5 Week Road Trip Around BC

British Columbia - Okanagan To Vancouver Island

Road Trip Around BC.jpg

We Explored British Columbia (BC) For 5 Weeks

On our road trip around BC (British Columbia) we travelled from the Okanagan Valley in the east to Vancouver Island on the west coast. We visited Vancouver several times. But on this trip we wanted to see more of the province.

Wine tasting and local art kept us entertained when we started in Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley in BC. A trip south to Osoyoos gave us another view of the Okanagan Valley. We headed inland and explored the Fraser Valley next.

From the mainland we travelled to Vancouver Island. There was such variety as we travelled from Victoria in the south to Ucluelet on the far west coast and north to Comox. Our road trip around BC finished up with a week in Vancouver.

Flying Into BC

It was always worth getting a window seat when we flew to BC. The view out over the Rocky Mountains was stunning. As we flow over the lakes, we were excited to know we would soon be in the Okanagan Valley.

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Fly Over Rocky Mountains.jpg

The approach to Vancouver provided great views of the river delta and swirling waters. Vancouver sat with the mountains as a backdrop. This was the view that constantly drew us to the west coast.

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We landed in Vancouver and picked up a rental SUV. And then we headed out of town for the first part of our road trip in BC.

Starting In Kelowna In The Okanagan Valley

Our road trip around BC started in the Okanagan Valley. We stayed in Kelowna and enjoyed a luxury stop at the Delta Hotels By Marriott Grand Okanagan Resort. We wandered the waterfront and found so much local street art. And when we went north to visit Vernon, we found so many more great murals.

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Native Wolf Kelowna Street Art Murals - Okanagan Road Trip Around BC.jpg

Rhapsody Kelowna Street Art Statues - Okanagan Road Trip Around BC.jpg

Telus Bulding Vernon Street Art Murals.jpg

Winter Skating Vernon Street Art Murals - Okanagan Road Trip Around BC.jpg

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On day trips we headed to the many wineries around Kelowna. There were wineries close to town, in Lake Country and all along the west side of Lake Okanagan. We enjoyed the wines and the ambiance.

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Gray Monk Winery Kelowna.jpg

Quails Gate Winery Kelowna.jpg

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Okanagan Lake and the Lake Region offered great spots for views and relaxing by the water.

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Lake Okanagan Pebble Beach Lake Country.jpg

It was our first visit to the Okanagan Valley. But will not be our last.

Head South To The Desert Area Around Osoyoos

From Kelowna we headed south the desert area around Osoyoos. While it was technically a desert, we found it hard to believe. The fields were green with grape vines and crops. Our hotel looked out over the vast Osoyoos Lake.

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In this hotter area, we took the opportunity and explored the wineries of this region. In the heart of the region is Oliver, named as the “Wine Capital of Canada”. There were so many wineries that it would take many trips to see them all.

Hester Creek Winery Osoyoos.jpg

Hester Creek Winery Osoyoos - Okanagan Road Trip Around BC.jpg

Spirit Ridge NK Mip Winery Osoyoos - Okanagan Road Trip Around BC.jpg

It was great to visit Osoyoos on our road trip around BC. The trip back to Vancouver took us through beautiful natural vistas. But it was sad when we saw the first forest fire of the season.

Drink Your Way Outside Of Vancouver

We spent a lot of time visiting wineries when we were in the Okanagan. But we did not pass up the chance to return to some of our favourite wineries in the Fraser Valley. And while we were there, we discovered some great cider shops. And delicious fruit wines too.

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Fraser Valley Cider - Fraser Valley Road Trip Around BC.jpg

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When we toured around Vancouver Island, we tried something different when we visited a meadery. Wine fermented with honey provided just the sweet touch that David liked.

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And no road trip to BC was complete without trying a few craft breweries. While craft brew was available at many restaurants, it was always great to get it at the source. Flights of beer let us try so many different tastes.

