Visit British Columbia and Explore its Cultural Capital
Vancouver, one of Canada’s most ethnically and culturally diverse cities, is an urban treasure tucked between the mountains and the sea. Sample your way through artisan olive oils, cheeses and charcuterie at the Granville Island Public Market, then visit the heritage sites of one of North America’s oldest Chinatowns. Stroll or bike along the vast seawall in Stanley Park for exquisite views of Vancouver Harbour.
Discover the Heart of the City
Once gritty and rundown, the cobbled streets of Gastown, Vancouver’s first downtown core, are now lined with designer boutiques and mouthwatering eateries. Learn how steamboat captain “Gassy” Jack Deighton opened a saloon that inspired the name of the town, and admire some of Vancouver’s most impressive Victorian architecture. Hop aboard an authentic paddle-wheeler to see how the skyline has changed since its late 19th-century Gastown beginnings.
Savor Delights in Victoria
Catch a ferry to the capital city when you visit British Columbia. Linger over afternoon tea in the lobby of the Fairmont Empress hotel, or sip an Empress Sour cocktail in its new Q Bar, which overlooks the Inner Harbour. Recognizable by its central dome, the British Columbia Parliament Buildings complex offers free tours daily. Don’t miss the Royal BC Museum, home to First Nation masks and totem poles. The world-renowned Butchart Gardens spring to life with colorful flora from Italy, Japan and beyond.
Venture North for Stunning Natural Scenery
Head north from Vancouver along British Columbia’s gorgeous Sea to Sky Highway, stopping to admire gushing waterfalls and the world’s second-largest granite monolith. Outdoor activities abound along the route, whether it’s hiking the steep Grouse Grind or riding the Sea to Sky Gondola to nearly 3,000 feet above the Howe Sound fjord. Winter sports and mountain biking hotspot Whistler isn’t all about the terrain; its lively pedestrian village brims with shops, restaurants and galleries showcasing local artisan wares.