British Columbia is often called Canada's "outdoor playground," and that comes as no surprise since it's home to year-round outdoor adventures.
The province borders Alberta with the rugged and spectacular Kootenay region that offers a pristine region of rivers, lakes, waterfalls, beaches, mineral hot springs, alpine meadows and snow-capped mountains.
There is a dizzying array of outdoor pursuits. Four of British Columbia's seven national parks are located in the southwest corner of the province. The region is internationally renowned for its abundant fishing locales, not to mention its picturesque spots for canoeing, boating, wind-surfing and whitewater rafting.
On land, the region is one of Canada's preeminent destinations for golfing. Mountain biking and hiking are both great ways to take in some of that fresh mountain air.
Pack a camera. Wildlife flourish here so be on the lookout for eagles, elk, mule deer, bighorn sheep, coyotes, moose, cougar as well as black and grizzly bears.
What better way to discover this outdoor playground than to go camping? There are so many campgrounds and camping hot spots available that sometimes it becomes difficult to choose. The province is home to more than 200 provincial parks campsites. The majority offer kilometres of shoreline, sandy beaches and rustic campsites.
If you're looking for something that offers the comforts of home, though, the many backcountry lodges, inns and guest ranches provide luxury accommodations and getaways in natural settings. Soak in a wood-fired hot tub overlooking the Rocky Mountains, or follow the Hot Springs Circle Route for some serious rest and relaxation. Holistic health retreats, back to-nature programs, and health-and-fitness camps provide great places to unwind. Spa accommodations also offer rustic wilderness cabins and teepees.
Step back in time and visit wonderfully restored heritage towns and gold-rush boomtowns. Each has its own unique historical character with wonderful restaurants and shopping. Brush with creativity at the plenty of community art walks. These self-guided explorations of supercultural B.C. showcase original works of art and live performances created by visual and performing artists.
In summer, the mountains come alive with the sound of music. Music festivals cater to folk, jazz and classic-rock lovers. There's even an event for fans of old-time accordion music. Dance on a beach or grab a spot on a lawn to watch diverse acts. With a backdrop of mountains, there's something to see and do for visitors of all ages.