The soaring mountains of the Canadian Rockies, wild coastline of the Pacific Northwest and the vibrant forests between all make British Columbia one of the best places to book a hotel in North America. Whether you fancy a dip in hot springs, a whale-watching expedition, high-octane snow sports, a trek through the wilderness or star-spotting in “Hollywood North”, you can find it in BC. The spectacular scenery could distract and entertain visitors for months, but it would be wrong to overlook the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver, the intriguing provincial capital of Victoria or the lakeside city of Kelowna. With superb restaurants mixing every type of global cuisine, there’s so much to do in BC.
Vancouver — The largest city in western Canada is a microcosm of British Columbia. The city is tucked between the ocean and the Coast Mountains and is majestically beautiful – the night time vista with lights sparkling on the water is something to behold. Grab a city hotel, sit in a pub with a local craft beer, and enjoy the waterfront forests and the city skyline.
Victoria — The provincial capital really puts the British in BC – you’ll find tearooms, antique shops and well-tended gardens throughout the city. But it has its own, Canadian, character, with cycle paths criss-crossing the city and a young, bohemian feel thanks to its thriving tech industry. It’s also a great place to enjoy the ocean from its expansive marina offering, amongst other activities, superb whale-watching trips.
Whistler — The ski resort town of Whistler has made a name for itself and now sees more than two million visitors filling their ample selection of hotels every year, most of whom concur with the locals that it is the best place on Earth to ski or snowboard. The 2010 Winter Olympics bequeathed a host of excellent facilities and there are plenty of après-ski options to match.
The Rockies — Find your way into the Rocky Mountains at some of British Columbia’s best National Parks. Kootenay and Yoho are next to each other on the eastern edge of BC, and are home to the famous Paint Pots hot springs that bubble with iron-rich mud. The magical names of the Valley of Ten Peaks, Floe Lake, Radium Hot Springs and Glacier National Park are not hyperbole – you’ll lose yourself in the beauty of the Rockies.
A trip to the mountains and the ocean has to be on the agenda of everyone who visits British Columbia. With most visitors arriving in Vancouver, the ocean is a good place to start. Gwaii Haanas is a sprawling National Park that covers 138 islands and is the ancestral home of the Haida people – the teeming ocean and remote landscape are awe-inspiring. Take a train ride into the Rockies and trek in the rainforests and wander around the lakes, and in winter pack your snow boots and have fun on the slopes. Back in the city, you’ll want to visit some of Vancouver’s and Victoria’s marvellous museums and galleries before retiring to your comfy hotel for the night.
The Pacific is a wonderful playground for anyone who likes the feeling of fresh air in their face and sea-salt on their lips. Try kayaking along the rocky shorelines, diving off Vancouver Island, whale-watching or yachting and once you’ve done all that, take a flight by sea-plane from Vancouver to Victoria. Find out all about Grizzly bears, or take a driving tour of the vineyards lining the sides of the mountains. Go rock-climbing, white-water rafting and trekking in the mountains and stop off to find out more about Canada’s First Nations. Catch your own salmon and find out how to cook it – there’s always something more to do when you stay in BC.