British Columbia Bucket List

British Columbia is packed with beauty, and it is closer than you think. Here are the 10 Best Places to Visit … which one will you choose?

My Weekend Sherpa:

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1) Canadian Rockies

If you like your mountains jagged, your lakes turquoise, and your forests lush, then head to the Canadian Rockies, a top spot for national parks, hiking and biking trails, glaciers, and wildlife.

2) Canada’s Galapagos

Nicknamed the “Galapagos of the North,” the rainforest islands of Haida Gwaii are mythical landscapes lost in time. See abundant wildlife, ancient remains of coastal villages, totem poles, and bald eagles galore.

3) Vancouver

Canadians are humble, but Vancouver really does have it all. Surrounded by the Coast Mountains and with a Pacific backdrop, the city is best explored by walking or biking. Stroll or ride along nearly 20 miles of waterfront paths, including the seawall around Stanley Park.

4) The Great Bear Rainforest

This is the only place on earth to see the Kermode, or spirit bear, a black bear with all-white fur! Find out how and where to see this bear in the Great Bear Rainforest, the largest coastal temperate rainforest in the world.

5) Whistler

North America’s largest ski resort is also a summer adventurer’s dream. The gondola gives you access to miles of high alpine trails to hidden lakes and panoramic views of mountain peaks. Whistler also has a meticulously maintained mountain bike park.

6) Pacific Rim National Park

Surfing, hot springs, and coastal hiking: the area around Pacific Rim National Park Reserve has plenty to keep you busy, or relaxed. Chill out in the quirky town of Tofino, a launching point to adventures in the park. Or tackle the West Coast Trail, a multi-day backpacking trip famous for its beach camping.

7) Alaska Highway

Road trip! If you really want to see it all, hit the Alaska Highway through British Columbia and travel a stretch of road equipped with all you need: food (fishing!), shelter (camping!), hot springs (soothing!), and jade-green lakes backed by snow-topped mountains.

8) Victoria

The most English town this side of the pond, Victoria combines all the charms of merry old England with a vibrant, seaside city. Visit The Butchart Gardens for a diverse, impeccably maintained and artistic array of flowers, and see the stately parliament buildings—especially beautiful all lit up at night.

9) Okanagan Valley

Taste the Canadian wines you just can’t buy here in California. The Okanagan Valley is a top wine region producing many award-winning vintages. It is a must-explore destination, especially with its other liquid asset, Okanagan Lake.

A young couple walks in the Evolve Cellars vineyard overlooking Okanagan Lake in Summerland, BC.

10) Kootenay Rockies

Remember when ski towns were laid-back, unfussy, and filled with welcoming locals? The Kootenay Rockies never forgot! The towns of Nelson, Revelstoke, and Rossland, and Fernie feel like throwbacks, but with just the right amount of funky. In winter you’ll find some of the fluffiest snow, and summer adventures include hiking, biking, and water sports.

Top 10 Places to Go in BC

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