Overview

Home to some of Canada’s most animated cities, British Columbia boasts a diverse population and an enticing array of activities for the whole family to enjoy. Discover vibrant Vancouver, an eclectic west coast seaport famed for its outdoor sports, shopping and fine dining. Stop off at the capital of Victoria, located on Vancouver Island and enjoy the mild climate, array of historical buildings and vast parkland. For downhill enthusiasts, the world-acclaimed slopes in Whistler are perfect for skiing and biking.

Highlights

Whatever you’re travel type, you’ll find a wealth of things to see and do in British Columbia, from whale-watching on charming Vancouver Island to sightseeing in vibrant Vancouver. Keep fit enthusiasts will fall in love with the vast range of activities whatever the season, and foodies will be blown away by the delectable dining options.

Snow-themed fun in Vancouver

If you’re visiting Vancouver in winter, be sure to take advantage of the wealth of snowy activities available in the nearby Rocky Mountains, including an exciting snow-limo service for non-skiers who want to enjoy mountain slopes. Simply sit back and relax in a specially adapted chair and be guided down the mountain or ride the Bright Nights Christmas Train in Stanley Park.

Verdant parklands in Victoria

Enjoy a leisurely stroll through Butchart Gardens and relax in the sublime surroundings comprised of 20 hectares of Italianate and rose gardens and a stunning Japanese Garden. Alternatively, go for a picnic in Beacon Hill Park, near the town centre. Savour views over the Juan de Fuca Strait to the Olympic Peninsula beyond.

Catch some culture

Head over to Vancouver Island and immerse yourself in the colonial heritage of the city. Visit the many attractions including the stately Craigdarroch Castle and the majestic, neo-Baroque structures of the British Columbia Parliament Buildings. There’s also plenty of child-friendly attractions, including Victoria Bug Zoo and Victoria Butterfly Gardens.

Whale watching excursions

If you’re visiting British Columbia between April and October, be sure to squeeze in a spot of whale-watching. Glimpsing these majestic creatures in their natural habitat is undoubtedly one for the bucket list, with the chance to see an array of different species. As one of the top whale-watching locations worldwide, take the opportunity to encounter orcas, humpback whales, grey whales and minke whales in the open ocean, a truly mesmerising spectacle.

When to visit

April to early June and September to October is the best time to visit British Columbia for those looking to enjoy the great outdoors. November to March is the best time for skiing and for spotting Northern Lights. Summer is the busiest time in British Columbia, but also the best time for whale watching.