British Columbia

Things to do in British Columbia

For winter sports lovers, Whistler is one of the most popular destinations not just in British Columbia, but in all of North America. Visitors can ski, snowboard, zip-line, ice skate, bungee jump and more in this lovely town, the host of the 2010 Winter Olympics. After hitting the slope, there’s a wonderful array of activities, too: from shopping to dining to dancing the night away at a club. Adventurous travelers looking for things to do in British Columbia will also love the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, (where they can walk along the 230 ft tall and 450 ft long bridge above the river) and the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, a gorgeous hiking route lined with beaches, tide pools, picnic areas and breathtaking landscapes.

Speaking of great views, don’t miss Glacier National Park, where mountains, caves, rivers and active glaciers create a spectacular experience. For a more low-key approach to nature, spend the day at one of Victoria’s pretty beaches, like Cordova Bay and Gonzales. For a taste of British Columbia’s most vibrant side, head to the beautiful city of Vancouver. With a rich cultural side (expect opera, theater, and film happenings, as well as art and design fairs throughout the year), excellent restaurants and bars, and an eco-friendly lifestyle, it brings together all of the greatest things to do in British Columbia.

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.

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.

Every treatment on the menu at this full-service spa lists a duration time—so you’ll know exactly how much pampering you can squeeze in before your plane takes off.

Wearable art from B.C. designers and Norway's Oleana.

Camping has its charms, but a wet tent and a hard mattress don't always add up to the pampered vacation you deserve. Don't you just wish you could take a cushy hotel room right along with you to the countryside?

Located just two blocks from the park entrance, this West End rental shop gears up sightseers for two wheeled adventures through the trails of Stanley Park and the Vancouver Seawall.

A well-dressed, 40-is-the-new-30 crowd gathers nightly at this slick lounge, set along Yaletown’s trendiest shopping strip.

Seemingly every resident makes a daily pilgrimage to True Grain Bread & Mill, whose organic loaves you’ll smell from blocks away.

The largest professional Shakespeare festival in Western Canada, Bard on the Beach was founded by artistic director Christopher Gaze in 1990. Every summer, the festival hosts four Shakespearean plays inside red-and-white tents set up along English Bay in Vanier Park.

This self-described "wellness center" in downtown's Shangri-La Hotel offers Asian-style spa treatments in a sensual space. Completed in Vancouver in 2009, the Chinese luxury-brand hotel hosting Chi Spa occupies the first 15 floors of British Columbia's tallest building.

Regardless of your airline or class of ticket, passengers can have access to first-class facilities at one of YVR’s two pay-per-use lounges.

The fashion atelier was built as a glass row house in a former parking lot between two brick buildings.

Inspired by ancient Chinese tea traditions, this shop sells a wide variety of loose-leaf organic teas flavored with all-natural ingredients.

This short-haul ferry service/mini tour offers an easy and inexpensive way to take in Vancouver's False Creek waterfront with stops in trendy Yaletown and the foodie Mecca Granville Island Market.

Every night starting at 9 p.m., top-notch jazz performers riff in this intimate restaurant/lounge on the ground floor of the arty Listel Hotel.