If you are looking for some ideas on where to travel in Beautiful British Columbia and beyond then look no further! From exploring Vancouver Island – voted in CNN Travel’s top 20 places to visit this year to the iconic and majestic Banff National Park in Alberta there are lot of options to choose from!
10. Harrison Hot Springs
Located just over an hour from Vancouver, Harrison Hot Springs is a small, world-renowned resort town made famous by its geothermal hot springs. Settlers are said to have ‘discovered’ the hot springs in 1858 while enroute to the gold fields. Their boat capsized and expecting to meet their doom in the frigid waters, they instead discovered that the lake at that spot was not freezing but rather warm!
Things to do
- Harrison’s Floating Water Park
- Scenic and Wildlife Tours by Jet Boat
- Relax on the Beach
- Rent a Quadracycle
- Relax at the Spa
9. Helmcken Falls / Wells gray Provincial park
Seven of the Park’s waterfalls originate on the Murtle River, but perhaps none are more famous than Helmcken Falls. This 141m water fall cascades down into the canyon below and a short hike along the Rim Trail will lead you to a stunning view of the falls. Although you can also take in this spectacular view form the viewing platforms provided, we do recommend the hike.
The park has a total of 39 fantastic falls that you can visit. Here are our additional top five:
- Dawson Falls – stretches its watery veil 90m across ancient lava beds.
- Moul Falls – if you’re really adventurous, you’ll continue down to the base of the chute where you can slip between the falls and the canyon and take a peek behind the falls.
- Spahats Creek Falls – Volcanic rock deposits form the layer-cake-like canyon at Spahats Falls, making it one of the most dramatic waterfalls to photograph in the Park.
- Mushroom Bowl – just downstream from Dawson Falls, watch the Murtle River split in two as it makes its way around Cambrian rock formations.
- Silvertip Falls – At 168m this is one of the tallest falls in Wells Gray Park, hidden under Trophy Mountain.
8. Sunshine Coast
The sunshine coast spans the area between the entrance of Desolation Sound to the northwest and Howe Sound on the south east. It is flanked by rugged mountains that border these inlets and is cut off from direct road connections. The Sunshine coast is a fantastic area for both culture and food.
Things to do
- Hike the Sunshine coast trail
- Bike to the waterfalls
- Sip beer on a farm brewery
- visit one or two of the artist studios (there are over 100 to choose from!)
- Tour the First Nations totem poles
7. Okanagan Wine Tour
The Okanagan Valley is famous for its eclectic mix of wineries and restaurants coupled with some fantastic wines that have been winning awards around the world – check out 12 new wineries to visit
If adventure activities are your thing then head to Squamish for an action packed few days of adrenaline sports and good food. This small town is dominated by the Stawamus Chief mountain peak, endearingly known as “The Chief” and the Howe Sound. A worthy activity is to take the Sea to Sky Gondola up to the top and enjoy the incredible views over the Howe Sound. If adrenaline isn’t your thing, there are plenty of hiking opportunities and in our opinion – some of the best breweries to be sampled!
5. Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island has so much to offer that we created a Bucket list dedicated to it! From rugged old growth rainforest to delicious west coast restaurants this island is a MUST and it’s easy to see why it is featured on CNN Travel’s top 20 places to visit 2020.
4. Great Bear Rainforest
The Great Bear Rainforest (also known as the Central and North Coast forest) is a temperate rain forest on the Pacific Coast of British Columbia, comprising 6.4 million hectares of rainforest. It is part of the larger Pacific temperate rainforest ecoregion, which is the largest coastal temperate rainforest in the world. As seen in the incredible iMax documentary the Great Bear Rainforest, it is home to a huge diversity of wildlife and most famously the white spirit bear.
Things to do
- Learn about the traditions and history of Aboriginal culture.
- Wildlife tours – You may catch a rare glimpse of the elusive spirit bear.
- Take an adventure cruise. Navigate fjords where 4,000-foot high cliffs rise above you.
- Kayak the coast line
- Take a heli-tour
Access to the Great Bear Rainforest is limited with the main routes through Port Hardy, Bella-Bella and Bella Coola. For more information, contact us.
Whistler, sits at the feet of two immense mountains: Whistler and Blackcomb. Together, these impressive peaks form the biggest winter sports area in North America.
In summer, spectacular views from the peak are only matched by the phenomenal peak2peak gondola ride. If you like a bit of adrenaline then take advantage of the superb mountain bike opportunities during the summer. Or simply take in a beer from the Whistler brewing company’s diverse range of seasonal brews.
