From mighty mountains and glaciers, to rugged rainforests and coastlines, British Columbia is a natural utopia ready to be explored. Wander cities entwined with nature, discover breath-taking national parks, and uncover the culture of the First Nations people on your British Columbia holiday.
An incredible natural playground awaits, full of stunning landscapes and nature wonders, during your British Columbia holiday. The powder-white slopes of the Whistler Blackcomb and Sun Peaks ski resorts call to skiers and snowboarders, while British Columbia’s cities call to those who like their outdoor adventure hand-in-hand with modern urbanity. Head to Kelowna and you’ll find a city cradled in the vineyards of Okanagan Valley, or try Victoria, BC’s capital city that sits on a charming harbour, with the wilderness and small coastal towns of Vancouver Island as its back garden.
For a dose of pure wonder, head to any of BC’s seven national parks. Witness the shimmering Emerald Lake nestled among trees, mountains and waterfalls at Yoho National Park, or visit Glacier National Park, and explore active glaciers, dense forest, and one of Canada’s largest cave systems.
There’s So Much to Discover in British Columbia
On your trip to BC, savouring the intriguing First Nations culture is a must, whether that be in cultural centres, Vancouver’s Museum of Anthropology, indigenous galleries, resorts or studios.
Head to Stanley Park in Vancouver and, along with its lush forest, walkable Seawall and views of the Lionsgate Bridge, you’ll also discover the stories and legends of the region’s First Nations people through the series of totem poles that call the park home.
British Columbia holidays are made for making multiple stops. Hire a car and discover some of the province’s many gems, like Vancouver, Okanagan Valley and Whistler, then take a ferry or float plane to Vancouver Island and see Victoria, Tofino and Nanaimo.
Great sample itineraries
With so much adventure to be had and so much natural beauty to be seen, there are many ways to enjoy your British Columbia holiday. Get inspired by our selection of popular itineraries.
Vancouver, Victoria, Tofino and Seattle Multi Centre
Whales Bears Vancouver Island Self-Drive
Explore British Columbia
With British Columbia offering so much to do, we recommend you that you plan ahead to be able to fit it in. British Columbia is an outdoor playground and waiting to be explored from the air, water and land. With so much to offer you'll have to come back again and again.
Spot wonderful wildlife
Canada's wildlife is a sight to behold, and British Columbia is no different. Home to an array of animals and bird life, you'll be spoilt for choice during your stay. Expect to see anything from black bears and moose, to killer whales and sea lions. If you're a keen bird-watcher, you'll be in heaven as you spot American kestrel, kingfishers, hummingbirds and eagles; while beneath the surface, British Columbia plays home to everything from wild salmon and whitefish to trout and sturgeon. Whale watching is a highlight of any British Columbia trip; keep your eyes peeled for orcas, humpback and pacific grey whales as you take to the waters in search of these majestic creatures.
The stunning beauty of Canada's westernmost scenery is a playground for active travellers. Brimming with mountain trails and coastal paths, British Columbia offers plenty of opportunity for hiking and mountain biking we recommend heading to Vancouver Island, home to some of the best hiking routes in Canada. On the water, Kayaking is a great way to see the local wildlife and white-water rafting will give you a true Canadian rush. But let's not forget Whistler, one of the world's best winter ski resorts. With over 200 runs as well as snowmobiling, dog sledding and horse-drawn sleigh rides, you'll be spoilt for choice on ways to enjoy the snow.
The Rocky Mountaineer is so much more than just a train, this is a luxury experience like no other. Board the Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver and head to Jasper, Lake Louise or Banff, see some of the most spectacular scenery as you sit back and relax on the train. Journey through the Canadian Rockies with panoramic views, five-star, gourmet dining, attentive Rocky Mountaineer hosts and listen to the fascinating commentary. You may even be lucky enough to spot a grizzly from your seat.
British Columbia First Nations
Learn about the First Nations of British Columbia, you'll be able to visit many museums and interpretive centres across the province. We recommend you head to Haida Gwaii, where you can participate in captivating guided tours that showcase the magnificent landscape and reveal the history and culture of the Haida Nation. Whilst staying in Vancouver make sure you visit the Museum of Anthropology or the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre in Whistler. This is your chance to adsorb the distinct culture and rich history of the First Nations.
British Columbia's National Parks
British Columbia's National Parks are all completely unique in their own way, from Mountains to rainforests and glaciers to beaches. Explore Yoho National Park with its turquoise lakes, thundering waterfalls and hiking trails located on the slopes of the Canadian Rocky Mountains or perhaps visit the Pacific Rim National Park reserve and it lush green rainforests and endless sandy beaches.
Exploring British Columbia
It has never been easier to explore British Columbia whether by car, motorhome, floatplane, rail or ferry, each giving you a different view point of this magnificent province. For a family holiday we recommend hiring a motorhome, this gives you the freedom to explore at your own pace and will be a road trip the children will never forget.
“The iconic Rocky Mountaineer train is one of the best ways to travel across BC and a true once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
“Okanagan Valley is BC's wine country. Make sure you stop by some of the vineyards and orchards and sample the wonderful wines, which is paired perfectly with local, seasonal cuisine.”
Events & Festivals
Festivals and events are wonderful to include during your British Columbia holiday, offering a glimpse into the country’s authentic culture and traditions.
Pacific Rim Whale Festival
Vancouver Island offers some of the best whale-watching in the province and, come March, migrating Pacific gray whales come back to the waters that border the Pacific Rim National Park. The annual Pacific Rim Whale Festival sees whale-watching, family-friendly activities, talks by guest speakers and workshops that are held in Tofino, Ucluelet and the Pacific Rim National Park. This truly marks the beginning of the whale-watching season.
World Ski and Snowboard Festival
Every April, the annual World Ski and Snowboard Festival comes to Whistler, a fun-filled five day event that hosts incredible skiing and snowboarding competitions, music concerts, lively nightlife and the incredible après-ski sessions that the resort is known for.
Bard on the Beach
Soak up Vancouver’s sea and mountains as you take in one of Shakespeare’s infamous plays at Bard on the Beach. Between June and September, the waterfront of Vancouver’s Vanier Park plays host to Shakespeare performances and other special events. Visitors can also browse the Bard Boutique for unique Shakespearean keepsakes.
Get a flavour of the local culture through your palate during your British Columbia holiday. Here are a few of our favourite dishes.
The pure waters of BC’s coast create the perfect conditions for wild salmon, with five species calling the area home: pink salmon, sockeye, coho, chinook and chum. The delicious seafood is a favourite across the state, whether grilled, fried, roasted or barbecued.
Vancouver is somewhat of a mecca for sushi lovers, and British Columbia actually lays claim to its own sushi roll: the BC roll. The roll contains barbecued salmon covered in a sweet sauce, along with cucumber and often a variation of other ingredients, wrapped up in rice.
Fruit from Okanagan Valley
Due to its sunny climate and fertile land, Okanagan Valley is famous for its vineyards and orchards. Visit the area in summer and you’ll find no shortage of roadside stands selling the delicious harvest, so pick up some apples, pears, cherries, apricots and plums, and have a feast.
A common catch along the BC coast, Dungeness crab is a favourite found on seafood menus across the province, with a sweet, mild taste and a tender texture.
Our British Columbia destinations
Types of British Columbia holidays
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