Top 10 Places to Go in British Columbia

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View of Vancouver from atop Grouse Mountain | Getty Images

1. Vancouver

Urban playground in the heart of nature

In Vancouver, Mother Nature beckons. Whether you’re strolling along the seawall, shopping on Robson Street, or exploring historic Gastown, you can catch a glimpse of the Pacific Ocean or the rainforest-covered Coast Mountains from almost anywhere in the city—so close you can practically reach out and touch them. Rent a kayak and paddle scenic waterways, hike or ski in the North Shore Mountains, or just chill at the beach. At the end of the day, gaze out at the scenery over a locally inspired meal on a waterfront patio, and find inspiration for the next day’s adventure.

BC Map 200 km 124 mi Vancouver Vancouver
Stanley Park Seawall | Jordan Manley
Vancouver Art Gallery from the Law Courts in Downtown Vancouver | Tanya Goehring
Milky Way above the Canadian Rockies | Callum Snape

2. Canadian Rockies

Awe-inspiring peaks, impossibly blue lakes

The Rockies evoke images of towering, snow-capped peaks, turquoise lakes, cascading waterfalls, and dense evergreen forests. In BC, that jaw-dropping, Rocky Mountain scenery—the kind that stays with you long after you’ve returned home—stretches the entire length of the province. UNESCO established the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site along the BC/Alberta border, in part because of this spectacular beauty. The area is also globally significant because of the Burgess Shale fossil site, which shows in amazing detail what the Earth was like more than half a billion years ago.

BC Map 200 km 124 mi Canadian Rockies Canadian Rockies
A snowshoer crosses Emerald Lake towards Emerald Lake Lodge in Yoho National Park | Kari Medig
A hiker on the trail to Nublet and Nub Peak | Kari Medig
Spirit Bear in the Great Bear Rainforest | Getty Images

3. Great Bear Rainforest

Home of the elusive Spirit Bear

The planet’s largest intact coastal temperate rainforest, the Great Bear is a revered and protected wilderness area. This section of BC’s Central Coast is remote and there are few roads within its boundaries, which contributes to a feeling of peace and serenity—of truly being in nature—for all who visit. BC’s First Nations have called this stretch of coastline home for thousands of years, and their influence is strongly felt. It is also home to an abundance of marine life, from whales to dolphins to sea otters. Add the fact that it is the only place in the world to see the rare white Kermode (Spirit) bear, and a trip to the Great Bear Rainforest is an experience unlike any other.

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