Discover Metro Vancouver and Victoria from a whole new perspective this summer
Major cities in British Columbia are known for their restaurants, shopping, and urban sites and attractions. But keep exploring and you’ll find opportunities for forest swimming, kayaking, biking, and bird watching that will take you just outside of downtown to rejuvenate and reconnect with nature.
Summer offers plenty of reasons to go out and try something new, and it’s easy to do in British Columbia’s bustling and airy cityscapes. And once you’ve ventured downtown, local businesses have safety measures in place designed to keep you healthy.
Discover the wild edges of Victoria
British Columbia’s “garden city” is known for its well-tended places like the sprawling Butchart Gardens, but for something new and a little more uneducated, look for the wild side of town.
Head into the rainforest and stroll among towering cedars, Sitka spruce and strawberry trees with Elemental magical adventures, and be present in the moment, aware of the sights, sounds and smells of the old surroundings. Called “forest bathing”, this practice lowers blood pressure and increases vitality.
To increase adrenaline, get out on the water with Oceanic river sports– Kayak tours depart daily from Inner Harbor and Oak Bay, providing exhilarating opportunities to spot seals, otters, eagles and maybe even a whale. Rest after a day of play at the Inn at Laurel Point, which offers a special to residents of British Columbia.
Pedal, walk or eat your way to a new side of Vancouver
With over 450 km of cycle paths and multi-use trails, including the Arbutus Greenway and the Stanley Park Seawall, Vancouver is very accessible on two wheels. Rejoin Cycling town on a small-group tour led by a storyteller guide. Explore the trails through Stanley Park or cycle through the history of Chinatown, Gastown and Granville Island.
Locals may think they know all about the city, but a walking tour with Vancouver banned will prove the contrary. From the gangsters who ruled Gastown a century ago to the secrets buried in Stanley Park, Vancouver’s history may surprise you.
Other tour options include the murals of Mt. Pleasant with Vancouver detours, and high-end picnics in local parks with British Columbia Adventure Company. Sleep at Skwachàys Lodge, a boutique hotel with stunning “art installation” rooms designed jointly by an interior designer and Aboriginal artist.
Richmond is a bird watchers and bikers’ paradise
Richmond is revered for its Asian cuisine, but its location on the Pacific Flyway – a migratory route for birds – is great for spotting warblers, daring red hummingbirds, or waterfowl like the shy green heron. Iona Beach Regional Park is a favorite viewing spot.
the Vancouver Fairmont Airport‘s Pacific Flyway Adventure Package includes an overnight stay, plus use of a birding backpack with binoculars and maps, and a chef-prepared picnic for two. Take a tour with a photographer Liron Gertsman for tips on how to best capture these feathered beauties on film.
Richmond’s flat topography also means easy cycling along more than 80 km of roads. Interesting stops include the Gulf of Georgia Cannery, where the fish was transformed into edible “gold” and Britannia Shipyards, a shipbuilding and marine repair workshop.
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