Things to do
- Peak2Peak Gondola: The Peak 2 Peak Gondola provides an elevated ride between the two mountains. Though the distance covered is a record-breaking 4.4 kilometers, the ride takes only 11 minutes. On a clear day, the view is superb and looks out to snow-capped mountains, alpine lakes, and dense coniferous forests.
- Garibaldi Provincial Park: The park’s natural beauty and rugged landscape, combined with its proximity to urban centres, have made it a popular destination for outdoor recreation
- Brandywine Falls Provincial park: A great photo op for its stunning 70-meter-tall waterfall. Also, worth including in this day trip, is a visit to the “Train Wreck,” the location of a group of abandoned 1950’s boxcars accessible along an easy trail that includes a cool suspension bridge over the Cheakamus River.
- Mountain Biking: Mountain biking is certainly the most popular summer sport in Whistler Village, and visitors will see legions of armor-clad bikers heading up the slopes by chairlift to Whistler Mountain Bike Park, rentals are on offer throughout whistler village.
- Audain Art Museum: One of the newest cultural attractions in Whistler, the exquisitely designed, wood-clad Audain Art Museum opened in 2016. With a mandate to feature British Columbian art and artists from the late 1700’s onwards, the museum’s permanent collection is certainly impressive.
Jasper, a smaller and more rustic cousin to Banff, is the commercial centre of Jasper National Park and is located just over the BC border in Alberta. Amid the snow-capped Canadian Rockies, the park has glacier-fed lakes, forests and rivers. The Jasper SkyTram climbs to the summit of The Whistlers Mountain, with views of downtown. The Jasper Yellowhead Museum and Archives presents exhibits on the fur trade, railway and early exploration of the park.
Things to do
- Savour the local flavour: Explore Jasper’s culinary scene. From hearty mountain breakfasts to an elegant alpine dinner for two — friendly pubs to charming cafés, this is creative Rocky Mountain cuisine at its finest.
- Evil Dave’s Grill is a funky, upbeat, family-owned restaurant with a globally inspired menu. They make “wicked food” with fresh ingredients and creative flare! Start off with a Sinful Starter before diving into an Evil Entrée like the signature Malicious Salmon, Diabolical Tenderloin, or Hell’s Chicken. And don’t forget to save room for a Deadly Dessert!
- Jasper’s National Park Brewery. Six signature beers brewed on-site. Visit their pub and enjoy your favourite sports action on one of their seven plasma TV’s or relax and dine with your family in the restaurant.
- Food Tours: Meeting daily at 2:30pm at the Visitor Information Centre lawn, the 3-hour Downtown Foodie tour will take you to four local joints, visiting points of interest and taking in some of Jasper’s tastiest tales along the way. At each restaurant, guests will try a top dish and a perfectly paired boozy drink to experience the real taste of Jasper’s food scene.
- The Jasper SkyTram whisks you up Whistlers Mountain to an elevation of 2,263 metres, showing you stunning vistas over mountain ranges stretching up to 80 kilometres away. On a clear day, you can even see the white pyramid of Mount Robson in nearby British Columbia.
- Horse Riding: Horses are welcome in many areas of Jasper National Park and have been used to explore the park for a long time. Early outfitters established much of the park’s 1,200-kilometre trail network, which is now managed by Parks Canada.
Banff is the resort town and the gateway to Banff National Park, Canada’s first national park and now one of the most visited destinations in Alberta and Canada as a whole.
Things to do
- Banff Park Museum: Located in downtown Banff, is an exhibition space associated with Banff National Park. The museum was established in 1895 to house an exhibit animals, plants and minerals associated with the park.
- Tunnel Mountain drive: This is a scenic route. There is a viewpoint where you can see the town of Banff. Often you will find wildlife (Deer, Elk, sometimes a Bear) on this road. There are also plenty of trails to explore.
- Gondola Ride: Banff’s only Gondola takes you up to the top of Sulphur Mountain and you will have a panoramic view of the Canadian Rockies. The Banff Sightseeing Gondola ride takes about 7 minutes and there is a cafeteria and restaurant at the top.
- Mountain Biking: Fun terrain and sweeping views await riders who want to tackle mountain biking in Banff. There are 200kms of biking trails open in Banff National Park and they are a blast to ride! There are plenty of bike rental shops in Banff.
- Lake Louise: Lake Louise is a hamlet in Banff National Park known for its turquoise, glacier-fed lake ringed by high peaks and overlooked by a stately chateau. Hiking trails wind up to the Lake Agnes Tea House for bird’s-eye views. There is a canoe dock in summer, and a skating rink on the frozen lake in winter.
If this list isn’t reason enough to come and visit, then we don’t know what is!
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