Itching to traverse the Pacific Northwest? Get in a British Columbia rental car and head out to the United States’ northwest neighbor. As Canada’s westernmost province, this massive territory has a temperate, and oceanic climate, ideal for play and relaxation, in the great outdoors. Here are a few of British Columbia’s hotspots:
Vancouver is the province’s biggest and busiest city, but it’s unlike any metropolis you’ve seen before. You’ll find yourself sandwiched between the scenic ocean and mountains. Enjoy the natural setting with some camping, fishing, or hiking. Or, relax by sitting ocean side and watching the whales swim by. Golfers certainly won’t be at a loss for things to do; the area offers five private courses and three golf getaways. You can also sign up for an eco-tour or sea safari that lets you discover the pure wilderness of Vancouver. Skiing is another popular activity among locals and travelers, and Vancouver is home to three ski mountains: Cypress, Grouse and Seymour. If you’re up for the trip, drive two hours north until you hit the slopes of the renowned Whistler and Blackcomb ski resorts.
Escape to the Dream World of Victoria
Victoria, British Columbia’s capital city, is about three hours south of Vancouver, but it’s worth the drive. The island location is a pleasant, fairytale-like retreat from the bustle of daily life. Known for its beautiful greenery, and the mildest climate in the country, Victoria also offers unique cuisine, architecture, and cultural nuances. Visit some of the city’s elaborate churches and castles, like Canada’s oldest synagogue, Congregation Emanu-El, or the Craigdarroch Castle Historic House Museum. Victoria has also been dubbed the “City of Gardens” because of its huge collection of colorful gardens. Beacon Hill Park, for example, has 190 acres of flowers, shrubs, and other lush greenery.
Become one with Nature in the Kootenays
The Kootenays is located in the southeast corner of the province and is littered with lakes, mountains and rivers. Daily life here is centered on the natural scenery. Arrive in spring or summer and you’ll find the locals biking and hiking through the mountains. Watch or join in on the kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, fishing, whitewater rafting, and water skiing going on all around you. Summer is also the Kootenays’ music festival season; catch the Nakusp Music Fest, the Kaslo Jazz Etc. fest or the accordion fest at Kimberly. Winter is a time for snowboarding, skiing and snowshoeing. Before you leave, hop in your British Columbia car rental and check out the area’s four scenic national parks.