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33 BEST Things to do in BC, Canada (2024 Bucket List!)

33 BEST Things to do in BC, Canada (2024 Bucket List!)

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British Columbia is an outdoor lover’s playground, with stunning mountains, a rugged coastline, over 20,000 lakes, lush green forest, and so much more! It is also a huge province (it’s almost four times the size of Great Britain), so where do you even begin? 

Lucky for you, I am a Canadian native and have lived in BC for years. Better yet, I’ve spent a good portion of my adult life exploring all the exhilarating activities that make BC a destination for travelers from all over the world. 

I’ll admit narrowing down the best things to do in BC to just 33 was no easy feat, but you have so much to explore – don’t spend all day reading my blog (or do, if you please!). Lace up your hiking boots and let’s get into it!

1. Explore Vancouver

Quayside Marina in Yaletown Vancouver at Sunset
Vancouver is such a beautiful city!

As the largest city in British Columbia and home to just under 700,000 people, it should come as no surprise to you that the vibrant city of Vancouver is first on my list of the best things to do in BC! It’s one of my favorite cities in the world because it effortlessly mixes bustling the metropolis with the great outdoors, thanks to the famed Stanley Park (and its awesome cycling trail, which I’ll detail below).

As you’d expect in a “cool city” like Vancouver, there are many quirky, cafe-filled, hipster-populated neighborhoods like Gastown, Yaletown, the waterfront around Lonsdale Quay, and Kitsilano is one of my favorite parts of the city to grab a bite to eat or a strong coffee! 

There’s no doubt that Vancouver is a beautiful city with the glorious North Shore mountain range providing an epic backdrop, and when you add to the mix epic activities like visiting Granville Island (foodie heaven), going on great local hiking trails, or hopping on a sunset cruise – a couple of days in Vancouver just have to be added to your BC itinerary. 

Below is a short summary of my favorite things to do in Vancouver to help with your planning – 

Stanley Park 

Stanley Park is one of the most famous parks in the country, and one of my favorite things to do here is cycle along the Seawall, which wraps around the park’s edge and has epic ocean views the whole way. This cycle trail is 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) in length and will take most people between 1.5 and 2 hours to complete. An added bonus – you’ll even be able to stop at a beach (or two) along the way for a rest and a swim, perfect for a summer day!

You can rent a bike from one of the many bike shops near the entrance to Stanley Park, I recommend Spokes Bicycle Rentals. Prices start at $8.50 CAD an hour, and they offer discounts for half-day or full-day rentals.

Or if you’d prefer to do the Seawall with a knowledgeable local guide, you can join a Stanley Park tour. Our pick is this particular bicycle tour that visits not only Stanley Park but other popular Vancouver attractions like Chinatown, Gastown, and Granville Island! We had a blast on this tour, and even as locals, we learned so much! You can book this tour for $104 CAD for a 3 hour guided tour.

Bailey bikes the Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver, BC
I love biking the Seawall, even as a local, I do it at least once a month!

Sunset cruise

Nothing will get you into vacation mode quicker than a romantic sunset cruise in Vancouver, and luckily there are heaps of different types of cruises to choose from here! But for a truly memorable activity, this sunset cruise is a no-brainer as it includes dinner and drinks. 

This particular cruise leaves from the wharf in Coal Harbour and takes in views of the surrounding mountains, Kitsilano, and sails under the enormous Lions Gate Bridge. As the sun sets, you will tuck into a yummy buffet dinner. When we did the tour, this included roast beef, local salmon, and lots of vegetables and salad options. Not forgetting dessert – I treated myself to a serving of their chocolate cake and cheesecake! So delicious!

This is one of my absolute favorite experiences in Vancouver. Read about our experience and tips for choosing your sunset cruise here!

This cruise is only offered from May to mid-September and has limited availability. You can secure your spot for $212 CAD which includes your luxury boat ride and gourmet dinner. Drinks are at your own expense, but the views are complimentary!

Granville Island

Granville Island is an absolute must-do during your time in Vancouver, there are lots of things to do here, but my favorite is checking out the famous Granville Island Public Market

The markets sell everything from meat and fish to fresh produce to souvenirs, as well as many great food and coffee stalls. Dare I say it’s one of the best places in the city to have lunch! 

One of my favorite stalls is Lee’s Donuts which is Vancouver famous! Other things to do on Granville Island include watching street performers, shopping, going to the Kids’ Markets, or even sampling some craft beer at the Granville Island Brewery (another must-stop in my book).

Bailey wonders the Granville Island Market in Vancouver, BC
The Granville Island Market!
Bailey drinks a beer at Granville Island Brewing
You had me at craft beer!

Gastown

The oldest part of Vancouver – Gastown, is also the trendiest neighborhood in the city, complete with cobblestone streets, which are lined with great bars, cafes, and boutique stores. 

Of course, the most famous sight in Gastown is the old Steam Clock which comes to life every 15 minutes. I won’t say much more; you’ll just have to see it in person to believe it. 

As for food and drinks in Gastown, head to the Twisted Fork, my top choice, for breakfast or lunch, or if you’re on a budget, check out the Cambie, which sells $5 CAD drinks during happy hour!

Related Read: If you’re on a budget check out my list of the best free things to do in Vancouver!

2. Ride the Sasquatch® Zipline

Two people come down The Sasquatch Zipline in Whistler, Canada
The Sasquatch® Zipline in Whistler!
Daniel at the top of The Sasquatch zipline in Whistler
I was so nervous at this point!

We’ve been lucky enough to zipline in many different places worldwide, yet, the craziest zipline we’ve tried out was right here in British Columbia, in Whistler. With a memorable name like the Sasquatch® Zipline, the experience is just as unforgettable as its name! 

This is the longest zipline in Canada (a HUGE 2 km/1.2 miles long) and involves zipping a whopping 7,000 feet (2,133 meters) down the face of Blackcomb Mountain. It’s certainly not an activity for the faint-hearted, so for you adrenaline junkies, this is a not-be-missed BC activity! We wrote a full review on the Sasquatch® if you want more info – and even though I screamed during that initial drop, it was a blast.

It’s worth noting, though, that The Sasquatch® is open seasonally and closes for a set period during the winter. If you’re feeling a little nervous about taking on this humungous zipline, there is no need to worry; the friendly instructors will boost your confidence and make you feel at ease before taking the plunge (literally!).

This experience is $147 CAD, and if you’re only going to book one zipline in Whistler, I recommend this one!

3. Hike to Joffre Lakes

Bailey poses for a photo at 2nd Joffre Lake in Canada
The water really is that color!
Upper Joffre Lake with views of the glacier
Upper Joffre Lake

Easily one of the prettiest and undoubtedly one of the most popular hikes in BC is the breathtaking hike to Joffre Lakes. It starts near Pemberton, a small town about 30 minutes from Whistler. 

Joffre Lakes refers to three bright-blue lakes with easy-to-remember names – Lower, Middle, and Upper Joffre Lakes! All these lakes can be seen from the busy Joffre Lakes hiking trail, which is rated as moderate and is 9.4 kilometers (5.8 miles) round-trip. If you opt to take on the entire trail, then you’ll be spoiled with unbelievable scenery, think snow-covered peaks, the Matier Glacier, and gushing river streams. 

If you’re short on time or not a keen hiker, you can hike as far as the Lower Lake only, which is a nice and easy 5-minute stroll from the car park. But, although this lake is pretty, it’s not as impressive as the other two lakes. 

The second lake, aka the Middle Lake, is a 1 to 1.5-hour hike or slightly over 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) from the car park. Often given the title of the “prettiest of the three lakes,” many hikers choose to turn around after reaching this lake. And it’s here you’ll spot the Instagrammer-favorite log floating in the water.  

The Upper Lake is just 30 minutes from the Middle Lake or 4 kilometers (2.4 miles) from the car park. Yet, this isn’t the end of the trail. It continues approximately one kilometer further to the campsite on the far side of the third lake – which is so beautiful and well worth hiking to. 

It’s important to note that Joffre Lakes is open to public access from May to November, and although the park is accessible year-round and it’s never completely closed, it’s not recommended to hike here in the winter due to avalanche risk.

Joffre Lakes Day Pass: In order to enter Joffre Lakes Trailhead between May and mid-October a free day pass is required for each person in your group. You can get your pass on the day-use pass website two days before your visit, starting at 7 am. Simply print it or download it to your phone from your email. If you are camping this is not required (just have your campground reservation with you).

4. Go on a wine tour

The vines at Moraine Estate Winery, Penticton
Naramata Bench near Penticton.

I don’t know about you, but one of the best summer activities I’ve ever done in BC is wine tasting. You may not be aware, but some of the best wine in Canada is grown in the Okanagan Valley, in the interior of the province, specifically near Kelowna, Penticton, and Lake Country.

To me, nothing sounds more relaxing than enjoying some locally-produced wine at a scenic vineyard in the sunshine. Luckily, there are plenty of great wineries open to the public in the Okanagan, and below, I’ve listed some of my favorites:

Kelowna 

There are several well-rated wineries within a short distance of Kelowna, including Mission Hill Winery, Quails’ Gate, and, Off the Grid Organic Winery. And of course, you can visit them yourself in your rental car, but if you really want to have fun (and don’t want to have to choose one of your group to be the designated driver), then a Kelowna wine tour is your best bet. That way, everyone can enjoy the experience!

If you want to visit wineries in West Kelowna, choose this tour which visits four wineries in the area! This afternoon tour is four hours long and costs $159 CAD, and that includes all tastings plus snacks. We have personally taken this tour and had a wonderful experience. It also offers free cancellation 24 hours before departure, so you can book this popular and save your spot, and still have flexibility (which is nice when traveling!).

If you’re keen on a longer tour, then this tour visits both East and West KelownaIt’s up to six hours long and includes stops at the most popular wineries in Kelowna. The price is $281 per person. This is a great option because you get to see a wider variety of all of Kelowna’s amazing wineries!

Penticton

In northeastern Penticton, there is a region called Naramata that is famed for its epic combination of delicious wine and incredible lake views. The wine tasting tours in Naramata are out of this world!

