Top destinations for 2017: British Columbia
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The word most often associated with the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC) is ‘wow’ and that doesn’t really do it justice. The vast wilderness of majestic mountains, sweeping forests and stunning coastlines.
Few places will as easily lift away the stresses of modern life and give you a renewed understanding of the awe-inspiring power of our planet. But BC is not just about the great outdoors.
In Vancouver it has a vibrant, cosmopolitan hub and a multicultural hub of cultures and cuisines with mid-sized cities like Victoria and Kelowna also worth exploring.
In the heart of the province are the quirky smaller communities like Cumberland, Powell River and Salt Spring which often offer the most welcoming and interesting experiences.
For anyone looking to stretch their limitations on life and experience true nature while also learning about the province’s rich history, British Columbia is well worth a visit.
Where to go
Vancouver the provinces largest city is natural yet cosmopolitan sitting at the foot of the mountains. With a vibrant history and thriving nightlife this is a city with everything on offer. From food and sport to gardens and nightclubs, Vancouver has got you covered.
To the west of the city, Vancouver Island has a very unique set of ecosystems ranging from rainforests to marshes, beaches to mountains, and oceans, rivers and lakes. As a result, many different wildlife species roam the island in their respective territories. Plenty of different flora also exist there, and a lot of the island is protected parkland, preserving cedar forests, naturally occurring groves and other forms of nature.
In the Southeast, “British Columbia’s Mountain Playground,” also known as the Kootenay Rockies should definitely find its way on your list for must visit places while in the area. This region is composed of five different mountain ranges and four national parks. Photographers will be happy to travel throughout the area capturing every beautiful moment they come across.
In northern BC you will be immersed in beauty and history all at once, experiencing one of the planets only remaining wildernesses.
Aboriginal culture flourishes in this region that is twice the size of the United Kingdom. Wildlife flourishes here and it is any bird watcher’s paradise.
What to do
See nature in Great Bear Rainforest
Beginning in northern British Columbia, you will find natural beauty and wilderness in the Great Bear Rainforest, which has been hailed as “the last magnificent stand of the North American rainforest.” This 400 km stretch of temperate rainforest where marine life, birds and animals live amongst one another will allow for any visitor to feel connected with nature and the animals who make this region their home. The extremely rare Kermode bear also lives here, so if you are lucky enough you may encounter this magnificent beast often referred to as the “spirit” bear.
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Discover history in Kispiox Valley
While in northern British Columbia, why not immerse yourself in the aboriginal culture as well. In the Kispiox Valley there are Haida carvings by Bill Reid and Robert Davidson and large totem poles that are bound to fill you with a sense of historical connection. The Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site are home to over 500 archaeology exploration areas too, providing more opportunities for discovering the culture.
Visit the magnificent Takakkaw Falls
In Yoho National Park sits the extraordinary Takakkaw Falls which is open for visits from June through October. This site is bound to leave an impression on anyone who sees it, and at a height of 1246ft you may be overcome by both the natural beauty and sound of the falls as well as the sheer size of it all. Several hiking trails are available for those who are adventurous enough to see all of Yoho National Park, including seeing Takakkaw Falls from several distances and elevations.
Ride the slopes of the Kootenay Rockies
For the thrill seeker in you, Powder Highway is a renowned strip of road connecting seven fantastic ski resorts, most notably Revelstoke, Kimberley and Whitewater. There is no shortage of snowfall in this region, as some parts get more than 600 inches annually. Powder Highway, also known as Route 95, makes visiting more than just one resort during your visit fairly simple, so make the most of your time and conquer multiple mountain sides.
Enjoy sushi in Vancouver
There are plenty of options for things to do in Vancouver and enjoying incredible food is one of them. Sushi is a well regarded dish, so it may be a good idea to dabble. Salmon is often the fish of choice for BC’s signature roll, and there is an abundance of places where you can enjoy this dish. Blue Water Cafe is a well known restaurant located in Yaletown & False Creek North and it specializes in sushi but also offers many other seafood options. If you are lucky enough, some people have seen celebrities dining here, maybe you will too.
Join in celebrating Red Serge Days
Every Tuesday from 4th July 4th through to 27th August witness the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in their Canadian red wear celebrating Canadian nationalism. Many Canadians and tourists alike treat this occasion with pride and joy, so join in or watch as Vancouver celebrates its province and countries history in a humble and proud fashion.
Visit the gardens in Vancouver and see wildlife in Vancouver Island
In Vancouver there are beautiful gardens to be seen such as the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Classical Chinese garden, the Boedel Floral Conservatory, and VanDusen Botanical Gardens.These gardens are open year round, but change slightly with the seasons. During the spring and summer months you will find a larger range of flowers which enhances the overall experience of being at one any of these gardens. Over on Vancouver Island you can find even more flora in their natural habitat. Here photographers will have plenty of opportunities to capture the beauty of British Columbia in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve where any traveller can partake in hiking tours where animals can be seen roaming the mountains, or whale watching tours in the Pacific Ocean.
Feeling inspired? Continue your adventures with a trip to one of our other Top Destinations for 2017.