Visit West Coast Canada
The best places to visit on the West Coast
If you’re looking for Canada’s biggest-hitting scenery, the West Coast is the place to be. It is here, among the glaciers, lakes and mountains, that you’ll find the country’s most impressive sights: the lively city of Vancouver, the Rocky Mountains, the whale watching hotspots and the vast bear-filled wilderness. To help you plan your ideal West Coast Canada holiday, we’ve broken the region down into its best bits.
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Vancouver and Vancouver Island
With the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Coast Mountains on the other, Vancouver is one of the world’s most spectacularly situated cities. Spend at least two days here, making time to browse the food markets and craft breweries of Granville Island and joining the outdoors-obsessed Vancouverites for a spot of hiking, swimming or boating among the beaches and forests of Vancouver Island and its English-esque capital city, Victoria.
A popular weekend destination for Vancouverites, Whistler is known the world over for its abundant powder snow and top-notch ski runs, as well as its rather lively après ski scene. Come outside of the ski season for rock climbing and cross-country mountain bike trails, as well as the stupendous views from Blackcomb Peak on offer from the Peak 2 Peak Gondola.
Banff National Park
Banff National Park
It’s easy to run out of superlatives when talking about Banff. The most famous of the Rocky Mountain national parks is awash with forested mountains, impossibly blue lakes, and natural hot springs. Aside from the sublime scenery, there’s adventure to be had skiing the slopes, hiking the trails and riding the Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Banff or Jasper.
Alberta’s Lake Louise, a sparkling, glacial-fed mountain basin, is an arresting sight. Its turquoise water, fringed by crashing waterfalls and snowy mountains, is best appreciated from various forest hiking and cycling trails or, if you’re here in winter, from a horse-drawn carriage. Remember to keep your eyes peeled for elk, deer, moose and eagles, or even a grizzly bear, if you’re very lucky.
Jump onboard the Rocky Mountaineer and ride from Vancouver to Banff or Jasper. Be sure to grab a window seat because the en-route scenery is spectacular. Think glacier-fed lakes, crashing waterfalls and snowy mountains, enjoyed from the comfort of a luxury train. Keep your eyes peeled for elk, deer, moose and eagles, and listen out for train announcements when grizzly bears are spotted.