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British ColumbiaCanada

Travel through Canada’s southwestern province to see the largest Pacific island in North America and one of the continent’s biggest ski resorts.

British Columbia encompasses every inch of Canada’s 15,985-mile (25,725-kilometer) Pacific coast. Much of the province has Pacific rainforest and glacier-lined mountain ranges. British Columbia also features two of Canada’s largest cities. Enjoy their history and culture before making your way into the subarctic terrain.

Start out in British Columbia’s largest city of Vancouver. This Pacific coast metropolis features a Downtown area surrounded by extensive parks and miles of pleasant oceanfront. Rent a bike and ride along the 17-mile (28-kilometer) Seaside Greenway, a path running along Vancouver’s English Bay and False Creek shoreline. Begin your ride in the beloved Stanley Park, featuring the Vancouver Aquarium with its 9,000 sea creatures. End at Kitsilano Beach, a popular beach surrounded by countercultural attractions.

From Vancouver, take a ferry to Vancouver Island, North America’s largest Pacific island. Explore British Columbia’s capital, Victoria, where the grand British Columbia Parliament and extensive Royal BC Museum tower over a delightful harbor town famous for its gardens and British culture. Outside Victoria, the island is much less civilized. Drive up the west coast through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, consisting of forests, temperate beaches and hundreds of islands. The nearby resort town of Tofino allows you to boat between islands and join a whale-watching tour.

British Columbia features two massive mountain ranges: the Coast Mountains and the Kootenay Rocky Mountains. Ski at Whistler Blackcomb, which features over 8,170 acres (3,300 hectares) of trails in the Coast Mountain range. Alternatively, travel to the Kootenay Rockies, where four British Columbia national parks are located. Glacier National Park has a variety of scenic drives through picturesque passes surrounded by snow-covered peaks, while Kootenay National Park on the border with Alberta has large hot springs.

Fly into Vancouver to begin your British Columbia exploration. Rent a car once you arrive so you can get from the Pacific coast to the highest reaches of the Kootenay Rockies.

Popular cities in British Columbia

Stanley Park showing a city and a river or creek
Vancouver
Known for Dining, Shopping and Ports

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Reasons to visit

  • Granville Island Public Market
    Granville Island Public Market
  • Queen Elizabeth Park
    Queen Elizabeth Park
  • Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
    Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden
Inner Harbour showing a coastal town, a bay or harbor and skyline
Victoria
Known for Ports, Walking and Gardens

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Reasons to visit

  • Victoria Harbour
    Victoria Harbour
  • Royal BC Museum
    Royal BC Museum
  • Butchart Gardens
    Butchart Gardens
Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort showing mountains and snow as well as a small group of people
Whistler
Known for Small Town, Skiing and Mountains

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Reasons to visit

  • Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort
    Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort
  • Whistler Mountain
    Whistler Mountain
  • Peak 2 Peak Gondola Blackcomb Ski Lift
    Peak 2 Peak Gondola Blackcomb Ski Lift
Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park featuring a bridge and a river or creek
Nanaimo
Known for Ports, Ferries and Islands

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Reasons to visit

  • Parksville Beach
    Parksville Beach
  • Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park
    Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park
  • Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park
    Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park
Kamloops showing mountains and snow
Kamloops
Known for Rivers, Mountains and Culture

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Reasons to visit

  • Kamloops Lake
    Kamloops Lake
Bridal Veil Falls showing a waterfall and forest scenes
Chilliwack
Known for Family-Friendly, Lakes and Hot Springs

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