Travelzoo Tips: British Columbia
We asked our members to share the must-see places in their own communities. Here are their tips for British Columbia.
Ride the rails through the Rockies
“Views of the Rockies are a spectacular experience. Going on the train (rather than driving) allows you to have a hands-free, no-distractions experience enjoying the majestic views. My tip: Check the hours you'll be going through the Rockies. Sometimes the direction matters. You don't want to be going through in the dark!” -- Joan, Travelzoo member
Experience the surf scene in Tofino, B.C.
“Surfers, locals and hippies are all just the most awesome. Be sure to walk the Wickaninnish Beach and enjoy a cinnamon bun at the Common Loaf Bake Shop.” -- expat Jo “Surfers, locals and hippies are all just the most awesome. Be sure to walk the Wickaninnish Beach and enjoy a cinnamon bun at the Common Loaf Bake Shop.” -- expat Jo
Straddle the Canada-U.S. border in Surrey, B.C.
"In Peace Arch Park in Surrey, B.C., you can stand at the Peace Arch with one foot in the U.S. and one foot in Canada. It’s a nice walk with beautiful gardens. While the monument is located at the border crossing between Blaine, Wash., and Douglas, B.C., you don’t need a passport as long as you stay within the park.” — Travelzoo member Mari Anne
Drive on the Squamish Spit
One of the greatest hidden gems in B.C., if not all of Canada is Squamish. Located on the Sea to Sky Highway between Vancouver and Whistler, Squamish is a small community with outdoor adventure activities and the gorgeous Stawamus Chief granite mountain.If you catch a view of it as the sun is coming down, the sun will glimmer off of it and you’ll think you’ve entered a dream world. The best views of the Chief and other Squamish mountains can be found by driving out on a gravel road to the Squamish Spit. It is a popular place for kitesurfing and offers incredible, unobstructed 360-degree views. -Travelzoo staffer Darren Moore
Tour Government House in Victoria, B.C.
"It's got beautiful gardens, well-maintained grounds and breathtaking views of the ocean and Olympic mountain range. And it's free!" -- Member Fiona
Wine-Taste Your Way Through B.C.'s Okanagan Valley
In this guest blog, Marc Smith of 30 Day Adventures shares his advice for making the most of the region's famed vineyards and wineries.
Get to know your local seaweed harvester
Celebrity chefs Chuck Hughes and Danny Smiles share insights into the natural bounty of Vancouver Island in the second installment of our feature, We’re Riding Shotgun on ‘Chuck & Danny’s Road Trip’.
Visit B.C.'s Nisga'a Memorial Lava Bed Provincial Park
"It is just a wonderful sight any time of the year. October, I think is one of the nicest times with the changing of the leaves. But any season has its own beauty. There are four villages to explore in the Nisga’a Nation; Gitlax'aamiks (New Ayiansh) the seat of Governmet for the Nation. Gitwinksihlkw (Canyon City) with a suspension bridge to cross over the Nass River. Laxgaits'ap and (Greenville) and Gingolx (Kincolith), the end of the Valley were it meets the sea. There are many things to do and explore, check their website, and plan your trip. It is well worth the visit." - Member Barry
Try a new take on camping in Canada's National Parks
Visit the Farmer's Market on B.C.'s Salt Spring Island
Celebrity chefs Chuck Hughes and Danny Smiles shop for local fare in the third installment of our feature, We’re Riding Shotgun on ‘Chuck & Danny’s Road Trip.
Cross Vancouver's Lions Gate Bridge by Bike
"Vancouver is big on its bike lanes. The best suggestion come summertime is to rent a bike and ride the seawall -- not only around Stanley Park, but take the route over Lions Gate Bridge. Your quads will burn, but the breathtaking views across the bridge will numb the pain with a sight that showcases the true beauty of the West Coast.” -- Riaz Meghji, Host, Breakfast Television Vancouver.