There are a whopping 40 wineries in the Naramata/Penticton region, but two of my favorites are the Poplar Grove Winery and Moraine Winery. Poplar Grove is a family-owned winery that’s famous in the region, it’s open from 11 am – 5 pm daily and costs $10 CAD for a tasting here.

Moraine Winery, on the other hand, has a stunning lake view and a $15 CAD tasting fee which includes four of their signature wines. But that fee will be waived if you buy one of their wines. 

Lake Country

This intimate wine region, just a couple minutes’ drive north of Kelowna, is home to eight wineries, which are dotted throughout the area’s rolling hills. 

The best way to experience this small wine region is on a guided tour and this full-day tour stops at five award-winning wineries and includes vineyard walks and even a visit to a barrel room. Costing just $169 CAD, which we think is great value!

Related Read: If you plan to do a road trip from Vancouver to Kelowna, be sure to read my blog post about the best stops on the drive from Vancouver to Kelowna!

5. Hit the slopes

Skiing at Lake Louise Ski Resort from Calgary, Alberta in winter
Lake Louise Ski Resort has some incredible views!

If you plan to visit BC in the winter you just have to try out skiing (or snowboarding), there are plenty of epic ski resorts in the province, and as a result, snow lovers from across the world descend here every winter.

In fact, winter in British Columbia is one of the busiest seasons to visit. The reason it’s such a popular ski destination lies in the fact that the mountainous regions like Whistler, Revelstoke, etc., receive lots of consistent snow.

Plus with 13 major resorts in BC, there’s a ski resort for every ability and budget! These are just a few of my favorite ski resorts in BC:

Whistler (Whistler Blackcomb)

If you can pick just one spot to ski in BC, make it Whistler Blackcomb. This epic report is spread across two mountains – Whistler and Blackcomb. It’s the number one ski resort in North America (and the biggest) and home to a HUGE 4,757 acres of skiable terrain, 200 runs, and 36 ski lifts. The 2010 Winter Olympics were even held here!

The ski season in Whistler typically opens in late November and runs all the way to early May. However, you’ll find the powder is best in January and February. It’s worth noting that Whistler Blackcomb is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country, with lift passes for adults starting around $249 CAD. 

Kelowna (Big White)

Big White Ski Resort is located 56 km (35 miles) from Kelowna and is one of the best things to do there. It offers 119 ski runs, 18% of which are beginner runs, and a whopping 54% are rated as intermediate. This is the perfect ski resort for beginners or those who’ve only skied a few times before. 

With an estimated annual snowfall of 24.5 feet (7.5 meters), Big White is heaven for lovers of powder! The ski season here runs from the end of November until the first week of April, with the best conditions being in the middle of the season.

I have family in Kelowna, so I have personally skied here dozens of times. I can attest – the fresh powder is what keeps me coming back!

Expect to pay around $110 CAD for a day pass to the mountain (prices are lower during the week and higher on weekends) and around $56 for rental gear. You can save money by booking your lift ticket online beforehand!

two snowboarders at SilverStar Mountain Resort near Vernon, BC
Going snowboarding at SilverStar is one of the best things to do in Vernon in the winter.

Vernon (Silverstar)

22 km (14 miles) from Vernon lies the lesser-known Silverstar Mountain Resort which is part of the Monashee Mountain range. With 3,282 skiable acres, it’s one of the biggest resorts in BC. Boasting 132 marked runs serviced by 10 ski lifts, one of the best things about Silverstar is its abundant snowfall levels (23 feet/7 meters annually!).

Lift passes here start at $139 CAD, and the season runs from mid-November to mid-April. 

Kamloops (Sun Peaks)

Sun Peaks ski resort is located about 45 minutes from Kamloops. It’s Canada’s second-largest ski area with an impressive 4,270 acres of skiable terrain. I also adore the little village nestled at the base of the ski slopes thanks to its quaint and European style with tons of shops and restaurants. 

Sun Peaks gets about 20 feet (6 meters) of snow every year! The mountains are covered with the light, dry powder that is well-known in this region. 

The season here runs from mid-November to early April, and lift passes are $149 CAD per adult, but cheaper if you purchase online in advance. 

Revelstoke (Revelstoke Mountain Resort)

Revelstoke is home to one of the best ski resorts in all of Canada. In fact, Revelstoke Mountain Resort boasts the longest descent of any ski hill in North America. On top of that, the mountain receives an average snowfall of over 34.4 feet (10.5 meters) per year. Revelstoke even holds the record in Canada for the most snowfall in a year, which is a whopping 80 feet (24 meters)!

The resort sits on 3,100 acres and has downhill runs for all ability levels. However, most of the runs at Revelstoke Mountain Resort are blue and black, making it very popular with pros. Beginners can still enjoy the mountain, though with long green runs stretching from the top of the Stoke Gondola to the village below (The Last Spike is my favorite).

Prices vary throughout the season and change yearly but standard day passes cost $179 CAD for adults, $138 for seniors and youths, and $68 for children.

Related Read: Check out my guide to visiting Revelstoke in December – the most popular time to go skiing here!

view of the hotel at Kicking Horse Resort from the chairlist - one of the best places to stay in Golden, BC
The hotel at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

Golden (Kicking Horse Mountain Resort)

Golden’s Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is a very popular ski resort in Canada and for a good reason! It’s known for the huge amounts of annual snowfall and expert terrain that will challenge even the most experienced riders. It’s a must-visit if you’re in Golden in the winter months.

Lift passes for Kicking Horse start at $134 CAD, but this is for Monday to Thursday skiing only. Expect to pay a bit more on weekends and holidays.

Fernie (Fernie Alpine Resort)

Fernie Alpine Resort is Fernie’s local ski hill and one of the best in Canada. The resort is HUGE with over 2,500+ acres of skiable terrain and 10 chairlifts, a 1,082 meter (3,550 foot) vertical rise, 140+ runs, and its longest run is over 5 kilometers (3.1 miles). Lift passes start from $134 CAD per adult and are more expensive on the weekends.

Invermere (Panorama)

Panorama Mountain Resort is located only 20 minutes from Invermere and has four large chairlifts as well as a few smaller ones for beginners. The runs range in difficulty from green all the way to double black. Overall, it’s one of the best ski resorts in the Columbia Valley. Lift passes for Panorama cost $159 CAD. 

Vancouver (Grouse, Seymour & Cypress)

Luckily if you’re spending your winter vacation in Vancouver, you don’t have to travel too far outside the city bounds to ski – Grouse Mountain, which can be reached by public transport from downtown Vancouver, as well as Seymour and Cypress. These three mountains are within 30 minutes of downtown Vancouver. 

A day of skiing or snowboarding costs around $85 CAD per person depending on which resort you visit – that’s some of the cheapest skiing in Canada!

6. Drive Roger’s Pass

the monument at the summit of Rogers Pass in Glacier National Park
This monument is at the summit of Rogers Pass, the highest point you’ll drive through Glacier National Park.

Rogers Pass is the name of the road that runs through Glacier National Park and this mountain pass forms part of the Trans-Canada Highway.

The section that runs between Revelstoke and Golden is certainly the “piece de la resistance” of this busy highway. Considered one of the best mountain crossings in BC thanks to the stunning scenery – think ancient cedar forests, alpine meadows, and plenty of wildlife. Yep, you’ll likely see bears and mountain goats if you drive this route during the warmer months. 

The closest town to Rogers Pass is Golden, which is a 40-minute drive away, and to drive the Pass itself will take 30 minutes without stops, but of course, we recommend stopping heaps! There are plenty of hiking trails, such as the Hemlock Grove Boardwalk, which is a series of boardwalks through the forest. Or, Bear Creek Falls, a short and sweet 15-20 minute hike that boasts gorgeous waterfall views.

While you’re driving Rogers Pass, make a point of visiting the park’s Rogers Pass National Historic Site, which is where the visitor center is located. The visitor center has a plethora of historical information about the area and the wildlife you can find there.

7. Enjoy Whistler Village

Bailey walks through Whistler Village
Walking through Whistler Village!

One of the prettiest and most-visited destinations in BC is Whistler Village. This epic ski destination has a vibrant, restaurant-and-cafe-filled alpine village nestled at the base of its slopes which is a great place to spend a full day no matter the season.

In fact, fall is my favorite time of year to visit Whistler Village because the trees that line the main village stroll are awash with bright reds and oranges. It’s also the “quiet season,” meaning you’ll be able to nab a table at the most popular restaurants in Whistler!

It’s important to note that there are essentially two villages in Whistler – Whistler Village at the base of Whistler Mountain and the Upper Village at the base of Blackcomb Mountain. Whistler Village is the busiest, and it’s where most amenities are located.

The pedestrian walkway in Whistler Village is affectionately known as the “Whistler Stroll” by locals, and it’s lined with small cafes, boutique stores, and restaurants – lots of which have large outdoor patios for alfresco drinks. Often in the summer, you will come across live music acts and street performers performing here too!

A selection of treats at Purebred Café in Whistler, BC
PureBread is the place to get baked goods!
Bailey and Daniel at El Furniture Warehouse having beers in Whistler, BC
Cheers! (At El Furniture Warehouse.)

Some of my favorite places along the “Whistler Stroll” include Longhorn Saloon, which attracts a young and fun crowd. In the winter, it’s packed to the rafters with snowboarders and skiers, and in the summer, you can relax with a drink and enjoy the live music, which happens most afternoons. 

For food in Whistler, you have to check out a firm favorite with locals El Furniture Warehouse or “Furnies,” where a meals are reasonably priced around $10 CAD. For delicious homemade sweet treats, further along the stroll towards the Olympic Plaza is Purebread, one of the best cafes in Whistler. Whenever I’m in town, I always pick up a spinach and feta brioche, or an almond croissant if I want something sweet.

Not forgetting the Upper Village – this is much quieter and is where you’ll find luxury hotels like the Fairmont Chateau and the Four Seasons. One of the best things to do from this village is to walk to Lost Lake, a popular local hangout spot and a great sunset-watching spot. 