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On our road trip around BC, we tried a great variety of the liquid refreshments available from the Okanagan Valley through to Vancouver Island.

Wander Up The Sunshine Coast

We took the ferry from Horseshoe Bay and headed up the Sunshine Coast in BC on our road trip around BC. It was great to explore the small towns along the way.

Horsehoe Bay - Sunshine Coast Road Trip Around BC.jpg

Sunshine Coast Road Trip Around BC.jpg

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And to stop for nature breaks as we travelled up the twisty mountain roads. There was so much natural beauty all around us on the Sunshine Coast.

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When we went whale watching in Campbell River, we got an amazing view of the Sunshine coast from the water. The inner passage was an amazing thing to see. By land or when you head north on an Alaska cruise.

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Ferries were used all along the coast of BC for travel. We could do a big circle route. The ferries from Horseshoe Bay got us to the Sunshine Coast. After a drive north to Powell River, the ferry went across to Campbell River on Vancouver Island. After we travelled around Vancouver Island, we took the ferry back to the mainland from Nanaimo. But there was also a ferry from Victoria. The ferries added so much reach to our road trip around BC.

Ferry Mount Baker View - Vancouver Island Road Trip Around BC.jpg

Head To Vancouver Island For Natural Beauty

We went from sea to sea on Vancouver Island. As we travelled through the hills and valleys of Vancouver Island we were immersed in natural beauty.

We enjoyed the seas on all of the coasts of Vancouver Island. Great stretches of open waters looked out over the waters. In the south we saw the mountains on the coast of the U.S.A. In the north west, we saw the mainland.

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Snug Harbour - Vancouver Island Road Trip Around BC.jpg

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We travelled through the rain forests of Vancouver Island. Beautiful waterfalls kept us entranced. We missed seeing bears. But we found the island deer in the towns and country. There was so much natural beauty everywhere we looked.

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Plan to enjoy the outdoors when you travel on Vancouver Island on a road trip around BC.

Don’t Miss A Stop In Victoria

Much of our time on Vancouver Island was spent outdoors. But we could not miss a visit to Victoria. The harbour was an attraction for all.

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Victoria Waterfront - Vancouver Island Road Trip Around BC.jpg

But we could not pass on trying Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel in Victoria. The tea service was beautiful and tasty.

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Fairmont Empress Afternoon Tea Victoria - Vancouver Island Road Trip Around BC.jpg

There were some iconic things to see and do when we did a road trip around BC. Visiting Victoria and Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel was definitely one of those things.

Whale Watching On Vancouver Island

We did whale watching around the world. But our whale watching trip from Campbell River may have been the best experience we have ever had.

We got to enjoy the great scenery along the way and on the shores of both Vancouver Island and the mainland as we looked for whales.

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Whale Watching Campbell River Vancouver Island.jpg

We were excited when we found a pair of Orca whales. But then we found humpback whales as they played and put on an amazing show.

Whale Watching Campbell River - Vancouver Island Road Trip Around BC.jpg

Whale Watching Campbell River Vancouver Island.jpg

Our whale watching on Vancouver Island was a highlight of our road trip around BC.

We Finished Up In Vancouver

It was a long 5 week road trip around BC. So when we finally made it back to Vancouver at the end, we were ready for a pampering break. Five days at the Westin Bayshore Vancouver let us relax in a great resort-like environment. We were certainly spoiled with great food. And enjoyed a splurge for Afternoon Tea at the Westin Bayshore.

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Vancouver Westin Bayshore Patio.jpg

It was great to have a view out over the harbour. And to Stanley Park right beside us. Biking in Stanley Park was one way to wear off some of the treats we had on our stay.

Westin Bayshore Views - Vancouver Road Trip Around BC.jpg

Vancouver Westin Bayshore Views.jpg

We had easy access to public transit in Vancouver.  The Skytrain was a great option to head out of town to Port Moody.  We definitely did not need to keep our rental car when we hit Vancouver.  Vancouver was a great final stop on our road trip around BC.

