few courses for a 3-4 day golf road trip, or play them all on a 7-10 day experience.
Without further adieu, here are Golf in British Columbia’s recommendations for a Sea-to-Sky golf trip:
Start in British Columbia’s largest city and metropolitan area by touching down at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) or arriving via your preferred means of transportation. If hitting the links is your top priority, Mayfair Lakes Golf & CC is a mere 20 minutes from the airport, offering parkland-like play interspersed with ponds and streams for water in play on 13 holes.
If you’re up for a short drive, less than an hour away you’ll find lovely Morgan Creek Golf Course in South Surrey, featuring breathtaking views of Mount Baker and the Golden Ears summit. Closer to downtown Vancouver, University Golf Club provides a traditional west coast golf experience with majestic towering old-growth trees and long narrow fairways.
After your round, check into Hotel BLU – Vancouver’s Four-Diamond and AAA-rated boutique hotel, known for stylish accommodation, warm West Coast hospitality and going the extra mile. Located on the corner of Robson and Cambie Streets, Hotel BLU is a perfect base from which to explore downtown Vancouver. Additional accommodation options include Sheraton Wall Centre, with floor-to-ceiling windows offering city and ocean views, and the Pan Pacific Vancouver right on the waterfront.
If you have some time to spare before dinner, consider a stroll through historic Gastown – Vancouver’s oldest neighbourhood dating back to 1867. Other fun spots include Granville Island (a former industrial site now turned artisan/market), English Bay & Kitsilano, and a bike or walk around the Seawall in Stanley Park.
Fuel your body after a full day at one of Canada’s top restaurants in Vancouver, such as Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House (about a 15-minute walk from your hotel) – offering a hospitable environment and fresh culinary creations. On the waterfront, Miku Vancouver offers gourmet Aburi-style cuisine, a full bar and lounge area, waterfront patio, and full-service sushi bar.
On your way out of Vancouver the next day, don’t forget to leave time for one or more other signature Vancouver experiences, including Breakfast with the Bears on Grouse Mountain (July and August), Capilano Suspension Bridge, or a stop at Horseshoe Bay for crispy fish ‘n’ chips at Olive & Anchor or Trolls Restaurant and an oceanside stroll. Then it’s time to really start exploring the Sea-to-Sky Highway!
About the Sea-to-Sky Highway
Officially known as BC Highway 99, this spectacular sea-to-sky drive winds its way from Vancouver up through Whistler to Pemberton and offers spectacular sights at every turn.
Starting at sea level in Vancouver, the route pairs up with the Trans Canada Highway to Horseshoe Bay, then heads north following Howe Sound.
From there you’ll begin to weave into the Coast Mountains, climbing through old-growth rainforest before reaching Whistler 670 metres (2,200 feet) above sea level.
Although a mere 2-hour drive, it’s worth taking some extra time to explore.
Image Credit: Destination BC / Heath Moffat
“Hardwired for Adventure” is Squamish’s tourism tagline, and it’s most appropriate. Surrounded by nature, mountains and parks, a visit to Squamish can fulfill any adventurer’s desires for hiking, biking, fishing, flightseeing, rock climbing, wind and kite surfing…the options are nearly endless.
Take in a leisurely golf afternoon after your morning adventure at Squamish Valley Golf Club. Rated “One of BC’s Top Public Courses” by the Vancouver Sun, the incredible scenery is only matched by the incredible value in this walkable parkland-style course. Stay for a bit (and a bite) at the Squamish Valley Golf Club Restaurant, where their 19th Hole Burger comes highly recommended.
The Locavore Food Truck and Cloudburst Cafe in Squamish is another fabulous food option, with a giant patio to take in the sun as you have a snack or dive into a meal and enjoy a cold beverage. Don’t forget to treat yourself with ice cream from Alice & Brohm Ice Cream Co. featuring real fruit and BC dairy, or explore sweet and savoury options at Sunflower Bakery. If you’d rather dive deep into Squamish’s microbrew culture, then Howe Sound Brewery is a terrific option or you can embark on a tour of the Squamish craft tasting trail.
If you’re taking it slow on your Sea-to-Sky golf trip, stay the night in Squamish. While there are several options to choose from, the Executive Suites Hotel and Resort is a newer property offering one and two-bedroom suites in a scenic setting.
What can we say about Whistler golf? It’s simply…breathtaking. Considered one of Canada’s top golf destinations and rated Canada’s number one golf destination by Golf Digest, visitors can expect world-class golf combined with incredible scenery, luxury accommodations and enticing après-golf options.
