Updated: January 31st, 2022
There are so many incredible things to do in British Columbia. From lush rainforest to high mountain peaks and the Pacific Ocean, British Columbia is an incredible province to explore. Living next door in Alberta, we’ve been to BC many times and have experienced it from north to south and from east to west.
Although British Columbia is home to the mildest climate in Canada, it’s also about as diverse as it gets. From being able to go surfing and skiing (possibly during the same day) to being able to hike some of Canada’s tallest mountains or exploring one of North America’s most dense cities, BC is a treasure trove for tourists and locals alike.
Whether you’re planning to explore the cities, the mountains, the ocean or everything in-between, we’ve got you covered in this comprehensive travel guide to the wonderful province of British Columbia.
Table of Contents
- Things To Do in British Columbia
- What To Do In Vancouver
- What To Do in Victoria and Vancouver Island
- Visit the Butchart Gardens
- Explore the Royal BC Museum
- Take a Victoria Food Tour
- Craigdarroch Castle
- Visit Fisherman’s Wharf
- Wild Renfrew
- Orca Spirit Adventures
- Glamping at Brown's Bay Resort
- Eagle Eye Adventures Grizzly Bear Tour
- Snorkelling with Salmon
- Elk Falls Provincial Park
- Go Surfing in Tofino
- Wildplay Nanaimo
- Scuba Diving
- Stand Amongst Giants at Cathedral Grove
- What to Do in Kelowna
- What to Do in BC's Rocky Mountain Region
- What To Do In Northern British Columbia
- Liard Hot Springs
- Muncho Lake Provincial Park
- Dawson Creek
- Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark
- Fort Saint James National Historic Site
- ‘Ksan Museum and Historical Village
- Gitanyow Totem Poles
- Meziadan Fish Ladder
- Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Provincial Park
- Nisga’a Museum and Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park
- Museum of Northern BC
- Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands)
- Fun Facts about British Columbia
- Getting to British Columbia
- Getting Around British Columbia
- Best Time to Visit BC
- Road to 150 – British Columbia Road Trip
- Looking For More Things to Do in BC?
Things To Do in British Columbia
Whether you love cities or the great outdoors, there is so much to do and see in British Columbia. From hiking in the rainforest to visiting wineries to walking around the streets in one of the most densely populated cities in North America, BC is truly one of Canada’s great treasures.
We’ve been to British Columbia many, many times. Living in Calgary, BC is our next-door neighbour, and considering it’s the #1 tourist destination in Canada, there are lots of fun things to do. From swimming in wild hot springs in the North to getting splashed by humpback whales in the South, this travel guide will help you plan your next trip to Canada’s wild west coast.
What To Do In Vancouver
Vancouver is a world-famous city and for good reason: It’s beautifully situated right between mountains and oceans while enjoying some of Canada’s mildest weather. It’s also one of the most densely populated cities in North America, which brings thousands of incredible restaurants, bars, and shops, as well as a vibrant life that can’t be found in many cities. However, it’s also surrounded by nature, creating a nice balance between the concrete jungle and the real outdoors.
Explore Stanley Park
No matter how many times we visit Vancouver, we always visit Stanley Park. It’s Vancouver’s first urban park and remains the largest with over 400-hectares of natural West Coast rainforest. It’s filled with beautiful beaches, local wildlife, historical landmarks, and the Vancouver Aquarium, which we’ll talk about below.
Visit the Vancouver Aquarium
While visiting Stanley Park, you may want to check out the Vancouver Aquarium as well. This is Canada’s largest aquarium with more than 70,000 beautiful creatures, including dolphins, anacondas, sea otters, sloths, and more. The Vancouver Aquarium is also well respected for its research and marine stewardship and is a great place to learn about the region’s marine life.
Grab a Bite to Eat on Granville Island
Located in the heart of the city, this little peninsula has become a popular hub for food and drink. Granville Island has a wonderful food market, a famous brewery, and a variety of cool shops. In the summer, it’s also alive with boat taxis, paddle-boarders, and kayakers.
