Storm watching near Amphitrite Lighthouse in Ucluelet. Wild Pacific Trail | Destination BC/Boomer Jerritt

Top 10 Places to Go in British Columbia

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Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet | Boomer Jerritt

Looking for a transformative holiday in British Columbia? Check out these top spots and find some planning inspiration.

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Vladimir J. Krajina Ecological Reserve | Ian Holmes

1. Haida Gwaii

Mystical islands with a rich cultural history

Travel update for 2021: Haida Gwaii is open for recreational travel. Before arriving on the islands, visitors are strongly encouraged to take the Haida Gwaii Pledge and learn how to travel to Haida Gwaii respectfully. Visitors are also strongly encouraged to arrive fully vaccinated.

This remote and rugged archipelago is steeped in the ancient culture of the Haida First Nation. Here old-growth rainforest is surrounded by a rich marine environment, both home to unique subspecies found only on these magical islands. Gwaii Haanas, a highly protected area overseen jointly by Parks Canada and the Haida Nation, is home to extraordinary natural scenery and cultural treasures, including ancient totems that are slowly decaying and being reclaimed by the land.

BC Map Haida Gwaii Haida Gwaii
Totem Pole in Haida Gwaii | Grant Harder
Exploring Pillar Rock near Langara Island Lodge | Grant Harder
Allow yourself time for contemplation, and leave with a renewed sense of wonder.
View of Vancouver from atop Grouse Mountain | Getty Images

2. 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.

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Pacific Spirit Park | @runnersinstinct
Vancouver Art Gallery from the Law Courts in Downtown Vancouver | Tanya Goehring
Milky Way above the Canadian Rockies | Callum Snape

3. 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.

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