British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada and it is pretty well known around the world for its verdant greenery, lush landscapes, Pacific coastline, and vibrant wildlife. A lot of people also visit British Columbia for taking part in various things to do in British Columbia. It can be considered as a “Paradise for Nature Lovers”.
From the magnificent gardens to Victorian architecture and the urban culture of Canada, whatever brings you to British Columbia, you can be sure of one thing – this will be the trip of a lifetime. Without any exaggeration, British Columbia is possibly one of the most beautiful places on this planet. So if you are planning a trip to this beautiful land, then here are the most exciting things to do in British Columbia.
Things To Do In British Columbia
As a traveller, you will have innumerable things to do while traveling, but we have jotted down some very exciting things which you simply cannot miss when you’re in British Columbia.
1. Whale Watching
One of the most thrilling activities you need to do when in British Columbia is go whale watching on Vancouver Island. Since the Pacific Coast is very close by, tourists and the locals get the opportunity to spot whales throughout the year. Hop into one of the ferries that sail through the coast of Vancouver Island, up from the Campbell River to Tofino to Victoria. You will be able to see a pod of orca whales or dolphins swimming around the ferry. If you are lucky enough, you will surely be able to spot a whale also.
Best time: If you visit during the month of March, you can be a part of the Pacific Rim Whale Festival. It is during this time when almost 20,000 Grey whales pass through this particular region to initiate their journey for 13,000 km stretch from Mexico’s Baja Peninsula to the Bering Sea.
Location: Vancouver Island
When you are in British Columbia, Hiking the West Coast Trail is one of the best things to do in British Columbia. There is no dearth of hiking trails in this land. Several years back, the West Coast Trail was once a telegraph network and lifesaving gateway for mariners whose shipped might have wrecked. But now it a 75 km backpacking trail which is visited by hundreds of mountaineers and hikers year-round. The trail takes about 5-7 days to complete and during this time you will cross pristine beaches, dense jungle, gullies, and various other natural routes. This is considered as one of the most challenging hikes in entire North America. .
Best time: Summer season is the best time to enjoy the scenery and landscape on the trails.
3. Vineyard Hopping in Okanagan Valley
Incase you are not aware, British Columbia is a wine producing region. The unique climate due to the presence of Cascade Mountains to the east, the Coast Mountains to the west, and the nearby Lake Okanagan, grapes grow in abundance here. The Okanagan Valley produces high-quality grapes throughout the year. With over 100+ wineries around the Okanagan Valley, you can visit one of them and taste some delicious wine. Rollingdale Winery, Mission Hill and Quails Gate are two of the most popular wine breweries in this region. If you are impressed by the taste, make sure to buy some to take back home.
Best time: throughout the year
Location: Okanagan Valley
4. Shopping – Salt Spring Island’s Market
If you are a shopaholic, then the Salt Spring Island’s Saturday Market will surely intrigue you. Flocked by farmers from different parts of British Columbia, the market offers you a whole lot of things to buy for your friends and family. However, keep in mind that the market runs every Saturday between April and October. You will get top-notch local goods because that’s the rule of the market “make it, bake it or grow it”. Everything you will get here is local and fresh. Apart from the organic food items, you will also be able to shop a myriad of arts and crafts made by local jewelers, artisans, and craftsmen. Visiting Salt Spring Island’s Saturday Market is one of the fun things to do in British Columbia.
Location: Salt Spring Island, BC V8K 2T9, Canada
Timings: 9 AM – 4 PM, Saturdays only
5. Bungee Jumping
Just a couple hours of drive from Vancouver, you can visit the Whistler Resort for taking part in one of the most famous things to do in British Columbia – Bungee Jumping. Jump from about 160 feet above the Cheakamus River. It will be the experience of a lifetime that is surely going to send chills down your veins. Whistler is a very popular ski and hiking area in British Columbia. For all those of you who want to experience some nerve-wracking adventure, there are numerous activities that will keep you going. The Alpine covered landscape also offers a beautiful view of the entire Coast Mountains.
Location: Whistler, British Columbia
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6. Biking At Sun Peaks Bike Park
Pump up the adrenaline levels by biking through the verdant landscape and lush greenery around the Sun Peaks Resort. Get to the resort by accessing the mountain lift and hire the necessary gear. There are different trails that can be explored by the bikers depending on the skills they have. Whether you are a beginner in this sport or an expert, you will have various options for biking. This is a great chance for everyone to get close to nature and witness the dramatic topography. The resort has a lot of different accommodation options available, so you will be able to choose the right one depending on the budget you have.
Best time: July-September when it is summer in British Columbia. It is the only time when the resort open biking trails for the visitors.
