Historic & Heritage Sites
Parliament Buildings, Victoria (Brendan van Son photo)
Most heritage sites in BC tell stories of determined people that carved out lives among a landscape of gigantic mountains, thick forests and the vast Pacific Ocean.
Ninety-one National Historic Sites, ten Provincial Historic Sites and three UNESCO World Heritage sites provide a wide range of experiences, many of them interactive and at well-maintained, restored locations.
Hop in a stagecoach and pan for gold at Barkerville Historic Town, or ride a clattering rail car at the Britannia Mine Museum. Learn about fur traders at Fort Langley National Historic Site and fishermen at the North Pacific Cannery. The Kettle Valley Rail Trail follows a historic route through tunnels and over trestles – cycle a section or hop on the 1912 Kettle Valley Steam Railway.
Other historic sites in BC are off the beaten path – perfect for adventurous types with vivid imaginations. Step in ancient dinosaur tracks at Tumbler Ridge, or hike to the Burgess Shale and uncover bizarre fossils in Yoho National Park. Wander through weathered wood cabins in ghost towns such as Sandon. Or, tread softly between massive Haida First Nations mortuary totem poles on the Queen Charlotte Islands.
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76 Historic & Heritage Sites in British Columbia
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28 Bastion Square
Victoria, British Columbia
Explore British Columbia's rich maritime history through themed galleries where you will learn about explorers, fur traders and pirates. Discover the adventure of whaling and seal hunting and relive an era of graceful travel aboard Canadian Pacific ocean liners. A family friendly Museum, children can pick up their scavenger hunt and discover hidden treasures through this 20,000 square foot museum.
Visitors can also feel the history of the building in the restored Vice-Admiralty Courtroom where Judge Matthew Baillie Begbie once presided as Chief Justice of BC and take a ride in the ornate birdcage elevator.
Want a more personalized visit? Check out our tour schedule for public tours available on a variety of topics or host your event at the Maritime.
2179 W Island Hwy
Qualicum Beach, British Columbia
Escape back in time & experience a retreat once reserved for Royalty.
Discover Milner Gardens, a one-of-a kind woodland estate & gardens nestled in the peace that only an old-growth forest can provide; an oasis that rejuvenates the soul. Stroll the winding pathways and magical surroundings of an ancient coastal Douglas fir forest. Find peace & tranquility as you meander through the woodland gardens lined with rhododendrons, cyclamen & trilliums. Indulge in afternoon tea in the historic house overlooking the Strait of Georgia. Please visit our website for listings of special events.
Based In Heriot Bay
Quadra Island, British Columbia
Join us for the exhilarating & unforgettable mothership adventure of your dreams. Extraordinary wildlife viewing, breathtaking landscapes & warm, hospitable crew combine to thoroughly satisfy & delight every guest. We offer a variety of sea kayak tours where we paddle each day & return to the mothership each night. Accompanied by qualified naturalists, we explore the remote wilderness areas of coastal British Columbia, kayak through glacial fed waters, amongst lushly forested islands dotted with ancient First Nations village sites & observe numerous species of wildlife including orca killer whales, dolphins, harbour seals, black bears, grizzly bears, bald eagles & deer.
470 Island Hwy
Campbell River, British Columbia
Rated tenth in the country by Trip Advisor, the Museum at Campbell River on Vancouver Island is often called "a gem of a place". Located conveniently on the Island Highway, the Museum houses a fine collection of permanent exhibits that represent the unique culture & history of Northern Vancouver Island. Highlights include First Nations carvings & artifacts, the history of the logging & salmon fishing industries & interactive exhibits like a touch screen kiosk that especially intrigue young visitors. While you are here, be sure to watch our film about the famous Ripple Rock explosion & explore the Museum Gift Shop for local books & unique Northwest Coast art.
Commercial Street & 100 Museum Way
Nanaimo, British Columbia
Discover our fascinating history & modern day contributions to Canada's West Coast in our 1,486 sq m (16,000 sq ft) museum located in the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. Stroll through time in our main gallery to get a sense of what life was like for Nanaimo's earliest settlers & hear stories of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. Feel what it was like below the surface in our new replica Coal Mine exhibit. The museum also manages the Bastion, an original Hudson's Bay Company outpost built in 1853. Don't miss the cannon firing at noon daily in the summer.
34 Weway Rd
Quathiaski Cove, British Columbia
The majestic backdrop of Discovery Passage frames the Village of Cape Mudge on Quadra Island, home to Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre. Established in 1979, Nuyumbalees was the first museum of its kind in Canada, designed specifically to house the Sacred Potlatch Collection. This unique grouping of masks, ceremonial items and regalia was repatriated from the federal government.
Visitors can view over 250 items removed during the Anti-Potlatch era (1884-1951), as well as stone tools displays, pre-contact basketry, and historic Totem and Welcome Poles located in our Carving Shed. At the Ah Wah Qwa Dzas guests will see several petroglyph, more than 2500 years old. Traditional Salmon BBQ dinner & dance performances held May - Sept (reservations are required).
Gift Shop and Tours are available throughout the year.
215 Cow Bay Rd
Prince Rupert, British Columbia
Located on the ground floor of the Atlin Terminal on the waterfront of Prince Rupert's historic Cow Bay district, the Port Interpretive Centre tells the story of the Port of Prince Rupert. It is a story that stretches from 10,000 years ago - when the area was a trading hub for the Tsimshian First Nation - to the present, with the rapid growth of the port's commerce in containers, coal, and grain. At the Port Interpretive Centre, explore where we come from and where we're going. Visit us for a free educational tour and discover a world of opportunity.
1720 4th Ave
Invermere, British Columbia
Pynelogs Cultural Centre & Art Gallery is the home to the Columbia Valley Arts Council & is the primary cultural venue for Invermere & the Columbia Valley. This log building features an Art Gallery, Gift Shop, Cafe, as well as space for concerts, films, workshops & special events. Built in 1914, this heritage building with a rich history will be celebrating its 100th Birthday in 2014, with all kinds of events throughout the summer. Located on the shores of Lake Windermere, Pynelogs is a cultural destination for visual, performing, culinary & literary arts.
5420 Hwy 93
Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia
Come relax in soothing, mineral-rich waters while you marvel at the dramatic rock walls of Sinclair Canyon. Enjoy the large hot pool or cooler swimming pool that is great for families. Your admission fee includes entry to Kootenay National Park for visit to the hot springs.
719 Track St
Revelstoke, British Columbia
Follow the tracks to Canada's Railway Past at the Revelstoke Railway Museum. History comes to life with fascinating artifacts & exhibits. Climb into the cab of a restored CPR steam locomotive. Discover the challenges encountered by the workers who helped build a nation. See rolling stock, a model railroad layout, kids' caboose play area & more. Enjoy the outdoor picnic area & large gift shop. Bus tours are welcome at British Columbia's premiere railway museum. Be sure to visit our companion historic site & gift shop at Craigellachie on the Trans-Canada Hwy, where the "Last Spike" was driven.