Canada’s westernmost province, British Columbia is located between the Pacific Ocean and the province of Alberta. British Columbia has three main mountain ranges and two thirds of the province is covered in forest. BC boasts miles of natural beauty and is teeming with diverse wildlife. British Columbia is also home to the city of Vancouver, which hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics.
With beaches, rainforests, snow-capped mountains and even a pocket of desert, British Columbia really is like no place on earth. On the west coast, British Columbia’s coastal rainforest is the largest temperate rainforest that remains intact in the world. The untamed, natural beauty of this forest draws tourists from all over the world. To the east, the Rocky Mountain range passes through British Columbia and BC’s Rockies attract millions of visitors every year. The interior of the province is characterized by lush, fertile valleys which are perfect for growing produce.
British Columbia has 1000 provincial parks and many national parks. Many of these parks offer campgrounds and gorgeous hiking trails. In the south east of BC, Glacier National Park has more than 400 glaciers which pour over the steep rugged mountains. Mount Revelstoke National Park in the west has everything from rainforests of ancient cedar and pine trees to alpine meadows and tundra. This majestic park is a birdwatchers paradise.
From the forests to the ocean, British Columbia has a rich diversity of wildlife. Wildlife viewing tours with local guides who are trained in tracking are increasingly popular with tourists. On such tours you can see elk, deer, moose, bald eagles, bears and if you’re lucky you might even see a cougar or a wolf! Whale watching tours provide you with a chance to view diverse marine life and offer an adventure that passengers won’t soon forget.
BC’s natural wilderness makes it the perfect destination for outdoor activities. There are an endless number of trails for hiking and many lakes and rivers for fishing, canoeing, kayaking or white water rafting. There are golf courses all over the province and BC’s temperate weather means that many of them are open year-round. The various mountain ranges in BC offer a prime setting for mountain biking.
For those adventure enthusiasts, BC has a number of exciting activities. Enjoy rock climbing? Try the Chief in Squamish or the Skaha in Penticton. There are various destinations that offer zip lining, sky diving and bungee jumping as well. In the winter, venture up one of BC’s mountains, such as Whistler, and discover skiing or snowboarding. In the north, even dog sledding is a possibility!
If you’re not the outdoorsy type, there is still lots to do in British Columbia. Victoria is the capital of British Columbia and home to the world famous Butchart Gardens. Also check out the Provincial Museum, the Butterfly Garden and have high tea at the Empress Hotel. Vancouver is BC’s largest city. Here you will find art galleries, shopping, fine dining, beautiful beaches and exciting night life.
Due to the fertility of the Okanagan Valley in the interior of BC, most of BC’s wines come from this beautiful region. Wine tours occur year round and many orchards and vineyards offer wine tours where visitors can have a tasting and do some shopping.
Overall, British Columbia is a beautiful destination that should be on everyone’s bucket list.