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British Columbia Travel Insights

Best Time to Visit British Columbia: Seasons, Travel Tips, & More
Best Time to Visit British Columbia: Seasons, Travel Tips, & More

British Columbia covers a huge territory, stretching from more than 620 miles (1000 km) of Pacific shoreline to glacier-topped mountains, the rolling hills of Okanagan wine country, and the temperate urban center of Vancouver. While winter brings cold weather and plenty of snow to the interior, British Columbia’s coast is warmed with Pacific Ocean currents, making it temperate year-round. Planning a trip requires some thought into both what region and season to target for a British Columbia visit—this guide outlines your best options.

Two Jack Lake at the gulf of Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park
Map of Canadian Rockies to Vancouver: Banff, Revelstoke, Nelson, & Osoyoos - 15 Days
Canadian Rockies to Vancouver: Banff, Revelstoke, Nelson, & Osoyoos - 15 Days

From craggy snow-capped peaks to icy-blue glacial lakes and rushing streams, this epic road trip features a trio of Canada's famed national parks—Banff, Yoho, and Revelstoke—that highlight the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Starting in Calgary, you'll pass through the mountain resort town of Banff and Lake Louise before venturing into the dramatic landscapes of the less explored (and equally stunning) national parks of the Kootenays. Then you'll trace British Columbia's southern border and spend time in Canada's only desert, Osoyoos—the perfect locale to drink wine and discover Okanagan wine country—before ending your trip in Vancouver.

Views from the Garibaldi Lake hike near Whistler
Coastal British Columbia: Vancouver, Whistler, Tofino, & Victoria - 12 Days

Follow this 12-day road trip through British Columbia's Coast Mountains and Vancouver Island. Starting with three days in Vancouver, you'll drive the iconic Sea-to-Sky Highway to Whistler before crossing the Strait of Georgia to Pacific Rim National Park. Look for whales off the coast of Tofino, surf at Chesterman Beach, and pick up a hiking trail through ancient rainforest to the wave-whipped Pacific Coast.

Temperate rainforest hugs Stanley Park's Seawall Promenade outside downtown Vancouver
Coastal British Columbia: Vancouver, Whistler, Tofino, & Victoria - 11 Days

On this 11-day itinerary, you'll explore the alpine lakes and dramatic peaks of the Coastal Range, the old-growth rainforests of Vancouver Island, and the rough-and-tumble shoreline of the Pacific Rim. Start with two nights in Vancouver before dedicating a week to the outdoors on Vancouver Island where you can go whale watching, stroll driftwood-strewn beaches, and take in the Victorian-era architecture of the province's capital.

Tod Lake near Sun Peaks Resort
Map of Coast Mountains & Okanagan: Vancouver, Whistler, Sun Peaks, & Kelowna - 7 Days
Coast Mountains & Okanagan: Vancouver, Whistler, Sun Peaks, & Kelowna - 7 Days

A week-long road trip, featuring British Columbia's Coast Mountains and the wine region of the Okanagan. Starting and ending in Vancouver, you'll drive through Whistler, Sun Peaks, and then south through the Okanagan Valley to Kelowna and back to Vancouver. This route is relatively fast-paced and best suited for those who are short on time but want to cover the main highlights of the Coast Mountains and Okanagan. 

Autumn sunrise over Salmon Arm in Shuswap Country
Map of Coast Mountains & Okanagan: Vancouver, Whistler, Shuswap Lake & Osoyoos - 8 Days
Coast Mountains & Okanagan: Vancouver, Whistler, Shuswap Lake & Osoyoos - 8 Days

This scenic road trip starts and ends in Vancouver and takes you through the Coastal Mountains to Shuswap Lake before turning south through the farms, orchards, and vineyards of the famed Okanagan Valley. Over eight days, you'll venture across southwestern and central British Columbia to explore exceptional landscapes from high alpine mountains to marshy lowlands and arid deserts in and around Osoyoos. Thread the weaving Gold Nugget Road, paddle a replica of a 30-foot voyageur canoe, and drink wine until your heart's content at world-class wineries in the Okanagan.

British Columbia Travel Maps

Get the lay of land, and understand distances between the places you want to visit
Rockies, Kootenays, & Okanagan: Banff, Revelstoke, Nelson, & Osoyoos - 15 Days
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Coast Mountains & Okanagan: Vancouver, Whistler, Shuswap Lake & Osoyoos - 8 Days
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Coast Mountains & Okanagan: Vancouver, Whistler, Sun Peaks, & Kelowna - 7 Days
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