British Columbia Vacations

The province of British Columbia stretches along Canada’s western coast and faces the Pacific Ocean. Through the center of the province run a series of mountain ranges that include the Rockies, The Coast Mountains and the Columbia Mountains that attract many people to indulge in a British Columbia vacation. The terrain is very rugged and mountainous with multiple islands located just off the main continental land mass. It was the ancient volcanos, named the Pacific Ring of Fire, that created this inspiring scenery. British Columbia has a varied scenery and 100’s if not 1,000’s of parks are scattered in every region of its landscape. The most visited parks belong to the Canadian Rocky Mountain Park System. And they are known Kootenay, a favorite destination with the First Nations and Yoho, location of the beautiful Emerald Lake. The most famous ski destination in British Columbia is the resort town of Whistler and found within the Blackcomb Glacier Provincial Park. Many of these parks are famous worldwide as prime ski destinations. The British Columbia Provincial Park system has over 34,000,000 acres set aside as protected areas making outdoor activities such as canoeing, hiking, biking, fishing, horseback riding and camping all favorite things to do in this region. Should you decide that you would like activities more sedate then head to the Okanagan Valley where you can explore old gold mining towns or indulge in wine tasting.

Destinations for British Columbia vacations

Ideas for British Columbia vacations

Supernatural British Columbia, it is a fitting slogan for a place that is as diverse and truly mystifying as British Columbia. No matter the season for vacations to British Columbia, you are bound to be amazed at the beautiful scenery. Sitting on the West Coast of Canada, British Columbia Canada has long been a tourist destination, attracting visitors for its mountains, its ocean and of course its award-winning food and drink. First, put on the world stage during Expo 86, Vancouver and the surrounding province of British Columbia are truly a place that you will have to experience at least once in your life. In this article, we are going to dive into everything that make British Columbia so unique. First the geography of the province, then the history of this great area, touch some of the cultures that you should expect and lastly come to the landmarks. Now make sure to bring a sturdy pair of runners or hiking boots because we are starting right at the base of the Coast Mountains.

Geography of British Colombia Vacations

Vacations in British Columbia are located in one of the most diverse places in Canada, and is home to a rainforest, boreal forest, mountain ranges, deserts and sits on the Pacific Ocean. Stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mountains, the province is truly amazing. You will see four main physical regions, the Coast and Insular Mountain ranges that form Vancouver Island the Haida Gwaii Islands, the Rocky and Columbia Mountain Ranges that border Alberta, the rolling grasslands and Stikin Plateaux that make up the interior of the province and Great Interior Plains that is called the Peace River country, and is home to some of those famous prairie sunsets. There are several large lakes in the province, such as Okanogan Lake, Shuswap Lake and Cultus Lake. Feeding those lakes are a network of streams and rivers that run throughout the province. The Fraser, Mackenzie and Kicking Horse are some of the bigger rivers in the area. With 14% of the landmass protected by the Province, British Columbia is truly an outdoor person’s paradise.

History and Culture of British Colombia Vacations

The British Columbia area has been home to people since the Bering land bridge has existed. The Coastal region of British Columbia quickly became one of the most densely populated areas in North America. Before European arrival, the first nation population was well over 300,000. The aboriginal way of life would dominate the area for many centuries, but with the arrival of the Europeans in 1778, everything changed.

British Naval Captain James Cook was the first European to step foot in the province, and he was eager to start relations with the Nuu-chah-nulth people in the south. A number of British settlers followed him, but their settlements were small, and many of them relied on first nation communities to support them with food and hunting aide. By the mid-1840’s James Douglas working with the Hudson’s Bay Company was sent to find a new headquarters in the Pacific. His search led him to the area around present-day Victoria, where he would befriend the local Lekwammen population and establish Fort Victoria. British rule would continue, and in 1871, British Columbia became the fifth province of the newly founded Dominion of Canada. The railroad would soon follow, and British Columbia would quickly become a powerhouse in the west. This was not without consequence, as by 1876 First Nation populations were made subjects of the federal Indian Act, and Aboriginal peoples would lose the vast majority of their traditional land. Today, the British Columbia government and the First Nation populations continue to have a rocky relationship that stems from their shared past.

The culture of British Columbia is truly unique. There are more than 40 major Aboriginal cultures that call the province home, and this combined with the large South East Asian population and pockets of German, Italian, Japanese, Korean and Russian communities makes this province a vibrant cultural mosaic of Canada.

If you are one to love food and wine, then British Columbia is your place to be. Home to the Okanogan wine region, the area is known for its amazing wineries and even better ciders. You will enjoy fresh pitted fruit, great seafood and some of the best berries on the planet. The province is unique, and with these many great things to eat and drink it will be hard to leave!

Landmarks of British Colombia Vacations

Butchart Gardens
This National Historic Site of Canada is home to some of the best flora and fauna displays in the Pacific North West. Nestled a few kilometres outside of the capital Victoria in Brentwood Bay, this 22-hectare world-renowned garden is the perfect place for an afternoon along the flowers. You will be able to dine with some BC freshest foods and pair your delicious entre with an award-winning BC wine. During the Summer, the gardens host a weekly fireworks display on Saturdays, and you can always enjoy afternoon tea alongside the rose garden.

Stanley Park
One of the true landmarks of Vancouver, Stanley Park sits just outside of the downtown core. This large centrally located park is home to the Vancouver Aquarium, the infamous Totem Poles, the Rose Garden, Deadman’s Island, the Lagoon and of course the best place in the city for a bike trip or walks the Seawall. Stanley Park is always alive with activity, and no matter if it is the dead of winter or a brisk summers eve, the people of Vancouver will be out and about enjoying the many attractions and natural beauty that Stanley Park has to offer.

Barkerville
As a National Historic Site of Canada, and one of the largest heritage sites in Western North America, Barkerville is always worth a trek too. Founded in 1862 as a gold mining town, you will get to experience a live-action historic reenactment in this now abandoned town. You will get to interact with Barkerville historic characters, and you might even get to find some gold of your own! You will be able to visit over 140 buildings, visit the exotic Chinatown, head to the converted 1800’s schoolhouse, and naturally pan for your own gold. This unique experience is only available in the heart of gold country, and you might even strike it rich during your day trip to Barkerville!