From Glacier National Park to Whistler’s mountains, British Columbia is filled with hiking and ski trails. Just above the U.S. border is Vancouver, a city that prides itself on being committed to the province’s beloved natural setting with parks, waterways and trails to combine city life with outdoor fun.
You can find direct flights all year round to Vancouver from major U.S. hubs.
British Columbia is home to national parks where you will find dense forests and wildlife in one of the most untouched settings in North America.
The Pacific Coast is connected to the mountains of the eastern province by the Sea-to-Sky Highway. You can easily get from Vancouver to Whistler via this route.
The mountains of British Columbia are renowned for skiing, particularly at Whistler Blackcomb, considered to be one of the best ski resorts in North America. It was home to the 2010 Winter Olympics.
The province’s western border runs along the rugged Pacific coast and is often a jumping-off point for cruises to Alaska. Kayaking, whale watching and sea planes to untouched islands are highlights for adventurers.
Vancouver loves its outdoor setting, providing a large waterfront city filled with green spaces. The iconic seaside Stanley Park is home to an aquarium, an impressive collection of totem poles and tons of natural activities. Considered the Hollywood of Canada, many movies are shot in the city, and you may spot a celebrity or two.
One of the best winter destinations in the country is Whistler, which is made up of two separate mountains. An impressive amount of skiable terrain includes beginner runs that are perfect for young families who are learning. The mountains are also fantastic in the summer and fall, with hiking, mountain biking and horseback riding making up the vacation agenda.
Although Vancouver is the most often visited, British Columbia’s capital is Victoria — an equally charming city on Vancouver Island. Its British past is evident through its buildings, house of parliament and expansive parks.
This 30,000-acre park is another world located right next to downtown. You can walk it, bike it or take a horse-drawn carriage through the multitude of paths and trails. Make sure to stop and check out the park’s famous totem poles for a family selfie.
This terrifying wooden suspension bridge is just north of Vancouver. It rises 230 feet above the Capilano River and stretches 459 feet across for awe-inspiring views (and a white-knuckle crossing). Hiking trails are located near the bridge, making this a popular place to visit when staying in the city.
This 55-acre garden in Victoria is the largest of the city’s formal gardens. Kids will enjoy the carousel, water fountains and statues.
One of the very best ski resorts for families, it has a compelling mix of terrain and kid-friendly features on the mountains, along with a great ski school and village that everyone will love. The resort frequently run a “kids ski free” program that’s a bargain for skiing families.
This historic house is a National Historic Site of Canada. Built by a Scottish baron during Queen Victoria’s reign, kids can discover Victorian life in the late 1800s by touring this stately manor.
If you’re sticking to the city of Vancouver, public transport is excellent and you will not need a car. On the coast and to parks and mountains, you will need to rent a car to explore. There are good rail services throughout Canada.