British Columbia seems to have more than its fair share of natural beauty. To the east, the cloud-piercing peaks of the Rockies jut above tumbling rivers, massive glaciers and vast tracts of forest. To the west, the Pacific meets a pristine coastline of dramatic cliffs and glorious beaches. There, the water teems with an array of creatures, from awe-inspiring whales to the multicolored sea stars that decorate shimmering tidal pools. Whale watching, hiking, canoeing and kayaking are all increasingly popular.
Of course, there are also cosmopolitan pleasures in the charming harbor town of Victoria and the sophisticated port city of Vancouver, which hosts a growing constellation of fine restaurants, with menus relying on the abundance of superb local ingredients. The reputation of British Columbia’s vineyards is steadily growing. The most important wine-producing region is the Okanagan Valley, about 240 miles east of Vancouver.
British Columbia’s indigenous people, now referred to as the “First Nations,” created a rich legacy of myth and art. At an increasing number of galleries one can learn about and buy the work of the province’s painters, carvers and sculptors.