Located in the west of Canada on the Pacific Ocean, British Columbia is a province of unmatched natural beauty. Escape to one its many islands to watch bears roaming in ancient forests, or head to the east coast of Vancouver Island to try your hand at fishing on the Campbell River. The province's mild weather also makes its national parks prime for year-round exploration. And, on the sun-kissed Gulf Islands, the beaches are not to be missed.
History and Culture
Architecture, heritage and shopping galore can be found in Victoria, the current capital and political centre of British Columbia. Throughout this former British colony you can find museums depicting the history of the First Nations People. The Royal British Columbia Museum, University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology and the Kwagiulth Museum are definitely worth a visit.
National and Provincial Parks
The Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island offers whale watching viewpoints, hiking trails and adventures to The Broken Islands Group archipelago, and great sandy beaches can be found on the islands in the Strait of Georgia. Clayoquot Sound is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve with a variety of marine life, while on the Gulf Islands there are plenty of grizzly bears and bird watching opportunities. Climb Grouse Mountain in Stanley Park for fantastic views of Vancouver, or, visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge for a new perspective of the forest.
Tofino is the best place to view the large number of migrating gray whales that appear just off the shore. Long Beach offers plenty of vantage points, as well as cruises and kayaking options if you want to get even closer. Humpback whales can also be seen alongside killer whales feasting on the large number of salmon near Campbell River. And, boat trips through Discovery Passage en route to the Northern Gulf Islands will see you admiring magnificent views of the landscape, in addition to spotting whales.
Whistler is the largest ski resort in North America and hosted the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. It draws the crowds due to its fantastic views, slopes and unforgettable après ski at Whistler Village. Even if you don't ski, there's plenty to do in this charming alpine locale – from sledding and hiking to shopping the boutiques.