As Vancouver’s top outdoor attraction, Grouse Mountain is a great place to go for gruelling mountain hikes or, for those less inclined to work out, an easy gondola ride to get jaw-dropping views of the city and the surrounding mountains. In the winter, it’s also popular for skiing and snowboarding.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Capilano Suspension Bridge sits 140 metres over a river, crossing towering evergreens and a cedar-scented rainforest. It’s also home to the Treetops Adventure, seven suspended footbridges offering views 110 feet above the forest floor, and a new Cliffwalk attraction. It’s one of the top attractions in Vancouver, attracting close to one million visitors every year. If crowds aren’t your thing, another option is the free but smaller Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge.
Forbidden Vancouver Walking Tours
If you’re looking to learn about Vancouver’s past in a fun and entertaining way, we highly recommend a walking tour with Forbidden Vancouver. We learned so much about Vancouver’s “dark history” and our views of Vancouver will never be the same.
Museum of Anthropology
This research and teaching museum, located at UBC, is renowned for its displays of world arts and culture. Most notably, they have an excellent permanent exhibition on the First Nations of the Pacific Northwest. With over 535,000 archaeological objects, this place can easily fill a day.
Vancouver Whale Watching
British Columbia is a fantastic province to experience whale watching and you don’t even have to go far from the major city. Vancouver whale watching takes place just 20-minutes away in the historic fishing village of Steveston. We’ve had spectacular whale watching experiences around Vancouver and also out in Port Renfrew on Vancouver Island. While nature can be unpredictable, your chances of seeing them are very high.
Looking for more info? Don’t forget to check out our ULTIMATE GUIDE to the best things to do in Vancouver.
What To Do in Victoria and Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island is an adventurer’s paradise. It’s truly incredible how many things you can do on one island. From whale watching to hiking the rainforest to surfing, this is one of the best spots in all of Canada.
Visit the Butchart Gardens
Visited by more than one million people each year, the Butchard Gardens has become an icon of Victoria, as well as a National Historic Site of Canada. This breathtaking 55-acre garden is home to 900 plant varieties, 26 greenhouses, and 50 full-time gardeners! Whether you’re travelling solo, with your family, or on a romantic date with your partner, the Butchard Gardens is a must-do when visiting Victoria. It’s just a stunning place to walk around.
Explore the Royal BC Museum
Founded in 1886, the Royal British Columbia Museum is a great place to learn about BC’s natural and human history. There are three permanent galleries inside, including Natural History, Becoming BC, and the First Peoples Gallery. The natural history collection alone has more than 750,000 records of specimens that are almost exclusively from the province. You can also watch educational films and commercial films at the IMAX Victoria theatre and it’s conveniently located within walking distance from the inner harbour.
Take a Victoria Food Tour
If you’re looking for a combination of food and history while walking around the beautiful city of Victoria, we highly recommend taking a Taste of Victoria Food Tour. While the food was delicious, we equally loved learning about the history of Canada’s oldest Chinatown as well as the many buildings while strolling around with our friendly guide.
Craigdarroch Castle is a definitively Victorian experience. It is a shining example of a “bonanza castle” — massive houses built for entrepreneurs who became wealthy during the industrial age. This legendary Victorian mansion has four floors of exquisitely stained glass windows, intricate woodwork, and fabulous Victorian-era furnishings.
Visit Fisherman’s Wharf
This not-so-hidden treasure is a great place to eat food, shop at unique stores, and go on eco-tours. This place was busy with people eating fresh seafood when we visited, but our favourite part was touring the floating homes and just imagining what it would be like to live in his spectacular location.
For more things to do, check out our travel guide to the best things to do in Victoria BC!
Within easy reach of Victoria, Port Renfrew is welcoming, affordable, and incredibly wild. Here, you can go hiking on some of Canada’s most famous hikes, visit numerous beaches, go whale-watching, and so much more. Best of all, it’s home to the Wild Renfrew Seaside Cottages, which are rustically beautiful and open up to amazing views of the rugged coastline. There’s nothing quite like waking up, walking into the living room, and looking out at the sea.
