Highlights From The Road to 150 British Columbia Adventure
Canada’s westernmost province is packed with jaw-dropping scenery and incredible adventures. Home to some of Canada’s most varied landscapes, ranging from desert and ocean to mountains and forest, there truly is something for everyone in British Columbia.
BC was our busiest province during the Road to 150. There are so many things to do! We started off by driving down from the north, stopping in Liard Hot Springs for a hot dip. Then we went to Vancouver where we biked around Stanley Park, strolled through Gastown, and walked around the vibrant city streets. Then we moved to Vancouver Island where we went whale-watching, surfing, bungy-jumping, Grizzly bear watching, scuba diving, and so much more. We then took the ferry back to Vancouver and drove to the interior, stopping in Kelowna to sample wines and fly in a helicopter. We then finished off by driving through the Rocky Mountains and into Alberta. Of course, this is just some of things we did. You’ll have to watch the video to see them all!
Fun Fact: BC is almost 4x bigger than Great Britain but has only 1/10th of the population!
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.
Things To Do in British Columbia
From swimming in wild hot springs in the North to getting splashed by humpback whales in the South, we packed a tremendous amount of activities into our busy three weeks.
Below is a list of what we did, where we stayed, and the companies that helped make this journey possible. We’d also love to give a special shout out to Best Western International for helping to make this entire 150-day road trip happen.
Things 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; 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.
Prestige Treasure Cove Hotel in Prince George
We love staying at Prestige hotels. They’re always clean, spacious, have all the amenities you could want, and have great wifi. In this case, our hotel even had a casino and a neighboring pub. We got some free credit to try out the slot machines and the breakfast was actually served in the pub next door, making it very good value. Definitely one of our favorite hotel chains in Western Canada.
Things 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.
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 and our views of Vancouver will never be the same.
Learn more at www.forbiddenvancouver.ca
Spokes Bicycle Rentals
Located near Stanley Park, this is the most popular bike rental place in the city. We rent biked here every time we go because peddling bikes around Stanley Park is one of the top things to do in the city! Spokes make it quick and easy.
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.
Things To Do on Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island is an adventurers 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.
Marketa’s Bed & Breakfast
Located in the heart of downtown Victoria, Marketa’s Bed and Breakfast offers a unique taste of traditional Edwardian comfort and hospitality, mixed with European flair. Inside the heritage home built in 1912, guests can experience the romance of hand-crafted four poster beds and air jetted tubs to beautifully decorated family-style rooms. The breakfast is gourmet and very delicious!
A Taste of Victoria Food Tours
If you’re looking for a combination of food and history while walking around the beautiful city of Victoria, this is the tour for you. While the food was delicious, we equally loved learning about the history of Canada’s oldest Chinatown as well as the many buildings.
The Butchart Gardens
This is one of the world’s most famous gardens. It’s even a National Historic Site of Canada. Need we say more?
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.
This is Canada’s first in-house brewpub of the modern era. Here you’ll find delicious craft beer, chocolate truffles, and incredible food. We also did our first ever beer and truffle pairing here and it was sooooo good!
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. 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 our best whale watching tour of our lives here. We saw dozens of Orcas and dozens of humpbacks. In fact, the humpbacks came so close to the boat that we even got sprayed by their blow hole!
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
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 bear, whales, or eagles, this was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Snorkeling with Salmon
Totally unique to the Campbell River area is the chance to go snorkeling 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.
Looking for a cool, eco-friendly and budget-friendly place to stay? Look no further. This place is located right next to the Tofino Botanical Gardens and is exactly what you’d expect in a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. They offer big spacious rooms with clean comfortable shared bathrooms and a common kitchen and dining room. Breakfast is included but you’re welcome to use the kitchen as you please. Highly recommended!
The Surf Club
The Surf Club at Long Beach Lodge Resort offers a customized surf school like no other. Surf Club instruction is available for the young and old (ages six and up), beginners to experts. All our local instructors are certified by the Royal Lifesaving Society of Canada and personalize the lesson to all levels. 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. A+
If you’re looking for a thrill, go to Wildplay Nanaimo. Not only is there a 150-foot bungy jump, there’s also zip lines, adventure courses, and a 140 km/h primal swing! This is the ultimate place to test your fear. I was so thrilled to find a bungy jump in Canada done by the ankles. It’s the real deal and so much fun! Great for kids and adults!
We finally got to dive in Canada! What a cool experience. First, we snorkeled with seals and then we dove down to 60 feet, looking at colorful fauna, a variety of fish, wolf eels, and my favourite: a swimming scallop! I’m not gonna lie – it’s cold! But hey, it’s Canada! All equipment provided!
Things To Do In Kelowna
Kelowna is the heart of the Okanagan Valley, 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!
Valhalla Helicopter Tours
Helicopters flightseeing tours are always a special experience but flying over Kelowna is truly spectacular. We flew over vineyards and massive Okanagan lake before flying over and through a canyon! The views are very impressive and it’s how we captured the photo above. Helicopter tours are a great way to get a different perspective of an area and something we highly recommend doing in Kelowna!
Kelowna Water Taxi and Cruises
With such a big lake at the doorstep, 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!
Summerhill Pyramid Winery
We only had time for one winery tour during our time in Kelowna and we’re so happy we went with Summerhill Pyramid Winery. As an organic and biodynamic winery, it was so interesting to tour the property and learn how they grow their vineyards without any chemicals. Instead, they use different plants and crops that grow in harmony with the vines. Then, all wines are aged in a pyramid filled with “cosmic” energy! Very cool!
Krafty Kitchen + Bar
If you’re looking for gourmet food in the heart of Kelowna, this is the place! We had delicious Crispy Pork Belly, Arctic Char, and Duck Breast. They serve only Canadian ingredients, farm to table, and all in a fun laid-back atmosphere.
Axe Monkeys Kelowna
Who would have thought that throwing axes would be so much fun? Axe Monkeys has nine indoor axe throwing lanes (think of bowling but much more epic) where you can learn to throw axes in multiple different ways, all from the skilled Axe Monkey trainers. It’s fun, it’s safe, and it’s so much fun!
We’ve been wanting to try this for many years and finally had the opportunity to do it in Kelowna. 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!
Prestige Beach House Hotel
If you’re looking for a prime location, look no further than the Prestige Beach House Hotel in downtown Kelowna. Situated right across from Kelowna’s famous Hot Sands Beach, this is a great spot to explore the city. With 67 rooms, a swimming pool and hot tub, fitness centre, a restaurant, lounge, and meeting space, the Beach House offers everything you need. They also have good wifi!
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.
Exploring British Columbia
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!