8. Drive the Sea to Sky Highway

Shannon Falls on the road between Whistler and Vancouver
Shannon Falls
Brandywine Falls, Canada
Brandywine Falls

One of the best things to do in B.C. is the drive to Whistler from Vancouver. The highway that connects the two destinations is known as the Sea to Sky Highway (aka Highway 99) because it passes beautiful coastal scenery before entering the mountains closer to Whistler.

It will take just under 2 hours (121 km/75 miles) to drive the Sea to Sky Highway from Vancouver to Whistler without stops. But I recommend allowing at least half a day for this amazing BC road trip – there really is just so much to see on this scenic drive. 

Some of the best stops along this route include Brittania Mine (a former copper mine), Shannon Falls, the city of Squamish, Alice Lake, and Brandywine Falls. For more information about this must-see drive, read our guide to the Sea to Sky Highway!

9. Road trip around Vancouver Island

Bailey at the top of Cox Bay Lookout in Tofino, Vancouver Island
Tofino is definitely a place you’ll want to visit on Vancouver Island

A road trip checking out all the things to do on Vancouver Island will give you the ultimate freedom to stop when and where you like and really cherish the beauty of this stunning island. Believe me, this drive is incredible – it’s truly a dream road trip!

Most tourists will start their road trip around Vancouver Island in Vancouver, then hop on the ferry into Nanaimo. You could also take the ferry from Vancouver to Victoria if you’d like to stay there for a couple of nights and see the city. All the ferry schedules can be found on the BC Ferry website.

These are some of the must-stops on your Vancouver Island road trip:

Nanaimo

While in Nanaimo, you’ll have to sample the delicious dessert that was created here – the Nanaimo bar. This classic chocolatey dessert has three layers: a base of crumbled wafer, coconut, and nuts, custard icing, and a chocolate ganache. My top tip is to try the peanut butter crunch Nanaimo bar at Hearthstone Artisan Bakery. With your belly full, wander the Old City Quarter, which is a historic area full of neat small businesses with some buildings dating as far back as the 1800s.

Little Mountain Lookout

Another fantastic stopping point on your road trip is just outside of Parksville and not too far from Nanaimo. Little Mountain Lookout is a hidden gem we stumbled across that boasts sweeping views of the surrounding valley. It’s accessible via a winding scenic drive that takes you right to the top of the mountain. Yup, you don’t need to hike to reach this viewpoint simply step outside of your car and take it all in. 

Bailey looks at the camera at Little Mountain Lookout near PArksville, BC
Sunset at Little Mountain Lookout.

Qualicum Beach

Qualicum Beach is nestled at the foot of Mount Arrowsmith. This town is full of artists and artisans and has a very friendly vibe! There are a ton of little shops to meander through. And every Saturday from 8:30 am – 12 pm, you can check out the Qualicum Beach Farmers Market in town. If you’re making a pit stop for lunch in Qualicum Beach, we recommend Q Burger – in fact, it was recently voted as one of the best burgers in Canada!

Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park

This provincial park is under a 15-minute drive from Qualicum Beach and is well-known for its resident waterfalls which pour off a rocky gorge and are surrounded by forest. You can hike to see one of these stunning waterfalls cascading down into a pristine pool. But I recommend venturing a bit further along the forested paths to explore the upper and lower portions of the waterfall. This hike is fairly easy, and I’d plan for around 45 minutes to complete the 3-kilometer (1.8-mile) return trail.

Port Alberni

There’s no shortage of things to do in Port Alberni if you have some time. If you’re hungry from all that driving, head to the Harbor Quay to eat at its cute waterfront restaurants. Fun fact, this town is known as the salmon capital of the world, so if you’re on the hunt for some good seafood, you’re in the right place! Once you’ve eaten, go for a wander around the harbor or climb up the iconic Waterfront Clocktower for the best view. Families should definitely check out the Waterfront Park and Playground

View of the road with a mountain backdrop in Port Alberni, BC
Port Alberni!

Tofino

Of course, Tofino is a must-stop on your Vancouver Island road trip because not only does this town boast amazing natural scenery and the best waves in Canada, but the town itself oozes charm. There are plenty of independent coffee shops and eateries to explore after your drive, as well as cute boutiques with an incredible range of locally-made artisan goods. I won’t go into too much detail here, as I’ve included Tofino in the section below.

Victoria

And finally, heritage charm meets cosmopolitan cool – what’s not to love about spending a day in Victoria? Victoria also has plenty to offer those who love spending time outdoors. There are lots of great hikes, parks, and gardens to explore, such as the world-famous Butchart Gardens! Plus, it’s full of amazing tours that help you discover the city whether you’re stopping off here from your road trip for a day or a week. 

Related Read: For more epic destinations check out our guide to the ultimate Vancouver Island road trip!

10. Surf in Tofino!

A surfer at Cox Bay Beach surfing a small wave
The water is cold but you have to surf in Tofino!

Vancouver Island’s surf mecca and easily the best surf spot in all of BC, Tofino caters to both beginner and pro surfers. And it’s not just a summer sport, you can surf here year-round! But locals will tell you that fall is the best time of year to hit the waves.

Personally, it’s my favorite surf destination in North America because it doesn’t get overcrowded, maintains a bit of a hidden gem status, and it’s so rugged and beautiful!

If you plan to surf here, you’ll need to remember that there are three main surf beaches in Tofino: Long Beach, Chesterman Beach, and Cox Bay.

Long Beach is a short drive from downtown Tofino, and take its name as a hint – this beach is very long. It’s also most suited to experienced surfers. If you’re a newbie surfer, you should be careful around Lovekin Rock because the rip there can be dangerous. 

I should add that there are two Chesterman beaches – south and north. At South Chesterman, the conditions need to be just right to surf here, so it’s best to check the weather report first. North Chesterman is the more reliable of the two – there’s always a wave to be caught here. As a general rule, though, both beaches have gentle waves that are ideal for beginners.

Cox Bay is a beautiful bay that’s popular with pretty much everyone, from beginners to pros. And there are a handful of surf schools and rental shops here. 

You can rent boards from Surf Grove Campground on Cox Beach or from Pacific Surf CoTofino Paddle Surf, or Swell Tofino in downtown Tofino. 

11. Go camping

Camping at Gordon Bay Provincial Park, Lake Cowichan
Camping at Gordon Bay Provincial Park, Lake Cowichan

Camping is one of the most popular things to do in BC, and it’s one of the best ways to get up close to the province’s well-known natural beauty. Besides being lots of fun, camping is also the most budget-friendly way to stay in British Columbia (hotels tend to be very expensive in the major towns and cities in the province).

Luckily, there are many great campgrounds in “Beautiful British Columbia,” and I’ve listed three of my favorites below!

Surf Grove Campground, Tofino

You can camp at Surf Grove Campground at Cox Bay, which is Tofino’s newest campground and the place we chose to rent our boards from. Expect modern amenities, sparkling clean bathroom facilities, and a lovely, laid-back vibe. 

The best detail, though, has to be the cedar barrel saunas, where you can enjoy a private sauna session after a long day of riding the waves. Who doesn’t love adding a little luxury to your camping?

Garibaldi Lake, Squamish

Garibaldi Lake, just over an hour from Vancouver, offers 50 backcountry sites that can be booked year-round. It’s one of the most beautiful campsites in BC, but it’s around a 9 km (5.5 miles) hike to get here from the Rubble Creek parking lot. 

In terms of amenities, there are very few, just some pit toilets. There’s no running water, and you must take all your garbage home with you. It gets very busy during the summer and on weekends, and reservations must be made through BC Parks before camping here. 

Porteau Cove

Porteau Cove, a great stop on the drive from Vancouver to Squamish, offers luxury waterfront camping, even tourists who don’t consider themselves “campers” can’t get enough of it. With views of sparkling waters, epic sunsets, plus a pebbly beach and driftwood playgrounds – this popular destination tops many campers’ lists as the campground with it all.

This campground boasts 44 campsites with electric hook-ups, 16 walk-in sites, a newly-built outdoor kitchen complete with covered bench seating and sinks, a shower and washroom building, a sani-station, day-use picnic areas, and two boat launches.

Porteau Cove Provincial Park is open year-round but there are limited facilities in the winter (from November 1 to February 28). Campsite reservations can be made up to three months before your arrival date, and sites do fill quickly.

12. Have a few lake days

Daniel paddle boarding at Ellison Provincial Park, Vernon
The Okanagan Valley is known for its lakes!

Although Canada as a whole is known for its lakes (I think everyone has heard of Lake Louise in Alberta). British Columbia’s lakes are a little less well-known but equally as pretty, in my opinion. 

So, I just had to include a lake day on this list of the best things to do in BC. To me, nothing is more relaxing than spending a summer’s day in nature at one of the best lakes in the province. 

Rent a houseboat in Sicamous

Sicamous is situated on the edge of beautiful Shuswap Lake – a huge lake that has over 1,000 km (600 miles) of shoreline. Known as the houseboat capital of Canada, spending a few nights on a houseboat is the perfect way to enjoy this area. The houseboating season runs from June until October. 

Visit Kalamalka Lake near Vernon

Kalamalka Lake is easily the most beautiful lake in the Okanagan. Located near the towns of Vernon and Armstrong, BC, this lake is unique because it shines various shades of green, and Kal Beach on the north side of the lake is the perfect place to enjoy the cool water on a hot summer day. 

Spend time in Osoyoos in the Okanagan Valley

The lake is probably Osoyoo’s biggest attraction (literally and figuratively). You will find several peaceful, sandy beaches along the shoreline. There are several ways to enjoy Osoyoos Lake, including swimming, canoeing, fishing, or water skiing, just to name a few! Regardless of how you choose to enjoy it, it’s sure to be a lovely time on one of the most popular lakes in the Okanagan Valley!

Have a lake day at Alouette Lake near Vancouver

Alouette Lake is a beautiful place to relax and has a large beach with a swimming area and a place to rent canoes and kayaks on the weekend. The views from the lake with the mountains surrounding it are stunning, so bring your lunch and have a picnic on the giant lawn in front of the beach.

