Regions of British Columbia
British Columbia lies in a Northwest-Southeast orientation along the Pacific Coast of North America. The province is vast - 1,300 km long, (north-south) and 700 km wide (east-west), and is nearly four times the size of Great Britain. There are numerous mountain ranges, including the Coast Mountains, which include the highest peaks in Canada and stretch uninterrupted from Vancouver north to the Alaska border; and the famous Rockies that extend up the eastern border of the province. Dotted throughout these glacial peaks are alpine lakes, their waters such vivid hues of vermilion and turquoise they appear surreal. Hundreds of inlets and fjords pierce the coastal mountains, creating cruising waters unlike any others.
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The interior of the province offers lush and fertile valleys that produce some of the tastiest fruits and vegetables in North America. This includes numerous vineyards and wineries currently producing award-winning wines. Many large lakes and rivers provide excellent facilities for summer water sports. High plateaux and rolling ranchland are common features, and British Columbia even has its own pocket desert complete with cacti, rattlesnakes and dunes! Runoff from the thousands of mountains and glaciers create hundreds of rivers that can meander lazily across the plateaux or rage in violent cataracts through canyons and chasms.
Off the Southwest coast of the mainland is 400 km-long Vancouver Island, the largest island on the coast of the Americas, while further north lies the mysterious archipelago of the Queen Charlotte Islands, shrouded in mist and rich with the legends and heritage of the Haida.
Interspersed throughout this varied landscape lie the cities and communities of British Columbia: busy yet beautiful cities, quiet and rural municipalities, industrious resource-based towns and charming villages tucked away in a picturesque corners of the province.
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The Regions of British Columbia
The B.C. Rockies welcome literally millions of visitors every year, yet when one arrives here it is strangely peaceful and uncrowded. Four mountain ranges stretch across the region: the Rocky Mountains and the Purcells in the east, and the Selkirks and Monashees in the west.
Where else in the world could you ski, play a round of golf, horseback ride, tour a historic site and visit a winery all in one day?
Canada's Islands on the Pacific are a wonderful place to get away from it all. Close to Vancouver, British Columbia and Seattle, Washington, they offer all the pleasures of an island retreat mixed with the hustle of a provincial capital and the bustle of busy fishing, mining and logging towns.
The Gulf Islands
Self-proclaimed artist havens, the Gulf Islands off the east coast of Vancouver Island host small communities that welcome travellers with open arms and warm smiles. Open markets and inviting studios display the wares of the Island’s creative residents. Bring home hand-dipped candles, sparkling stained glass, or Island-made goat cheese. Relax and enjoy the Gulf Islands and their tranquil and serene atmosphere.
Vancouver Coast and
This vibrant southwest corner of British Columbia, is renowned as one of the most naturally scenic locales in the world. The snowcapped Coast Mountains are spectacular; the harbour views captivating; and the forested valleys and lush farmlands unspoiled and picturesque. Yet the province's southwest corner is more than just a pretty face.
Cariboo Country is located in central British Columbia, bordered on the east by the Cariboo Mountain Range and on the west by the Pacific Ocean, the region covers approximately 12,600,000 hectares (over 31 million acres).
Northern British Columbia stretches from awesome Mt. Robson and the plains of Alberta in the east, across the Rocky Mountain Foothills to the Coast Mountain range in the west. In the area's rivers and streams lie record-sized salmon and steelhead.
The Major Centers
To the world, Vancouver is a modern Pacific Rim city with exceptional hotels, fine dining, and the best in international music, theatre, and dance. But we also know and love it as a rugged frontier town, with a forest in the city and wilderness on its outskirts.
Today Victoria is best known as the capital of British Columbia and as a world-renowned tourism destination (and rated by readers of Conde Nast as the friendliest city in Canada.) One of the most visitor-friendly cities anywhere - Victoria with its high quality of life and gentle climate - is also one of Canada's favourite places to call home.
The four-season resort town of Whistler is famous world-wide for the quality of the skiing and golf, comfort of the lodgings and scenery.
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