Category: british columbia

Vancouver’s Chinatown isn’t Pretty

Vancouver’s Chinatown isn’t pretty, but no one can deny that it has character. One of the oldest neighbourhoods in all of Vancouver, it’s steeped in local history. For a photographer, there are few urban spaces in Vancouver that deliver the same sense of stimuli. If you’re craving good Chinese restaurants, bustling nightlife, or a faux romanticized 1930s era Shanghai, you’re […]

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Your top places to experience the ocean in BC

Where is your favourite place to experience the ocean in BC?

BC is blessed with 25,725 kilometres (15,984 miles) of stunning coastline, from soft sandy beaches to dramatic, rainforest-draped cliffs descending straight into the ocean. Our oceans offer outstanding opportunities for wildlife viewing, with whales, dolphins, seals, sea lions and otters in abundance. The fishing off the coast of BC is the stuff anglers’ dreams are made of, and our waters are a mecca for cold-water divers. Kayaking and boating in remote areas full of waterfalls and coastal hot springs makes for an unforgettable experience. We recently asked our Facebook fans for their favourite place to experience the magic of BC’s oceans, and here are their top five:

5. Victoria

Ocean waves hitting the rocky shore at Dallas Road in Victoria with the Olympic Mountains in the background.

Dallas Road, Victoria. Photo: Stewart Butterfield via Flickr

In the number five spot are the many local beaches in and around BC’s capital city. Victoria beaches run the gamut from sandy coves to rocky bluffs, and all offer a scenic escape from the city. In addition to its many beaches, this gorgeous oceanfront city offers many ways to get out on the water: join a whale watching tour right from the bustling Inner Harbour, take a stroll along iconic Dallas Road, kayak in Victoria’s calm, sheltered waters, or take a guided sightseeing trip on a harbour ferry for a unique tour of the city.

4. Vancouver

A close up view of runners, bikers and walkers enjoying the Stanley Park Seawall along Vancouver's coast on a sunny, blue skied day.

Stanley Park Seawall, Vancouver. Photo: InSapphoWeTrust via Flickr

Next on the list: Vancouver. Like Victoria, Vancouver offers a ton of ways to take advantage of the city’s stunning coastal location, from whale watching excursions to kayaking to harbour tours. Vancouver’s kilometres of sandy beaches become a way of life in the summer, and it is not uncommon to see people commuting to work via harbour ferry. One popular Vancouver spot to enjoy the ocean mentioned in our Facebook poll is from the magnificent Stanley Park Seawall.

3. Johnstone Strait

Two kayakers in a double kayak experiencing a very close encounter with a whale on the surface of the water.

Kayakers having a close encounter with a whale in Johnstone Strait. Photo: Winky via Flickr

Our fans’ number three choice, this well known spot off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island is renowned as one of the top places on the planet to view Orcas. Commercial whale watching tours leaving from Telegraph Cove, Port McNeill and Alert Bay take you straight to the action, and many have on-board naturalists to enhance your trip. Our fans mentioned the incredible experience of kayaking with the Orcas as one of the area’s major draws.

 2. Haida Gwaii

A person standing on a rock looking out into the vast ocean at Haida Gwaii with a cloudy sky above.

Haida Gwaii. Photo by Destination BC

In at number two is Haida Gwaii, an archipelago off the coast of Northern BC known for its pristine natural environment and the ancient culture of the Haida First Nation. The waters surrounding these revered islands are teeming with marine life. Visitors to the islands experience incredible fishing, unforgettable kayaking along a coastline covered in lush rainforest, and strolling along beautiful beaches that go on forever.

1. Tofino/Ucluelet

A person's silhouette standing on the smooth beach in Tofino with the ocean waves crashing in the foreground and sunshine reflecting off of the wet sand.

Tofino. Photo by Bernard McManus via Flickr.

Our fans’ number one choice is the always popular Tofino and its close neighbour Ucluelet, located on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The area comes alive in the summer with people enjoying the ocean in a variety of ways: surfing, whale watching (this is a great place to see thousands of grey whales migrating), kayaking, fishing and beach combing. Long Beach, located between the two communities, was noted by Facebook fans as a place not to be missed. In the winter, these same picturesque beaches are a popular storm-watching destination.

Did we miss one of your favourites? Share in the comments below!

Related links:
Water Activities in British Columbia

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Christmas markets & cooking demos in Langley, BC

Last Saturday, I joined up with local Vancouver and Fraser Valley bloggers to spend a Christmassy afternoon in Langley. Tourism Langley organized the trip for us, to introduce us to their #langleyfresh campaign, and aspects of Langley we might not necessarily know about, showcasing some of the city’s culinary and crafty experiences. Less than an […]

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Springtime in Vancouver

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Spring sneaks into Vancouver.  You’ve got your head down, and your shoulders hunched and your hood up, when you suddenly look up and realize that the sun is shining, and Spring has ARRIVED!

For the last few days I have been working downtown, and there is nothing more beautiful, in my experience, than Vancouver in Spring sunshine.  I catch the Skytrain through New Westminster, along the huge slow Fraser River, into the bustle of Metrotown and out again, beside the peaceful parks and cycle paths.  As we reach Vancouver, the sun glints off the glass towers, the new leaves and the waves out on the water.  I stare at the new Community Garden which has sprung up on an abandoned parking lot near Science World – raised beds which a month ago were barely filled with soil, now a patchwork of shades of green .  The grass and wildflower roof of the Convention Centre is dazzling and busy with the bees from the Centre’s own hives.  The snow on the mountains, which look so close on a clear day, is almost too bright to look at.

I find myself running late for meetings as I am distracted by all the new cleanness around me.  Buildings and signs and people I have ignored over the winter are suddenly too bright and interesting not to stop and watch.  This is a city where people take cherry blossom very seriously; so seriously that it is a weekend and evening pastime to go for a Japanese-style Cherry Blossom walk.

I return home and sit in my garden, chatting to neighbours we haven’t seen since October – everyone is suddenly obsessed with gardening, everyone is growing something, even if it is just a lawn, and we compare notes and growing tips.  A queue of hummingbirds at the feeders, surprisingly noisy as they get into fights; apparently queue-jumpers exist everywhere.  We cannot wait for the full summer to arrive!  Welcome to Spring!

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