Location: 1280 Alpine Road, Sun Peaks, BC V0E 5N0, Canada
If you are planning to do a lot of other things to do in British Columbia, then you must go for Kayaking. The kayaking experience around the immaculate waters of Vancouver Island North is truly mesmerizing. The area is famous for the forested coastline, saltwater tributaries, and the offshore islands. The entire area is flourishing with wildlife that includes seals, sea lions, bears, orcas, humpback whales and a lot more. You can also choose to sit by the river and catch some freshwater fish and take it back. There are many local adventure agencies that offer kayaking services to all the tourists who arrive here.
Best time: Summer season is the best time to go kayaking in British Columbia i.e. July-September
Best spots: Haida Gwaii, Tofino, The Indian Arm near Vancouver
8. Chemainus – Take a Pit Stop
Also known as the “Mural Town”, Chemainus is a great place to put a pit stop and click some Instagram worthy pictures. Earlier, this town was dependent on a local lumber mill for it’s livelihood, but as the factory was shut down the locals decided to bring it back to business in a unique manner. Yes! That is by drawing huge morals all over the town. The murals depict famous paintings, history of the town, attacks social taboos, and a variety of other ideas. It will take you almost a day to explore all the murals present in every corner of Chemainus. If you want to make it even more fun, you can explore the town on horse-drawn carriage. Do satisfy your hunger cravings at the local cafés and eateries present. A truly wonderful and one of the many fun things to do in British Columbia.
9. Gondola Ride
British Columbia is filled with surprises and fun things to do. For instance the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. Once you sit on this Gondola, it will take you high above alpine landscapes, glaciers, volcanic peaks and rainforests. The mountain lift connects the alpine terrain of Whistler to Blackcomb Mountains. This Gondola holds two Guinness World Record for being the “Longest” and the “Highest” lift in the entire world. The lift can be accessed through the most part of the year, but if you visit this place during the summer you will also be able to explore Cloudraker Skybridge and Raven’s Eye Cliff Walk at the Whistler. Children under the age of 6 have free access, whereas adults need to pay a fee of $45.
10. Visit Yoho National Park
Yoho National Park is a very popular landmark in British Columbia. It is a 6-6.5 hours drive from Vancouver and if you are wondering that’s too much to drive, it is absolutely worth it. The Yoho National Park is home to British Columbia’s some of the most scenic and picturesque scenery. The National Park includes the Snow-capped peaks of the Rocky Mountains and also the very beautiful Lake O’Hara. You can also choose to camp here and go for the various hiking trails that are present around the park. Don’t miss to witness Takakkaw Falls, which is one of the highest waterfalls in North America. This is truly one of the best things to do in British Columbia, if not the best of them all.
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11. Safari At The Great Bear Rainforest
If you have kids traveling with you, then go for a safari at the Great Bear Rainforest. For all photography enthusiasts, this is also a great place to visit. This 19 million acres coastal rainforest is home to Kermode bear. Also known as Spirit Bear in British Columbia, the Kermode bear is a white-fur black bear. Other animals that you can witness during the duration of the safari include grizzlies, black bears, orcas, and whales.
If you have read the article to this point, then you are now aware of some of the best things to do in British Columbia. Make sure to check them out on your vacation in Canada and add them to your travel journal. British Columbia is an amazing state to taste the adventure in the Canadian outback. Adventure lovers, make sure you put this place on your bucket list!
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Frequently Asked Questions About Things To Do In British Columbia
What do people do for fun in British Columbia?
Experience Vancouver’s Bard on the Beach, enjoy the brilliant nightlife in Vancouver, go whale watching on Vancouver Island and them also for hiking the West Coast Trail.
What is special about British Columbia?
The verdant greenery, lush topography, alpine landscape, Pacific coastline, and soothing weather through most parts of the year are some of the special things about British Columbia.
What should you not miss on Vancouver Island?
Cathedral Grove, Pacific Rim National Park, Empress Hotel, and the Butchart Gardens are some very famous landscapes which you should not miss when you are in Vancouver Isle.
What is there to do on Vancouver Island in Canada?
There are a lot of different things to do in Vancouver Island that includes going for a Whale Watching Tours, visit Mount Washington Alpine Resort, Goldstream Provincial Park and the Royal British Columbia Museum.
What is the best time of year to visit Vancouver Island?
The best time to visit Vancouver Island in British Columbia is from March to May and September to November. This is because the weather is soothing and comfortable during this time or else there is extreme rainfall or winter.
What is Vancouver Island known for?
Vancouver Island is known for its beautiful waterfalls, pristine beaches, dense rainforests, magical lakes and is the oldest provincial park.