We Saw So Much On Our Road Trip Around BC

It was definitely great to travel around BC in the spring. We travelled from the Okanagan Valley on the east to the far side of Vancouver Island on the west. Our trip took us north along the Sunshine Coast on the mainland and to Campbell River on Vancouver Island. We were right on the U.S. border in Victoria and again in White Rock.

The weather was sunny and warm for most of our trip. Each new region was a bit different. The natural beauty was awesome. And we saw some great wildlife. Could we ask for anything more?

Have you done a road trip around BC? Did you have a favourite region to visit?

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  1. In recent years I’ve really been wanting to get to BC. These are my kinds of activities, especially the wine tasting. I really want to get to Vancouver Island especially. I had no idea that you could do whale watching there, so it makes me want to visit even more. It looks like you got so close to them! Were you scared?

    • Stephanie, Our trip to BC was truly amazing. If you can plan a longer trip, definitely go over to Vancouver Island. We were back enough from the whales that I was not worried. Although there were times that I wondered how close they might surface. We could not move the boat once we sat at the required set back. So once they started coming closer we got a great view. Probably my best whale watching ever! Linda

  2. Vancouver is definitely beautiful, I loved the murals and the place is filled with natural beauty. It is like take beer or wine and enjoy the surroundings. Very informative article.

  3. Oh, I love that corner of Canada! Looks like you had an amazing trip and got some great photos. It’s been a while since we’ve been there and I’d love to go back. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Looks like you had a fabulous trip! I live in BC but this summer I spent some time in the Interior, the Okanagan and the Cariboo 🙂 I still need to see more of our beautiful province!

  5. It sounds like you had a wonderful experience, British Colombia is a fantastic destination with so much beautiful nature and fun things to do. The photos of the whales and orcas from Victoria is stunning, would love to go there myself one day.

  6. What an amazing itinerary. I have only been to BC once and I was pretty young so I don’t remember much. I would love to go back and follow this itinerary to see everything!

  7. There is so much to see and do in British Columbia. I must say I would love to visit some wineries. For me, it’s a great way to discover a region and meet people who live off the land… I am also keen to do some whale watching, however I’ve never had luck with them, they’ve never breached for me. I’d have to pick a season where it’s guaranteed!

  8. Looks like you had an amazing trip! I lived in Seattle for two years and BC reminds me a lot of West Washington. I didn’t know the area had so many wineries. BC sure looks like a perfect summer destination. And those couple of orca sightings – those alone would make this trip awesome! 😀 Loved your post 🙂

  9. Vancouver is high on my bucket list. I’ve made it to many places throughout Canada, but havent made it to this area yet. The wineries sound lovely and it seems like there are so many great options. The whale watch looks like a ton of fun to. I have been on a couple whale watches, but havent seen them come that far out of the water. I love your images. The snacks at the Afternoon tea look delicious!

    • Melissa, I hope you do get to visit British Columbia. We were delighted with all of our stops. And that whale watching trip was just the best. We may never have to go whale watching again! Linda

  10. First of all, I was bowled over by your whale shot. That is so amazing that you guys saw the whale breach, spectacular. The road trip in BC sounds so amazing and like an adventure. I especially loved Osoyoos and would love to stay that hotel overlooking the lake. Loved you road trip and I am craving for one now.

    • Raksha, We were indeed lucky on our whale watching trip. The best one we have ever done. We could have stayed on the water all day. So much great variety as we travelled across British Columbia. Hope you get to road trip soon. Linda

  11. So much to read and see. Pictures are great and certainly inspire the desire to see the same sights. I even share this newsletter with a friend in England as they travel a lot especially with a camper.

  12. Wow the Whale watch is absolutely stunning. I have never seen anything like this before. Vancouver and surroundings look so beautiful and would really love to visit sometime.Beautiful locations as you wandered the waterfront with some fascinating street art. The afternoon tea looks enticing and so does the winery visit. Very refreshing post.