13. Ride in a sightseeing gondola

View out the window of the Peak to Peak Gondola in Whistler, Canada
The Peak 2 Peak Gondola in Whistler
Bailey and Daniel on the Peak to Peak Whistler gondola
In the gondola!

With so many mountain resorts located within BC, it should come as no surprise that there are quite a few sightseeing gondolas here. These gondolas are a great way to take in the epic mountain views! Many of them only operate as “sightseeing gondolas” in the summer, because in the winter they’re used to transport skiers and snowboarders.

Peak 2 Peak Gondola, Whistler

Spanning a huge 4.4 kilometers (2.7 miles), the Peak 2 Peak Gondola in Whistler is the longest gondola in the world. The Peak 2 Peak connects Whistler with Blackcomb Mountain, and honestly, the views from this 11-minute ride are incomparable – you have coastal rainforests, snow-covered mountain peaks, and even glaciers. I can attest this is perhaps the most impressive gondola I’ve been on!

Once you hop off the gondola at the top, the main attraction is the Skybridge, which leads to an epic viewpoint, and entry is included in your ticket price. 

For a short time in early summer, you can check out the snow walls up here. These famed walls can reach as high as 40 feet (12 meters) tall, and it’s a short 60-90 minute roundtrip walk from the Roundhouse Lodge on Blackcomb Mountain to reach them. Tickets for the Peak 2 Peak gondola cost $90 CAD per adult for a one-day pass.

Kicking Horse Gondola, Golden

The Kicking Horse Gondola is a scenic gondola that takes you up 7,700 feet (2,347 meters) to the summit. The panoramic views at the top of the Rocky Mountains, Columbia River Wetlands, and the town of Golden will take your breath away. 

At the top, you can visit the Eagle’s Eye restaurant for yummy food and enjoy the mountain views. This scenic gondola is open in the summer and winter and costs $52 CAD for a ticket.

Revelstoke Gondola, Revelstoke

The Revelstoke gondola is one of the top summer attractions in Revelstoke. The sightseeing gondola is only open during the summer, and in winter, this gondola is used for skiers and snowboarders.

There are two gondolas at Revelstoke – the first takes you to the top of the mountain coaster – a kind of roller coaster that you operate yourself. And although the views on this gondola are pretty, the best views can be seen from the second gondola, in my opinion. 

This second gondola is around a 10-minute ride. Then, at the top, you have breathtaking panoramic views of the valley! There are also some hiking trails to explore here with the majority of trails only taking half a day, but there are longer ones geared towards more experienced hikers too. There is also a large viewing deck as well as a place to enjoy burgers and beer if you’re keen to just relax!

Prices for the Revelstoke sightseeing gondola are really reasonable at $35 CAD for adults or $20 CAD for children for both gondola rides.

View of Vancouver from Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
The Grouse Mountain gondola

Grouse Mountain Gondola, Vancouver

The famous Skyride cable car opened in 1966, and this is still the most popular way to access the top of Grouse Mountain. The other way to the top is via the grueling Grouse Grind hike, which I’ll go into more detail on later in this blog post!

You can’t miss this bright red gondola which travels 1.6 km (1 mile) up the lush slopes of Grouse Mountain. Take in panoramic views of downtown Vancouver, the harbor, the Straight of Georgia, and even Vancouver Island.

There’s heaps of fun waiting for you once you step off the gondola – you can visit the Grouse’s two resident grizzly bears at the Refuge for Endangered Wildlife, hike through the forested Eco Walk trail, attempt the fun sport of mountain disc golf, or shop and dine in the mountaintop Chalet.

Tickets for the Grouse Mountain Gondola are $81 CAD a person, and they offer free cancellation 24 hours before your scheduled time. I love this perk of booking ahead of time, that way the planning is taken care of but we still have the flexibility if our schedule changes!

Before you go, check out our guide on how to get to Grouse Mountain from Vancouver to see if the free shuttle is an option for you!

14. See the huge Mount Robson

Daniel poses for a photo in Mount Robson Provincial Park
What a place!
Berg glacier on Mount Robson, Canada

Mount Robson towering at a phenomenal 3,954 meters (12,972 feet), is the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. Located within Mount Robson Provincial Park, the second oldest national park in the province, seeing it with your own eyes is undoubtedly something that HAS to be added to your BC bucket list!

The park is one of the best places in the province to spot wildlife like whitetail deer, moose, black bears, grizzly bears, and caribou. Birdwatchers love it here too with more than 182 species of birds found within the 217,000 hectares of mostly undisturbed wilderness. So, while you’re here, keep your eyes peeled!

Tip: Your best chance of seeing mountain goats will be on the many rock sides and cliffs within the park, and to see a moose up close head out to the aptly named Moose Marsh. 

If you’ve got time, be sure to head to the Mt Robson Visitor Centre to read up on the park and admire those breathtaking views of Mount Robson. 

If you want to get closer to the mountain and take some incredible photos, then consider riding or hiking to Kinney Lake. This 7-kilometer (4.3 miles) each way journey starts near the visitor center and leads to a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains. You can enjoy your packed lunch here and even go for a swim (if you dare – it’s cold!). Riding a horse only takes 45 minutes each way, and hiking is around 2 hours each way.

The most beautiful hike I have done in Canada is the Berg Lake Trail – seriously! The 41.5-kilometer (26-mile) out-and-back trail is most commonly hiked over 3 to 4 days, and it’s certainly not easy. But you’ll be treated to some of the best scenery in British Columbia, including the glorious Emperor Falls – the largest waterfall on the Robson River.

For the ultimate adventure, we loved taking a helicopter to the end of the trail and then walking back. Two amazing experiences (and only one long hike!) thanks to Robson Heli Magic. This experience is a bit more expensive at $265 CAD, but it is such an amazing experience and saves you a ton of hike time (and work!).

2024 Update: Berg Lake Trail was damaged by flooding in 2021, so only a portion of the trail will be open for the 2024 season. The full trail is open until April 30th, or until the snow melts, as the trail will become too dangerous for public use. The trail to Kinney Lake Campground will open on May 1st, and overnight camping will be available on a first-come first-serve basis on May 15th. Check for updates here before you go!

15. Chase waterfalls in Wells Gray Provincial Park

A lady at Spahats Creek Falls in Wells Gray Provincial Park, Clearwater, BC
Spahats Falls is one of the best!
Triple Decker Falls in Wells Gray Provincial Park, Canada
Triple Decker Falls

Nicknamed “the Waterfall Park” because of the dozens of waterfalls located here, Wells Gray Provincial Park near the town of Clearwater, BC is breathtaking in every direction! If you’re a fan of waterfalls, scenic hikes, and just all-around incredibly natural beauty, then you simply have to go!

If you’re visiting for just one day, it won’t be possible to see all the waterfalls within the park. Did I mention there are dozens of them?! So, I’ve listed below the waterfalls that are easiest to get to – all of them are located along the Wells Gray Corridor, a 68 km (42 mile) stretch of road that runs through the park. 

Helmcken Falls – The fourth-largest waterfall in the country, Helmcken is undoubtedly the “crown jewel” of Wells Gray Provincial Park. It boasts a whopping 462-foot (140-meter) drop and a viewing platform that puts you overtop of the canyon.  

Spahats Creek Falls – This 250-foot (76-meter) waterfall is one of the most dramatic in the park as the water cascades from a break in the rocks. The viewpoint is reachable via a 5-minute easy walk.

Silvertip Falls – The tallest waterfall in the park, it winds an impressive 550 feet (168 meters) down a cliffside. It should take you 20 minutes (1 km/600 meters) to get to the first viewpoint.

Triple Decker Falls – This three-tier waterfall is certainly impressive, and at just a 1 km (600 meter) hike from the car park, it’s easy to get to. It’s worth noting that this trail is pretty steep, especially the uphill section along Candle Creek.  

Dawson Falls – A little similar-looking to the famed Niagara Falls, Dawson Falls stretches an impressive 295 feet (90 meters) wide. The trail boasts two epic viewpoints of the falls. 

Moul Falls – Walking to these falls will take 5.5 km (3.4 miles) round trip, and one of the best things about this waterfall is that you can actually go behind it. Yup, in the drier summer months, you can hike behind the falls and into a cave – it gives such a cool perspective of the falls! 

I should add that although summer is the most popular season to visit the park, the waterfalls here are just as spectacular in the winter. Imagine cascading frozen icicles and towers of ice!

16. Walk on a suspension bridge

Bailey walks along the Skybridge at the top of the gondola in Whistler, BC
Get the best view of Whistler on the Skybridge!

Those with a fear of heights may feel a little queasy at the thought of the next activity – walking along a super-high suspension bridge. But I say, try it out to face your fears and take in some of the best views in BC!

Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver

An impressive structure that’s 137 meters (449 feet) long and hangs 70 meters (230 feet) above the Capilano River – the Capilano Suspension Bridge is actually the name of the whole area, which includes not only the famed suspension bridge but a series of forest trails and a glass-floor lookout. 

From the suspension bridge that connects both sides of the park, you can see as far as the North Shore mountains, and even though it may appear a little unsteady when you first step onto it – this bridge could, in fact, hold the weight of a 747 airliner! 

The entrance fee to the Capilano Suspension Bridge is $73 CAD (with taxes) for adults. As it’s located in North Vancouver, they run a free shuttle from downtown, so you don’t have to worry about getting there. This is actually a great rainy day activity in Vancouver as the forest here looks so moody and photogenic when it’s raining!

They limit the number of people who can enter at any one time, so buying your tickets in advance is a great idea. This is definitely one of the most popular things to do in Vancouver!

Skybridge, Whistler

Officially called the Cloudraker Skybridge because it’s so high that you’ll feel like you’re walking among the clouds, this bridge spans 130 meters (426 feet) from the peak of Whistler Mountain to the West Ridge, and the viewing platform here boasts views of the surrounding valley. 

Access to Whistler’s Skybridge is included with your Peak2Peak Gondola ticket (which costs $85 CAD per adult).

Lynn Canyon, Vancouver

Lynn Canyon, in my opinion, is one of the most beautiful suspension bridges in Vancouver (even better than the Capilano Suspension Bridge!).

