How do you tackle the large land masses that stretch hundreds of miles from the U.S. border in the south to pristine and wild areas of the Canadian north? By going on a major road trip, right? When it comes to the British Columbia, here are five routes that offer snapshots of the province's different regions:
1. Hot Springs Seven days, seven hot springs. This 529-mile drive through BC’s Kootenay Rockies region visits natural pools ranging from lavish resorts to secret dips in the woods. Groups riding through stunning lake and mountain scenery enjoy plenty of history, wildlife viewing and outdoor adventure.
2. Great Northern The legendary Alaska Highway is the primary pathway of this eight- to 14-day, odyssey through Northern BC and into the Yukon. Highlights include ancient stands of totems, legendary fishing, glaciers, the northern lights and First Nations culture.
3. Heritage Discovery Starting and finishing in Vancouver (or Victoria), this one- to two-week route showcases the variety of BC’s landscapes and seascapes, from Gold Rush and cowboy country to northern forests rich with First Nations culture, and from an Inside Passage cruise among fjords and islands to orca watching and beachcombing on Vancouver Island.
4. Pacific Marine A good choice for time-pressed foodies, this route begins and ends in Victoria. With just a few hours of driving, travelers enjoy surf-tossed beaches, old-growth forests, wine country, some of Canada’s best restaurants and all the delights of BC’s capital.
5. Coastal This route includes seascapes, beaches and driftwood all the way up Vancouver Island’s eastern shore and back down the Sunshine Coast. Starting in Vancouver, the route includes four ferry rides and showcases funky little arts towns, intriguing First Nations sites, wineries and two major cities.
Top photo: Halcyon Hot Springs Village and Spa is one of the amazing hot springs groups can discover in British Columbia's Kootenay Rockies Region.
Photo by Destination BC/Dave Heath