Orca Spirit Adventures
Known worldwide for its whale watching and marine wildlife viewing opportunities, the small village of Port Renfrew is perfectly placed for eco-tourism, at the junction of the famous West Coast and Juan de Fuca Trails. While wildlife is never guaranteed, we had the best whale-watching tour of our lives here. We saw dozens of Orcas and dozens of humpbacks, all in the span of a couple of hours. In fact, the humpbacks came so close to the boat that we even got sprayed by their blowhole! This company also operated out of Victoria, BC, but there are many other whale watching tours as well.
Glamping at Brown’s Bay Resort
Outdoor enthusiasts can try a new way of camping! There are two different types of glamping tents available for individuals looking to relax in the campground. We stayed in a deluxe, luxury oceanfront tent, which was fully equipped with everything we needed. Our bathroom made us feel like we were in a 4-star hotel. Their cliffside tents, on the other hand, are for individuals looking for a more rustic camping experience. These tents only come with power but have easy access to a nearby-shared bathroom and shower building. There’s a variety of options for waking up to Seaview vistas and you’re only 20-minutes from Campbell River!
Eagle Eye Adventures Grizzly Bear Tour
With a 99.9% success rate, it’s safe to say you’ll see some wildlife with Eagle Eye Adventures. Not only did we see humpback whales and orcas but we also joined them for a day of grizzly bear watching! It was such an incredible experience to see grizzly bears up close, eating salmon in the streams. They even have hydrophones so you can listen to the whales communicating under the water. Whether we were eyeing bears, whales, or eagles, this was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Snorkelling with Salmon
Totally unique to the Campbell River area is the chance to go snorkelling with salmon! You can do this in a nearby canyon, swimming above tens of thousands of them or you can be more adventurous and go for a fun float down the Campbell River, flowing up and over rocks and by hundreds of big salmon. A very cool experience, which can be done by tour or by renting your own gear and going alone. We decided to rent our own gear from Beaver Aquatics, which was much cheaper to do. However, if you don’t have a car, this may not be an option.
Elk Falls Provincial Park
If you’re around the town of Campbell River, we highly recommend a trip to Elk Falls Provincial Park, even if just for a short hike into the impressive 25-metre (89-foot) waterfall. However, there’s also camping, salmon fishing, and a variety of hiking trails. In addition to the powerful waterfall, there’s also a suspension bridge surrounded by an old-growth forest, perfect for both the young and old. The hike to the falls is only about 30 minutes or less.
Go Surfing in Tofino
Whether you’re someone just wanting to try surfing for the first time or a pro looking to catch the next big break, Tofino is a surfing paradise. There are a variety of places to go and a variety of surfing schools to choose from. You can also just rent a board and go by yourself. During our visit, we partnered with the Surf Club at Long Beach Lodge Resort. With beautiful Cox Bay Beach right on their doorstep, this is an amazing place to learn surfing. We’ve participated in many surf lessons and this was by far the best. Plus, there is a free hot tub to use afterward.
Tofino is an incredible place so make sure you check out our full guide to the best things to do in Tofino!
If you’re looking for a thrill, go to Wildplay Nanaimo. Not only is there a 150-foot bungy jump, but there are also zip lines, adventure courses, and a 140 km/h primal swing! This is the ultimate place to test your fears. I was so thrilled to find a bungy jump in Canada that’s done by the ankles. Despite it being my sixth time jumping off a bridge, it was no less scary. It’s the real deal and so much fun! Great for kids and adults!
Not a lot of people think of Canada when it comes to scuba diving, but Vancouver Island is actually known as one of the top scuba diving destinations in the world. Of course, it’s a different scuba diving experience compared to the tropical areas it’s usually known for. The water is cold for starters, and the sea life is quite different. However, we did our diving just off Nanaimo, diving down to 60 feet while looking at colourful fauna, a variety of fish, wolf eels, and a swimming scallop! We also went snorkelling with seals, which was an equally special experience.
