British Columbia Tourism

British Columbia tourism is one of the main financial sectors for this westernmost province of Canada. Because of the many things to do here, the best time to go to BC can be anytime of the year—no matter what the weather is like. Some of the best ski resorts in the Western Hemisphere can be found here.

Chief among them is the Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort outside the vibrant resort town of Whistler, located about 80 miles north of Vancouver. This is where the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic ski, luge, and bobsled events were held. There are several mountain ranges, including the Coast Mountains where Whistler is located and that runs north all the way to the Alaska border. You will also find the impressive Rocky Mountains that run north and south along the eastern border of the province. British Columbia travel during the winter provides wonderful skiing opportunities, as well as other winter sports.

The vast and pristine natural areas around these mountains also provide plenty of British Columbia tourism opportunities during other times of year. There are seven magnificent national parks in the province. Among them is Glacier National Park, one of the most visited parks in North America. This geographically diverse natural wonder lies in the eastern reaches of the southern interior along with Mount Revelstoke and Yoho National Park. As with the province's other national parks, you will find that British Columbia travel to these places offers a kaleidoscope of outdoor activities, including mountaineering, fishing and hunting, and hiking.

Unless you're into Nordic and Alpine skiing or other similar winter pursuits, the best time to go to BC for outdoor recreation in the wilderness areas is from late spring until early autumn. If you are camping and traveling on the cusp of spring or autumn, you need to check the weather report for all wilderness areas, especially in the mountains. Snow can come early in the season or stay until late. The resultant road closures and other risks of backcountry camping can be affected. While the coastal regions have a milder climate, these regions have precipitation that is among the heaviest in the world. Awe-inspiring storms bring deluges interspersed with days of glorious sunshine. This is especially true of the region around Vancouver Island and Pacific Rim National Park. This is also the place where you will find extraordinarily pristine beaches.

The excellent British Columbia tourism provided by the province's natural beauty is bolstered by the fact that Vancouver is a major international cruise port. It is one of the main embarkation and disembarkation points for cruises to Alaska and cruises to and from Hawaii. The passengers on these cruise ships usually have one or two overnights to enjoy shore excursions that provide enriching tours of the area. These shore excursions include tours of the city of Vancouver and of nearby Victoria Island, tours exploring the Native American (called First Nations in Canada) heritage of the region, and excursions to Grouse Mountain and the Capilano Suspension Bridge with a length of 450 feet in the treetops 230 feet above the raging Capilano River. The best time to go to BC for these adventures is during the summer when the weather is also conducive to cruising in Alaska and during the best weather for the Hawaiian Islands.

You might also want your British Columbia travel to coincide with special events. Obviously, the 2010 Winter Olympic Games held in Vancouver was such an event. There are few events that draw such large numbers from around the world, but you should nonetheless book ahead for some them to ensure you have the hotels and accommodations of your choice. This is especially true of small boutique hotels, bed and breakfasts, and hunting and fishing lodges during the prime season.

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