Top 10 Things to Do in British Columbia
Vancouverites often hear visitors comment that Vancouver is beautiful, everybody’s so welcoming, and there’s so much to do here. From exploring its world-renowned coastal temperate rainforest to hiking across an awe-inspiring suspension bridge and surfing in Tofino – Vancouver truly caters to outdoor enthusiasts!
Vancouver offers many captivating activities for its visitors to enjoy, from whale watching and walking the Capilano Suspension Bridge, to discovering its rich cultural history at the Museum of Anthropology or enjoying fine dining on Granville Island.
1. Hike to Garibaldi Lake
Garibaldi Lake in British Columbia offers visitors a stunning hiking experience. Situated within Garibaldi Provincial Park, this vibrant lake boasts majestic mountain peaks and breathtaking forests surrounding it – providing an awe-inspiring setting.
Starting from Rubble Creek parking lot, this hike winds its way through a forest of hemlock and cedar trees until reaching Barrier Viewpoint and taking in your first glimpse of the valley below. Next you will pass small Barrier Lake followed by several more lakes before arriving at Garibaldi Lake.
This hike may be difficult and long, but the incredible views from Garibaldi Lake make it well worth your while! Be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks as well as following bear safety advice when exploring this area.
2. Climb Stawamus Chief
Visit one of the world’s largest granite monoliths with a hike to Stawamus Chief. This mountain towers over Squamish, and is widely known among rock climbers from across the globe.
Hiking trail can be challenging and requires strong physical fitness to reach the summit through steep inclines and drops; on hot summer days it can reach temperatures exceeding 120.
Hiking in Lake Superior is most popular during the summer and weekends can become congested and overrun with people. To avoid crowds, visiting between April and October would be wisest; its peaks could even be free from snow as early as March! Hiking season generally lasts until September or October.
3. Cycle the Seawall
BC offers amazing outdoor adventures from mountain vistas to rainforest trails, offering something exciting for anyone who appreciates nature. Take on river rafting adventures downstream, ascend a chair lift for stunning mountain vistas or cycle along Stanley Park Seawall; there is something here for everyone in this wild and beautiful province!
Vancouver’s Stanley Park’s Seawall path provides cyclists of all ages a safe, scenic route for cycling enthusiasts of all ages to experience stunning water views and natural landscapes, such as Lions Gate Bridge that connects Vancouver to its North Shore Mountains, Siwash Rock (commonly referred to as pineapple rock due to its shape), Third Beach where drummers gather every Tuesday evening during summer months, pristine beaches like Third Beach with access to third Beach Drumming Circle – plus there are dedicated lanes for walkers/runners/cyclists making sure everyone stays safe!
4. Ride a Mountain Coaster
Revelstoke is an idyllic mountain destination no matter the season, yet also boasts one of Canada’s premier adrenaline attractions: Pipe Mountain Coaster. This thrilling ride travels at high speeds through forested slopes of Revelstoke before coming to an abrupt halt at Revelstoke Station.
Experience ‘airtime’ (that delicious moment when the coaster track lifts your seat off your butt, leaving you weightless) on this exciting ride – one of British Columbia’s premier thrill experiences.
Discover breathtaking fjords and Pacific cliffs along the Sea to Sky Highway between Vancouver and Whistler, admire totem poles in Stanley Park or discover more about Indigenous People through one of Vancouver Highlights Tour or Capilano Suspension Bridge Tour’s tours.
5. Take a Hike to Cathedral Grove
Cathedral Grove in British Columbia is an exceptional destination for nature enthusiasts. Situated within MacMillan Provincial Park near Port Alberni, it features towering Douglas Firs, Grand Firs and Western Red Cedar trees that dominate its forest floor – not to mention an abundance of wildflowers!
Walking through a grove can be an unforgettable experience, particularly when sunlight filters through its canopy and illuminates fallen trees that have transformed into natural sculptures.