Stand Amongst Giants at Cathedral Grove
Another very special part about visiting Vancouver Island is the chance to stand among massive 800-year-old Douglas Fir trees, some of the largest in the world, in MacMillan Provincial Park. This 301-hectare park, located just 16 km east of Port Alberni, is famous for Cathedral Grove, where you’ll find trees that measure up to 250 feet tall (75 metres) and up to 29 feet (9 metres) in circumference.
What to Do in Kelowna
Kelowna is the heart of the Okanagan Valley and one of the warmest regions in Canada. This is where you’ll find one of Canada’s most famous wine regions as well as massive Okanagan Lake, a 135-km lake stretching all the way from Penticton to Vernon!
Go on a Kelowna Winery Tour
Whether you sign up for an actual tour or just go on your own self-guided wine adventure, Kelowna is a great place for trying a variety of delicious Canadian wines. In fact, the Okanagan Valley is one of the top three wine regions in Canada and a trip here would not be complete without enjoying some grape alcohol. There are dozens of wineries scattered in and around Kelowna as well as many more in Lake Country and Vernon. We only visited one winery during our stay and it was the famous Summerhill Pyramid Winery, which creates organic biodynamic wines. They gave us the complete tour of how they grow the grapes right up until they age them in an actual on-site pyramid, which they believe gives a unique energy to the wine!
Take a Helicopter Tour
We love getting high in the sky for aerial views of the places we’re visiting and Kelowna is a great place to get up in a helicopter. We went with Valhalla Helicopters as they brought us over vineyard, the city, Okanagan Lake, and the nearby canyon! Helicopter tours are a great way to get a different perspective of an area and something we highly recommend doing in Kelowna!
Go Boating on Okanagan Lake
With such a big lake surrounding the area, it makes sense to get out on the lake and take a boat tour. You can tour the city from the water, cruise to other areas, sit back and drink wine, or jump off the boat and into the lake. You can take a big boat, a little boat, or perhaps something like a kayak or a paddleboard. Whatever it is, get out on the water to really see what this area is all about. We went with Kelowna Water Taxi & Cruises, a friendly one-man operation that is just as entertaining as the location itself.
If you’re looking for another unique opportunity to get on the water, then flyboarding is the answer. If the thought of hovering over the water on a board propelled by water pressure sounds exciting to you, give this a try. You’ll feel like a superhero once you get the hang of it!
Go Outdoors on the Kettle Valley Railway
We only saw this place by helicopter but it looked like an epic place to go for a bike ride or a long hike. With incredible scenery and views, the Myra Canyon trestles are a great place to get outdoors near the city. It’s about a 30-40 minute drive from downtown Kelowna and is part of the Kettle Valey Railway, which happens to be the longest rail-trail network in BC, stretching all the way to Hope!
Go Skiing at Big White Ski Resort
If you happen to be visiting Kelowna in the winter months, then why not going skiing or snowboarding at Big White Mountain Resort. This is one of the most popular ski resorts in the province and also the third largest. Its mountain summit is 2,319 metres with a vertical drop of 777 metres. Home to more than 2,700 acres of skiable terrain and 16 lifts, it’s an awesome way to enjoy the mountains just a short drive from the city of Kelowna.
Looking for more info? Don’t forget to check out our ULTIMATE GUIDE to the best things to do in Kelowna!
What to Do in BC’s Rocky Mountain Region
Reflect at Emerald Lake
Not far from the border of Alberta and the famous town of Banff is BC’s Yoho National Park. From waterfalls to lakes to epic hiking and camping, Yoho national park is one of the best in Canada. We didn’t have time to fully enjoy the park but we did take the time to at least visit beautiful Emerald Lake, where we got to see one of the most beautiful mountain reflections we’ve ever seen. Whether you stop for a couple of hours or a couple of days, Yoho national park is a real gem.
Pipe Mountain Coaster
Located in Revelstoke, this single-person coaster takes you for an exhilarating ride down the mountain! We’ve been wanting to do this for years and finally had the chance. You’ll travel up to 42 km/h over 1.4km of twists and turns while enjoying a 279m vertical drop.