Visit B.C.'s Haida Gwaii by Zodiac or kayak
"It's not like any other part of Canada - or probably the world! It's a temperate rainforest paradise full of amazing vegetation and wildlife, with Haida guides to help you understand the totems, living sites, and surroundings. Breathtaking!" -- Member Ellen
Feel the Heat at Liard River Hot Springs Provincial Park, B.C.
"It has been a number of years since we experienced the beauty of these springs but they are forever imprinted on my mind. There are three levels -- in the hottest, people were trying to boil eggs. We were there in summer, but the place must be a wonderland in winter with snow surrounding you, sitting in the warmth of the water. The foliage and woods are unbelievable -- a very serene place in our amazing country."
-- Member Irene
See the Glaciers in Summer at Whistler-Blackcomb in B.C.
"It's absolutely beautiful and you feel like you’re on top of the world. You will be in awe! You will also meet people from around the world." -- Member Wes
Seven Family-Friendly Day Trips from Vancouver
In a special guest blog, Claudia Laroye of The Travelling Mom shares her tips for seeing the Vancouver area with kids.
See the Geology of Gabriola Island, B.C.
"Malaspina Galleries, a natural rock formation, is unique and never fails to delight visitors to our island." -- Member Janice
Visit the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver
"It has some of the best Bill Reid pieces on display, and a beautiful outdoor exhibit of First Nations artifacts." -- Member Richard
Get a Glimpse of Grouse Mountain, B.C.
"Everywhere people travel, they seek out tall viewpoints such as the Empire State Building or the Eiffel Tower. I think we are very spoiled in Vancouver -- we have one of the most spectacular natural viewpoints of the city in Grouse Mountain, a truly world class attraction. I will never forget the first time I experienced it." -- Member Curtis
Ride a Mountain Coaster in Revelstoke, B.C.
Get outside on B.C.'s Okanagan Rail Trail
"It goes from Vernon to Kelowna on the old rail line. Almost half of it goes along lakeshore. It's great for walking and mountain biking and it will only improve as it gets more developed." -- Member Gary
Save on Your Trip to Whistler, B.C.
"Most people park at Whistler Village, but you can actually park at Creekside in an underground parking lot for free, and the walk is much shorter to the gondola. During ski season, you can also buy day lift passes from 7-Eleven in Squamish instead of waiting in the ticket queues at Whistler." -- Travelzoo staffer Katie Jones
Step Back in Time to B.C.'s Gold Rush Era
Experience the Gold Rush era at Hat Creek Ranch, where you can sleep in a teepee or covered wagon, says Sherri. She suggests taking the stagecoach ride: "They might let you hold the reins."
Discover the Best of Vancouver’s Granville Island
Guest blog contributor Juanita Ng, a travel writer and an editor at the Vancouver Sun, tells us how to enjoy Granville Island like a local. Did you know that some 275 tenants call Granville Island home and, reflecting Vancouver itself, the businesses are eclectic. Want to learn more? Here's the full post.
Save on Vancouver Suspension Bridge Experience
"Most tourists flock to Capilano Suspension Bridge, which costs a wallet-crunching $43 per person. Instead, head to Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, which is free as it’s a public park. There are loads of walking trails, too." -- Travelzoo deal expert Katie Jones
See the Sites of Vancouver
"Visit Stanley Park, eat fish and chips at Lumberman’s Arch, then take a walk up Robson or Denman Street. It’s the place to be in the summer, and all the locals will be there." -- Travelzoo member Valerie
Explore Quadra Island, B.C.
"Quadra Island sits next to Campbell River and serves as the entryway to the rest of the Discovery Islands. Quadra is a magical place with its friendly people, great hikes and outlooks onto the rugged chain of islands. [You'll] feel a sense of adventure inspired by the uniquely West Coast setting." -- Travelzoo member Tony
Take a Flyer on Abbotsford International Airshow
"Witness impressive flying and take the opportunity to view assorted aircraft up close. There’s plenty of crowd excitement and energy." -- Travelzoo member Sandra