Located on the stunning eastern shore of Vancouver Island, Parksville is a year round vacation destination, with a multitude of activities that will entertain and inspire all who visit.
With the most moderate climate in all of Canada, an abundance of fun things to do and breathtaking vistas no matter where you look, Parksville is the ultimate vacation destination. Beginning as an outpost back in the late 1800’s, Parksville was mainly a logging town until the Esquimalt and Nanaimo Railways made their way to town. The increased access via railway gave everyone the opportunity to visit this beautiful community and visit they did. Now days, Parksville is a community built on tourism, retail, service and construction. The people here a mix of long time residents and new residents, but all are warm, friendly and embrace their community. When it comes to culture, the local scene is vibrant and growing. The laid back lifestyle combined with the panoramic vistas make for an ideal creative environment. You’ll find the culture on display at the local museums, galleries and exhibits. The main draw to Parksville is the wide range of outdoor activities. The Parksville area has some of the cleanest and most scenic beaches on the West Coast of North America. During the warmer months the beaches are perfect for beach games, sailing, fishing, sunbathing or just observing the diverse local wildlife. The beach is only the tip of the spear, in Parksville you’ll also find miles of scenic trails and a beautiful park system that are perfect for hiking, biking, camping and photography. The area has multiple golf courses that are open year round and are great for golfers of all skill levels. For a change of pace the city has many indoor entertainment options as well. Try one of the local restaurants, boutique shops, bars, live music venues or cool your heels at one of the award winning local spas. Parksville is a dynamic and fun location that is just waiting for your visit, head to Parksville for a getaway you won't soon forget.
The population of Parksville during the last census was estimated to be 11,977 people.
Parksville Beach is rated by Better Homes and Gardens as one of the top beaches on the planet.
The first settler to the Parksville area arrived in 1870 and his name was John Hirst.
A small town with big charm is what you'll find when you visit Ashcroft. Located on the banks of the Thompson River, this is a safe environment with a unique climate and great activities.
The town of Ashcroft boasts big sites like the Thompson River and the Cascade Mountain range and the spectacular views of the town are highlighed by semi-arrid grasslands and rolling hills that form the Highland Valley Plateau. The town is rich in history. Ashcroft was one of the starting points on the road to Barkerville and ever since then transportation has been a significant part of the history of the town. While you're there, take a walking tour which includes historic buildings dating all the way back to the 1800s! For other activities, there's plenty of hiking, fishing, biking and all sorts of other outdoor fun in British Columbia's desert land. For a unique experience, participate in geocaching, Ashcroft is one of the only locations in British Columbia where you can! Filled with beautiful sites, great people and an opportunity for adventure around every corner, head to Ashcroft for your British Columbia getaway!
The Ashcroft Stampede, Ashcroft's biggest celebration, is held in the summer.
Ashcroft is known as the official 'hot spot' of British Columbia as their temperatures are above normal and it only snows a few times a year!
Tucked away among the vast growth of pines, maples and birch, lies the beautiful town of Windermere. Windermere is located on the east side of Lake Windermere and welcomes all visitors with picturesque mountain and nature vistas as far as the eye can see.
Windermere is a small town in British Columbia known to be a haven for outdoor activity during all seasons. With a small population and being nestled away in the Canadian Rockies, Windermere gives visitors an friendly, unique and unforgettable small town experience. Windermere is a convenient distance to large parks including Windermere Beach and James Chabot Provincial Park. During the summer the landscape comes alive and the outdoor activities are in full swing including golf, fishing, hiking, biking, rafting and windsurfing, to name a few. In addition the area was settled in the 1880’s and has a rich history that is showcased at the Windermere Valley Museum. During the winter, Windermere is one of best areas to ski and snowboard. In close proximity to Windermere is Fairmont Ski Hills. They feature having 13 miles of groomed trails for cross country skiing as well as having a 1,000 foot vertical rise for skiers and snowboarders. Leave behind the hustle and bustle of everyday life and enjoy the serene setting that Windermere has to offer.
The town of Windermere has a population of roughly 1,100 people.
Windermere covers an area of 13.5 square miles.
Windermere Valley Golf Course is located a few minutes north of town and gives golfers unmatched mountain vistas to enjoy while golfing.
Considered the gateway to the Great Bear Rainforest and the Central Coast of British Columbia, Denny Island is everything you're looking for in an exciting vacation. This vibrant coastal destination is a prime trove for wilderness and outdoor adventures or for anyone looking to getaway from the hustle-bustle of the cities. Here, you will find peace amongst the rolling waves, the relaxing island atmosphere, and small-town amenities. The Great Bear Rainforest is the world's largest intact temperate rainforest. Home to coasta wolves, grizzly bears, black bears, eagles and the Kermode "Spirit" bear, it's a nature-lover's dream come true. You can also catch sight of humpback whales, orcas, sea lions and porpoises by the coast. Denny Island's eco-tour adventures will take you through the area so you can get the full experience of one of British Columbia's most untamed areas! The Shearwater Marina is the only full-service marine hub and offers 1,500 feet of concrete floats. You can easily head out on some of the best sport fishing around, try your hand a diving trips, or head out on an ocean kayaking adventure. The possibilities are truly endless at this magical island destination!