White Water Rafting
Some of the best white water rating opportunities in the country are on the Kicking Horse River around the town of Golden BC. From mountain views to white water thrills, this is one of the best summer activities in the area. We LOVE white water rafting on the Kicking Horse. Whether you’re looking for exciting class 4 rapids or something less extreme, you’ll find it here. Our recommendation, however, is to go all out on the upper and lower Kicking Horse River adventure.
Kicking Horse Mountain Resort
Another incredible mountain paradise just minutes from Golden is Kicking Horse Mountain Resort. In the winter, this place offers some of the best skiing in British Columbia whereas in the summer it’s home to epic mountain biking, hiking, and the Via Ferrata experience! It’s also home to Boo the Grizzly Bear. For outdoor adventure, this is a great place to stop!
Radium Hot Springs
Located south of the Trans-Canada Highway on beautiful Kootenay Highway, this is one of the most beautiful hot springs in the country. Located right next to a towering cliff, our favourite time to visit is in the winter when the hot springs are surrounded by icicles and sparkling snow, but it’s great any time of year.
Panorama Mountain Resort
In the summer, this place is great for biking and hiking, but in the winter, Panorama Mountain Resort is one of our favourite places to go skiing. Not only does it have really great ski runs, but it’s also home to an awesome ski-in-ski-out village with restaurants, bars, and their own big hot pools.
What To Do In Northern British Columbia
Since we were coming from the Yukon, we had to drive all the way from Northern BC to Vancouver. Unfortunately, we didn’t have much time to explore but we did stay two nights at Liard Hot Springs and a night in Prince George. One thing is for certain though! We will be back to see what Northern BC has to offer!
Liard Hot Springs
The second-largest known hot springs in Canada are quite incredible. We stayed in the nearby campground for two nights, allowing us to go early in the morning and late at night. The water can be incredibly hot in one corner and quite cool at the opposite end, which is really nice when you need a break. There are also areas that feel like a steamy jungle, which adds to the ambiance. These are a must-do if you’re on the Alaskan highway.
For more places to take a dip, check out our feature guide to the best hot springs in bc.
Muncho Lake Provincial Park
For those who love the outdoors, you don’t want to miss spending some time in Muncho Lake Provincial Park. This secluded 88,420-hectare park is a haven for horseback riding, fishing, rafting, scuba diving, and more. Surrounded by towering limestone mountains, the place is beautiful and unique. This is also a great place for camping.
For those beginning the Alaska Highway from the start, you’ll reach a town called Dawson Creek, which is rich in both World War II and pioneer history. To make the most of it, you can take a self0guided walking tour, picking up a map from the Visitor Centre, and spending a good hour or more exploring the downtown, including beautiful wall murals, the Alaska Highway House, the Train Station Museum, and more.
Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark
As the second Global Geopark in North America, Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark is rich in geological heritage. You’ll find an array of hiking trails leading to 21 different destinations and 41 different geosites, including waterfalls, canyons, lakes, meadows, and mountain vistas. There’s also a Dinosaur Discovery Gallery where you can see fossils found in the area.
Fort Saint James National Historic Site
Located just off Highway 16, in the area of Vanderhoof, you’ll find some of the most incredible heritage sites in the country. This seasonal site features the largest collection of original fur trade era wooden buildings and even offers the opportunity to spend the night in the 1896 luxurious Murray House or in one of the tents at the fort, a great experience for the whole family.
‘Ksan Museum and Historical Village
Located along the Skeena River in Haselton is the replicated indigenous village of Ksan. Used for centuries by the local Gitxsan’s tribe, this site is now home to a wonderful museum featuring close to 600 pieces of historical artifacts, totem poles, a carving area, traditional songs and dancing, and an incredible glimpse into what life was like in a traditional village. You can also take a guided tour or spend the night in the campground.
Gitanyow Totem Poles
Home to British Colombia’s largest collection of totem poles, some of which are the oldest known, the town of Gitanyow is well worth the visit. This town was made famous by Emily Carr, who painted many of these totem poles back in 1928. Each cedar pole tells a story, the history, and gives a glimpse into the spirituality of the people who carved them. To get here, find Dease Lake Highway, a short detour from Highway 37.
