5 Reasons to Visit British Columbia

Tuesday 9 June 2015 by

Deep Cove, British Columbia, Canada

Deep Cove

1. Deep Cove

Located in the Northern Vancouver area, the community of Deep Cove is simply stunning. The small town slopes downhill to a beautiful rocky bay bordered by pine trees with spectacular views of the water, yachts, and the mountains that are visible pretty much everywhere you go around the Vancouver area.

The town feels untouched, quaint, and like you’ve stepped back in time. The architecture is gorgeous and old-fashioned; the streets impeccable, the businesses small and untouched by corporate companies. It’s a wonderfully relaxing place to visit, where you feel like you’re in a story book or a film.

Deep Cove, British Columbia, Canada

Deep Cove

On the beach you can go out kayaking, simply enjoy the beauty, or nature spot. We were lucky enough to spot wild heron, and there was lots of rock pool sea life to find, hermit and other small crabs being particularly prominent. It’s incredibly beautiful and peaceful, even when busy. On our second trip there, we heard pipe music floating through the air from somewhere, it was wonderfully serene and dreamlike.

Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada

Provincial Park

Golden Ears Park, Canada, British Columbia

Golden Ears

2. The Parks

On 2 occasions, we visited Golden Ears Provincial Park, located outside of Maple Ridge. If you’re a lover of the outdoors, this is an incredible place to visit. Not only is it steeped in natural beauty, it is also huge. I’d recommend more than one visit. Driving through is an experience in itself; the trees seem to touch the sky, the river we crossed was crystal clear, the woods dense – it’s like being in an episode of Supernatural. You can walk along trails in the woods, camp on the designated site during summer months, or relax and picnic by the lake. If rain doesn’t bother you I’d suggest going on a rainy day too as the rich green colours amplify, as do the crisp smells, and the sight of mist rolling off the lake and mountains is breathtaking.

Canada, British Columbia, History museum

3. The History

A visit to a history museum may not be everyone’s idea of a fun thing to do on holiday, but if you get a chance to check one out go for it (we went to one in the city of Surrey). While we do get an influx of American history from films and TV, we don’t get to know much about Canada’s which while similar is different, and equally interesting. The museum we visited had some great displays moving from First Nation peoples, through to settlers, into industrialisation and the progression into modern times and cultures – the First Nation displays, printing press/journalism pieces and rodeo outfits from the early 20th Century were some personal highlights. There was also a lovely display about Canada’s connection to the UK monarchy.

Outside the museum we visited was a perfectly preserved original cabin that had been built by one of the first settlers to the area in the 1700s. Dotted around local areas you will spot original totems, which are truly incredible and skilfully detailed.

Wreck Beach, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Wreck Beach, Vancouver

4. Vancouver

First off, Vancouver is huge. To explore it fully would really take some time, but what we did see was really quite something. It’s a city unlike any I’ve been to before, it’s surrounded on 3 sides by stunning mountains that you can see from pretty much wherever you are. Spotting them through gaps between skyscrapers is pretty incredible, such a contrast. Go west and you can dip your toes in the Pacific, which is a pretty cool thing to be able to tick off your bucket list. The city clearly has a real mix of cultures, and nowhere is this clearer than in the architecture which has clear Western and Asian influences. It’s really beautiful. If you’re a foodie, there’s no shortage of places to eat – downtown pretty much every other building you pass is some sort of eatery. Like to shop? No shortage there either. If you want to mix a city trip with adventuring in the outdoors, this really is an ideal place to visit as no matter where you are in the city you can soon get yourself to the wilderness, real wilderness or the vast number of beautiful public parks. Simply the best of both worlds.

Tomahawk Barbeque, British Columbia, Canada

Tomahawk Barbeque

5. The Tomahawk Barbeque

One of our mission statements on our trip was to make sure we didn’t eat at chain restaurants – there’s nothing wrong with that of course, but we wanted to experience something authentic and unique to the area. We did a Google search to see if Man V Food had ventured north of the border, no such luck, so we tried Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives which had been and listed all the restaurants they’d tried. We opted for The Tomahawk, and we’re sure glad we did.

Located on Vancouver’s Marine Drive it would be very easy to pass as it doesn’t actually seem to have a sign. I suspect you either know it or you don’t and that it’s very much a word of mouth place. Whilst it’s close to main businesses its location isn’t immediately obvious as it seems you’re heading into a more residential area, when you spot the totems outside you’ve found it. Opened in 1926, the restaurant still remains a family run business and is packed full of history. The bar stools are original, and there are many First Nation artefacts dotted around as well as items patrons traded for food during The Great Depression when they had no money to pay.

The food was great. My husband and I both opted for the Skookum Chief Burger and were not disappointed. Pretty much anything you could possibly put on a burger was on this. The skin-on fries (which seems to be the done thing in Canada) were quite simply the best either of us have ever had in our lives, frankly they were heaven in potato form. The home-made banana cream pie we had for dessert was melt in the mouth beautiful. The best thing about it all? Rather than feeling overly full or uncomfortable afterwards – which we expected given the size of the burger and the amount of things piled on there – we felt ever so comfortably and deliciously satisfied.

Totem pole, British Columbia, Canada

Some More Reasons Canada’s Cool

  • The people – the stereotypes are accurate!
  • The money – not only are their bank notes very pretty but they have brail on them, awesome!
  • The Kermode Bear – closely related to the North American black bear, they are white like polar bears and are unique to British Columbia and are also known as ‘Spirit Bears’. You’re not very likely to see one but they’re still rather amazing
  • The chocolate – it seems Cadbury’s and Nestlé aren’t giving us Brits their full bounty, Canada has some yummy ones you can only get there
  • Public transport – When buses get into downtown areas of Vancouver they are able to hook up to overhead cables and operate like trams
  • The humour – seriously, check out the public signs.
Nerissa is a writer, mummy and rather proud geek living in the countryside. In between playtime, cuddles and fun times she loves to read, knit, bake and write Young Adult and children’s fiction.

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