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Travelling and Visiting in Canada - The Province of British Columbia

Updated on December 9, 2012

The Province of British Columbia, Canada

Courtesy of: Department of Natural Resources Canada
Courtesy of: Department of Natural Resources Canada
Old Resident of Stanley Park
Old Resident of Stanley Park

What to Do Along the Pacific Coast

The farthest western province in Canada is the province of British Columbia. It is framed by the Pacific Ocean on the west, a combination of Alaska, Yukon and the Northwest Territories on the north, Alberta on the east and the United States in the south. On Vancouver Island you can find the provincial capital, Victoria that was named in honour of Queen Victoria. Vancouver city, which is host to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, is located on the main land across from Vancouver Island.

British Columbia can be divided up into 6 regions for tourism. These being Northern British Columbia, Vancouver Island, Cariboo-Chilcotin Coast, Vancouver Coast and Mountains, Thompson-Okanagan and Kootenay-Rockies.

Each region has different topography, climate and wildlife within the province. Also, each offers a variety of activities that will keep you enthralled and entertained.

British Columbia has a vast topography that ranges from mountains to beaches, rainforest to desert, and open to forested. Its varying terrain offers many choices of activities for the visitor.

The first region is Northern British Columbia. Here, you can find grizzly bears, ancient forests in protected stands, glaciers, white water rivers and great advantage points to watch the Northern Lights. There is a wide variety of wildlife and fauna that can be found in the national and provincial parks when hiking, mountaineering, camping, horseback riding or golfing. During the winter season, there is glacier viewing, alpine skiing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing.

Vancouver Island, which is 280 miles (450 km) in length, is located on the Pacific Coast of Canada and has the most diverse ecosystem in the world. This region has rainforests, rivers, lakes, oceans, marshes, meadows, beaches and mountains. This region is primarily protected parkland and is home to a multitude of animals and fauna. It is common to see people watching wildlife, including whales, birds, and salmon during the salmon run. Campbell River is world renowned for the salmon run and offers chartered adventures for watching and for fishing salmon. If you love to surf, then Tofino is a great destination. Surfers travel from around the world during the summer to catch a wave or two here! During the off season, November through February, trade in your surf board for storm watching off the ocean coastline. Bring your camera for fantastic photos.

As Vancouver Island is surrounded by water, there are plenty of activities that are focussed on water. There is kayaking, scuba diving, sailing, natural hot springing and general boating. There are plenty of land related activities too, which include caving, hiking or just relaxing on the beach. There is a diversified menu of restaurants for the gourmand, including sushi.

Grizzly Bear
Grizzly Bear

For more information on interior British Columbia,

What to Do in the Interior of the Province

The Cariboo-Chilcotin Coast is home to the Cariboo Mountains and Bowron Lake Provincial Park. The topography in this region is mixed with rolling grass lands and forests, to green valleys and snow capped mountains, to waterfalls and lakes. For the history buff, one can follow the Gold Rush Trail and visit the mining frontier town of Barkerville. This region has lots of lakes and rivers, which provide ample locations for fishing, boating, camping, kayaking and swimming.

The Thompson-Okanagan Region is well known for its lush valley and fruit orchards and vineyards. The Okanagan Valley produces a variety of fruit such as apples, peaches, plums, apricots, and cherries. There are many roadside stands that sell fresh produce which is picked daily and a large quantity of it is organically grown.

After touring the wine country, you can relax aboard a house boat in the Shuswap, go fishing for trout or experience rafting. This region also offers hiking, golfing, kayaking, camping and horseback riding. During the winter season, one can go snowshoeing, cross country skiing or alpine skiing. While in this region, visit the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies, Mount Robson, which is at an elevation of 12,972 feet (3954 m) at the peak.

While visiting Mount Robson, continue through the Kootenay-Rockies Region. This region is home to four of Canada’s most treasured national parks: Glacier National Park, Mt. Revelstoke National Park, Yoho National Park and Kootenay National Park. Within this region, there are waterfalls, beaches, rivers, lakes, alpine meadows, snow capped mountains and mineral hot springs.

This area is the prime destination for avid alpine skiers, snowboarders, heli-skiing and snowmobilers as there is always fresh powder available during the winter months. There are many ski hills, including Kimberly Alpine Ski Resort and Whistler Blackcomb. Pack your ski suit and get ready to make tracks in the powder.

The summer season is packed full of hiking, zip lining, aerial games, golfing, mountain biking, cycling, boating, fishing, canoeing, windsurfing, water skiing and white water rafting. There are many wonderful campsites available that provide more activities and great outdoor adventures. Don’t forget to visit Radium Hot Springs or Fairmont Hot Springs for a relaxing dip in the therapeutic mineral hot springs. This is a great relaxing way to wrap up a day of skiing or hiking.

Copyright Beth100

© July 27, 2009


From the Rockie Mountains
From the Rockie Mountains
Frozen Waterfall - Yoho National Park
Frozen Waterfall - Yoho National Park

Ziplining at Whistler/Blackcomb


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    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Canada

      Say Yes To Life - :( I didn't want to make you homesick! There's only one solution for that: come back and visit for a while!! :) British Columbia is one of the prettiest provinces and is diverse in the sense of activities that one can do - from mountains to oceans! Thank you for dropping by.

