British Columbia Museums

British Columbia museums cover a wide range of subjects, and good ones can be found in a variety of travel hot spots. As you might imagine, the larger cities are both home to a collection of worthy museums, though you won't want to overlook the other cities in this large province. A good museum is frequently nearby no matter where you find yourself.

The largest city of Vancouver definitely caters to cultural enthusiasts with its museums, the best of which is the Museum of Anthropology. This University of British Columbia museum at 6393 NW Marine Drive is known for having one of the finest West Coast native art collections in the entire world. Among the highlights at this art museum in British Columbia are the sculptures by Haida artist Bill Reid and the impressive collection of totem poles. One of the sculptures depicts the creation of the Haida nation. After you take in the Museum of Anthropology exhibits, you might wander over to the university Botanical Garden or take one of the trails down to the area beaches.

Another museum in Vancouver British Columbia that can satisfy a couple of hours with ease is Science World at TELUS World of Science. This large museum at 1455 Quebec Street can be an especially great place to visit for families, as kids and adults alike can have a blast. Scores of hands-on exhibits await at Science World, and a variety of optical effects only add to the allure. When visitors aren't learning about things such as the inside of a camera or making music on the huge synthesizer, they can check out a show at the OMNIMAX Theatre. More often than not, the OMNIMAX puts on shows with nature themes, and you can bet that they are a big hit with kids.

Another good place to go if you want to enjoy some good British Columbia museums is the capital city of Victoria. After all, the capital is where you will find the excellent Royal British Columbia Museum. Easily one of the best museums in the province, the Royal BC Museum offers fantastic insight into British Columbia's history and its people. Complementing the galleries is an IMAX Theater, and it doesn't take long to walk to Thunderbird Park. This park near the Royal BC Museum features totem poles and other First Nations monuments. The Royal British Columbia Museum can be found at 675 Belleville Street in the Inner Harbour.

When visiting Vancouver Island, you don't have to limit your search for museums to the big cities. Campbell River, for example, offers up a wonderful museum. This museum is the aptly named Museum at Campbell River, and it specializes in telling the story of some of the province's native cultures. A special sound and light presentation is among the highlights at the Museum of Campbell River, as are the carved masks and the replica pioneer cabin. Also worth mentioning, especially if you are up for some unique British Columbia shopping, is the museum's gift shop, as it sells First Nations jewelry and art.

Many BC visitors have an interest in the province's railroad history. There are a number of railway museums in British Columbia, and one of the best is the West Coast Railway Heritage Park at 39645 Government Road. As is true at most railway museums, this museum near Vancouver collects, preserves, and displays railway artifacts. These artifacts include some old railway cars. No other museum in all of Canada, save for the Canadian Railway Museum in Montreal, boasts a larger railway rolling stock collection. Squamish is only about 25 miles north of Vancouver.

At least two other railway museums in British Columbia are worth considering if you have an interest. These museums include the Revelstoke Railway Museum. Locomotives and other artifacts from the nineteenth century are on display at this railway museum, and you can find it all at 719 W Track. When you're not hanging out at the Revelstoke Railway Museum, you can enjoy the other area attractions. Revelstoke offers excellent proximity to a pair of national parks and some of the best BC ski resorts.

The other museum that is worth adding to your list of best railway museums in British Columbia is the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel. The exhibits revolve largely around vintage passenger trains of the more deluxe variety, the overall collection is a dandy. The address for the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel is 57 Van Horne Street South in downtown Cranbrook. The city of Cranbrook, in case you are wondering, can be found in the Rocky Mountain region near the US and Alberta borders.

Any number of smaller museums in British Columbia, such as the Whale Centre Museum and Gift Shop in Tofino, can offer excellent insight into the province's various regions and its overall culture. Visitors to the province can also consider visiting any number of historic sites. Two examples of historic sites that are commonly added to British Columbia vacation itineraries are the Fort Langley Historic Site and the Craigdarroch Castle.

Image: turbulentflow (flickr)

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