10 Best Places to Visit in British Columbia

by Noah Jacob
Aerial view of a city skyline with water and mountains in the background.

On the west coast of Canada, British Columbia is a must-see. It is situated between the Pacific and the Canadian Rockies, both of which provide breathtaking views. Skiers, hikers, history buffs, and shopping types will all have a great day in this area.

Outdoor enthusiasts will love this province, but city slickers won’t be disappointed either. Discover the history of the cities that sprung up during British Columbia’s own gold rush, or spend some time learning about the First Nation culture of Canada. British Columbia has a thriving arts and culture scene and excellent restaurants. This article provides an overview of the top tourist destinations in British Columbia.


10. Fraser Canyon

Even though Arizona is home to the more famous Grand Canyon, British Columbia’s Fraser Canyon is a sight to behold in its own right. The scenery is breathtaking since the canyon towers above the roadway by more than 1,000 meters (3,300 feet). A number of smaller canyons with unique names make up the larger Fraser Canyon.

Fish ladders in the river may be accessed by an air tram from Boston Bar. One of the seven tunnels you’ll travel under on this roadway is among the longest in all of North America. Spend some time in Hope, the setting of the first Rambo movie, First Blood.

9. Barkerville

After William “Billy” Barker was unsuccessful during the California gold rush, he relocated to interior British Columbia. The community that developed around his claim when he struck it rich there in 1862 bears his name.

Barkerville Historic Town takes you back in time to the heyday of the British Columbia gold rush. It now has a park with 62 reproductions and 107 original structures from the area’s history, as well as a variety of events and attractions for visitors of all ages to enjoy. You may see ladies preparing meals on wood stoves and, if you’re lucky, enjoy some of the resulting dishes. You can also discover the court system of the gold fields, check out several museums, and, of course, pan for gold.

8. Okanagan Valley

The Okanagan Valley, located in southern British Columbia, is a year-round leisure area known for its seamless integration of snow-covered mountains and sandy beaches. The Okanagan is one of the hottest locations in Canada and is sometimes referred to as the “Palm Springs of Canada,” despite its proximity to mountains that provide excellent skiing. All the way from the U.S. border town of Osoyoos to the northerly city of Salmon Arm is filled with breathtaking natural beauty.

Several lakes may be found in this area, the greatest of which is Okanagan Lake, on which sits Kelowna, the main city in the region. Traveling down Highway 97 in the spring is a delight, as hundreds of fruit trees are in full bloom. There is a thriving wine industry in the Okanagan, which is where 82% of BC’s grapes are cultivated.

7. Haida Gwaii


The islands of Haida Gwaii are located in the British Columbian north. The indigenous Haida people have renamed the islands the Queen Charlotte Islands, a more royal-sounding name. The two largest islands are Graham and Moresby, with a total of over 150 lesser islands making up the archipelago.

Check out the massive totem poles and dugout canoes in Haida Gwaii, and maybe pick up a piece of jewelry made by the locals. Outdoorsy types will like the national parks and fishing opportunities in Haida Gwaii.

6. Pacific Rim National Park

If you’re looking for a spot to visit in British Columbia that has both rough coasts and lush rainforests, Pacific Rim National Park is a great option. Each year, over 700,000 visitors visit Long Beach, Broken Group, and the West Coast Trail. It is possible to drive to Long Beach, but you’ll need a boat or ferry to reach Broken Group, and the West Coast Trail is the same way around.

West of Vancouver Island is where you’ll find the reserve. Once there, visitors may surf, trek the West Coast Trail, which is 74 kilometers (46 miles), camp, and explore tidal pools for marine life. A beautiful landscape is available for those who just want to relax.

5. Nelson

Located in southeast British Columbia, Nelson is a lovely metropolis. Due to the large number of restored historic mansions from the silver rush era, it is frequently referred to as the “Queen City.” In the 1860s, gold and silver were found in this area.

Baker Street in Nelson, which is on the West Arm of Kootenay Lake, has been restored to its former glory. After the makeover, Steve Martin felt confident enough to shoot Roxanne there. These days, it’s not uncommon for tourists to make a day out of strolling along Baker Street and the rest of the old neighborhood. From Nelson, lakes, mountains, and rivers may all be easily explored.

4. Whistler

Skiing in Whistler is of such high quality that it was chosen to hold alpine and Nordic events at the 2010 Winter Olympics. More than two million people from all over the world visit this mountain resort town every year, which is located 125 kilometers (78 miles) north of Vancouver.

Skiing attracts visitors in the winter, while the summer brings mountain biking, hiking, and even ziplining. It doesn’t matter what time of year it is, however, since the local stores, restaurants, and nightlife are all excellent.

3. Yoho National Park

There’s little doubt that Yoho National Park lives up to its name. Yoho means “awe and astonishment” in Cree. You, too, will be in awe after visiting this little park on the western edge of the Canadian Rockies.

There are more waterfalls than can be counted and a renowned fossil bed that is half a million years old in this park. Each of the park’s 28 peaks is at least 3,000 meters (9,800 feet) high. There is something for everyone in Yoho, from indoor-only types to nature lovers. Relax at your campsite, enjoy a picturesque drive, or hit the trails—there are more than 250 miles (400 kilometers) of them in all.

2. Victoria

There’s nothing like a trip to Victoria to satisfy a need for a taste of jolly olde England. Queen Victoria’s name was chosen for the capital city of British Columbia, which is located on the island of Vancouver. The city’s legislative buildings, designed in the distinctive Tudor style, are among the city’s most recognizable features. After a day of site-seeing, be sure to stop by the Empress Hotel for some traditional English tea.

In addition to having the second-oldest Chinatown in North America, Victoria is the second-oldest city in the Pacific Northwest. The beautiful Butchart Gardens and the elaborate Craigdarroch Castle are two reasons Victoria is known as “the garden city.”

1. Vancouver

Vancouver, British Columbia’s biggest city and Canada’s third-largest metro area, is a major seaport and one of the country’s most populous cities. It’s a beautiful, modern metropolis where people have a great standard of living. Visit Stanley Park, a stunningly magnificent woodland, and take a stroll over the Capilano Suspension Bridge.

Visit the Museum of Anthropology to learn more about the First Nations (Canadians’ term for indigenous people) and to see impressive totem poles crafted and adorned by indigenous peoples of the West Coast. You may also visit the Granville Public Market and the Vancouver Aquarium.

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