Information on all the different regions of BC:
Vancouver Island is an unforgettable outdoor recreation vacation paradise, rife with natural splendor from the southern tip of Victoria to the northern most point of Cape Scott Provincial Park. With an area of 32,134 square kilometers (12,408 square miles) and a population of over 700,000 despite many unpopulated areas, Vancouver Island is deceptively large and offers a variety of both exhilarating outdoor activities and tranquil, relaxation destinations – from an eco tour in Pacific Rim National Park to a romantic getaway at the Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Resort in Parksville.
Victoria is British Columbia’s capital city and is situated at the southern end of Vancouver Island – so far south in fact that it is below the 49th parallel. The beautiful Victoria coastline faces a panoramic view of the snow-capped Olympic mountain range in Washington and is the popular port destination for hundreds of cruise ships each year. You will find Victoria brimming with the culture of yesterday and today, from the historic Royal BC Museum, which features an impressive collection of native art and artifacts, to the lively markets dotting the streets and causeways with local artisans selling their wares.
There are plenty of things to do on Vancouver Island. The west coast is most famous for its lush old growth rainforest and offers a number of different eco tours throughout the area. No visit to Vancouver Island is complete without seeing the impressive forests of Carmanah Valley, the vast network of hiking trails and climbing sites in Strathcona Park and the roaring surf paradise of Tofino. While in Tofino, enjoy some of the most spectacular kayaking in the world as you paddle with grey whales and orcas in the open ocean, or indulge in world class accommodation and cuisine at the Wickaninnish Inn with crashing coastal waves as your backdrop.
Travel Canada to its most western point and you will not be disappointed. Birdwatching, whalewatching, peoplewatching; hiking, skiing, surfing – home to some of the most impressive natural scenery, wildlife, coastlines and culture this country has to offer, Vancouver Island will have you coming back time and again.
The Cariboo Chilcotin region is a vast and deeply historic slice of the British Columbia landscape. From the early draw of the Gold Rush to the current allure of unbeatable outdoor recreation and adventure, this stretch of BC that reaches from near the Alberta border all the way up north to Prince George is as diverse scenically as it is culturally.
Born of the Gold Rush in the 1800’s when miners from all over the world descended upon the area to seek their fortune in the gold fields, small towns grew quickly into flourishing cities that eventually defined the Wild West as we know it. Gold Fever of the Cariboo Chilcotin yielded bustling towns, cowboys and saloons bursting with pioneer spirit.
Today you can still travel the well-signed Gold Rush Trail through the Cariboo Chilcotin, but where cities once teemed with industrious miners you will now find deserted ghost towns, or in the case of Barkerville, historic frontier towns that have been restored to reflect the glory days of the Gold Rush.
There are lot’s of activities in the Cariboo Chilcotins. If it’s outdoor adventure you seek, there are a number of essential stops as you travel through the region. Tweedsmuir Provincial Park boasts incredible volcanic mountains, glaciers, waterfalls, pristine lakes and rich rivers that offer up some of the best fishing in British Columbia. You will be sharing the park with Caribou, Grizzlies and Black Bears, so be sure to have your camera at hand!
Bowron Lake Provincial Park is another setting for the kind of awe-inspiring outdoor recreation that will have you coming back for more. Home to a magnificent circuit of lakes that are legendary for canoeing and kayaking, Bowron Lake Park is also an ideal location for fishing, swimming and hiking amongst countless crystal clear lakes and rivers and the spectacular colours of nature.
If you are looking for dramatic landscapes, abundant wildlife and exciting outdoor recreation when you travel Canada, then look no further than the Cariboo Chilcotin region of British Columbia.
Kootenay’s and Rockies
The Kootenay Rockies and surrounding area are the perfect setting for an unforgettable outdoor recreation vacation. A richly beautiful mountain region in the southeastern corner of British Columbia, the Kootenay Rockies encompass a number of different mountain ranges and valleys, each with their own uniquely Canadian landscape.
The Kokanee glacier feeds over 30 lakes and river systems, resulting in spectacular waterfalls and creeks when the ice begins to melt each Spring. You will find flowers poking their heads through the snow of the valleys as early as April, and the warm winter gear will come off during sunny May and June afternoons, but the higher elevations are often inaccessible to unprepared vehicles well into July.
Known as “the warm side of the Rockies,” the Kootenay region warms up enough in July, August and September for you to enjoy all the most exciting summer activities such as white-water rafting down the Kicking Horse or Kootenay rivers or canoeing, kayaking or water-skiing on one the many unspoiled mountain lakes. You will also be awestruck by the scenic beauty of your surroundings while you enjoy fishing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking or hang gliding.
Rightfully dubbed “British Columbia’s Mountain Playground,” the Kootenay Rockies region is also rich with naturally occurring hot mineral springs, nestled in the picturesque backdrop of the snow-peaked Rockies. While you soak your city woes away, watch for eagles, elk, bighorn sheep, moose, cougars and black and grizzly bears, all of which are native to the region! You can’t travel Canada without spying on some of the abundant and impressive wildlife.