Here, you can wander through the native forest, peer down from the bridge at the river below, and just enjoy the serenity. It’s gorgeous, and unlike the Capilano Bridge, it’s completely free to visit.

You could spend the entire day there too. Hike one of the many trails, such as the popular Baden Powell Trail, which leads all the way to Deep Cove and is 12 kilometers (7.4 miles) each way.

There is one problem, though, Lynn Canyon can be very busy. At times during the summer, there can be multiple busloads of people, making the “supposed to be peaceful” experience a little chaotic. So plan to visit first thing in the morning (before 9 am) to beat the morning rush. We arrived right around 9 am and it wasn’t too bad, but on our way back after the hike there was literally a line to cross the bridge!

Another way to escape the crowds is on this Lynn Canyon photography tour. You’ll have a guide to take you through the forest to waterfalls, natural pools, and other hidden spots you wouldn’t normally visit on your own. You can bring your own camera or borrow one from the tour company so you can get those postcard-worthy pictures!

Bailey walks through Lynn Canyon on the Suspension Bridge
Lynn Canyon

Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge, Squamish

Located at the top of the Sea to Sky Gondola – the views from the Sky Pilot bridge are out of this world. If you’re afraid of heights, though, you may feel a little uneasy on this one, though, as it hangs thousands of feet above the valley floor! This bridge is open year-round and boasts 360° views of the area, including Howe Sound and the surrounding mountain ranges. 

Access to this suspension bridge is included with your Sea to Sky gondola ticket, which ranges from $73 to $77 CAD per adult, depending on the day.

Golden Skybridge

One of the newest attractions in Golden, having just opened in the summer of 2021 – the Golden Skybridge is the highest suspension bridge in Canada. Hanging a whopping 130 meters (426 feet) above the canyon, you’ll experience such a thrill walking over it while you take in all the amazing views of the Columbia Valley. There’s also a zipline experience, a ropes course, and an epic canyon swing!  

We had a blast when we visited, not only is the Skybridge impressive, but all of the other attractions are a lot of fun too. They are open from mid-May to mid-October and tickets are $52 CAD for general admission.

17. Visit the capital city of Victoria

The parliamentary building in Victoria, BC
The Legislative Building
Bailey walks down Fantan Alley in China Town in Victoria BC
Exploring Fantan Alley!

As the capital city of BC, Victoria (located on Vancouver Island) is one of the best places to visit in BC. Known for its heritage architecture, stunning public gardens, friendly people, and amazing seafood restaurants – I love spending a few nights in Victoria. 

What I enjoy most about this city is how it effortlessly combines old-world charm with modern amenities. For example, one moment, you could be checking out a heritage building, and the next minute you could be sitting in a trendy cafe enjoying a flat white!

The Legislative Building is one of the city’s most recognizable and famous buildings and it’s definitely worth a visit. Constructed in the 1890s, this iconic building is located right in the heart of the city. Would you believe there’s also a castle in the CBD? Craigdarroch Castle is a beautiful 1800s Scottish Baronial mansion located on a hill not far from the city center that offers stunning views over the city.

If you’re keen to stretch your legs, there are several different trails you can choose from that are within easy reach of the downtown area. One of the most popular is the Irvine Trail, which is a 4.5-km (2.8 miles) long. There are a few challenging sections, but it’s not too strenuous, and the views from the top are definitely worth it.

Five steam ships from the Steamship Water Ballet in Victoria BC
Steamship Water Ballet
Bailey at the top of Mount Douglas at sunset
Mount Douglas at Sunset

One of the unique things to do in Victoria is to watch the Steamship Water Ballet performance. This super-fun free show is best described as synchronized swimming using yellow steamship boats rather than people. It’s a choreographed performance that’s set to music that’s sure to have you tapping your feet to the beat. It happens at 10:45 am every Sunday morning (more frequent shows take place in the summer- check their schedule online while you’re there!). 

And finally, end the day in Victoria on a high with a jaunt out to Mount Douglas (or Mount Doug, as the locals affectionately call it)for the best sunset-watching spot in the city. At 225 meters (738 feet) above sea level, it offers stunning 360° views of the city, surrounding mountains, and coastline. 

18. Wander the Butchart Gardens

Stairs leading up to a viewpoint at The Butchart Gardens in Victoria BC
Honestly, it’s memorizing!
The Butchart Gardens on Vancouver, Island
They are so well manicured!

Following on nicely from Victoria above, I just had to include the city’s incredible Butchart Gardens on my list of the best things to do in BC. Even if you’re not a gardener, you’ll appreciate the sheer amount of plants and flowers here. Would you believe there are over 900 different types of plants spread across different gardens at Butchart, each with its own theme? 

I love the personal touches around this huge garden, as it’s still owned by the family who created this space more than 100 years ago! Plan to spend at least a few hours here as you explore all the gardens and walk the paths to see fountains, ponds, and flowers galore.

You can also have afternoon tea in the restaurant housed in the original Butchart residence or pick up some gelato from the Gelateria, which has 18 flavors that change throughout the year. And if you’re here in the summer, there are evening concerts throughout July and August. 

You can purchase tickets online or when you arrive. Ticket prices vary depending on the season and range from $22-38 CAD for admission.

If you’re not spending a whole day in Victoria, you can still experience the gardens on a tour from Vancouver to Victoria. And if you are in Victoria for a few days, this handy express shuttle gets you round-trip transportation for the 35-minute drive from Victoria to the gardens.

Related Read: For more date ideas and romantic places to visit, check out our guide to planning a honeymoon around Vancouver!

19. Go whale watching – Vancouver and Victoria

Pod of small orca swim in the distance on a tour from Victoria, BC
What a view!

Did you know that the waters surrounding Vancouver and Victoria are some of the best whale watching locations in North America? The first time that I went and saw a ton of humpbacks and orcas, I couldn’t believe it! The landscape here is absolutely stunning too, so the whole experience was a really memorable time.

I highly recommend this whale-watching tour from Vancouver, but don’t just take my word for it – it has 3,000 5-star reviews! It cruises around the Gulf and the San Juan Islands in search of these giants of the sea – in fact, this particular tour guarantees you’ll see them, or you can return for a free cruise. 

The best time of year to see whales in Vancouver is between May and October. Prices for whale-watching tours here average $236 CAD for a half-day whale-watching tour. Tea and coffee are included on the tour as well as expert naturalists to teach you all about the whales and area and photos to remember your experience.

The peak season for whale watching in Victoria is typically between April-November, and most tours that operate from here have a 95% success rate of whale sightings during peak season. Even outside of peak season, the success rate is still high at 79%.

This half-day whale-watching adventure from Victoria takes you through the Strait of Juan de Fuca as you look for orcas and humpback whales. The boat is “semi-covered,” so you have the option to get out on the open sun decks or stay warm and dry in the heated indoor cabin. They guarantee whale sightings on this $200 CAD tour and will offer you another tour completely free if you don’t spot any. 

20. Eat local produce

Daniel shops for produce at North End Farm on Salt Spring Island
Yumm!

Self-picked berries are the way locals in the Okanagan stock up on fruit. But I think it’s also a great (and tasty) BC activity for tourists, too! Growing up in BC and Alberta, this was one of my favorite summer activities. If you’ve never experienced berry picking on a goregous summer day, you’re in for a treat (and I’m not just talking about all the berries you’ll eat!).

These U-pick farms dotted around Kelowna have the freshest fruit in the province! You’ll get the chance to pick berries (like strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries), apples, plums, cherries, and more, straight from the tree and into your bucket. Your bucket will be weighed at the end but believe me, you’ll be getting a heavily discounted rate. For example, when we did it, we left with 3 lbs of raspberries for just $7 CAD!

Every fruit has its season in the Okanagan, but as a general rule of thumb, you can pick some form of fruit or vegetable between June and October. More detailed harvest dates can be found here

Some of the farms are signposted, while others advertise online. For a list of farms to visit, check out this blog from Tourism Kelowna on U-pick locations.

If you can’t make picking fruit in the Okanagan part of your BC itinerary, then you can try the delicious produce at various farmers’ markets throughout the province. The most popular are the Whistler Farmers Market and Kelowna Farmers Market

Whistler Farmers Market

Operating every Sunday between May and October, the awesome Whistler Farmers Market is open from 11 am to 4 pm and boasts fresh fruit stalls, craft stalls, clothing stalls, and a variety of food trucks. In fact, there are over 50 stalls here! It’s a great way to taste the best produce the region has to offer and mingle with the locals.

The location changes yearly, so be sure to check out their website for the latest information on the location and vendors.

Kelowna Farmers Market

The Kelowna Farmers and Craft Market is open all year round. However, during winter in Kelowna, the market goes indoors and in summer, well, it’s out in the beautiful Okanagan sunshine!

The market is filled with food, produce, and crafts. You can get a huge range of gifts, snacks, and much more. It’s something I really enjoyed and well worth your time. In fact, it’s rated one of the top markets in all of BC!

In summer, the market is held every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 am until 1 pm, April through October. The market has recently found a permanent home, so can now find it in the Landmark District! In winter, the market runs from January through March, every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm. You can find the winter market at the Parkinson Rec Center.

21. Visit a few hot springs

Radium hot springs at sunrise in winter
Radium hot springs at sunrise in winter!

One of my favorite ways to relax in British Columbia, especially after a day of fast-paced outdoor activities, is at calming hot springs. Luckily, there are several amazing hot springs throughout BC, and there’s something for everyone, from hidden gem hot springs in Nakusp, natural hot springs near Revelstoke, or the luxurious and large Fairmont Hot Springs. 

Nakusp Hot Springs

One of the best-kept secrets in BC, Nakusp Hot Springs has some of the clearest mineral pools in Canada. There are two pools here – the Hot Pool and the Warm Pool and both are fed by mineral springs in the nearby forest. There’s not too much of a temperature difference between the pools, with the Hot Pool sitting at a toasty average temperature of 39°C (102°F) and the Warm Pool maintaining a temperature of 37°C (98°F). If you have time, you can also check out the hiking trails, which start from the hot springs. 

