British Columbia encompasses Canada's Pacific coastline, and includes a number of islands off its coast. When you add in the islands, there's more than 16,000 miles of oceanfront in British Columbia. This province, which is bigger than California, Washington, and Oregon added together, also is known for its stunning mountain landscapes, excellent outdoor recreation, and chances to connect with First Nations culture.
British Columbia has a range of environs to enjoy. Some visitors spend their time soaking in the urban sophistication of Vancouver and the elegant charm of Victoria Island, while others will take their skis to the top of Whistler Mountain. In the north country, where Alaska and the Yukon meet, you'll find old mining villages that are forging new identities as tourist hotspots.
When talking about British Columbia Canada, Vancouver often comes for the forefront. The majority of the province's population are clustered in and around its biggest city in the southwestern corner. At once world-class and approachable, Vancouver has excellent views and mild year-round weather. The lists of things to do should include a stop at Stanley Park, one of the coolest urban parks outside of New York City's Central Park. Here you'll find miles of hiking trails, tennis courts, and other recreational facilities, as well as the Vancouver Aquarium and totem poles great for photographing and learning about the first inhabitants of British Columbia. The Nitobe Japanese Memorial Garden is another place that will look fantastic in your pictures. As you'd expect for a big city, the opportunities for shopping and enjoying the nightlife are excellent.
The shopping in Victoria can feel like it belongs on a street in London. The capital city of British Columbia Canada has retained its British roots, as evidenced in its architecture, tearooms, and gardens teeming with color. Offering both ocean and mountain views, the city is within driving distance from Seattle (and a quick ferry ride) and has several sites worth exploring, including the Royal British Columbia Museum and the stunningly beautiful Butchart Gardens. Many whale watching cruises set sail from the shores of Victoria, as do cruises to Alaska and the Northwest Territories.
While Vancouver and Victoria enjoy a moderate climate, the snow lets loose in the mountains. From Whistler Mountain in the west to the Rocky Mountains along the border of Alberta, nearly 75 percent of British Columbia is made up on mountainous terrain.
Whistler is home to one of the best four-season ski resorts in North America. Just two hours from Vancouver, Whistler hosted many of the venues of the 2010 Winter Olympics, especially ones that involved skis and snow. Visitors of all abilities will find nearly endless opportunities for outdoor recreation, as well as cozy places to dine and relax apres-ski.
During the summer, the resort transforms into a playground for golf, scenic chairlifts, and zip line tours. The Rocky Mountains are home to an array of charming villages and alpine lakes, where vacations are made for relaxing, especially when you visit one of the hot springs.
For a truly scenic adventure, you could step aboard one of the trains to head up to the northern reaches of British Columbia Canada. At once relaxing and exhilarating, a train experience affords beautiful views every step of the way. With gold panning, cowboys, and rich forests, the Caribou-Chilcotin Coast offers an array of memorable adventures. The guest ranches and rodeos offer a taste of the true West.
Prince Rupert, anther northern community, is a favorite stopover on Alaskan cruises, offers wildlife-watching opportunities and boutique shopping. You'll unparalleled chances to connect with First Nations culture throughout this little village