When it comes to camping, there are a lot of factors to consider: amenities, size, distance from home—especially when you’re packing up a whole family!—and location, location, location. We’ve taken into account everything you could want from a family-friendly campsite and sourced our favourite spots that aren’t too far from Vancouver.
Cultus Lake tops our list for a reason. This extremely popular park smack-dab in the middle of the Lower Mainland surrounds a huge fresh-water lake and is encompassed by mountains. While boating is the activity du jour at Cultus, the four campgrounds also offer fishing, hiking, and picnic spots. The community of Cultus Lake itself features a waterslide park, mini-golf, go-karting and bumper boats, which are a hit with kids young and old. It’s also close to restaurants and laundromats for a touch of civilization!
45 minutes and a short ferry ride away, Porpoise Bay Provincial Park on the Sunshine Coast. Second-growth forest and sandy beaches are characteristic of this more secluded spot. A true relaxing getaway, Porpoise Bay still offers all of the amenities you could want. Hiking, fishing, and canoeing are popular, and the campground also features a playground and pet friendly policy. Hot showers and flush toilets available—key with kids!
Close to home, Golden Ears is known for its hiking, horseback riding and climbing opportunities through rugged Hemlock forest vegetation. As one of the largest campgrounds in BC, Golden Ears features Alouette Lake among its three campsites, which is great for all manner of watersports. Canoes and kayaks are available for rental, or partake in swimming, windsurfing, water-skiing and fishing. Hot showers and flush toilets available!
Rathtrevor Beach on Vancouver Island may require a ferry to get to, but the drive on either end is short enough to make this worthwhile. Low tide is unbeatable at this extensive 2 km beach, featuring warm pools of water and tons of sandy fun. The campsite itself is nestled along the Douglas fir tree-lined shore, and has extensive amenities. Come for the usual activities, stay for the breathtaking beach sunsets!
Keep in mind, summer is already upon us and this year might be all booked up, so we suggest bookmarking your favourites and checking out Discover Camping. You can book up to three months ahead, ensuring that coveted spot is all yours.