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10 unique experiences in British Columbia

posted February 17, 2018

whale watching in british columbia

British Columbia is one of Canada’s best-loved provinces. It’s home to iconic cities like Vancouver and Whistler. It boasts multiple mountain ranges as well as an epic coastline. It has a truly wild rainforest spanning 12,000 square miles (that’s bigger than Belgium). As you’d expect, BC is full of amazing experiences. Make the most of a visit and taste, fly and try your way through the province. Here are some examples of unique experiences to wet your whistle:


1. Fly ‘n Dine, Bowen Island, Vancouver

A Destination Canada Signature Experience!

bowen island british columbia

Take a scenic 20-mintue floatplane from Vancouver to Bowen Island. This quietly beautiful forested island is just off the coast of West Vancouver. Once you arrive, tuck into some authentic local coastal cuisine such as dark ale-battered fish and chips, seafood chowder and delicious homemade apple crumble. After the dining experience, take the ferry across the ocean to Horseshoe Bay for a different view of the coastline. Return to Vancouver in optional opulence, lounging in a limousine.


2. A Wild & Scenic Rocky Mountain Paddle*, Yoho National Park

A Destination Canada Signature Experience!

Golden, BC

Explore the incredible Yoho National Park in the most exhilarating way: through the Rocky Mountain river systems. Travel the old First Nations routes through the park on a leisurely stand-up paddleboard down the emerald green waters of Beaver River. Catch a glimpse of Wapta Falls at the end, one of the most photographed waterfalls in the Canadian Rockies. With scenery like this, you’ll soon understand why the Aboriginal meaning for Yoho is an expression of awe.


3. Island Airtime: The Mail Run Flight*

A Destination Canada Signature Experience!

floatplane british columbia

Take part in a daily event from Vancouver and join the Southern Gulf Islands mail run. Transported in a floatplane, it’s a unique way to get some incredible aerial views of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, and potentially of some wildlife enjoying the calm ocean waters. Ride with locals and hop-off at Salt Spring Island to explore the authentic island town’s seaside villages.  Enjoy the views over the coastline before flying back into Vancouver over the sights of the city.


4. Skyride Surf Adventure, Grouse Mountain

During the summer months at Grouse Mountain, North Vancouver, you’ll find a unique way to head to the peak. The Skyride Gondola usually seats guests inside its glass body. Not so in summer. Instead, you can stand on the open rooftop of the gondola to feel the wind on your face! It’s not for the faint-hearted as the gondola looks down on amazing landmarks on the lower mainland from 1,610m in the air. If you’re brave enough, it’s an unbeatable experience.


5. Whales & Sunset, Victoria

whales british columbia

Combine the beauty of the evening sunset with wildlife watching in the BC’s capital, Victoria, on this special evening tour. Victoria has access to the rich waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca by boat or zodiac. A pod of resident orcas lives here all year round, and the plentiful feeding in summer attracts scores more humpbacks and other whales. The tours run on selected summer evenings and are great for an extra special adventure.


6. Snorkel with Salmon, Campbell River

salmon british columbia

Every year, thousands of salmon fill the waters around British Columbia and wind their way inland to reach the river from which they spawned. It’s not just the grizzlies who adore this incredible feat of nature. You can too: experience this up-close and hop in a zodiac, looking in through the clear waters, or get amongst the salmon on a unique snorkelling trip.


7. Barkerville Historic Town*, Barkerville

A Destination Canada Signature Experience!

Barkerville british columbia

Experience the best of the Wild West in a restored British Columbia Gold Rush town. Tucked away in a corner near the Alberta border, Barkerville is close to landmark towns like 100 Mile House and Prince George. This old frontier town takes visitors back to the 1800s in perfectly restored heritage buildings. Barkerville is a National Historic Site of Canada where you can pan for gold, ride a stagecoach and don a period costumer for an old-style photo.


8. Eat Like a Canadian

victoria british columbia

Looking for a taste of the local cuisine?  Try Off the Eaten Tracks’ tour around Victoria’s Inner Harbour for a chance to try some typically Canadian traditional dishes and specialities. Victoria, like many places in British Columbia, is blessed with access to fresher-than-fresh seafood. There is an abundance of delicious fish on offer which makes its way into dishes like clam chowder and fish tacos. The Fisherman’s Wharf is a favourite destination, where colourful food stalls have made their mark on the floating jetty, surrounded by rainbow house-boats.


9. Spotted Lake Cultural Tour

Spotted Lake

Every summer, Spotted Lake just outside Osoyoos (east of Vancouver on the US border) evaporates. This might not sound like such a dramatic occurrence until you learn that the evaporating water leaves behind incredible colourful patterns. They start as glistening pools of the surface of the lake, before finally establishing themselves as mineral deposits left on the lake bed. Visit the protected site with a local First Nations guide as well as other sites such as Nk’mip Cultural Centre.


10. Guided Ice-Fishing

ice fishing

Enjoy winter in British Columbia with crisp mountain air and some midday blue skies on a guided ice fishing trip with Elevated Fishing Adventures. This uniquely Canadian experience is available from the Sun Peaks mountain resort and explores the surrounding lakes, giving visitors a chance to try their hand at fishing for wild rainbow trout. It’s an activity that is both relaxing and exhilarating, that gets you closer to nature and also offers the chance of a delicious supper afterwards…if you’re lucky. What’s not to love?



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