Check into Crystal Lodge for your stay, with cozy mountain lodge-style accommodations right in the heart of Whistler Village. If you’d prefer to be in a quieter setting, we invite you to the International Golf Tour Operator Association’s North American Golf Resort of the Year for 2019 – Fairmont Chateau Whistler offering luxurious rooms at the base of Blackcomb Mountain and the added benefit of a world-class golf course a few steps away.
Take your pick of Canada’s top golf courses in Whistler, including Fairmont Chateau Whistler Golf Club. The Robert Trent Jones design follows the natural topography of the landscape, climbing over 400 feet from the level of the hotel to a benchland on the side of Blackcomb Mountain for spectacular views of the valley, as well as an incredible golf experience for players of all levels.
Whistler Golf Club is just minutes from the Village and is Arnold Palmer’s first creation in Canada. Nine lakes, two winding creeks, rich rolling greens and dramatic views are just a few features of this incredible course, as well as the added bonus of bears frequently seen on fairways! Topping off the Whistler golf list is the incomparable Nicklaus North, designed by the great Jack Nicklaus. Winding along the valley floor, the course was designed with an awareness and sensitivity towards the area’s natural habitat and is nestled between Green Lake and the River of Golden Dreams with impressive glacial mountain views. Table Nineteen Restaurant (re-opening April 8, 2021) is a perfect place for dishes with locally and ethically-sourced ingredients along the glacier-fed waterfront of Green Lake.
No trip to explore Whistler golf courses would be complete without a short (25 min) trip north to Pemberton, where the area’s top-ranked Big Sky Golf Club awaits. The course celebrates Robert Cupp’s design of bent grass from tee to green along the base of towering Mount Currie, which rises 8,450 feet above the fairways (and home to their 19th hole if you’re interested in a unique heli-golf experience).
In addition to a collection of signature golf courses, Whistler is also home to a plethora of incredible dining options. A few top recommendations include Alta Bistro for modern seasonal alpine cuisine, Whistler’s top restaurant Araxi Restaurant & Oyster Bar, Basalt Wine & Salumeria for an excellent wine bar and charcuterie, Hunter Gather for a fun eatery and taphouse, or Portobello for made-to-order sandwiches, gourmet pastries, open flame rotisserie chicken, pork ribs and delectable smoked brisket.
Looking to further complement your Whistler experience? Relax your cares away at Scandinave Spa with a traditional Scandinavian hydrotherapy experience in a peaceful and natural environment on the edge of Lost Lake Park. Fulfill your thrill for mountain adventure with Ziptrek Ecotours, flying between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains, take the PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola up the mountain for stellar view and over 50km of trails, or ski or snowboard Horstman Glacier on Blackcomb Mountain. Rent a bike to explore the paved pathways surrounding Whistler Village or take a canoe or kayak out on Green Lake. And if you’d like a memento of your trip there’s nothing better to top off a Whistler golf vacation than touring the shops of Whistler Village!
Returning from Whistler and once again enjoying the magnificence of the Sea-to-Sky Highway, plan for a stop at Britannia Beach, between Squamish and Furry Creek. The former mining town is now a National Historic Site featuring a working mine train, museum, art galleries and trading post.
The trip back to Vancouver also provides one final opportunity for a memorable round of golf at Robert Muir Graves’ Furry Creek Golf & CC. Lauded as “British Columbia’s Most Scenic Golf Course,” and home to the famous fight scene between Adam Sandler and Bob Barker in Happy Gilmore, Furry Creek twists and turns through the coastal rainforest and along ravines, providing 6000+ yards of unforgettable golf adventure, including its signature 14th hole featured in the Globe and Mail’s “Best 10 Holes to Remember.” Furry Creek’s new owners have invested millions of dollars in golf course and clubhouse renovations for an unparalleled golf experience and after your round, the Furry Creek Clubhouse’s Sea to Sky Restaurant awaits with a menu of delectable West Coast Cuisine to help you enjoy the last few hours of your epic golf vacation.
Now it’s time to head home!! Enjoy the drive and feel free to make any stops along the way that you may have missed the first time around.
You can take in even more incredible BC golf courses with a Sea-to-Sky Golf Loop connecting to Vancouver Island, or take on the Elite BC Bucket List to head to Kamloops after Whistler and beyond! The options are endless, and a custom golf itinerary is always available to help make your golf dreams a reality.