Hot springs near Revelstoke

Revelstoke is surrounded by hot springs making it one of the best things to do in the area. Visitors simply need to know where to look to find the most beautiful ones.

The closest and most developed is the Canyon Hot Springs. This hot spring and campsite resort is 25 minutes from Revelstoke and features a large hot mineral soaking pool and a swimming pool fed by the waters of Albert Canyon. The entrance to the hot springs is $16.50 CAD for adults and $14.25 for children. 

Slightly further out from Revelstoke is the famous Halcyon Hot Springs. This is a resort located just outside the sleepy village of Nakusp. Halcyon has breathtaking views of the lake and mountains from the hot spring bathing pools that they refer to as ‘healing waters’ due to the levels of lithia in the water. You can stay at the hotel or just use the hot springs for the day. A day pass is only $15 CAD to drop in – not bad for that level of luxury!

Radium Hot Springs

Another must-visit spot is Radium Hot Springs, where you can just relax in the all-natural mineral pools. Radium Hot Springs is just 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) from Radium Hot Springs town. The springs are man-made pools fed by natural spring waters, providing a place to relax and unwind. You can jump right into the cool pool to take a swim or just relax and warm up in the hot pool.

The hot springs are open year-round and sit within Kootenay National Park. Because Parks Canada owns them, the cost is kept low at about $16 CAD. You can even purchase a punch pass and go multiple times! The best part is that these hot springs are open all year round- so even in the winter, you can enjoy them!

Fairmont Hot Springs

As the name suggests, there are also some relaxing hot springs at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. These springs are privately owned and operated by the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort and are currently only open to guests of the resort, campground, or members. You can buy a one-day membership for $24 CAD or treat yourself and book a room at the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort to bask in the views and enjoy the very large pool.

To find even more hot spring options, check out our full guide to the best hot springs in BC!

22. Golf

The Cliffhanger Hole at Greywolf Golf Course near Invermere, BC
The famous Cliffhanger Hole at Greywolf Golf Course near Invermere, BC

Another relaxing albeit completely different activity that can be enjoyed in several places throughout British Columbia is golf. Many of the courses here could best be described as a golfer’s paradise with coastal seascapes, mountain views, and mild weather, meaning you can golf in BC pretty much year-round!

There are golf courses throughout British Columbia that will challenge the most seasoned pro or just provide some nice scenery for amateurs.

Victoria is one of the best regions in BC to enjoy the sport as it is the passageway to the Vancouver Island Golf Trail, which boasts 13 scenic golf courses over 250 km (155 miles). 

Your first port of call on Vancouver Island for a spot of golf should be Highland Pacific Golf, where the course looks out onto the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Olympic Mountains, and Thetis Lake Park. It’s known as the “friendliest public golf course” in Canada, so don’t worry about being a beginner here. 

If you happen to know someone who is part of the super-exclusive Victoria Golf Club, there’s a beautiful course there that’s the oldest in Canada. But, as I mentioned, you need an invitation from a member to play here!

Other than Victoria, another great golfing destination in British Columbia is Invermere. There are over 10 golf courses within a short driving distance of the town, making golf one of the most popular things to do in Invermere in the summer.

Rated as one of the top 15 courses in the country and the best public golf course in BC – Greywolf Golf Course is a must-play for any golf fans. Situated just 20 minutes from Invermere, the course is home to the “Cliffhanger Hole,” which is considered one of the best in the world.

The Ridge at Copper Point is just a 5-minute drive from Invermere. It’s a par-62 Masters Course, and a game here can be finished in less than 3 hours. And finally, the Eagle Ranch Golf Course is a par-72 course that’s famed for its unique landscape, which includes open fairways in the valley as well as quiet mini canyons. 

23. See Emerald Lake and Yoho National Park

People canoe on Emerald Lake
Emerald Lake is stunning!

You probably recognize the iconic shot of Emerald Lake from your Instagram feed – and its green-hued water backed by the snowcapped President Mountain Range has likely stirred your sense of wanderlust.

You can even wake up to this breathtaking view at the Emerald Lake Lodge where you can spend the night on the shores of the lake! But beware, it’s super-popular, so for this bucket-list-worthy stay, you will need to book well in advance. 

You can easily walk around Emerald Lake in around an hour during the summer. You’ll be treated to scenes of colorful wildflowers such as wild orchids as well as wildlife sightings of moose, bald eagles, and loons. You can also kayak or canoe on the lake in pretty much any season, thanks to its calm and clear waters. While in the winter, it’s so much fun to snowshoe around it. 

Emerald Lake is part of Yoho National Park, a huge park that is known for its towering waterfalls, such as the iconic Wapta Falls. My personal favorite section of the park is the Lake O’Hara area, which is home to cliffs, alpine lakes, and wooded trails. 

Another impressive sight within the park is the Natural Bridge – an ancient rock formation that goes over the Kicking Horse River. You can also take a guided hike to fossil beds in the park, where you can see fossils as old as 500 million years!

24. Ride a mountain coaster

Ready to go!

Adding a real adrenalin rush to your BC summer vacation – a mountain coaster (or alpine coaster) is best described as a roller coaster that you control yourself. Reaching speeds of over 40 km/hr (25 mph), it’s sure to get your blood pumping.

You can try out this white knuckle ride in two great BC destinations – Revelstoke and Cypress Provincial Park. What’s great, too, is this family-friendly activity is suitable for everyone over the age of 3 – but please note that youngsters will need to ride on an adult’s lap. 

Revelstoke’s Pipe Mountain Coaster is the most famous of the two and is billed as a gravity-fed roller coaster. It’s located at the top of the first gondola at the Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Twisting and turning down ski runs, through the forest, and even through a tunnel – you can go as fast or as slow as you like on this unique vehicle because it has brakes.

There are two tracks to choose from including the brand-new 2 km (1.2 mile) monorail that boasts epic mountain views! You can buy tickets just for the coaster, which includes a ride up the gondola.

The newest mountain coaster in BC is the Eagle Coaster located in the gorgeous Cypress Provincial Park. It’s a great choice if you plan to base yourself in Vancouver, as the park is just over a 30-minute drive from the city. 

This super-fun experience takes off from the top of the Eagle Express Quad Chair on Black Mountain, and it’s quite the thrill with over 5,500 feet (1,700 meters) of track and 915 feet (279 meters) of vertical drop! Take on the famed bends of this track, and if you can tear your eyes away from the track in front of you, peer at the stunning forested vistas! 

25. Scenic flight

View out the window of a sea plane over Vancouver, Canada
Stanley Park and the Vancouver Aquarium from a sea plane

One of the most iconic things to do in BC is hopping in a seaplane and taking in the views from the best seat in the province. These bucket-list-worthy tours are available from Whistler, Vancouver, and, Victoria. The seaplane flight I took in Vancouver was one of the best things I’ve done in Canada! 

For those that don’t know, a seaplane is a fixed-wing plane that can take off and land on water! Taking off and landing on the water may be a bit of a nail-biting experience but don’t worry, the pilots are trained professionals.

Below I’ve included the best scenic flight experiences available in Vancouver, Victoria, and Whistler. 

Seaplane tours in Vancouver

One of the most iconic features of Vancouver is the seaplanes that take off and land in the harbor every day, all day. These seaplanes are not only a form of transport but also the gateway to the best views over Vancouver.

The scenic flight I did was the 20-minute Vancouver city seaplane tour. Although short, it was such a fantastic experience, and we got to see so much of the city and surrounding mountains. The best part is it only cost $160 CAD! I’m not the only one who loves this experience, it has over 600 5-star reviews!

For an even more epic experience, there are even seaplane tours that also combine with whale watching. As we mentioned earlier, whale watching is the best in Vancouver, so a combo tour is a great way to experience it all, and save a few bucks in the process.

Seaplane tour in Victoria

For those staying in Victoria, don’t worry – there are some great seaplane tours too! This Victoria seaplane tour is a 20-minute experience that departs from Victoria Harbour Airport and costs as low as $143 CAD. The plane soars over the downtown area, the harbor, and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and in the distance, you’ll be able to see the Olympic Mountains making for an unforgettable adventure. 

Float plane in Whistler
Ready for take-off!

Floatplane in Whistler

Dare I say that there’s no better way to explore Whistler than from the sky! From this vantage point, you get a birds-eye view of the many mountains and lakes in the region. It’s a dream tour option for photography lovers because the photos you can capture are epic!

I think a floatplane is an extra-special experience because the lake is your runway! Here in Whistler, there is a unique floatplane tour you can book that takes you to see glaciers! It’s definitely one of the most memorable experiences we’ve had to date in Canada.

You will have 30 minutes of flight time, which is plenty of time as time seems to slow down from the air. Something about those mountain and coast views, I suppose! This tour operates from May through September, so it’s a perfect addition to you Whistler summer itinerary.

26. Explore Kootenay National Park

looking down into MArble Canyon in Kootenay National Park
Marble Canyon

Situated within the Canadian Rockies, Kootenay National Park is one of the most naturally beautiful parts of British Columbia. Bursting at the seams with wildlife like grizzly bears and moose, scenes of cliffs, canyons, forests, and valleys, and with over 200 kilometers (125 miles) of hiking trails – stopping here during your vacation to BC is a no-brainer. 

The best way to explore this park is by driving through it and stopping along the way. The road that runs through Kootenay National Park is the Banff-Windermere Highway (Highway 93) which is 106 kilometers long (65 miles), and it also connects to Banff National Park. 

As I mentioned, one of the best things to do in this park is a hike, and two of my favorite trails here are the Stanley Glacier Trail and the Marble Canyon Trail.

The Stanley Glacier Trail is often described by locals and tour guides as the perfect combination of ice and fire. The reason for this is that the trail follows through a section that was badly burnt by forest fires in 1968 and 2003.

But thankfully, this section is now re-growing, and on your hike, you’ll spy willows, beautiful wildflowers, and lodgepole pine trees. As for the “ice” on this trail – the upper part of your hike here offers an incredible view of Stanley Glacier and glacier meltwater falls that tumble down huge rock walls. The hike is 4.2 kilometers (2.6 miles) long and should take about three hours round-trip.

