Just over an hour north of Vancouver, British Columbia, the quaint town of Squamish is rife with adventure. It used to be a pit stop along the scenic Sea to Sky Highway—a place to gas up or stretch your legs on the way to Whistler and beyond—but outdoor adventurers are quickly realizing that Squamish is a destination all on its own. With boutique shops and a number of eateries, downtown Squamish has enough going on to fill an afternoon with, but the real draw are the beautiful mountains and rivers that flank it, plus access to the Howe Sound.
Adrenaline junkies can find extreme sports adventures here like whitewater rafting along the Elaho River, kiteboarding at the Squamish Spit, and more mountain biking trails than you can dream of. The giant granite dome, Stawamus Chief, is perhaps the most recognizable natural feature in Squamish—it's a haven for rock climbers but it’s also a draw for hikers who want to explore its three peaks. For more laidback adventures, visit the four freshwater lakes at Alice Lake Provincial Park, spot the more than 1000 eagles that return to the nearby community of Brackendale between November and January every year, and explore the nearby waterfalls. Don't skip on winter, either—there's loads of skiing and snowboarding to do nearby.
The best way to explore Squamish and the surrounding area? From a cozy cabin as home base. There are loads of them on vacation rental sites like Airbnb and VRBO, so we're here to filter out Canada's best. Each of these cabins, from upscale retreats to simple cottages, will make a perfect HQ to explore Squamish, no matter the experience you’re after.
Vibe: Catalog Ready
With its vaulted ceilings, full kitchen and a 900-square foot deck with sweeping ocean views of Howe Sound, the Cedar House looks like it’s straight out of an issue of Architectural Digest and it's one of the best Airbnb's in the Squamish area (host Paulina has superhost status, too). The Scandinavian-style home features a soaker tub and rain shower, a wood-burning stove and a movie projector, plus king and queen beds, a washer and dryer, and wifi.
If you can get yourself to venture outside, this vacation home is a mere five-minute walk to the ocean where you can head out in a kayak or on a paddle board, and a five-minute drive to hiking trails and Squamish's Sea to Sky Gondola. All booked up? Try the downtstairs guest suite instead.
Vibe: Getaway for Two
Situated on the northern end of Squamish, Sunwolf Lodge is a popular wedding venue, but the Logger's Shack makes for a pleasant stay whether you're getting hitched or not. The cabin is tucked away on 5.5 acres of forested land, and its bright yellow doors open to a wood-burning fireplace, a soaker tub and a loft bedroom with a queen bed and skylights that invite you to sleep among the trees.
The on-site restaurant, Fergie’s Cafe, is open for breakfast and lunch, or you can dine at your personal outdoor picnic site (there's a communal fire pit, too). Sunwolf offers other cabin rentals too, some of which are situated right along the Cheakamus River.
Rate: Starting at $175/night
Vibe: Stylish Minimalism
You'd never guess that the Roost enjoys a central location in downtown Squamish. Enveloped by trees on a half-acre property, you'll feel like you’re in the middle of the woods instead. The 550-square-foot guest house is a second floor studio accessed via a set of grated stairs. The open loft-style design on the inside creates a welcoming space with a full kitchen, queen bed (and sofa bed). After a day of mountain biking or conquering the Chief, relax on the wraparound deck or take a therapeutic soak in the tub while looking out the skylight above.
Vibe: Idyllic Escape
Set in the forest north of town, this tiny home is a secluded short term rental that'll keep you as close to nature as possible. The amenities are all here—there's a private room with a double bed and a king bed in the loft, plus a full kitchen and an outdoor living space with a firepit. Have a breakfast of eggs from the chickens who live on the property before heading out on any number of Squamish adventures—the Cheakamus River is a two-minute walk away and there's a suspension bridge leading into the lush forest. Continue the hike for another 45 minutes for a dip in the secluded lake while looking out to the mountains.
Vibe: Classic Log Cabin
Nestled on a five-acre property near the Squamish River, this rustic log home is surrounded by towering trees, snow capped peaks and a gentle creek. Inside, the family home embraces the classic cabin look with wood flooring, natural wood furnishings, and an antique claw foot bathtub that features glacier views. There's a hammock in the spacious living room and wifi plus a cell service extender should you need to stay connected while going remote. Keep your eyes peeled for eagles and don't miss the Scandinavian-style sauna, the cabin's star attraction.
Vibe: Mountain View Retreat
Though the interiors are painted in a palette of whites, grays and blacks that give off sophisticated adult vibes, this modern alpine chalet in Garibaldi Highlands is actually extremely family friendly. It's got a large downstairs playroom filled with toys, a climbing wall, and a custom outdoor playhouse. Adults have their amenities too—there's a full kitchen, a fireplace, a dedicated work space, an outdoor propane fire pit, a hot tub, and an outdoor dining area with mountain views. There are four bedrooms and room for eight, so bring the family (or crew) and take over the entire home.
Vibe: Simple Cottage Livin’
This minimalistic guest cottage for two shares the property with the main home but enjoys a separate entrance and its own small outdoor space. The interior of this cottage is pretty basic, with the kitchenette containing a bar fridge, microwave, kettle and dishes for two. But its wall-to-wall windows and inviting deck make it easy to take in sweeping views of the Chief any time of day. This Squamish Airbnb is just outside of town, and a short drive gets you to Shannon Falls, Brandywine Falls, and Alexander Falls, and there's access to miles of trails for mountain biking and hiking from the back of the cottage.