Explore Canada’s West Coast
British Columbia is Canada’s most western province, located along the Pacific Coastline. This mountainous region is known for its scenic natural beauty and mild damp climate along the coast. BC attracts skiers and winter sports enthusiasts in the winter months to ski resorts such as Whistler, while summer visitors frequent the Kootenays, Purcells Selkirks, Rockies and the Coastal Range of mountains.
The Lower Mainland
British Columbia’s capital is the waterfront city of Vancouver in the south of the Lower Mainland. This cosmopolitan harbour city is clustered around the glass towers of downtown which share stunning views of the fragmented coastline and harbour setting. Noted for its enviably high quality of life, Vancouver boasts fresh sea air, cultural attractions, art exhibitions and fine dining. This former Winter Olympic host city has many urban parks, marinas, stunning architecture and attractions from Stanley Park to Canada Place.
Visit Vancouver Island
Situated off British Columbia’s southwest coast is Vancouver Island, easily reached by ferry from Vancouver or Seattle. Vancouver Island remains a popular destination with a Victorian capital, Victoria, and a stunning coastline for walks along deserted sandy beaches. Boat trips, cruises and kayaking trips along the Inside Passage allow visitors to interact with the seals, killer whales, dolphins and birdlife that frequent these icy waters.
Vancouver Island’s long history is closely intertwined with the indigenous First Nations People who lived in the caves, forests and mountains for over 5,000 years. Any stay on the island will allow visitors the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful Buchart Gardens, charming towns, high mountains and deep ravines that cover this sparsely populated island which was forged through volcanic activity and the Ice Age. With 150 natural parks, Vancouver Island is a wonderful destination for any outdoor adventurer looking for solitude, wildlife, surfing, hiking, golfing and skiing.
Explore the Okanagan Valley
East of Vancouver is the Thompson-Okanagan region with many fruit orchards and wineries in the lush valleys around Vernon, Kamloops and Kelowna. Okanagan Lake, Manning Provincial Park and Cathedral Provincial Park are the main visitor attractions in this pretty area along with year-round activities at the ski resorts of Sun Peaks, Big White and Apex Mountain. Lakes, valleys, hot springs and cat skiing are the main draws to the East and West Kootenays which extend into the Columbia Mountains. Notable cities include the tourist hub and Gateway to the Rockies at Nelson and the quaint Alpine-style chalet village of Kimberley. Seven national parks include Yoho National Park and the stunning Glacier National Park, which spills over the border into neighboring USA.
The vast Northern British Columbia region remains relatively unexplored with mountains, forests and wilderness stretching from Prince George, the center of BC’s forestry industry, to Atlin and the UNESCO listed Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park.
Whether you are looking for modern cities or deserted beaches, British Columbia has so many diverse activities and attractions to offer any visitor. Winter sports give way to summer hiking, climbing and cycling, making this the perfect destination for anyone looking for outdoor adventure in a relatively undiscovered haven.