Travelers looking to visit Cathedral Grove have two options for getting there: driving from Nanaimo or joining one of the tours that include this attraction. Tours provide visitors with a time-saving option while providing them with expert insight into this forest environment.
6. Visit the Hemlock Grove Boardwalk
British Columbia offers something special to any traveler looking for adventure – be it high tea in Victoria, river rafting on its vast rivers, breathtaking mountain landscapes or mouthwatering cuisine. There is so much more than meets the eye here than just nature – come experience vibrant cultures while feasting upon some of the world’s best cuisine!
Hike one of the many hiking trails at Garibaldi Provincial Park near Squamish and be amazed by breathtaking turquoise-colored lakes nestled amid rugged mountains and glaciers. Or head up to Whistler for outdoor fun and fine dining experiences.
Discover BC’s natural history at the Royal British Columbia Museum – home to an impressive collection of indigenous totem poles, cedar sculptures, bentwood boxes and more from various indigenous groups – or gain an insight into its Indigenous culture at Vancouver’s acclaimed Granville Island.
7. Visit Grouse Mountain
Grouse Mountain offers something for every outdoor adventurer year-round – be it summer mountain hiking or winter gondola rides for breathtaking views! This popular outdoor destination features hiking trails, restaurants, wildlife sanctuaries and even two terrain park zones – making this destination truly remarkable.
The Grouse Grind trail provides a challenging yet rewarding trek through nature’s own Stairmaster. A popular choice among locals, this path makes for an exciting outdoor exercise session!
Attraction features family-friendly entertainment such as lumberjack shows and bird-in-motion demonstrations, plus zipline rides over one of the world’s most famed bridges, Capilano Suspension Bridge – at 430 feet wide it is one of the longest suspension bridges in North America providing stunning views of Vancouver and Columbia River below.
8. Take a Ride on the Grouse Gondola
British Columbia offers breathtaking natural and man-made wonders from sea to mountaintop, from elegant high tea at Victoria’s Royal BC Museum to wild grizzly bear viewing in Telegraph Cove – it all awaits in British Columbia!
Experience breathtaking views as you ride Grouse Mountain’s Skyride or try your luck in the Peak 2 Peak Gondola with its glass floor for an exciting journey to its summit. No matter the season, Squamish’s iconic destination offers something special.
Check out Shannon Falls, marvel beneath Stawamus Chief (carved by glaciers), or admire Emily Carr’s collection of totem poles painted. While in Squamish you will also find Capilano Suspension Bridge Park where Treetop Adventures or CliffWalk can take place – two great attractions.
9. Climb Mount Robson
Mount Robson stands tall as one of the highest points in Canada’s Rockies, dwarfing any other alpine climbs worldwide and becoming an immensely popular hiking and backpacking trail. Hikers and backpackers flock here seeking adventure on big mountains.
Helmcken Falls at Wells Gray National Park offer an unforgettable hiking experience that’s both relaxing and exhilarating; three times taller than Niagra Falls to the east, explore their incredible scenery on an 8 km moderate trek.
British Columbia offers so much. From sipping high tea in Victoria’s historic city centre to racing down rivers on river rafts, the province has something to offer everyone. Get outdoors, climb a trestle bridge and admire its breathtaking views for an experience like no other – British Columbia truly offers it all.
10. Visit the Fairmont Hot Springs
Experience British Columbia’s natural splendor while relaxing in a hot spring. Or enjoy scenic walks or bike rides around the resort and surrounding trails such as Owl Loop Trail and Poet’s Trail for easy exploration with beautiful views of the area.
Nelson is an idyllic city known for its friendly environment and abundance of outdoor adventure. Mountain biking enthusiasts flock to Nelson, while kayaking and river rafting activities also flourish here. Experience some of its history at Cottonwood Falls Park, Nelson Museum or Viewpoint Gallery.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is one of BC’s premier natural attractions, boasting some of the best scenery in BC and home to one of its signature attractions: West Coast Trail – an epic multi-day hike which allows hikers to discover rugged coastline and sandy beaches.