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British Columbia: City Vibes to Mountain Highs

25th November 2019

What does your ideal holiday look like? The criteria are different for everyone, but many of us seek a mix of experiences that reveal a destination from every aspect.

 

British Columbia has it all

The province of British Columbia on Canada’s west coast offers a world of wonder that’s just one direct flight from most major Australian airports. Covering a treasure trove of terrain from the Pacific Ocean to the Rocky Mountains, British Columbia offers itinerary options that will inspire every individual. 

You could be watching bears and whales off the coast of Vancouver Island one day and sampling local BC wines in the Okanagan Valley the next. From unforgettable rainforests and wildlife to culinary delights and indigenous culture, you’ll find an experience to thrill your soul.

The gorgeous city of Vancouver is consistently rated among the world’s most liveable cities. It’s just a two-hour drive from this exhilarating metropolis to the alpine glory of Whistler Village; an easily accessible contrast of city vibes and mountain highs that characterises the irresistible nature of British Columbia.

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Whistler Village, Vancouver
Whistler Village, Vancouver

 

Experience city vibes in Vancouver

 

Dive in to local culture on Granville Island

This charming peninsular is a cultural, culinary and artistic hotspot on Vancouver’s waterfront. The Daily Market features dozens of independent food vendors, while the Net Loft Shops and Railspur district boast artisan homewares and clothing from local designers. No visit is complete without a visit to the famous Granville Island Brew Co. to sample the craft beers they’ve been perfecting since 1984. 

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Granville Island Market, Vancouver
Granville Island Market, Vancouver

Shop and stroll historic Gastown

Stroll the historic streets of Vancouver’s oldest suburb and discover indie art galleries, quaint souvenir shops and a dining scene that will make you feel trendier with every bite. If you hear a whistling sound on the quarter hour you’re likely standing near one of the world’s last operational steam clocks – a Gastown icon and the backdrop for a quintessential Vancouver selfie. 

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Steam Clock in Gastown
Steam Clock in Gastown

E-bike ride in Stanley Park

The Stanley Park seawall is an easy 10-kilometre track that offers stunning views of the Lions Gate Bridge and the North Shore mountains. It’s a great way to take a break from Vancouver’s downtown buzz, but there’s no need to stay away too long – rent an e-bike from one of the many shops near the park entrance on Denman Street and enjoy the fresh air without breaking a sweat.

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Stanley Park, Vancouver
Stanley Park, Vancouver

Eat all the foods in Chinatown

Bring your appetite if you’re going to explore the world’s third largest Chinatown. In a city known for incredible seafood, Vancouver’s Chinatown will have foodies in seventh heaven with its array of mouth-watering eateries. Snack on street food and bakery treats or sit down for contemporary dim sum at stylish Bao Bei Restaurant. 

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Bao Bei Restaurant, Chinatown, Vancouver
Bao Bei Restaurant, Chinatown, Vancouver

 

Enjoy mountain highs in Whistler

 

Zip through an alpine wonderland

Hurtling through the evergreen treetops of Whistler is a spectacular experience in any season. Ziptrek Eco Tours offers the longest zipline experience in North America – a course that reveals over two kilometres of breathtaking summer scenery from an unbeatable perspective. Their winter courses are just as exhilarating, with peak to peak lines that whisk you through magical, snow-laden landscapes.

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Ziptrek Eco Tours, Whistler (image courtesy of Ziptrek Eco Tours)
Ziptrek Eco Tours, Whistler (image courtesy of Ziptrek Eco Tours)

Let your jaw drop on the Peak2Peak Gondola

If you could only take one gondola ride in your life, the Peak2Peak Gondola would make it worth it. This remarkable feat of engineering is still the highest gondola in the world, and each cabin offers jaw-dropping views through huge windows and a glass floor panel. The eleven-minute ride will fly by as you are lost in 360-degree vistas of the magnificent mountains of Whistler and Blackcomb.

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Peak2Peak Gondola (image courtesy of Whistlerblackcomb.com)
Peak2Peak Gondola (image courtesy of Whistlerblackcomb.com)

Experience a different kind of beach at Lost Lake Park

Australians are old hands at ocean beaches, but frolicking by the waters of a pristine mountain lake is a unique experience. Pack a picnic and settle in for an afternoon at Lost Lake Park, where you can splash out to the swimming platforms, bask in the summer sun and drink in the views of your alpine surrounds.

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Lost Lake, Whistler
Lost Lake, Whistler

Paddle the River of Golden Dreams at twilight

This scenic river is every bit as idyllic as it sounds, with incredible views waiting around every bend. Sign up for the Wildlife at Twilight tour with Backroads Whistler for the opportunity to spot local fauna from the respectful distance of the water. Drifting pass bears, beavers and otters in the magical light of dusk is an experience not to be missed.

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River of Golden Dreams (image credit Mike Crane)
River of Golden Dreams (image credit Mike Crane)

 

Plan your unforgettable British Columbia adventure with the help of your local Travel Associates adviser.