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Best Mini Vacations In British Columbia Canada
Being famous for its absolutely stunning nature, British Columbia offers endless variety of options of how to spend a weekend or where to go for a mini vacation. Vacationing in British Columbia last year, I've got an impression that people who live in BC Canada just have to step outside of the door to be immersed into breathtaking scenery of the most beautiful province of the country. Therefore, to find place to go for a short get away in British Columbia shouldn't be difficult. For water-based activities lovers British Columbia is a paradise. Swimming, fishing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, sailing, windsurfing, waterskiing - you can do all of it almost in every region of the province, thanks to its closeness to the ocean and endless number of rivers and lakes. For winter vacation British Columbia mountains are supreme. The province is full of skiing and snowboarding mountains, as well as the world's best powder and heli-skiing options. It's no wonder why British Columbia ski resorts were chosen to host of 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. For culture and architecture lovers to spend a few days in Vancouver is a blast! The city is diverse and vibrant: great restaurants, museums, nightclubs, as well as outdoor activities - one of the few cities in the world where you can ski in the morning and sail in the afternoon. Even wine lovers can satisfy their interests in British Columbia. BC wineries and vineyards welcome visitors for tastings and gourmet dining. Here, there are some ideas for mini vacation in British Columbia.
Victoria, British Columbia's capital city, is a spectacular cultural and, at the same time wildlife oasis with the sub-Mediterranean climate that anytime of the year is a good time to visit. Winters are generally mild enough for year-round golf and strolls along the waterfront. Summers, are pleasantly warm with refreshing ocean breezes to keep the city cool. Travel options to Victoria range from quick flights from Seattle and Vancouver, and direct flights from Alberta and Toronto, to a variety of ferry services from Vancouver and Washington State. The line-up of daytime activities in Victoria is tremendous. You can shop for unique made-in-British Columbia gifts, browse art galleries and museums, relax at a spa, play golf, cycle along the coast or just relax on a sandy beach. The city blends the natural beauty of the outdoors with the cosmopolitan bustle of contemporary urban life. Naturally, with the Pacific Ocean right here, many of the most popular activities in Victoria are marine-based. The waters surrounding Victoria are world-famous for marine wildlife. National Geographic Magazine has recognized Vancouver Island as one of the best cold-water diving destinations in the world and rates the area as second only to the Red Sea for diversity of marine life and water clarity. Victoria is the sailing capital of BC and an international marine racing gateway. Less extreme popular activities in Victoria include fishing, kayaking and cycling. Vancouver Island has approximately 3,500 kilometers of ocean coastline, 700 lakes, and 160 rivers - plenty of jewels of nature to explore by kayak or bike. For hiking lovers there are a lot of trails, parks and gardens, including the famous The Butchart Gardens.
Hot Springs Mini Vacation
What can be better than spent a few days soaking in mineral-rich muscle relaxing and healing waters surrounded by spectacular scenery? Only in two-hours drive from Vancouver there is Harrison Hot Springs, one of the most beautiful among British Columbia hot springs. Magnificent Coast Mountain scenery, Harrison Lake, Harrison beach, first class accommodation and array of outdoor activities make Harrison Hot Springs one of the most attractive tourist destinations in British Columbia. Harrison Hot Springs is also known for an international sandcastle building competition that takes place there annually in September, and for the summertime Harrison Festival of the Arts. But, the main attraction of Harrison Hot Springs, of course, its namesake mineral-rich springs, which are, according to Harrison Hot Springs Resort, has average 1300 ppm of dissolved mineral solids, one of the highest concentrations of any mineral spring. If it is too relaxing for you, then golf, fishing, cycling, sailing, boating, whitewater rafting are available here as well.
Ghost Towns of British Columbia
Visiting one or two of British Columbia ghost towns, such as Barkerville, Fort Steele or Three Valley could be another idea for a mini vacation in British Columbia. Once in 1860s Barkerville and Fort Steele were gold mining centers of British Columbia. Now they are great BC attractions with historic buildings, horse-drawn wagons, charming restaurants, live theaters and museum displays. Three Valley Ghost Town has more than 25 restored historic furnished buildings, gathered from around British Columbia, Railway Roundhouse with an impressive variety of railway displays and Antique Auto Museum with a collection of restored autos dating from 1902 to 1929. Three Valley has very charming accommodations as well as plenty of beautiful outdoors such Glacier National Park and Rocky Mountains.
Wine Tours and Vineyards
Visiting BC vineyards could be also great idea for a mini vacation. The Okanagan Valley, Vancouver Island, Similkameen Valley, Fraser Valley and Gulf Islands are main wine producing areas in British Columbia. British Columbia vineyards are well known for their cool-climate grapes, with wineries producing unique wines of different kinds from ice wines to Chardonnay and Pinot Gris, to Blended Reds and Pinot Noirs. British Columbia unique location and geology create a distinctive grape growing environment. BC has a shorter growing season than many other wine regions, but the long hours of daylight and the intensity of the light, in combination with other environmental factors, make exceptionally fresh grapes with a very interesting flavor. Wineries throughout southern BC welcome visitors for tours and tastings. Just one hour drive from downtown Vancouver there are more than ten wineries, mostly concentrated around Landgley and Fort Langley. Most of the wineries are open from April through October, but some are open for tours and tastings year round. The area is also full of fruit and berry farms including U-pick farms, which are worth a visit and where you can buy baskets of delicious strawberries, raspberries and blueberries or just go to the field and pick your own berries or plums or apples.
Whistler Blackcomb is one of the best ski destinations in North America. The Whistler area is chosen as the site of the alpine and Nordic skiing for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games. Located in the Coastal Mountains of BC, Whistler is approximately 115 kilometers (72 miles) from Vancouver. From Vancouver you easily can get there by car, bus or charter plane. Surrounded by two incredible mountains Whistler and Blackcomb, Whistler ski town offers its guest 8000 acres of fantastic skiable terrain, five star hospitality and vibrant après ski scene. While most ski resorts close down by mid-April, Whistler Mountain remains open for spring skiing until the end of April. And Blackcomb Mountain remains open even until June. Whistler Blackcom is also only resort in North America where you can ski or ride on a glacier.
To visit Vancouver for a few days is also great idea for a mini vacation. Located in the slopes of the surrounding Coast Mountain Range, Vancouver offers breathtaking mountain views, ocean breeze, dynamic night life, world-class restaurants and unique architectural experiences. You easily can spend all day in Vancouver's jewel - Stanley Park, just strolling the gardens, visiting the Vancouver Aquarium, or having a picnic. Vancouver's oldest neighborhood, Gastown welcomes tourists to stroll its cobblestone streets, visit art galleries and antique stores, and take a picture with the world's first steam-powered clock. Vancouver's trendiest neighborhood, Yaletown is a great nighttime destination with fancy restaurants and clubs, brew pubs and bars. During the day, Yaletown with many chic fashion boutiques and art galleries is a paradise for shopaholics and art lovers. Don't forget that Vancouver has huge Chinese community, the city's Chinatown is one of the largest in North America. Classical Chinese gardens, great authentic restaurants, museums, and the Asian-style flea markets are all worth to visit. If you come to Vancouver during the summer, you can enjoy one of the greatest Vancouver natural amenities - the beach. 18 km (11 miles) of beaches surround Vancouver including several expansive ocean sides and one fresh water lake. Right in a heart of the city you can do swimming, or surfing or just sunbathing!
If you are looking for a budget get away in British Columbia, then the province offers more than 11,000 campsites and 6,000 km of trails in incredible beautiful provincial parks. Explore British Columbia forests and caves, paddle down peaceful rivers and have a great adventurous vacation in British Columbia!