The province of British Columbia is one that doesn't get nearly as much attention as its far west neighbor, Montreal, or its second neighbor, Alberta. That's also how it has been able to maintain its small-town charm and feel despite the fact that British Columbia is fairly expansive with its capital, Victoria, being a relatively large city. Even so, those who live in Canada and just over the border still enjoy its national parks and urban attractions all year-round. However, the summer is ultimately the best time to visit British Columbia, for so many reasons.
Hike Through Yoho National Park
When it comes to remote ruggedness, Yoho National Park is the place to go. For hikers who can't get enough of that feeling of being immersed in nature, Yoho National Park holds both wonder and amazement with stunning mountain views, serene lakeside hikes, and breathtaking waterfalls.
Each trail will take hikers to a new and unique area, with the terrain varying from beginner to moderate. Some hikes allow for views of snowcapped mountains, which is always a thrilling experience, while others take hikers to Lake O'Hara, which is the most beautiful lake in British Columbia.
Take A Tranquil Boat Ride To Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island is one of the more popular destinations for those planning a trip to British Columbia. The island is actually far bigger than many first realize with plenty of towns to explore and things to do, both in nature and out of it.
With that being said, the island is one of the more remote parts of British Columbia but is well worth the flight or boat into town, especially if you're looking for a true getaway with many options. Surfing, hiking, camping, and beach-going are all popular activities, and there are even multi-day hikes on the island as well as the central town of Tofino for those who prefer to be a little less secluded.
Visit The Okanagan Valley Orchards
Known as the Okanagan by the locals, this stunning landscape is dotted with various orchards, making for quite a sight.
Its dry summers make it a premier destination along with the nearby Penticton, and renting a place along the beach or even a houseboat is a dream vacation for many people. Exploring the city of Kelowna is another popular pastime and gives a little reprieve from being surrounded by so much nature (but who wouldn't love that?).
Stay At The Historic Empress Hotel In Victoria
Another surprise that Victoria holds is the Empress Hotel which was built in 1908. This hotel holds over a century of history and is a popular destination even for those who aren't staying there but for those who are, you won't be disappointed.
Inside, this hotel is as regal as it gets, featuring period-accurate architecture and details. From here, visitors can explore the Inner Harbour and enjoy waterfront restaurants, street performances, and live music during the summer.
See Butchart Gardens In Full Bloom
The best time of the year to see the Butchart Gardens is during the summer when its flora is in peak bloom. These gardens are not far from Victoria and erupt in an array of colors once the temperatures start warming up.
It's easy enough to spend a day here as the gardens are fairly extensive and between each garden's colorful design and all of its water features, you won't even realize how much time you've spent there.
Spend A Day Walking Through The Abandoned Gold Rush Town Of Barkerville
For those interested in the slightly creepier side of British Columbia's history, the Barkerville gold rush town is a must-visit. This town was first built in 1858 and was abandoned not long after the Great Depression, leaving behind many buildings as well as homes that have gone uninhabited for more than a century.
The town was once the largest western town in North America, featuring an unbelievable number of saloons and businesses, until its eventual downfall after several tragedies and poor mining luck. Today, it's been almost fully restored and is protected as historic land.
Set Your Sights On Hell's Gate, The Most Expansive Gorge In Canada
Fraser River is a force to be reckoned with and along its raging waters is Hell's Gate, which is one of the most intimidating gorges in the country.
Visitors can cross this raging gorge via the air tram which runs right over the divide between both cliffs. This gives the best views and brings visitors to the base of the gorge, where they can find a gift shop, information center, and even a restaurant.