I'm heading out to B.C. to do a season from September but hope to get some travelling in first before the snow arrives. However, having been a slave to the Lonely Planet on previous trips (and often ending up in tracked out tourist dives) I am determined to go it alone on this trip so I'm hoping to get all my ideas from word of mouth.
Can anyone suggest me the places that I must see while I'm out there? I'm hoping to pitch up in Fernie for the season and then head out to live in Vancouver in the summer but definitely got time for a fair bit of travelling too
I'd recommend a couple of days in Victoria including a whale watching trip (which costs about $100 but is worth it).
Yeah, I agree, Victoria is a little less built up than Vancouver, and whilst your on the island, I'd recommend a trip to Tofino on the East Coast (if your there in the summer), you'l only be told you shoud have if you don't!
I agree with Victoria. But I would include, in no particular order: Okanogan Lake, Harrison Hot Springs (near chilliwak) Prince Rupert ( you take a ferry from the top of Vancouver Island). Actually there really isnt any bad place to go. Anywhere in the interior (mountains) you cant go wrong. Barkerville is also a good old western tow (outside of smithers). Queen Charlotte Islands too. Theres too many good places to go, but the above are my favourites.
[ Edit: Edited on 19-Apr-2009, at 16:26 by way2goeh ]
Victoria isn't a particularly interesting place for younger people-lots of shops selling Olde this and Olde that-bric a brac/toffee/ice cream and horrid oil paintings.
Great museum though http://www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca/MainSite/default.aspx
Some good cycling in the area http://www.crd.bc.ca/parks/lochside/index.htm
On the Island it's the Outside that's the most dramatic and the North that's the least trafficked.
September is the best month to see wildlife-a trip to Port McNeil or Telegraph Cove to go Whale Watching would also show you Dall's Porpoises, White Sided Dolphins, Seals, Sea Lions, all kind of Sea Birds and of course millions of Pink Salmon returning 'home' to spawn/die.
On the way you could stop in Campbell River to snorkel with Salmon and then maybe paddle a canoe.
Nearby hostel http://www.shantzhostel.com/
Port Alberni is an overlooked destination most people just roar past in a lemming-like rush to WCVI but there's hostel there and lots to see/do in the surrounding outdoors.
For those without cars these are handy links
sigh......BC is such a big place lots to see.
http://www.car-free.ca/ this might help
The Okanagan Valley is loverly with lots of wineries gorgeous lakes for swimming and Canada's hottest climate.
This place is a must visit http://www.tickleberrys.com/
This could be fun in Vancouver http://www.scandinaviancentre.org/munin/Homepage.htm
This is about 5% of the info I have stored away here if you have other questions Please post.
One thing if you're headed to Fernie you can skip Whistler-some well meaning person will be sure to recommend it but it pales in comparison to Interior mountains.
Also I've left out any mentioned of the well travelled tourist track to Tofino-that's where the lemmings go.
Wow, I'm glad I'm there for a year! Thanks for all the help
I am a current student based out at UBC (in Vancouver). I'll admit I'm unfamiliar with most of BC, but have a strong feel for Whistler and Vancouver. Because of the upcoming Olympics for next year a lot is going on in Vancouver. The Olympic events will be scattered across Vancouver including the suburb Richmond, the UBC campus (using the Ice Rink) and, of course, Whistler mountain (which are open during the fall BTW for other non-winter activities...I'd recommend checking out Whistlertourism for more details).
Vancouver itself is a beautiful city (ranked most livable city by the Economist) and has its infamous Stanley Park. IMO, it generally has a very young population and I personally love the nightlife here. Vancouver itself is a combination of inlets and peninsulas, so during the day the city is surrounded by sandy beaches to explore. Also, (now this is a bit out of the city) I'd recommend checking out the Capilano Suspension bridge if you can.
Also, transit is FANTASTIC in the Greater Vancouver area.
Outside BC, I do know the Okanagen Valley is huge with wineries and a very popular place (so I've heard). I have a quite a few friends here at UBC who have visited and I've heard great things about it.
Victoria - Butchart Gardens
Lake Moriane and Golden (both in BC) are two places I just loved. So many waterfalls just off the main highway too (Highway 1, I was driving from Winnipeg to BC and back.... Awesome).
Check out the pictures of Lake Moraine on Wikipedia. They look like paintings - but are definately the real thing.
Second Redpaddy. Plus if you make it to Golden, check out the wolf sanctuary there. It was one of my favourite experiences in Canada.