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British Columbia

Photo by Rob Hurson

British Columbia destinations

The Kootenays

Thompson Okanagan

Vancouver

Vancouver Island

Victoria, BC

Whistler

British Columbia

Travel around British Columbia (BC) and talk to locals and it seems like many more Canadians have relocated here from elsewhere in Canada than in any other place. It’s easy to see why. Between its immense mountains, idyllic lakes, lush forests and sandy beaches the province has just about every landscape you could desire – and all within fairly easy reach of one another. And its main city Vancouver rounds all this off with its own energetic Pacific Northwest chic and a quality of life that makes it the envy of many a world-city.

Meanwhile the options from Vancouver’s backdoor are beguiling. Vancouver’s Coast and Mountains region includes drives north along the Sunshine Coast; the glorious Sea-to-Sky Highway to Whistler, BC’s world-famous ski resort and mountain playground. Then moving off-shore there’s the choice between island-hopping the pretty Gulf Islands, which separate the mainland from fertile Vancouver Island, where thick ferns line idyllic beaches. Here the island capital Victoria provides a dash of history and a genteel (British) heritage.

Much of the rest of the province is a good bit more remote: the Okanagan might be some 400km inland from Vancouver yet its series of lakes give it a seaside feel, while its mild weather, wineries, orchards and energetic retirees often make it feel more Californian than Canadian. The town of Kamloops offers one gateway to this region as well as the Shuswap, a region of lakes that’s famed for its house-boating and salmon runs.

Just east of the Okanagan and the Shuswap lie the very different and the quintessentially Canadian evergreen mountains of the Kootenays. This region may governed by vast lakes and ferry services, but it also has its own spectacular array of peaks that pave the way to the Rockies further east. Many of the same activities – hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing – are possible here and every bit as good – even arguably better as crowds are entirely absent. And it’s relative remoteness also has helped foster a sizeable population of artists and other alternative types that make its main city Nelson an attractive bohemian hub.

Finally, to the north of all the above lies Northern British Columbia, an immense and under-visited area that’s of interest to travelers with more time to spare, particularly those heading up to the Yukon and Alaska.

What it Costs

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Abstract Pricing at a Glance

Prices often fluctuate dynamically depending on capacity, seasonality and deals. We don’t want to lead you astray by quoting exact prices that quickly become wrong. To give you a rough idea for budgetary planning purposes, though, we have indicated general price ranges for all points of interest.

Price ranges are quoted in C$.

See & Do
N/A => Not applicable
Free
$ => Tickets less than $5 per person
$$ => Tickets $6-15 per person
$$$ => Tickets $16 per person

Sleep
$ => Rooms less than $100 for a double
$$ => Rooms $101-200 for a double
$$$ => Rooms $201 for a double

Eat
$ => $1-20 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
$$ => $21-40 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
$$$ => $41 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)

Shop
N/A => Not applicable

Tours
$ => Tickets less than $10 per person
$$ => Tickets $11-30 per person
$$$ => Tickets $31 per person