Top 5 things to do in Coastal British Columbia
The soaring mountains and thick forests of inland British Columbia are a thrilling wilderness where hikers roam through flower-filled meadows and grizzly bears fish for salmon, but venturing to the coast provides just as much fun and adventure. Our specialists have handpicked their favourite ways to spend their days in Coastal BC.
Whale watching, Clayoquot Sound
Take a boat journey through the pristine waters of Clayoquot Sound in search of whales. In May an annual migration of approximately 20,000 grey whales arrive from the lagoons of Baja Mexico. From June to November, they are joined by a whole host of other mammals, including orcas, humpback whales, sea lions, harbour seals and a variety of porpoises. A whale watching trip is really invigorating, and if you're lucky you may even spy a sea otter.
Sea kayaking, Meares Island
Paddle out of Tofino, through the quiet inlets and ancient coastal rainforest of Clayoquot Sound, to the shores of Meares Island. Bird life abounds in this area, and it is a pleasure to observe the shoreline activity unobtrusively from your kayak. When you reach Meares Island, take a short hike into the rainforest to walk beneath giant cedars. You'll also have time to explore the native village of Opitsaht before paddling back across the water in your kayak.
Bicycle tour, Stanley Park
Almost entirely surrounded by the sea, Stanley Park is one of the world’s most beautiful parks, with amazing views of Vancouver’s skyline and the surrounding temperate rainforest. Enjoy an easy six-mile ride accompanied by your guide, who will bring the park to life for you. Learn about the biodiversity of the rainforest, the history of the Coastal First Nations and other hidden treasures and stories that the park has accumulated over its 125 year history.
Seaplane adventure, Vancouver
Vancouver is one of Canada's most iconic cities – a cosmopolitan metropolis surrounded by a stunning coastline and lush mountains. Seeing the city from above on a thrilling seaplane adventure really allows you to grasp its diversity. Depart from downtown Vancouver’s Coal Harbour and enjoy a complete aerial view of the city, as well as the surrounding parks and beaches and North Shore Mountains. Taking off and landing on the water is a highlight!
Butchart Gardens, Victoria
The Butchart Gardens were set up over a century ago by Jennie Butchart, who had a vision to transform an abandoned quarry into a place of natural beauty. These splendid gardens stretch over 55 acres and really are one of the world's premier floral displays. In 2004 they were named a National Historic Site of Canada. Spend the day strolling around admiring the glorious blooms and top it all off with a picnic on the lawn.