Meziadan Fish Ladder
For a province famous for its salmon, it makes sense to see them up close and personal via a fish ladder. At the Mediadan Fish Ladder, you’ll find sockeye and chinook salmon as they migrate back to the lake. This 670-foot-long ladder bridges both the upper and lower Victoria Falls, providing a public viewing to see these amazing creatures up close. You may even see bears, wolves, and eagles looking for a bite to eat.
Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Provincial Park
Spatsizi, which means “red goat” in the native Tahltan First Nation language, is one of Canada’s largest parks and is an important habitat for the beautiful Woodland Caribou. Uniquely home to both the Spatsizi Plateau and the Skeena Mountains, this is an excellent place to see wildlife, as well as go canoeing, fishing, and hiking. Popular sightings include bears, wolverines, beavers, marmots, mountain goats, stone sheep, and more than 140 species of birds.
Nisga’a Museum and Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park
Not many people think of volcanic areas when they think of Canada, but Nisga’a Memorial Lava Bed Park is a great place to experience volcanic areas. But that’s not the only thing that makes it unique. It’s also the first provincial park to be jointly managed by a First Nations tribe and the BC government. It’s a great place for a guided tour and offers an amazing viewpoint above the crater.
Museum of Northern BC
Well, since we’re talking about Nothern BC, how could we not mention the museum dedicated to the area itself. Located on the waterfront in Prince Rupert, the Museum of Northern BC houses a traditional cedar wood longhouse, and various artifacts and exhibits related to the indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest. Used as a trading centre for more than 9000 years, this a great place to see the culture of the coastal nations.
Haida Gwaii (formerly the Queen Charlotte Islands)
Often referred to as the Galapagos of Canada, Haida Gwaii is about as unique as it gets. Voted as one of National Geographic’s Best Trips in 2015, the area is home to the Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve, the National Marine Conservation Area Reserve, the Haida Heritage Site, and the Sgang Gwaay UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is one of the last authentic examples of a west coast First Nations Village.
Fun Facts about British Columbia
- British Columbia is FOUR TIMES the size of Great Britain but has less than 1/10th the population.
- BC’s coastline is longer than 27,000 kilometres!
- Half of BC’s population lives in the metropolitan area of Vancouver.
- BC has the mildest climates of any province and territory in Canada.
- Two-thirds of BC land is forest land, with more than half of that area having little or no human contact.
- British Columbia has three UNESCO World Heritage Sites, six National Parks and over 400 provincial parks, recreation and conservation areas.
Getting to British Columbia
If you’re a visitor looking for different ways of getting to British Columbia, here’s some practical advice on how to get there.
Getting to BC by Car
If you’re planning to drive to BC, it’s sandwiched in-between Alberta, the Yukon, and Washington, USA. Most people arrive by driving in from BC through the Rocky Mountains from Alberta, from the border of Washington, or by plane. Although it’s a VERY large province, it’s fairly under-populated and easy to drive around. If driving from the US, please note that you will have to go through customs.
The Trans-Canada Highway, which goes coast to coast, cuts right through the Rocky Mountains and basically ends in Vancouver (or Victoria, officially). The most spectacular way to arrive in BC is the drive from Calgary to Vancouver.
Getting to BC by Plane
British Columbia is home to five international airports. These five airports are the Vancouver International Airport (YVR), Victoria International Airport (YYJ), Kelowna International Airport (YLW), Abbotsford International Airport (YXX), and the Canadian Rockies International Airport (YXC). Once you arrive, you can easily rent a car, take a taxi, hop on public transportation, or perhaps, jump on a tour. There are smaller regional airports in BC as well, but most people, especially those visiting from outside the province or country will arrive at one of the three airports mentioned above.
For convenience, Vancouver and Victoria are best for those exploring the coast whereas Kelowna and the Canadian Rockies airport is more convenient for both the Rocky Mountains, interior BC, and the wine region of the Okanagan Valley (Kelowna, specifically). However, for those on a road trip, it might not matter.
