Two people walk under a blue umbrella with a weathered Indigenous pole and building behind them.

Five Weatherproof Ways to Enjoy BC on a Rainy Day

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Museum of Anthropology | Destination Vancouver/Kindred & Scout

Here in British Columbia, we love a rainy day. It makes the air fresh, the streets clean, and the forests and fields vibrant and green. Best of all, it gives us an excuse to laze around indoors and enjoy a slower, mellower pace of life. Here are five great things to do when inclement weather calls you in off BC’s beaches, trails, and mountain slopes.

A person wearing glasses with their hair tied back is building a broom while sitting in a wooden room with about 20 brooms hanging from the ceiling. There's a basket full of supplies sitting on a wooden table, and a window looking out at a yellow-hued tree with a large orange vase on the window sill.
Crawford Bay | Kari Medig

Get Arts and Craftsy

In Vancouver, escape the rain to meander among towering totems at the Museum of Anthropology or duck into a matinee at one of Granville Island’s many theatres. For something a little further afield, check out The Dance Screen, a display in contemporary Northwest Coast art, by artist James Hart’s at the Audain Art Museum, just one of the stops along Whistler’s new Cultural Connector route.

In funky little Crawford Bay in the East Kootenays, discover an entire village of artisans sculpting, spinning, and forging beautiful things. Or visit the Gulf islands around Vancouver – Galiano Island boasts more artists per capita than any other part of BC!

Two people approach the Fairmont Empress in Victoria. Flower gardens are seen in the foreground.
The Fairmont Empress | Jordan Dyck

Drink It In

On a blustery day, there’s nothing quite so comforting as a warming cuppa, and no better place to enjoy it than Victoria. The Fairmont Empress serves a famously lavish afternoon tea, and Silk Road also offers an exquisite taste experience.

Tea not strong enough for you? Then check out the many wineries in the Okanagan Valley, artisan distilleries in Vancouver, and craft breweries just about everywhere.

A curved, narrow stone building winds around the main spherical building of the Vancouver Public Library
Vancouver Public Library | Destination Vancouver/Nelson Mouellic

Catch up on Your Reading

Books and rainy days were meant for each other. Visit the Vancouver Public Library for a free author reading or pick up the latest by one of BC’s best novelists—Douglas Coupland, say, or Man Booker Prize-nominated Madeleine Thien.

Then curl up by the fire at a cosy spot like the Bacchus Lounge in Vancouver’s Wedgewood Hotel or the Mallard Lounge at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler.

Still searching for something to read? Head to Sidney, near Victoria, a village filled with bookstores, new and used, where you’re sure to find just what you weren’t looking for.

A person stands in front of a huge aquarium tank full of around two dozen jellies.
Vancouver Aquarium | Destination Vancouver/Kindred & Scout

Be One With Nature

There’s no need to brave the elements to enjoy BC’s finest flora and fauna.

Check out the cute critters at the Vancouver Aquarium or escape to the tropical climes of the glass-domed Bloedel Conservatory at Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Park.

On Vancouver Island, hang out with the creepy-crawlies and winged wonders at the Victoria Bug Zoo and nearby Butterfly Gardens.

Or venture inland to the Thompson Okanagan, where you can learn about Canada’s only desert at the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre near Osoyoos, experience life on the range at Historic O’Keefe Ranch near Vernon, or get up close and personal with some of the province’s wildest residents at the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops.

A red and white lighthouse sits on a rocky coastline at Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver. The sun is setting and the ocean is dark
Point Atkinson Lighthouse | Tom Ryan

Soak It In

Sometimes the best way to beat the temperamental weather is just to embrace it.

Take Rockwood Adventures’ guided rainforest tour and discover how centuries of downpours created the lichens, mosses, and ancient cedars in West Vancouver’s Lighthouse Park.

Or simply call it a spa day. Soak in the steamy outdoor pools at Whistler’s Scandinave SpaHarrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa, or the seven healing hot springs—including a wilderness spot—on the Hot Springs Circle Route in the Kootenay Rockies.

You might just find yourself wishing the rain would never stop.

Originally published in November, 2016.