The New York Times just listed Squamish as one of the 52 places everyone should visit in 2015.  The cities on the New York Times’ list span the globe, from Cuba to Durban (South Africa), to the North Coast of Peru.  The locations are exotic and seem plucked from a literary fantasy world.  For those of us here in Vancouver, one of the top cities in the world to visit is in our own backyard.

Squamish is no longer a pit stop on the way to Whistler.  Squamish isn’t just a gas station and a quick snack.  Squamish is now a destination in its own right.  Squamish has numerous activities which appeal to families.

Sea To Sky Gondola - collageOur family has a number of favourite must-visit venues in Squamish.  First up, the relatively new Sea To Sky Gondola.  The gondola opened in 2014 and is absolutely worth a stop.  Enjoy travelling beside – and then above – the famous Stawamus Chief Mountain.  At the top are stunning views of the valley and Howe Sound.  There is a restaurant to keep everyone well nourished.  Bring walking shoes and enjoy a hike amongst the clouds.

Thomas the TrainThe West Coast Heritage Railway is always a part of our time spent in Squamish.  The spectacular roundhouse is home to the Royal Hudson and a few other authentically restored cars, all open for viewing.  You are able to wander the grounds and check out the massive collection of trains on site.  On weekends, the miniature train provides a tour of the property.  The West Coast Heritage Railway also hosts mega-popular events like the Polar Express and A Day Out with Thomas.

whistle punk hollow mini golfIf mini-golfing is your thing, check out the whimsical Whistle Punk Hollow Miniature Golf Course. Lively music, fun holes and a kid-friendly theme make this golf course an absolute favourite for our 2 sons.

When visiting Squamish you can’t miss out on a tour through the Britannia Mine Museum.  The museum is fascinating, the train-car tour through the mine is an absolute must (if you want to experience true darkness, just wait until they turn out the lights inside the mountain).  Have fun gold panning with the kids, and be prepared to be awed by the sheer size of the mine.

If you haven’t updated your bucket list recently, be sure to add Squamish to your 2015 to-do list.  Take your kids, the drive is easy and relatively quick from Vancouver, and have a fun day in one of the 52 must-see cities for 2015!