Getting Around British Columbia
British Columbia is a large province and is best explored by private vehicle. There are tours, especially for popular areas such as Vancouver, Kelowna, Whistler, and Victoria, and there are some buses as well, but those are very limited in destinations and convenience. Without a doubt, if your goal is to explore various parts of the province, the best way is to rent a car.
Best Time to Visit BC
One of the great things about British Columbia is that it’s a year-round destination for the most part. BC has the mildest climate in the country, which means the winters are much less harsh than other provinces and territories. However, the climate varies greatly on where you go. For example, the mildest climates will be found on the coast, including Vancouver and Vancouver Island. The winters here rarely go below 0 degrees and it will see much more rain than it does snow. On the other hand, the Canadian Rockies in eastern BC, as well as Northern BC will see much more extreme temperatures similar to the rest of Canada.
The busiest and most popular time to visit anywhere in BC is like the rest of Canada, the summer months between June and September. This is when the weather is very warm (or very hot in some areas) and there is much less rain. However, if you don’t mind the rain, even the spring or the winter can be good times to visit the coast, especially if you simply prefer fewer crowds.
In the winter, if you’re looking for snow, you can either head to Whistler, which is just 2 hours from Vancouver, or go east to the Canadian Rockies for some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the world. Likewise, if you want to see epic winter storms, you could head to the far west coastal town of Tofino, one of the most famous surf spots in Canada. Depending on what you do will decide what time you come, but here are our personal recommendations.
Despite the crowds, we love the summer. The weather is hot, the skies are often blue, and all the activities are in full effect. However, the fall would be our second favourite season, as the weather is still warm, the colours are changing, and tourists are fewer in number (although still quite a few). The spring can be nice, especially in Victoria as the flowers start to bloom, but there’s certainly more chance for rain. The winter is the rainest time (January to March), but if you’re seeking snow, this is the best time to visit Whistler and the Canadian Rockies.
Road to 150 – British Columbia Road Trip
Back in 2017, we produced one of the largest independent media campaigns the country has ever seen. The Road to 150 was a 150-day road trip across Canada to produce a 12-part video series and mini-documentary about what makes Canada special. BC was our second-last leg of the trip and became the most popular video of our entire campaign. We had around 20 days to explore the province and came up with a perfect itinerary that can easily be shortened if you’re not capturing video all day long.
Coming from the Yukon, we started our trip off in the very Northern stretches of BC, soaking our tired muscles into the beautiful Liard Hot Springs. Despite the north being so beautiful, we had to skip most of it, as it took 3 entire days of driving to reach Vancouver Island. We spent an entire week here, exploring Victoria, Port Renfrew, Campbell River, and Tofino. We had the most epic whale watching tour of our lives, went surfing, went scuba diving, snorkelled with salmon, watched Grizzly Bears eat the salmon, and even went bungy jumping in Nanaimo.
We then moved on to the massive city of Vancouver, learning about its history and biking through one of the most beautiful urban parks in the world. We then continued east to the Okanagan Valley, tasting delicious wine at their very source, fly-boarding over on of the country’s most famous lakes, and taking a helicopter tour to see it all from the sky. We then pushed east, stopping to see the stunning vistas of Yoho National Park before entering Alberta and the town of Banff.
We highly recommend watching the video above and then heading over to our Canadian Youtube Channel to see more videos about BC and about the country as well.
Looking For More Things to Do in BC?
We were so excited to explore this incredible province. We got to fly to see so much wildlife including orcas, humpbacks, and Grizzlies. We got to shower in waterfalls, go surfing, and scuba dive. We got to bungy jump off of a bridge, tour wineries, and take scenic helicopter rides. This might just be Canada’s most exciting province and we can’t wait to return and dig deeper!
For more, don’t miss our other travel guides:
- Things to Do Golden BC
- Things to Do in Fernie
- Things to Do in Nanaimo
- Things to Do in Kamloops
- Best Wineries in Osoyoos
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