If you're looking for a truly natural getaway that's not only teeming with wildlife, but also rich in history, then look no further than Vancouver, in Canada's British Columbia. Vancouver is not only home to many species of wildlife, but also many historic sites as well.
Vancouver Island in particular is great for bear watching. Not only will you find plenty of black and grizzly bears, but you will also find the Kermode, or Spirit bear. The Kermode is a rare white bear, not unlike the polar bears of the South Pole. Whether you're sitting on a raised platform or relaxing on a riverboat, you'll be sure to find bears in their natural habitat.
The video above shows bear watching by boat, starting at Torfino on Vancouver Island, looking for bears and finding a mother and three cubs.
What could be more exciting than bear-watching on your own? Bear-watching with a guide. Guided tours can provide a much more rewarding experience. Due to their knowledge and experience, these tour guides can offer you tips and advice to make your wilderness adventure and a safe and memorable one.
Tips for Bear Viewing
- The best time of year to view the bears is from late August to mid-October. That is when the salmon come upstream to spawn.
- Keep a safe distance - Remember, these are still wild animals! You don't want to startle them.
- Bring extra clothing - Comfortable walking shoes, an extra pair of trousers and a light jacket as there is a fair amount of walking involved.
- Carry sunscreen and lip balm - It can get really windy so you should protect your lips and skin from the elements.
- Combine with a whale watching trip for a great nature experience on Vancouver Island.
British Columbia’s Historic Sites
Whether you're exploring a historic town, or one of the many museums, you'll learn a lot about the people, culture and heritage of Vancouver.
- Barkerville Historic Town - A National Historic Site of Canada. Over 140 historic buildings are waiting to be explored here.
- Britannia Mine Museum - This was the largest copper mine in the British Empire. Learn all about drills and machines from the 1800's.
- Fort Langley National Historic Site - Where British Columbia was made a colony.
- North Pacific Cannery - Oldest cannery in British Columbia.
- Kettle Valley Steam Railway - Take a ride on an old steam locomotive.
- Tumbler Ridge - There's a set of dinosaur tracks here.
- Sandon Ghost Town - Once one of the largest boomtowns in the 1800's
- Yoho National Park - Hike to Burgess Shale.
- Queen Charlotte Islands - Home of the Haida First Nations