If I could go on one trip in BC this year, I would go…?
We posed this question to our fans on Facebook recently and were blown away by the responses that poured in. More than 1,000 people commented and voted for their number one BC destination or dream trip.
Now, the results are in! So what places make up your ultimate British Columbia bucket list for 2014? Here are the top choices, with a few surprises, too:
British Columbia’s capital city, Victoria, came in fifth on the list. This seaside town is well-known for its historic charm, bustling inner harbour and picturesque scenery – not to mention its romantic allure: the city was just nominated as one of the World’s Best Cities for Romance by Travel + Leisure Magazine (2014).
Next on the list is Vancouver. The city’s trademark might just be its proximity of outdoor adventure (skiing, mountain biking, sailing, golf and more) to urban culture: a thriving food and beer scene, distinct neighbourhoods to explore, and world-class festivals and events (like TEDx Vancouver, happening later this year) – all great reasons to visit.
Tofino, located on Vancouver Island’s stunning west coast, came in third. Tofino’s surf-tossed shores, incredible beaches, and oceanfront lodges and resorts make it a favourite of many – and were all specific highlights voted by you! Popular activities mentioned? Surfing, storm watching and hiking the West Coast Trail. Favourite stays? Wickanninnish Inn, Long Beach Resort and Black Rock Resort.
2. Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island was a fan favourite. From the lively and temperate city of Victoria at the south end to the rugged, craggy shores and unassuming port towns at the north end, Vancouver Island encompasses a vast area. In between are long stretches of sandy beach, mountains, dense rainforest and countless towns and experiences to discover. A few Vancouver Island destinations that were singled out? Campbell River, Telegraph Cove, the Gulf Islands, Long Beach (Tofino), Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park and Alert Bay to name a few.
1. Haida Gwaii
The overall winner and most-sought after destination for a trip this year was Haida Gwaii. This remote chain of islands holds intrigue for many. It has been voted Best Islands by Outside Magazine (2013) and more recently, as one of National Geographic’s Canada’s Top 50 Places of a Lifetime (2013). Largely uninhabited, Haida Gwaii occupies a distant spot off the northwest coast of British Columbia, surrounded by the wild expanse of the Pacific Ocean. Home to the Haida people, the islands are rich in Aboriginal culture and scenery (it has been dubbed the “Galápagos of Canada,” thanks to its unique flora and fauna) and offer a truly magical and rewarding experience for those who visit.
Most Surprising Destinations
We loved everyone’s enthusiasm for their top picks. There were some obvious choices – but we were thrilled to see a few surprising ones mentioned, too! Here are a few lesser-known BC places that were voted for (in no particular order): Liard River Hot Springs, Stewart and Atlin (Northern BC); Nootka Island and Cape Scott Provincial Park (Vancouver Island); Christina Lake and Tappen (Thompson Okanagan); Klemtu (Cariboo Chilcotin Coast); and Savary and Texada islands (Vancouver, Coast & Mountains).
Downtown Stewart. Photo: kcxd via Flickr (image has been cropped)
Are you planning a vacation to any of these BC destinations this year? Tell us below in the comments!