Even though British Columbia’s warm, dry season is brief, it’s one of the greatest times of year to travel there, especially if you prefer festivals, open-air food markets, hiking, bicycling, and other outdoor activities to ski and snowboarding. Here are just a few reasons to visit British Columbia as soon as possible before summer ends.
1. The ideal season for outdoor recreation is summer.
Although many people think of British Columbia as a winter sports destination, this big portion of the Pacific Northwest is also wonderful for those looking for summertime activities. Here, you can enjoy kayaking and snorkelling in a harbour seal habitat, hike and bike across the countryside, try your hand at dirt biking, and practice yoga asanas on a stand-up paddleboard.
2. Summertime in BC may be romantic.
Where else would you rather go with your loved one? There are many activities you can do with your sweetie to take advantage of BC’s lovely summer weather, even if you’re not particularly athletic. On a dinner cruise across Vancouver Harbor, you can enjoy views of the setting sun, or you can go on a wine tour through the renowned Okanagan wine region. Take a seaplane tour over the area for a truly unique experience.
3. A clear sky indicates a clear view.
Even while BC experiences its fair share of rain and clouds, the summer months have the highest likelihood of clear skies. For the greatest views of Vancouver, ride the Skyride aerial tram up to Grouse Mountain’s summit.
Don’t forget to stop at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park en route. If you feel like taking a road trip, head up to Squamish and take the Sea to Sky Gondola there, or head over to Whistler and take the Peak 2 Peak Gondola, which connects Whistler to the nearby peak of Blackcomb.
4. Fantastic whale-watching is available.
British Columbia’s prime whale-watching months are May through October when the region’s waters are at their warmest. Take a summertime whale-watching boat cruise from Vancouver or Victoria, and you’re likely to see humpback whales as well as resident and passing orcas (killer whales). You might even be fortunate enough to see one or more elusive minke whales.
5. Heavenly hot springs are present.
Given that British Columbia is home to ten significant mountain ranges, it is not surprising that the area is rich in geothermal activity and has a large number of hot springs. In the Kootenay Rockies region of the province, there is a particularly high concentration of hot springs, ranging from Ainsworth Hot Springs, where visitors can wade through a hot springs-fed cave, to Naksup Hot Springs, a built complex surrounded by forest. Harrison Hot Springs near Vancouver is a terrific alternative, just a short drive from town if you don’t have time to travel far from the city.
6. The gardens are stunning.
The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, which hosts a summer concert series and evening visits on summer weekends complete with after-dark lights, is one of BC’s magnificent gardens. While you’re there, visit the Abkhazi Garden, which has a variety of unusual plants, or the Victoria Butterfly Garden.
If you can’t make it to Victoria, the Dr Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, designed in the Ming Dynasty style, and the VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver are fantastic alternatives.
7. The regional marketplaces are booming.
While the public market on Granville Island has long been a staple, there are many other markets worth visiting, including the seasonally held Salt Spring Saturday Market, which only features food and handmade goods made by local artisans, and North Vancouver’s Shipyards Night Market, where you can satisfy your appetite for food and live entertainment in equal measure.
If exploring the culinary world is your thing, don’t miss the chance to go on a food tour to the Victoria Public Market or try international cuisine at the Richmond Night Market, a market open only during the summer and modelled after night markets in Asia.
8. The festival season is in the summer.
Festival season is here in British Columbia. The most well-known is the yearly Honda Celebration of Light, a musical fireworks competition that takes place over three nights in late July and has three pyrotechnics presentations (each representing a different country).
The Victoria Fringe Festival offers plenty of entertainment for enthusiasts of the performing arts, while those who prefer music should check out the Vancouver Folk Music Festival and the heavily focused Shambhala Music Festival near Nelson.
- Do you know 10 Things Prove Summer in Canada is Awesome