Today, in honour of British Columbia Day (a civic holiday celebrated on the first Monday in August every year in the Canadian province of BC), I’d like to share with you my 5 favourite places in British Columbia, my home province.
Squamish is a small city (pop. ~17,000) located at the north end of the Howe Sound just off the Sea to Sky Highway. Squamish is a popular stop off point along the drive from Vancouver to Whistler, home of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games. Known as the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada, Squamish offers excellent hiking, rock climbing, kiteboarding, windsurfing and mountain biking for outdoor enthusiasts.
I recently camped with my family for one night at Porteau Cove Provincial Park which is probably the most beautiful campsite I have ever visited. The park is situated on the southernmost fjord in North America and its waterfront campsites boast stunning views of the Howe Sound and surrounding mountains. Come for the camping, stay for the scenery!
Only a 10 minute drive north of the campsite along the Sea to Sky Highway, you’ll pass Murrin Provincial Park and the gorgeous emerald green Browning Lake suitable for swimming, fishing and picnicking.
Murrin Lake off the Sea to Sky highway. Love BC! #murrinlake #bc #canada A photo posted by Kaffee und Kuchen (@kaffeeundkuchenblog) on
White Rock is a beautiful waterside city in the Metro Vancouver region which is surrounded by the city of Surrey on three sides. White Rock is tucked along the Semiahmoo Bay and is a great destination for family days down at the beach. With relatives living in White Rock, I’ve had the chance to visit this quaint and peaceful city many times over the years. Enjoy some of the best fish and chips west of the UK, stroll down the pier and take a photo with the enormous 486-ton granite white rock along the beach that gives the city its name.
Summer sun on the White Rock pier. #whiterock #bc #canada A photo posted by Kaffee und Kuchen (@kaffeeundkuchenblog) on
North Saanich and Sidney
North Saanich is a district municipality lying on the northern end of the Saanish Peninsula on Vancouver Island, a large island off the west coast of mainland British Columbia. Sidney is a lovely town just a few kilometers south of Saanich right on the water. Both can be easily accessed from mainland BC by taking a BC ferry from Tsawwassen to the Swartz Bay ferry terminal on Vancouver Island. Unbelievably picturesqure and serene, a minute in each of these places makes you understand why this province is known as ‘Beautiful British Columbia’.
The sunsets here keep getting better and better! #vancouverisland #bc #canada #travel #travelcanada A photo posted by Kaffee und Kuchen (@kaffeeundkuchenblog) on
One of my favourite cities in all of BC is Parksville (pop. ~12,000). Every summer for as long as I can remember, my family has spent a week in Parksville on Vancouver Island. The city is known for its sandy beaches along Parksville Beach and Craig Bay and its world famous sand castle-building competition that has been running since 1982. Parksville is located 37 kilometers northwest of Nanaimo and can be reached from the mainland by taking a BC ferry from Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, then driving northwest for about 30 minutes along the 19A Highway.
Chilliwack (pop. 80,000) lies east of Abbotsford in the Fraser Valley of BC. The city has always been predominantly agricultural but has become increasingly urban in recent years. I haven’t spent much time in Chilliwack over the years but have come to appreciate all it has to offer during my recent visit this summer, from farm fresh corn (which is so good that it converted S to becoming a bonafide corn eater), to gorgeous hiking trails (the Teapot Hill being my first hike in July), to the fantastic Cultural Centre and the beautiful Chilliwack River.
Happy BC Day!
What is your favourite place in BC? Which of these cities would you most like to visit? I’d love to hear in the comments below!