Denny Island is located approximately 100 nautical miles north of Port Hardy and 76 nautical miles west of Bella Coola. It's only accessible by plane and water.
The Royal Canadian Air Force chose the Shearwater site on Denny Island as a reconnaissance base during World War II.
Deep within the Okanagan Valley, Kelowna is natural sanctuary surrounded by some of the most beautiful scenery in British Columbia. Settled by a French Roman Catholic missionary, Kelowna was originally named L’anse au sable (Bay of Sand).
Today, Kelowna derives its name from a native term for ‘grizzly bear’. It’s the largest city in the Okanagan Valley; however despite its size, the city never feels or looks too crowded. Kelowna offers numerous parks and miles of sandy beaches along the shores of Okanagan Lake. Hike or bike through the mountains. Kelowna is a favorite destination for fishing with over 200 freshwater lakes! And in winter, ski or snowboard down the Monashee Mountains for thrills. You’ll discover some of the finest, freshly groomed powder in the Okanagan Valley! There are also more than 50 miles of scenic cross-country ski trails. And Kelowna’s orchards and vineyards are open year-round for seasonal delights. The spring, summer, fall and winter wine festivals attract thousands of tourists to the city. Kelowna’s cultural community has boomed in recent years with a concentration of galleries, museums, theaters and more popping up around town. Boasting all the amenities of a large city, Kelowna oozes with small-town mountain charm.
Kelowna has a population of 120,812.
Visit the Kasugai Gardens, an outdoor garden adjacent to City Hall which commemorates the friendship with Kelowna’s sister city, Kasugai, Japan.
Many former and current NHL stars live or have lived in Kelowna including Dany Heatley and Jarome Ignila.
At the entrance to Sinclair Canyon sits the old-fashioned town of Radium Hot Springs. Located on the ‘warm side of the Canadian Rockies’, Radium Hot Springs is one of British Columbia’s most rejuvenating resort towns.
A short drive from Calgary, Radium Hot Springs offers numerous activities, dining, natural hot springs and beautiful alpine scenery. This small town is famous for its hot springs complex from which the town bears its name. Surrounded by natural rock walls, these odorless pools soothe stress away. There is also a hot-tub sized pool nicknamed the ‘Plunge Pool’ because the water can either be hot (right from the source at 114°F) or cold from the creek running below the pools. Spend the better part of your day golfing at one of Radium Hot Springs’ nine 18-hole championship courses or six nine-hole courses. There’s also no better way to maneuver around the town than on horseback. Riding trails through the Kootenay’s are plenty, and you might just run into bighorn sheep wandering the streets! Plus, the mighty Columbia River is perfect for white-water rafting. A small town in the mountains, Radium Hot Springs combines old-world charm with the natural beauty of the Kootenay Rockies.
Radium Hot Springs has a population of 1,000.
808 m (2,651 ft).
The town is named for the hot springs complex that resides in it.
Following the discovery of silver, Nelson, British Columbia became a boom town. During the Vietnam War, many draft dodgers settled in Nelson - an influx of liberal, educated young people who greatly influenced the town’s cultural landscape.
These days, the ‘Queen City’ features an impressive collection (more than 350) of restored heritage buildings from its glory days that capture the Victorian style. Nelson is surrounded by beautiful British Columbia scenery with Kootenay Lake and the Selkirk Mountains posing a dramatic picture in the background. The town has also earned a respected reputation as an artistic center. With its charming natural beauty and historic perseverance, Nelson has become an idyllic home to artists from all mediums. Nelson is filled with plenty of activities. The town is all uphill, so you’d better bring your walking shoes. Or learn about Nelson’s architectural heritage with a driving tour of the town. Spend nights at the theater! Drama, comedy, dance or music – there’s always a performance occurring. And don’t miss the galleries, boutiques and festivals that draw tourists to Nelson year after year! Blooming from a boom town, Nelson has thrived off its cultural and artistic community.
Nelson has a population of 9,258.
Skiing is Nelson’s primary outdoor activity and with the Selkirk Mountains towering in the background, you’ll have plenty of access to trails.
Nelson was rated the No. 1 Small Town Arts Community in Canada by the publisher of The 100 Best Small Arts Towns in America.
Amidst the Kootenay Rockies, Cranbrook receives more sunshine than any city in British Columbia. With the establishment of the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Crowsnest Pass in 1898, Cranbrook became a major commercial center.
