British Columbia

British Columbia Travel Guide

What started as a tiny consignment shop in the indie district around King Edward Avenue has grown into the neighborhood’s premiere boutique for all things antique and secondhand. Find vintage leather clutches and bags alongside baby toys, kitchenware, printed stationery, and more.

In the Victorian neighborhood of Gastown, this three-story Native American art gallery showcases ceremonial masks and totem poles, limited-edition prints, and bentwood boxes. The beaded moccasins and hand-carved “talking sticks” make for great souvenirs.

The iconic “five sails” of this waterfront, multi-use complex welcome thousands of arriving cruise-ship passengers on summer days—and also serve as a visual anchor for the city skyline.

Located in Kitsilano Beach Park on the edge of English Bay, this seasonal public pool features panoramic views of the downtown skyline backed by the North Shore Mountains.

Hike through the orchards of Merridale Ciderworks, seven miles south of Cowichan Bay. Rick Pipes and Janet Docherty make their cider from English and French heirloom apples and distill a fine Calvados-style brandy using a traditional copper still.

Vancouver’s closest mountain for skiing and hiking sits eight miles north of Downtown, and it’s open year-round. A modern tram brings visitors to the summit, some 3,700 feet above the city (be sure to bring your camera—the views are stunning in every season).

North America’s oldest corporation—established in 1670!—Hudson’s Bay Company (known locally as just The Bay) has long been known for its iconic, cream-colored wool blankets, boldly striped in yellow, red, navy, and green.

Set on the main drag of trendy Gastown, this high-end showroom carries contemporary furniture, lighting, and accessories from high-end brands like B&B Italia, Vitra, Carl Hansen & Son, Baccarat, and more.

Share a gelato while strolling the flower-carpeted 55 acres complete with traditional Japanese, Italian, and English rose sections.

This Prohibition-era inspired restaurant and bar overlooks the Maple Tree Square section of historic Gastown. Owned by a handful of bartending veterans, the intimate, neighborhood venue serves Asian-influenced small plates like bánh mì and gyoza.

Outposts of the Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park, these two displays are situated inside Vancouver International Airport. The first, located before security at the domestic terminal on level 3, is the largest airport aquarium in the world.

What to Expect: Backed by the snow-capped North Shore Mountains, this stretch of gray sand is a haven for active types looking to do more than just lie on a towel and contemplate the universe.

A pleasant alternative to the ubiquitous newsstands of airportland, this shop has a sizable stack of fiction by Canadian authors (including Carol Shields, Douglas Coupland, Alice Munro, Robertson Davies, and many others) as well as nonfiction and Vancouver- and Canada-themed coffee-table books.