Vancouver - Canada is currently celebrating Tourism Week, from May 29 to June 4, and in British Columbia our forest-wrapped cities, abundant wilderness, glaciated mountains, and vast oceans are primed for exploration. To mark the occasion, it’s time to plan a trip to explore the province this summer.
For spectacular surfing, head to Vancouver Island’s west coast, especially Tofino and Ucluelet: ride the waves at Long Beach Lodge Resort’s Surf Club Adventures Centre, with instruction and equipment rentals, with luxurious touches like hot pool, sauna, showers, change rooms, and cappuccinos by the fire; for the ladies, Surf Sister Surf School Tofino’s female-focused school offers educational camps ranging from three to five days and includes meals, accommodations and girl power.
In the Vancouver, Coast & Mountains region, shop for home-grown produce and handmade products at Granville Island Public Market; soak up the culture at the Vancouver Art Gallery’s upcoming Picasso: The Artist and His Muses exhibit (beginning June 11); or linger over Pacific halibut or Yarrow Meadows duck breast at Hawksworth Restaurant, voted amongst the city’s best restaurants.
In Northern BC’s small community of Tumbler Ridge, amid the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, remains of prehistoric dinosaurs are on display at the Global Geopark. Explore the 7,722 square-kilometre (2,981 square-mile) park’s Dinosaur Discover Gallery, showcasing educational palaeontology exhibits; at dusk, take a lantern-lit stroll on the Dinosaur Trackway Tours, guided one- and two-hour interpretive excursions that shed light on the Flatbed and Wolverine tracksites.
In the Cariboo Chilcotin, open skies, grasslands, lakes and forest ensure in-the-saddle adventure, at guest ranch Echo Valley Ranch & Spa. Guided horseback, hiking and fly-fishing excursions share the spotlight with the Royal Baan Thai spa, a mixture of western and Asian treatments. East of 70 Mile House, sustainable wilderness resort Siwash Lake Ranch offers horseback riding, pasture-to-plate cuisine, and safari-inspired tents on rolling cowboy country terrain.
With more than 175 wineries, BC’s Thompson Okanagan boasts a thriving wine industry — not to mention warm lakes perfect for swimming, sunning and water-skiing. Discover the vineyard landscape by bike: cruise the Penticton Farmer’s Market for juicy cherries and handmade pastries; taste Naramata Bench Pinot Noirs on a Monashee Adventures guided bicycle wine tour; and finish with Joy Road Catering’s al-fresco long table dinner featuring seasonal bounty.
In the Kootenay Rockies, Sacred Rides has been a mountain biking institution in the Fernie foothills for 20 years. Offering guided tours and instruction from local experts, try off-road adventures for beginners, women’s only trips, and singletrack rides for the experienced across rugged mountain terrain among dense forests, with lookouts at vast vistas at every turn. Relax post-ride with a craft brew at Fernie Brewing Company, like the Project 9 Pils, a Bavarian-style pilsner featuring a mountain bike on the can’s design.
Why It Matters:
Quote from Destination BC CEO, Marsha Walden:
Since 2004, total tourism revenues have grown 37.7 per cent. In 2014, BC’s tourism industry:
Generated $14.6 billion in tourism industry revenue (up 5.1 per cent over 2013), and $7.1 billion in real GDP ($2007) (up 4.5 per cent)
Employed 127,500 people (up 2.2 per cent) and paid $4.3 billion in tourism related wages and salaries (up 4.5 per cent)
“Get out and explore BC — there’s so much to do in our province. Discover ancient Aboriginal culture on mystic Haida Gwaii or have an exhilarating ride on the new Pipe Mountain Coaster at Revelstoke Mountain Resort. Personally, I’ll be boating on beautiful Shuswap Lake and taking a leisurely drive through our magnificent Rockies.”
BC imagery is available at www.imagebank.destinationbc.net
Destination British Columbia is an industry-led Crown corporation that works collaboratively with tourism stakeholders across the province to coordinate marketing at the international, provincial, regional and local levels. For more information about Destination British Columbia’s programs and services, please visit: www.DestinationBC.ca