Province/Territory: British Columbia

Canada’s adventure playground

  • 25,000 km of coastline
  • 997 provincial parks
  • 6 distinct regions

British Columbia welcomes you into adventure. Learn to surf on the relentless Pacific waves of Tofino; swirl-and-sample award-winning local wines in the arid Okanagan Valley. Dine at cosmopolitan seafood restaurants in Vancouver; be awed by wild whale sightings in the remote Haida Gwaii. Carve up untracked powder in Whistler; immerse yourself in the Gold Rush history of Barkerville. Engage with First Nations cultures at aboriginal heritage sites; spot bears, eagles and elk in pristine coastal rainforests.

Outdoor adventure

  • Stay in an oceanfront cottage while you learn to surf Tofino’s crashing waves.
  • Ski or snowboard at Whistler — home to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.
  • Gaze at rugged mountains, misty rainforest and urban skylines during a kayak excursion in Vancouver.

 

Urban adventures

  • Bask in colonial charm while you enjoy High Tea at Victoria’s 100-year-old Fairmont Empress Hotel.
  • Shop for exciting fashions at designer boutiques on Vancouver’s Robson, Granville and Burrard Streets.
  • Get up-close with beluga whales, bicycle a scenic seawall and see an outdoor concert — all at downtown Vancouver’s Stanley Park.
 

Arts & Culture

  • Seek out totems hidden in the misty rainforest of Gwaii Haanas National Park, Haida Gwaii ; further explore aboriginal history and culture at the Haida Heritage Centre.
  • Squeeze through century-old alleyways while you explore Canada’s oldest Chinatown in Victoria.
  • Wander the permanent collection of one of Canada’s most celebrated painters, Emily Carr, in the neoclassical-designed Vancouver Art Gallery.

 

Food & Drink

  • Sample award-winning reds, whites and bubblies produced by Mission Hill, Burrowing Owl and other Okanagan Valley wineries.
  • Embark on a culinary tour of east-meets-west fusion fare at Vancouver’s world-class restaurants such like Oru and Vij’s.
  • Dine on fresh-from-the-Pacific sustainable seafood at ocean-view eateries in Victoria.
 

Nature & Wildlife

Weather

  • Warm summer weather extends from late-June until September — expect average daily July temperatures of 17.5 degrees Celsius in Vancouver and 16.3 C in Fernie. 
  • Winter, from December until March, brings BC’s most varied weather patterns. Vancouver sees cool and wet weather — January averages 3.3 C with snow in the mountains. By contrast, Fernie sees heavy snowfall and an average January temperature of -6.8 C.
  • Spring lasts from March until early June, and brings mild temperatures province-wide — in April, Vancouver’s average is 9.2 C and Fernie averages 5.2 C.
  • Fall, from late-September to November, brings more mild and cool weather throughout BC — in October, Vancouver averages 10.1 C and Fernie averages 5.4 C.
  • Discover more local weather information <text linked to weather information page>.
Quick facts
  • Area: 944,735 sq-km
  • Capital City: Victoria
  • Largest City: Vancouver
  • Total Population: 4.1 Million
  • Official Languages: English & French (English predominant)
  • Provincial Motto: “Splendour without diminishment.”
When to go
  • Ski season runs province-wide from December until April.
  • Wildlife viewing and whale watching is best in summer and fall.
  • Vancouver and Victoria are vibrant cities year-round.
  • Tofino’s storm-watching season lasts from November to March.
  • Hike, camp, paddle and surf in BC’s parks from May until October.
  • Plan your vacation around BC’s vibrant festivals and events.
Getting Here

British Columbia is located on Canada’s West Coast and accessed by road/train travel or via two major international airports:

  • Victoria International Airport (YYJ)
  • Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
Getting around
  • Find general information on Getting Around BC.
  • BC highway traveller information is available at DriveBC.
  • Find information on coastal and island travel via BC Ferries. 
  • View BC Public Transit fares, routes and schedules.
  • Find information on Translink (Metro Vancouver Public Transit).