Next up, Marble Canyon is one of the best Kootenay National Park attractions because it’s a spectacular sight and easy to reach. The trailhead starts in the Marble Canyon parking lot right off the highway. The trail along Marble Canyon is less than 1 km (0.6 miles) and lets you hike along the edge of the canyon and across seven different bridges. These bridges let you view the steep drop into the canyon where the powerful waters of the creek have carved out the limestone rock walls.  

Related Read: You’ll drive through Kootenay National Park on road trips from Calgary to Radium or Invermere.

27. Float down a river

Two people relax in inflatable tubes on the Columbia River float near Invermere,BC
The river in Fairmont, BC

Floating down the river is one of our favorite ways to spend a hot summer afternoon! It’s so relaxing, a fun way to hang out as a group, and easy to get in a swim. This is a classic Canadian summer activity, we did it every summer growing up!

Penticton River Channel

I can’t imagine a better summer activity in Penticton than floating down the 7 km (4.3 miles) Penticton River Channel.

With Coyote Cruises, you can rent a single, double, or even quad tube! Prices are $18-25 CAD per person, depending on your chosen size. This also includes your shuttle ride back to the top. Not too bad for a half-day activity!

If you have your own tube, you can just pay for a shuttle ride from Coyote Cruises, making it an even cheaper activity. Or, if you have your own wheels and a friend with theirs, you can skip the shuttle altogether and park one vehicle at the end and one at the start.

You can expect to float down the river for about 1-3.5 hours, depending on the water flow and if you want to be picked up at the midpoint or the end.

River Float, Fairmont

The river float in Fairmont town has you drifting slowly on the Columbia River through the town along the golf courses and houses. The entire way, there are breathtaking views of the mountains. You can start the float in one of two locations – the first is along Columbia River Road, and the second and shorter option starts near the Spruce Grove Campground along the Kootenay Highway. 

The best part is that if you have your own tube or floaties, then this activity is completely free! If you don’t have your own tube you can rent one in town at the small gas station in Fairmont. 

If you hop in at Columbia River Road, the float will take you just over 2 hours in spring and up to 4 hours at the end of summer. While from the Spruce Grove Campground entry point, the float will take under 1.5 hours in the spring and under 3 hours in the summer.

Enderby 

The small town of Enderby sits on the Shuswap River and is a great place to do a river float. Along the float, you will pass under the Enderby Bridge and past luxury homes and farms. The river is quite wide, so there’s lots of space to move away from other floaters. The best thing is that the Enderby River float is 100% free – you’ll just need to purchase or rent a floating device. 

On this stretch of river, there are numerous places to hop in and out, including Trinity Bridge, Eby Hand Launch, Belvedere Park, and Tuey Park – which is the last stop, so you must stop here, or you’ll find yourself in a very long float all the way to Mara Lake. There are no signs for Tuey Park, but you will notice a sandy beach full of people. 

Unfortunately, there is no shuttle service here, so you will need to park one car at your entry point and have a friend park theirs at your exit point. 

28. Go mountain biking

A mountain biker rides down a trail in Squamish, BC
Mountain biking is fun but always wear a helmet because I’ve seen a few nasty falls!

When the warmer months hit and the snow on the slopes melts, BC’s top ski resorts turn into a paradise for mountain bikers. Whistler especially is known as the mountain biking capital of the world – and it attracts people from all over the world every summer.

The bike park in Revelstoke is awesome, too, and because it draws in fewer crowds makes for a more enjoyable experience, in my opinion. On this list, I’ve also included the Coast Gravity Park which is only a short ferry ride from Vancouver

Whistler

Whistler Bike Park is home to over 70 trails which are spread out over four zones – Fitzsimmons, Garbanzo, Creekside, and Peak. It’s got a few accolades to its name, too – it’s the top lift-accessed bike park in the world, and it also has the largest rideable terrain of any bike park in North America!

The great thing, too, is that there’s a trail for every ability here. If you’re new, start with “EZ Does It” by riding up the Fitzsimmons Express lift, and taking this easy trail all the way down into the village. Other easy tracks include Del Boca Vista and Crabapple Turns. For the more experienced, you can test your skills on blue trails like Ninja Cougar and B-Line. There are pro and expert trails, but these are typically very technical and steep and only recommended for confident bikers.

It costs $84 CAD for a one-day ticket to Whistler Bike Park, when purchased in advance.

You can rent bikes from Garbanzo Bike and Bean Rental on Mountain Square, Evolution on Whistler Green, and Whistler Sports Rentals on Gateway Drive.

Revelstoke

As I said, Revelstoke isn’t as popular as Whistler, so that means more people-free runs, fewer lines, and heaps of fun! 

Day tickets for the chairlift in Revelstoke are also good value for money at just $35 CAD! The longest run here descends 5,620 feet (1,712 meters), is 15 km (9.3 miles), and is perfect for more advanced riders. However, to access this huge run you must ride up 7 km (4.3 miles) to the start after you get off the chair lift, but honestly, it’s so worth it!

You can rent bikes in town at Skookum or directly from the Revelstoke Mountain Resort

Coast Gravity Park, Sunshine Coast

The first low-elevation bike park in Canada, Coast Gravity Park, is located 3 km (1.9 miles) from Sechelt. You’ll need to take a ferry from Vancouver to Langdale and then catch a park shuttle to the course. Built by riders for riders, this local-fave bike park boasts 16 trails. 

Riders of all levels can have fun on the bike trails, which carve their way through low elevation ocean front forests and were designed by world-renowned riders. The mountain biking season here is long too – from April to December – so there’s plenty of time to get some great rides in.

29. See huge trees!

Daniel stands in the trunk of a tree at Cathedral Grove, Vancouver Island
The trees are so big you can stand in them!
Bailey with the largest tree in Cathedral Grove, Canada
Massive!

If majestic giant trees are on your list of things to see when visiting BC, then update your itinerary to include a stop at Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park or the Hemlock Grove Boardwalk in Glacier National Park! 

Cathedral Grove

Cathedral Grove is located within MacMillan Provincial Park, between Port Alberni and Parksville. The great thing is that there’s no entrance fee to Cathedral Grove, which makes this such an excellent choice if you’re on a budget and looking to connect with the Pacific Northwest nature.

This area of colossal trees is easy to miss – at first, it just looks like a rest stop on the side of the highway. But for those in the know, this spot is one of the best places to see ancient old-growth Douglas Fir trees! Would you believe the trees here are several hundred years old, with some as old as 800 years old? 

Whether you’re a nature photographer or just a nature lover, we highly recommend stopping here! Plus, if you’re a Star Wars fan, you definitely have to add this place to your list! George Lucas shot scenes from Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi in Cathedral Grove. The Grove was used as the backdrop for Endor, which is the planet that the Ewoks live on.

Hemlock Grove Boardwalk

Glacier National Park is where you can wander through ancient forests filled with old cedars, and one of the best places in the park to see these majestic trees up close is on the short Hemlock Grove Boardwalk, a family-friendly trail that is essentially a series of boardwalks through the forest. 

Along this fun interpretive trail, you will have access to a host of information on the plants and animals that can be found in the area, including the cedar and hemlock trees that give the trail its name. 

30. Snowmobiling

snowmobiling tour in Canada
Snowmobiling is so much fun!

Do you love adrenaline-fuelled activities and stunning winter landscapes? Then you should consider booking a snowmobiling tour in British Columbia. These are super popular in the tourist haven of Whistler and the lesser-known gem that is Valemount.

I just had to include this speedy heart-stopping sport on my list of the best things to do in BC. Ziping through frozen winter wonderland scenes with nobody in your way is such an unforgettable experience.

Whistler

I think one of the best winter activities in Whistler has got to be snowmobiling! Just imagine yourself driving a high-powered machine through some of the most breathtaking, untouched backcountry trails. 

The Callaghan Cruiser snowmobile tour is a great option that takes you through the Callaghan Valley and to the abandoned Northair gold mine. You’ll also visit an open area known as a play area that’s perfect for seeing just what a snowmobile can do.

In total, the $282 CAD tour is 3 hours long and is filled with interesting information, breathtaking views, and of course, a ton of excitement. The best part is that kids as young as five can join the tour. However, you need to be 19+ with a full, valid driver’s license to drive the snowmobile.

Valemount

Snowmobiling has always been a very popular winter activity in Canada, and it’s one of the iconic activities to check out in Valemount. In fact, getting amongst the powder in Valemount’s backcountry is one of my favorite things to do in BC! 

Of course, if you don’t have your own snowmobile, this isn’t a cheap activity, but tours and rentals are available. If it’s your first time in Valemount, then a tour is the best option. Alpine Country Rentals runs a 7-hour tour with an expert guide which includes your rental from $500 CAD. If you have your own machine, you can also join the tour for only $100 CAD (great if you don’t know the area), or if you need a rental, they start at $400 CAD for a full day.

31. Hiking!!!

View from Panorama Ridge at Garibaldi Lake
View from Panorama Ridge at Garibaldi Lake

Hiking and BC go hand-in-hand. I don’t think any other province in Canada has quite so many scenic hikes!

From the family-friendly Cheakamus Lake hike to the breathtaking Garibaldi Lake hike (honestly, you’ll be mouthing “wow” to yourself every few minutes on this hike) there’s a hike for every ability in “beautiful British Columbia.” In fact, I’d go so far as to say that it would be a shame to come to British Columbia and not complete at least one hike.

Hiking is the ultimate Canadian activity, and I’ve included a couple of my favorite BC hikes below – 

Garibaldi Lake

First up is the Garibaldi Lake hike near Whistler. This is an intermediate hike with a whopping 820 meters (2,690 feet) of elevation gain! The hike is about 18 km (11 miles) long and is overall quite challenging, taking most people around five hours to complete.  

The hike is accessible from the Rubble Creek parking lot, which is south of Whistler Village, and starts at the wooden steps at the top of the parking lot. You’ll follow this trail until you reach the dreamy turquoise-colored Garibaldi Lake. This view, plus the picturesque meadows with alpine flowers along the trail, make the hard slog so worth it! 

