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Explore British Columbia by train
The westernmost Canadian province is a haven for urbanites and outdoor enthusiasts alike, with big cities and small towns framed by ocean, mountains and rainforest. Let the train carry you to your next adventure!
Take the time to appreciate the rural side of this city hub in Northern British Columbia, surrounded by a lush rainforest and majestic rivers.
- Treat yourself to some shopping and fresh food in downtown Prince George. Find everything you're looking for in a variety of local retail stores, then stop for a drink and a bite in one the many independent eateries, breweries and coffeeshops.
- Explore the town's cultural attractions. Visit Prince George Astronomical Observatory for a breathtaking celestial view, immerse yourself in Canadian art at the Two Rivers Gallery, discover the industries that shaped Prince George at the Central BC Railway & Forestry Museum, and head to The Exploration Place Museum & Science Centre to learn about the region's history and wildlife.
- Create some fun family memories. Spend some time at the Strike Zone, a recreational centre featuring a glow-in-the-dark minigolf and 16 tenpin bowling lanes. If you travel to Prince George between April and September, you can also go to the Park Drive-in for a host of activities during the day and a double movie feature at night from Friday to Sunday.
- Take in picturesque landscapes while practicing your favourite outdoor activities. Get your share of thrills with an extensive network of mountain biking trails, go fishing or swimming in one of the many lakes and rivers, head to Wilkins Regional Park for a skiing or snowshoeing excursion in the winter, or take your pick among a wide variety of hikes: walk along the Nechako River's shoreline in Cottonwood Island Nature Park, climb Teapot Mountain to get a spectacular 360 degree view of the surrounding forests and wetlands, or enjoy Ferguson Lake Nature Reserve's biodiverse landscape.
Set base into this welcoming city on Kaien Island to explore the rugged landscapes of the northern Pacific shores and discover a culturally and historically rich area.
- Explore Prince Rupert's streets. Take a stroll in Cow Bay or along 2nd and 3rd Streets to discover local shops, and make sure to grab a bite to eat on the way: there are a lot of good restaurants downtown. And why not add a locally brewed beer to the menu?
- Delve into the history of the city and its surroundings. Take a guided tour at the Visitor Center to discover Prince Rupert's historic buildings, architectural highlights and colourful murals, then visit the Museum of Northern BC to learn about the history of the region, home to the Ts’msyen People. If you travel to Prince Rupert between May and September, you can also spend a day at the the North Pacific Cannery National Historic Site, Canada's longest operating cannery, to get an overview of the industrial boom that took place in the area at the end of the 19th century.
- Plan a memorable encounter with the local wildlife. Book an excursion to the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Sanctuary, a protected area where you can watch brown bears in there natural habitat, or hop on a tour boat to see humpback whales up close. Don't forget to look up while walking around town, as you can often see eagles and shorebirds.
- Get your share of outdoor activities. Pick a good guide to walk the trails that wind through the coastal rainforest, climb Mount Hayes to take in an impressive view on the Pacific Ocean and the nearby islands, hike to Butze Rapids or rent a canoe or kayak to paddle along the coast.
Ride the train from Smithers to Prince Rupert and make unique discoveries along the mighty Skeena River, the main artery of travel and commerce for centuries.
Located in British Columbia's sunny southern interior, at the junction of the North and South Thompson Rivers, this city is surrounded by wide-open grasslands, pine forests and sandstone canyons. A paradise for sport enthusiasts, it has plenty of discoveries in store for everyone.
- Sample fresh, local produce at the two Kamloops Farmers' Markets that take place on Saturdays and Wednesdays respectively, on St. Paul and Victoria Streets. Discover traditional foods and handmade artisan products at the Kweseltken Farmers’ and Artisan Market on Sundays from the end of June until the end of September.
- Have a bite and sip a craft beer in one of Kamloops' many breweries, known for their wide variety of well-balanced and innovative products.
- Discover a wide array of artistic and cultural attractions. Attend a performance by the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra or the Western Canada Theatre (the largest professional theater company in British Columbia's interior), discover innovative art at the Kamloops Art Gallery, and head to the Kamloops Museum and Archives to visit the permanent exhibit riverpeoplenationstatepeople, which offers a unique perspective on the city's history.
- Perfect your mountain biking skills on Kamloops' renowned trails. The Kamloops Bike Ranch and Harper Mountain are destinations of choice for seasoned riders, while Lac du Bois Grasslands and Kenna Cartwright Nature Park offer good options for beginners.
- Take the time to explore Kamloops' surroundings. Go fishing on one of the hundred lakes within an hour drive from the city, or take a hike at Battle Bluff, McConnell Lake, McArthur Island or Isobel Lake. You can also roam the 26 kilometers of trails in Tsútswecw Provincial Park. If you visit the park in the fall, don't miss the spectacular Sockeye Salmon run in Adams River: from the end of September until mid-October, the waters of the river turn red as millions of salmon return to spawn.
Prepare to fall in love with Vancouver, the metropolis of Pacific Coast, nested between ocean and mountains.
- Discover spectacular green spaces. Head to the iconic Stanley Park, a 1,000-acre area covered with rainforest, to roam the wooded trails or walk along 10 km of seawall bordering the ocean. Wander among waterfalls, bridges, and ponds in the picturesque VanDusen Botanical Garden, home to more than 7,500 plant varieties.
- Explore Canada's largest Chinatown. Pass through the Millennium Gate, stop at the neighbourhood’s many shops, and enjoy a stroll through the beautiful Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden.
- Get to know British Columbia’s coexisting cultures at the Museum of Anthropology, which holds more than 50,000 works from around the world, including the South Pacific, Africa, and the Americas.
- Get an overview of the art of British Columbia from the late 18th century to the present day at Audain Art Museum, and visit the BC Sports Hall of Fame Museum to relive some of the greatest moments in local sport's history.
- Head to Granville Island's public market to sample fresh, local produce.
- Enjoy a broad range of family-friendly attractions. Introduce your kids to physics at Science World, with a variety of exhibits and fun activities (don't forget to take a picture of the huge ball on top of the building while you're there!). Head to FlyOver Canada for an eight-minute 4D simulation of a flight over the country's most spectacular landscapes. Spend an afternoon at Canada’s largest aquarium, home to some 50,000 animals from the Arctic to the Amazon, and end your day with a glass elevator ride to the top of the 170-metre Lookout Tower for a panoramic view of Vancouver .
- Get your share of nature with a day trip to North Vancouver. Easily accessible by public transit, Vancouver’s North Shore is a must-see for outdoor lovers. Cross the Capilano Suspension Bridge, enjoy the charming seaside village of Deep Cove, and take a cable car to the top of Grouse Mountain for a breathtaking view of the city.
Thankfully, many great day trips and weekend getaways await Vancouverites and visitors. Southwest British Columbia has something for every budget...
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