Best road trips to embark on this 2019 holiday season

kids wearing santa hats in car

The sight of pine trees and colourful lights is a reminder that Christmas is just around the corner. And there’s no better way to get into the holiday spirit than hopping in your car and going for a drive to one of these festive destinations we’ve handpicked below.



Roughly four-and-a-half hours from Vancouver, Leavenworth, Washington is home to a Bavarian Village found on the cusp of the Cascade Mountains. While there are things to do here year-round, winter is when the area really comes alive. The highlight is Christkindlemarkt, a traditional Christmas market showcasing authentic German foods, handmade arts and crafts and other live entertainment.

kettle valley christmas express train

Kettle Valley Christmas Express Train

Climb aboard a historic working steam locomotive set to glide through the snow sprinkled Summerland hills from Dec. 13 to 23. Santa comes along for the 90-minute ride on the decked out train that was built in the early 1900s, once used to help pioneer the region’s exploding fruit industry. Getting there from most places in the Lower Mainland should take less than five hours.

rossland winter carnival parade

Rossland Winter Carnival

First held in 1898, the Rossland Winter Carnival is the longest running event of its kind. Happening a little after the holiday season Jan. 23 to 26, guests can partake in a variety show, musical performances, a spectacular snow sculpture display, the City of Rossland Carnival Parade, Saturday pancake breakfast and much more. Nestled in the Kootenay Rockies, leaving early for this roughly 400-kilometre journey is a good idea.

silverstar torchlight parade

SilverStar Torchlight Parade

You’ve probably heard the radio advertisements talking about SilverStar Mountain Resort’s “fresh champagne powder.” See it for yourself during the Torchlight Parade on Christmas Eve starting at 5:05 p.m. Over 100 people with bright red flares will be making their way, on skis and snowboards, down a pitch black run into the village. Participate for $8.50 or spectate for free. Located northeast of Vernon. 

vallea lumina whistler

Vallea Lumina Whistler

A short but scenic trip for Greater Vancouverites, this multimedia night walk is unlike any other seasonal show you’ve experienced. Taking place along a 1.5-kilometre pathway amid an old-growth forest on Cougar Mountain, the hour-long walk features storytelling, dazzling lights, sounds, props and even holograms. Tickets are $29.99 for adults and $24.00 for kids six to 15. Dress warmly and bring a camera!

Before hitting the road, ensure your vehicle is winter ready by booking a service appointment.  

Posted by Benjamin Yong

Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5. Twitter: @b_yong Instagram: @popuplights