Sometimes things are just too close to appreciate. Growing up in the American Northeast, Canada has always been just far enough away for me to know virtually nothing about, outside of “Trailer Park Boys
” and “Canadian Bacon.” Yet, it’s close enough that it feels unexotic or somehow unworthy of a serious adventure. It’s right there, I figured. I’d get to it eventually. Canada, I’m sorry I took you for granted. After visiting British Columbia, I promise I’ll never do it again. I’ll even forgive you for Nickelback.
Any trip to British Columbia requires seeing Vancouver. After securing a trip from Adventure World
, I went straight to the city known as the “Amsterdam of the West,” Vancouver is a real laid back city where certain things are (cough) tolerated. It has that sort of chilled out, semi stoned, let’s-go-climb-a-mountain feel that places like Boulder, Colorado have. As with all of Canada, people are exceedingly friendly . Vancouver has the best places to stay in British Columbia, whether you’re looking for a five star hotel, or just some really well run, fun hostels. There’s lots of outdoorsy stuff to do, and it seems like the microbrewery to human being ration might be close to 1:1. The city is very young, but there are still historical sights, most of which are concerned with Native culture.
Vancouver is great, but you go to British Columbia for the outdoors. And there are so many options. There’s this pretty substantial mountain range called the Rockies that runs down the middle of the province. Check out Yoho National Park or Glacier National Park in the Kootenays region. There’s also skiing everywhere, which was not in season when I was there. There are amazing beaches in the beautiful town of Penticton and wineries not far away as well. Head to the coast and kayak Desolation sound. You could spend a lifetime exploring the outdoors here, which many British Columbians do. As a result, there doesn’t feel like there is that much of a divide between tourist and local, since locals are exploring the vast beauty of British Columbia along with people from all over the world.