The last time we did this hike, we spent the night at the lake. It broke up the hike nicely, and the best part was we got to enjoy “golden hour” at one of the most beautiful places in BC!

Cheakamus Lake

You can hike this family-friendly hike in Whistler in the summer months only and sometimes as far as October, depending on the weather. The main attraction, Cheakamus Lake, is a stunning opal color, which, sits at 915 meters (3,001 feet) above sea level. 

The hike is rated as easy and at just 3 kilometers (1.9 miles) from the parking lot into the lake, this section can easily be completed in an hour. 

However, the entire trail is 16 kilometers (10 miles) and will take 5 hours total to complete. To do the whole trail, once you reach the lake, walk along its shoreline for 4 km (2.5 miles), taking in the scenery before coming to Singing Creek Campground. From here, there’s a lovely photo op of the lake. 

This trail starts from the car park about 7.5 kilometers (4.6 miles) down Cheakamus Lake Forest Road in the neighborhood of Cheakamus Crossing.

Grouse Grind

The trail to the top of Grouse Mountain in North Vancouver is called “The Grouse Grind,” and it’s a toughie as it involves climbing up over 2,800 steps. It’s often referred to as “Mother Nature’s StairMaster” and after completing it, I don’t disagree!

The views of the city at the top make the trek worth it, though. As challenging as it is, the hike is only 2.5 kilometers (1.5 miles long). Would you believe that some Vancouverites do this as their daily workout? This hike is one of the most popular hikes in Vancouver, with over 100,000 hikers tackling it every year. 

Panorama Ridge

With one of the most iconic and instantly recognizable photo spots in British Columbia, Panorama Ridge is one of the most highly sought prizes in the hiking glossary. At 31 km (19 miles) and 1,600 meters (5,250 feet) elevation, though, it’s also one of the longer day hikes you can do. If you want to do this one in a day, you’d best leave early and walk at a moderate pace as it’ll likely take you 9-10 hours. 

While the beginning of this hike leaves much to be desired (think endless switchbacks), once you reach Taylor Meadows, the views are breathtaking, with stunning alpine meadows, glaciers galore, and iconic peaks like the Black Tusk

All of the above culminates with an absolutely stunning view above the glistening Garibaldi Lake. From the summit, you can return to the trailhead via the lake, where many people go for a welcome (albeit chilly) dip in the glacial waters to rest their legs. 

Stawamus Chief

Known by Squamish locals as “The Chief,” the towering granite cliff face of Stawamus Chief is one of the most popular hikes to attempt in BC. But be aware that this is a challenging climb as the trail heads straight up almost from the start!  

There are three different peaks you can climb at Stawamus Chief. The route to all of them starts from the main Chief Hiking Trail just off Highway 99 near Squamish. This trail is extremely well-signed, so you’ll be able to easily follow the trail and see the turn-off for each peak on signposts.  

The first peak is about a 4 km (2.5 mile) round trip and should take about three hours. The highlight here is the natural viewing platform with sheer cliffs on three sides. This is such a cool spot to stop for photos or even sit and have lunch.

The hike to the second and third peaks requires about six hours for the 7 km (4.3-mile) round-trip journey. While an intense hike, this also has some amazing viewpoints, including the North Gully, where you can see the incredible gap in between soaring sheer cliff walls. 

32. Go fishing

A man fishing in Stamp River Provincial Park
With so many salmon around, how hard can it be?

Fishing is a favorite pastime in British Columbia, with around 26,000 km (16,000 miles) of Pacific Ocean coastline and heaps of rivers and lakes. It’s no surprise why fishing here is so popular with anglers worldwide. 

Places like Whistler, Tofino, Campbell River, and Ucluelet are the most popular fishing destinations in the province, and the ‘best catch’ in British Columbia is salmon. The rivers and ocean are filled with different Pacific Salmon species such as chinook, sockeye, coho, and pink salmon.

The best part is that fishing here isn’t a summer-only activity. In places like Whistler, you can go ice fishing on the frozen lakes for trout!

Whistler

Whistler is one of the best fishing spots in BC, with salmon to be caught in the rivers near here and rainbow trout and bull trout most commonly found in the lakes surrounding the town. 

Of course, you can head out to the town’s lakes, like Alta Lake, Green Lake, or Nita Lake, on your own. If you do, you can rent fishing equipment from Pemberton Fish Finders or Spud Valley in Pemberton. 

Or, if you’d prefer, join this 3-hour guided fishing trip with an experienced guide who will take you to a local’s secret fishing spot. Choose from fly or spin fishing, whichever you prefer, and what’s great is that boots, waders, and all other equipment are included in the price of $189 CAD. It’s important to note that the fishing location may change depending on the time of year, as your guide wants to guarantee you the best chance of success. 

Tofino

Tofino Harbour is a great place to try your hand at fishing, and you don’t even need a boat! Top fishing spots around Tofino include Wilf Rock, Barney Rocks, and Bartlett Island. There’s also a public pier where you can fish for free, or there’s the option to join a guided fishing charter.

Note: Before heading out to your favorite fishing spot, ensure you have the right fishing license. Freshwater Fishing Licences can be purchased online here or from a licensed vendor. While saltwater fishing licenses are operated by the federal government, more information can be found here

33. Drink craft beer

Bailey enjoys a beer at Fernie Brewing Company
Fernie Brewing Co
Daniel at Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company, Parksville
Always get a tasting paddle!

We’re ending this list on a high with one of my all-time favorite activities – drinking craft beer. BC is known for its delicious craft beer and unique breweries, and best of all, it’s home to the BC Ale Trail, a network of over 220 craft breweries spread over 21 Ale Trails. It’s the ultimate activity for beer lovers!

With so many breweries in the province, this means that no matter where in BC you plan to stay, you’re sure to have an awesome craft beer brewery on your doorstep!

Here are some of my favorite places in British Columbia to enjoy craft beer!

Whistler

Of course, the cool mountain town of Whistler is filled with epic breweries. Whistler Brewing Co. is my favorite brewery here because they always have a great selection of beer on tap, and their food options are good. It’s pretty reasonable, too, and a 20-ounce beer costs around $7 CAD. 

For an awesome tour in Whistler that combines a spin around town and craft beer, we loved this sightseeing tour. You’ll visit some of the town’s most famous sites, like Green Lake Lookout and the Olympic Plaza, before popping into Whistler Brewing Co to have a tasty drink, snack, and enjoy the good vibes. The tour comes in at under $105 CAD and is a great introduction to the city.

Kelowna

There are so many different breweries to visit in Kelowna, like BNA Brewing which is located in a quirky historic building complete with a bowling alley, and the huge Kelowna Brewing Company, which has a massive variety of craft beers and is one of the most popular places to hang out in the city!

Vernon

Seeing as it’s such a small city, you may be surprised to learn that Vernon is home to a bustling and cool brewpub – Marten Brewing. They have a great, albeit unique, selection of craft beers and run a great happy hour from 3-6 pm or 9-11 pm, Monday to Saturday and all day Sunday. During this time, you can get specials on beer and lots of food specials, including their amazing beef burger! In fact, as well as being a great spot for a beer it’s also one of the best restaurants in Vernon.

Fernie

Fernie has a fantastic local brewery – Fernie Brewing Co., located on the outskirts of town, not far from the Fernie Visitor Center. The tasting room here is huge and has those mountain views Fernie is famous for. If you’re here in the summer, grab a spot on the patio – there’s even a “dog parking” area where your furry friend can hang out nearby.

Interestingly, all their beers, ales, and lagers use Rocky Mountain water, barley, malt, hops, and some unique flavors for seasonal and specialty brews. I’m a huge fan of their Grapefruit IPA. They always have 12 beers on tap, so you’ll definitely find something you like. The tasting room is open from 12-7 pm Sunday to Wednesday and from 12-8 pm Thursday to Saturday.

Revelstoke

Mt Begbie Brewing Co. is Revelstoke’s very own craft brewery! This small brewery opened in 1996, and ever since, it has continued to grow, shipping its award-winning beers all across Canada. In Revelstoke, you can actually visit the brewery itself. They have a retail shop as well as a tasting room where you can try a variety of their beers.

Renting a Car in British Columbia

A rural road with Mt Currie in the background
Road trips are the best way to explore Canada!

If you’re arriving in British Columbia via plane, then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. British Columbia is a large province, and traveling between the best places to visit in BC requires transport. Although you can use public transport on some occasions, this means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

Car rental in Canada isn’t relatively cheap, but it’s not that expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with a pick-up and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though, depending on the time of year. For car rentals, I use the website Discover Cars. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used Discover Cars all over the world, including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia. Read my honest review of Discover Cars here for more details!

Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter). Using Motorhome Republic, you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada and you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable! Read my tips on using Motorhome Republic here before you book!

Thanks for reading!

Daniel and Bailey take a selfie at The Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island, BC
Thanks for reading!

Whew, now that turned out to be a whopper of a post, didn’t it?! Because British Columbia is one of those special destinations so close to my heart (having lived here for a time), once I start writing (or talking) about it, I can’t stop! There really are so many incredible things to do in BC that this list just scratches the surface!

Which place/activity are you most excited to check out?! Be sure to check out our other British Columbia blogs as well as some other popular posts:

10 Things to Know BEFORE Booking a Helicopter Tour in Vancouver

11 Things to KNOW About Horseback Riding in Pemberton, BC

17 BEST Things to do in Hope, BC

COMPLETE Guide to Visiting Duncan, BC + 15 Fun Things to do

Beth T

Wednesday 29th of May 2024

This was SUCH a helpful post! Thank you so much for taking the time to put it together. I learned so much and have developed a little "bucket list" just for BC! I love your writing style in that you add little details that may often be overlooked. Happy Travels, from Ludington, Michigan, USA! :)

Destinationless Travel

Friday 31st of May 2024

Hey Beth!

BC is so beautiful so I'm sure this list has got you excited for your upcoming trip!

Safe travels from Vancouver, Canada!