British Columbia, the westernmost province of Canada, is a stunning intersection of city life and natural beauty. It was settled by Europeans in the 18th century, and their fur trade industry helped build the British Empire in this region. Victoria, the capital city, is on the southern tip of Vancouver Island and is known for its beautiful architecture and scenic gardens. Cold winters allow visitors to go skiing in many areas throughout the province, while warm summers provide opportunities for boating and whale watching along the coast. There are many exciting places to explore within British Columbia, treating visitors to a beautiful and fun vacation.
Ecotourism is a popular way to travel through British Columbia. Try camping or hiking in one of the Provincial Parks—Pacific Rim Provincial Park features miles of coastline, while Mount Robson Provincial Park’s impressive vistas of the Canadian Rockies, lakes, and mini icebergs. Whistler is a phenomenal destination for any winter activity imaginable. While skiing and snowboarding are the top recreational choices, travelers also have the option to take a gondola ride, go ice skating, and explore nearby restaurants and shops. Additionally, exciting cities such as Vancouver and Victoria are bustling with activity.
See Victoria’s British ancestry in its horse-drawn carriages, elegant architecture, and world-famous gardens. See Orca whales from a whale-watching tour, wander through North America’s second-largest Chinatown, and explore natural and manmade artifacts at the Royal British Columbia Museum. Vancouver is a vibrant and exciting city, full of family-friendly activities and impressive attractions. Take in 360-degree views of the city from the Vancouver Lookout, or see the city from a rented bicycle. Sidney, a smaller city north of Victoria, is perfect for a relaxing wine tour or an afternoon of golf.
Nelson is a naturally beautiful small town situated next to Kootenay Lake, one of the largest in British Columbia. It’s known for a friendly community, healthy and active lifestyle, and charming Victorian-era homes. Prince Rupert combines the beautiful coastline of Cow Bay with mountain views, and it’s complete with a charming downtown area. Houston, the “Steelhead Capital of the World,” is great for fishing and other outdoor activities. Finally, visit Squamish for amazing wildlife viewing, plenty of winter recreation, and the Squamish Valley Music Festival.
Emerald Lake, at the base of the Canadian Rockies, is regarded for its unbeatable views of the mountains and its clear turquoise water. Go hiking near the lake and then treat yourself to lunch at Cilantro on the Lake. Christina Lake is a serene spot for those looking for a quiet getaway. Sandy beaches and warm summer weather make it an ideal spot for relaxing—and the absence of resorts will make you feel like you own a private beach retreat. Kootenay Lake is an excellent starting point for all kinds of outdoor adventure, including hiking, skiing, canoeing, and fishing.
Glacier National Park of Canada is stunning in all seasons. Its snowy alpine landscape creates perfect opportunities for snowshoeing and skiing at Rogers Pass, and sunny summers allow visitors to stroll through old-growth cedar and hemlock forests. Yoho National Park was named for a Cree expression of awe and wonder. Its waterfalls, glaciers, and beautiful lakes help this national park live up to its name! Sgang Gwaay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site off the West Coast of British Columbia. Three nationally protected areas—Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, and Haida Heritage Site—are all within Sgang Gwaay and pay homage to its rich cultural history.
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