Today, Cranbrook is a preserved historical city where people raise families and retire. The town has a strong community supporting everything from hockey to high school activities. Cultural and recreation as well as sports breathe life into this small city. Cranbrook is home to the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel, an award-winning museum featuring ‘Deluxe Hotels-On-Wheels’ from the 1880s to the 1930s. Be sure to visit the living museum, the restored Fort Steele ghost town. Townspeople in period costumes wander the streets and perform staged history. Hockey is the most popular sport in Cranbrook, and is home to more than 13 retired and current NHL players. Make sure to catch Cranbrook’s own team, the Kootenay Ice of the WHL in action. If you miss the season, play a round of championship golf at one of six distinctive courses surrounding the city. A railway town, a mill town and a commercial center, Cranbrook may look like a big city but its exudes small town charm and community.
Cranbrook has a population of 18,947.
Visit the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel which features rail cars built in the 1920s.
Cranbrook is home to more than 13 NHL players including Steve Yzerman and Scott and Ron Niedermayer.
Halfway between Calgary and Vancouver lies the small town of Salmon Arm. On the shores of Shuswap Lake, Salmon Arm bore its roots as a railway camp. The town became an official British Columbia city in 2005.
Salmon Arm is fast becoming one of British Columbia’s most popular tourist towns. The town is surrounded by stunning natural beauty which has been carefully preserved for centuries. Numerous beaches line the shores of Shuswap Lake. Salmon Arm is home to the world’s largest wooden wharf in North American where tourists often rent houseboats for their stay. Fish off the wharf for famed steelhead and Kamloops trout. Peter Jannink Nature Park is a popular reserve for birdwatching. Dogsled through town and on through the mountains. The town is home to the annual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival which draws national acts such as The Pointer Sisters. Salmon Arm is home to a booming arts community – you’ll find theaters, museums, libraries and art galleries. And you don’t have to travel south to see alpaca. These furry animals live in town! The unfettered topography of Salmon Arm makes it a favorite destination for tourists and residents alike.
Salmon Arm has a population of 16,205.
The Salmon Arm Bay Nature Enhancement Area is an ecological site for wildlife viewing.
Salmon Arm’s sister city is Inashiki, Ibaraki, Japan.
Vernon’s history begins as a trading post alongside Swan Lake. The town has grown into a strong arts and culture community ranking as one of the top six most desirable communities to retire to in North America by Consumer Reports.
With more than 100 lakes, world-renowned golf, the Canadian Rockies and so much more, this family-friendly, colorful destination is a tourist’s dream. Vernon is the largest city in British Columbia’s North Okanagan Regional District. Fast becoming a mountain biking haven, Vernon offers several parks that are developed to ‘Whistler Standards’ by the North Okanagan Cycling Society. Visit the Swan Lake Nature Reserve for great bird watching opportunities – expect to see loons, herons, sandpipers and more! Several of the top ski resorts in North America are found in Vernon. Engage your creative side! A variety of art galleries, theatres, concert halls, craft fairs and festivals make Vernon a vibrant city center. The Vernon Film Society presents live entertainment on stage. And don’t forget about the Thompson Okanagan Summer Wine Festival that takes place in Vernon. Whether you’re visiting for a day or a week, Vernon is a majestic destination in the beautiful Okanagan Valley.
Vernon has a population of 35,944.
Take in a Vernon Vipers game, one of the most decorated junior hockey teams in Canadian history.
Vernon is named after Forbes George Vernon, a former MLA of British Columbia who helped found Coldstream Ranch.
Named after a local farmstead, Richmond, British Columbia is known for its natural beauty garnering it the nickname ‘Garden City’. Home to the Vancouver International Airport, Richmond is one of the first places you can visit in British Columbia.
Located at the mouth of the Fraser River, this coastal town is comprised of 17 islands and Steveston – the largest commercial fishing harbor in Canada. Richmond is home to a diverse population of people and neighborhoods. In fact, more than half of the town’s population is Asian. Richmond is filled with a vast amount of family-friendly, year-round activities. Visit the historic fishing village of Steveston and tour Fisherman’s Wharf and the Britannia Shipyard National Historic Site. Play at the Richmond Oval, home to several of the speed skating competitions during the 2010 Winter Olympics. And charter a whale watching excursion for an experience of a lifetime! Get close to British Columbia’s diverse marine ecosystem including porpoises, sea lions, bald eagles and seals. Discover Richmond’s cultural cuisine! The town boasts the best Asian fare and local seafood, as well as delightful international dining – Italian, Greek, French and more! Fall in love with Richmond – a multi-ethnic coastal town in British Columbia!
Richmond has a population of 174,461.
The annual Steveston Salmon Festival is held on Canada Day and includes a huge barbecued salmon sale.
The Richmond Oval Arena was a site for the speed skating competition for the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Other Top British Columbia Getaways
- The Beach Club Resort
- The Wilderness Way Adventure Resort
- Windermere Creek Bed & Breakfast Cabins
- Denny Island
- The Prestige Hotel Kelowna
- The Prestige Radium Hot Springs
- The Prestige Lakeside Resort & Convention Centre
- The Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort & Convention Centre
- The Prestige Harbourfront Resort & Convention Centre
- The Prestige Hotel & Conference Centre