    • Say Yes To Life profile image

      Yoleen Lucas 

      7 years ago from Big Island of Hawaii

      This hub makes me homesick for the Pacific Northwest! I've been to Whistler / Blackcomb twice, once to ski, and once in the fall. It's glorious any time of year, and so is the rest of British Columbia!

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Canada

      FeliciaM -- Oh yes, I couldn't agree more! BC is a beautiful province -- ocean, mountains, surfing, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, horseback riding, camping... oh I could go on and on!! Thanks!

    • FeliciaM profile image


      9 years ago from Canada

      I'm from BC. Great place to live and to travel to for tourists. So much we take for granted at times.

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Canada

      haburghotels -- Canada is one of the most friendliest countries to travel and visit. There is a bit of everything for everyone from camping under the stars to five star hotels and everything in between. Bed and breakfasts are popular and there are some fantastic ones on the Sunshine Coast and Tofino. But be prepared -- you may never want to leave! Thank you for coming by.

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Canada

      Raisingme -- Thank you for such a wonderful compliment! I love BC and miss being there a lot!! Ah, what I would do to shop Robson this summer.... lol I hope your friends will enjoy this hub as much as you!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Canada is a great country......developed alot

      traveling is really advantageous there

    • raisingme profile image


      10 years ago from Fraser Valley, British Columbia

      I already know how fortunate I am to live in this beautiful province of ours but I have not shared it with others as wonderfully as you have with this exceptional hub! It's great and now I have something to share with my friends who live elsewhere round the globe.

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Canada

      Jennifer -- Thank you! :)

    • Jennifer D. profile image

      Jennifer D. 

      10 years ago from Canada

      Very well done!

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Canada

      Cagsil -- Thanks! You'll have to come up for a visit -- you'll love it here North of the 49th! :)

    • Cagsil profile image

      Raymond D Choiniere 

      10 years ago from USA

      Hey Beth, this one was excellent too. It's a pleasure to learn about different places, especially if I have never been there, which in this case is the case. Never been there. Thank you again. Great Hub! :)

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      10 years ago from Canada

      Nell -- Wow! What a great family tree to research! If she moved to the Island, then my bet would be for canning fish too (more than likely salmon). It's a fabulous place to live -- you have beaches, sun, ocean, warm winds and mild winters. That's why the Island is one of the hottest retirement spots in Canada. Good luck tracing your ancestoral tree! Let me know when you find out! Thanks Nell for your wonderful feedback!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      10 years ago from England

      Hiya, this was great! I have an interest in Vancouver island, even though i live in England. My great Aunt Ellen, or Nell as she was called, married a canadian by the name of E. Quinton. We are not sure if he was Edward or Edwin, and her name was Smith. They met in my town, when he was here in the first world war, and went to live on Vancouver island! Evidently they owned a canning factory, canning, I suppose fish? I am not sure. I am going nuts trying to find out! this was a great look into what it would be like to live there. thanks Nell

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Canada

      Drej2522 -- There's no better time as the 2010 Olympics will be here in Vancouver! Enjoy some sports and the province. Thanks for coming by.

    • drej2522 profile image


      11 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      The landscape looks beautiful, Beth. I've never been to B.C. or Canada for that matter. I'll have to look into visiting some time!

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Canada

      Carmen - Thank you! I miss living out near the coast!! I love BC and it's just a little too far to visit on an annual basis, but I certainly recommend visiting (or living there) for all!

    • Carmen Borthwick profile image

      Carmen Borthwick 

      11 years ago from Maple Ridge, B.C.

      Good coverage on beautiful B.C. I wouldn't live anywhere else!

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Canada

      LRobbins - The Island is a wonderful place to visit! With the Olympics coming around the corner, there are many things to do and see! Enjoy your trip!

    • LRobbins profile image


      11 years ago from Germany

      Great hub. I've never been to Vancouver Island, but it's on my list this year, I've heard it's spectacular.

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Canada

      Sufidreamer -- It's even better live and up close!! Thanks for coming by for a virtual holiday!

    • Sufidreamer profile image


      11 years ago from Sparti, Greece

      Sounds beautiful, Beth, with a wonderful mixture of things to see. The wine and watching the storms over the ocean - my sort of holiday! :)

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Canada

      Thanks for coming over here for a visit James! I'm glad you enjoyed it...maybe you'll come on over for a real visit in BC?

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 

      11 years ago from Chicago

      One of my best friends in high school lives in Smithers, but I haven't been there. We email each other here and there.

      This was an excellent look at B.C. and I enjoyed it. Thanks for the journey!

    • profile image


      11 years ago

      That was really good, too. The ziplining video didn't work properly, though. I like this version of it, it's better than the other one you wrote.

    • Beth100 profile imageAUTHOR


      11 years ago from Canada

      Thanks BC, it's on it's way...


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