While the Kootenay Rockies are a fantastic outdoor recreation destination during the warm summer months, the area is most revered for its winter offerings. Skiers and snowboarders will enjoy some of the best powder in North America on challenging and spectacular downhill runs and a massive network of groomed cross-country trails. Temperatures vary throughout the region as a result of altitude, water bodies and wind, but the average snowfall during the winter of 171 – 206cm (67 – 81 inches) means a full and rewarding ski season.
Northern BC is the adventure tour de force in terms of sheer magnitude and diversity of landscape and seascape. Its jagged mountaintops, lush green valleys and rugged coastlines make up more than 50% of the entire province of British Columbia and there is no shortage of outdoor pursuit or cultural exploration for even the most seasoned traveler.
You will be most struck by the overwhelming beauty of the Northern BC terrain. Tumultuous coastlines are a welcoming challenge to canoers and kayakers from all over the world, and the saltwater fishing is abundant and rewarding. The active rivers feeding the Pacific Ocean provide a rich supply of Coho, Chinook and Sockeye salmon for fishermen, bears and eagles alike.
Raging rivers that weave through majestic mountains and expansive forests provide the perfect setting for activities like birdwatching or hiking on park trails, or for a more adventurous, challenging back-country climb. Be sure to have your camera with you to capture some amazing photos of BC wildlife! You might find a Grizzly bear fishing with her cubs in a river or a majestic moose grazing lazily in a forest marsh.
Also notable in Northern BC is the network of friendly cities large and small, rich with culture and ancient history. With a population of around 75,000, Prince George is the largest city in the region and hosts all the amenities of a major city including shopping, restaurants and hotels. Tour the city pulp mill or a demonstration forest to experience a hands-on display of how important the forestry industry is to Northern BC, or explore native arts and folklore in one of the city’s art galleries or museums.
Whether you’re after the comfort and civilization of a big city or the adventure and vitality of the British Columbia wilderness, beautiful Northern BC is a must-see when you travel Canada!
For more information about planning an adventure tour in Northern BC, as well as for tourism, transportation and accommodation resources, let BC Travel Guide be your guide!
The Thompson Okanagan has the most diverse offering of geography, recreation and tourist attractions of any Canada vacation destination. All in the span of one busy day you could ski fresh tracks at Big White ski resort, play a round of golf at the breathtaking Harvest Golf course, enjoy a meal and a wine tasting at the world famous Summerhill Pyramid winery, drive through the abundant Okanagan orchards and relax on a sunset cruise of Lake Okanagan. Look out for Ogopogo, Kelowna’s friendly but elusive sea monster!
Big White is only one of the many amazing ski resort areas you will find in the Thompson Okanagan region of British Columbia – Crystal Mountain, Apex, Silver Star and Sun Peaks also offer a long and rewarding ski season from late fall to Spring, with the kind of powdery downhill and cross country runs you will only find in the Thompson Okanagan. With first-rate lodge and hotel accommodations and spectacular views and skiing conditions, you may want to ski for a whole week!
Due to the moderate climate enjoyed by most areas of the Thompson Okanagan, golfing is an extremely popular activity for those who want to travel Canada, drawing golfers to the area from March through November each year. With over 40 golf courses to choose from in and around the Okanagan, the biggest challenge will be deciding which courses to try!
From the lush and mountainous north to the dry deserts of the south, the Thompson Okanagan region is a remarkably rich fruit and wine producing area. From the apple orchards of Vernon to the grape growing and wine making regions of Osoyoos, you will taste fruit that supplies much of BC and Canada, and wine that is served all over the world.
For additional details about planning a Canada vacation in the Thompson Okanagan region of British Columbia, as well as for information about ski resorts, golf courses and wineries in the area, let BC Travel Guide be your guide!
The Vancouver Coast of British Columbia is unparalleled in both beauty and recreational possibilities. Set against the spectacular backdrop of the Pacific Ocean to one side and the snow-topped Coast mountain range to the other, Vancouver offers the finest in unspoiled natural splendor and vibrant urban culture. Whether it’s for a metropolitan day of shopping and art galleries, an adventurous white water rafting journey down the Kumsheen River or a weekend getaway skiing at Whistler Blackcomb, the west coast of British Columbia is an essential stop when you decide to travel Canada.
The city of Vancouver boasts a number of first-rate art galleries and museums such as the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Art Works Gallery, the Vancouver Museum and the Vancouver Museum of Anthropology. Enjoy a wide range of native artwork and history as well as diverse contemporary works created locally and internationally. In between museums and galleries, soak in the café culture as you wander down Robson Street window shopping, or explore the urban oasis of markets, shops and restaurants at Granville Island, Yale Town or historic Gastown. Steeped in history and culture, your days in Vancouver will be full and memorable.
A short drive from the bustling metropolitan center of Vancouver, Whistler is a popular all-season destination. In the summer, enjoy hiking, mountain biking or eco-adventure tours among the lush canopy and over the glacier fed creeks of Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. In the winter, experience the Canada ski vacation of a lifetime on world class ski and snowboard runs and a 200-300cm base. The incredible shops and restaurants at Whistler Village round out any weekend getaway of skiing or snowboarding with the perfect après ski experience!
For more information on these and other activities, accommodations or travel to and from these regions let BC Travel Guide be your guide! Find detailed bus, ferry and flight information as well as names and locations of attractions in and around the province.