Category: #fishing

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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Three Ranch Accommodations in BC’s Interior

If you’re looking to a true escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, a ranching vacation makes for the perfect getaway. British Columbia’s interior is home to many beautiful ranches with on-site accommodations to suit a wide range of desires. Here are some suggestions for guest ranches to stay at near the interior community of Merritt, courtesy of the staff at the British Columbia Visitor Centre @ Merritt:

Douglas Lake Ranch

Stoney Lake Lodge at Douglas Lake Ranch near Merritt BC featuring a red roof, wood building, trees in the foreground and a blue sky with white clouds above.

Stoney Lake Lodge at Douglas Lake Ranch near Merritt. Photo: Douglas Lake Ranch via Facebook

Located less than an hour’s drive northeast of Merritt, the Douglas Lake Ranch is Canada’s largest working cattle ranch with a history dating back to the 1880’s. From camping to lakeside lodges, yurts, cabins and a classic ranch house, this ranch has accommodations to suit everyone’s preferences. It provides an incredible opportunity to get in touch with nature, while enjoying incredible views, fishing and fine dining.

A-P Guest Ranch

A-P-Guest-Ranch-Cabin with a green roof and wood building set in the background of rolling hills and trees.

A-P Guest Ranch near Merritt. Photo: A-P Guest Ranch via Facebook

The A-P Guest Ranch is a western guest ranch located 54 km (38 mi) from Merritt. The ranch has a main lodge with eleven rooms, each detailing old west characters, and one cabin which comfortably sleeps four. Surrounded by rolling hills and picturesque lakes, this ranch offers activities for all ages. Guests can take advantage of trail riding, youth horsemanship camps, hiking and biking trails, angling and more. With country-western dances and barbecues happening throughout the summer, you’ll be caught up in the country lifestyle in no time.

Sundance Guest Ranch

One-level Sundance Guest Ranch in Aschroft, BC with a flat green lawn in front and rolling hills in the background.

Sundance Guest Ranch in Ashcroft. Photo: Sundance Guest Ranch

The Sundance Guest Ranch is located 98 km (61 mi) from Merritt in Ashcroft. This single-level ranch house offers 22 rooms, all with air conditioning and private bathrooms. There are over 100 happy horses enjoying thousands of hectares on the gorgeous grounds, making it a perfect destination for a horseback holiday.  The ranch’s dining room overlooking the pastures allows for peaceful admiration of the grazing horses as guests enjoy delicious foods from around the world. When it’s time to relax after a day’s ride, there are many outdoor decks, a heated pool and spa services on-site.  The games room is a great place to visit with the kids, as are the property’s walking and hiking trails. Sundance offers special deals throughout the spring and summer, including cowgirl getaways and gourmet weekends.

Related links:
Accommodations in Merritt, British Columbia
BC Guest Ranchers Association

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