  13. I can’t believe the murals you found in the Okanagan Valley. They’re so incredibly detailed and elaborate! I would love to visit Oliver if it’s the wine capital of Canada, even if it does take multiple trips. 🙂

  14. Your 5 week road trip around BC looks full of beautiful spots and I really admire your traveling spirit. My favorite from this is Okanagan valley as it is very peaceful and beautiful too. Good to know that you started from Kelowna and there you found your luxury stay too. Victoria too has lovely harbour and you said it rightly we can’t miss the stop at Victoria.

  15. I am pleasantly surprised to know that British Columbia has so much to offer and I loved to hear wine tasting and local art as the agenda. The window seat views are so amazing. The wall art looks exciting. Dint know that Oliver is known as the “Wine Capital of Canada”. I quite liked the sunshine coast. You sure got lucky in the whale watching trip. Such lovely photos. The harbor view at Port Moody sets the mood.

  16. We had a sampling of this area during a cruise stop in Victoria. Since then, I’ve really wanted to visit more of British Columbia and Vancouver. I can’t believe how much there is to see and do here! This is a place where you could really be busy every day of a trip!

  17. Wow, what an epic trip! I love the idea of all the wine tasting & didn’t realise that BC had so many wineries to choose from. I need to go back to Vancouver Island. I visited once & have friends who live there but have a only been for a couple of days, many years ago. You have certainly whet my appetite. And your whale watching pictures are amazing! Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Sue, We loved the chance to try out wine from so many different areas around British Columbia. But so many more to try. I am glad to have whetted your appetite to return to British Columbia. Linda

  18. Loved your beautiful pics of all the spots..brought all your words to life…learnt some new things too about the area..lovely blog.

  19. This looks like an amazing road trip!! I love the wineries in Okanagan Valley, and I need to go back for more. Vancouver Island is just so charming, but I am so sad that I missed the whale watching! Definitely adding that to me list for my next visit.

  20. Such an amazing trip to BC. The possibility of spotting whales is exciting me beyond words. Vancouver with its murals looks enticing too. I am really hoping to take off soon.

  21. I’ve always wanted to visit BC. 5 weeks would be an absolutely dream, but I’d settle for just one haha. I’m a wine snob, so the Okanagan Valley is a must-visit! And Vancouver Island looks absolutely stunning.

  22. The views of the Canadian Rockies from above are really breathtaking! Seems like it’s something to wait for when you fly to BC. And all the places you visited during your 5 week road trip around BC are beautiful. I wonder if BC is the most beautiful region in Canada.

  23. I absolutely LOVE Canada but have only visited Ontario area. This sounds like my dream trip! I would love to go to the wineries and the views you’ve captured are just breathtaking!

  24. This looks like so much fun! A road trip through Canada was something I was planning before the COVID shut down and I am eagerly awaiting a return to normal so I can get back out there and finally take the road trip! The whale watching experience from the Campbell River sounds like so much fun. Whale watching is one of my favorite activities. I would also love to visit some of those wineries and visit Vancouver Island. So many great ideas to add to my list!

    • Melissa, We did love this chance to see so much of British Columbia. So many spots that were new to us. I hope you get this back on your travel plans when the country opens back up. Linda

  25. Your Images are very beautiful. Vancouver Island looks amazing. And the first time I’ve heard of wine fermented with honey. Surely this 5 week- trip was a trip of a lifetime!

  26. I really want to get to BC now. The possibility of sighting whales is exciting. Those colorful murals are stunning, such a good photo opportunity. You got wonderful captures that make the experience so memorable and worth craving for.

  27. Wow, it’s surprising to see so much greenery and grapes growing in Osoyoos, considering it’s meant to be desert country. It’s a shame you didn’t get to see any bears on Vancouver Island, but would still have been nice to see the deer wandering around. But, the highlight would have been the humpbacks, how lucky to have seen them put on a show!

  28. All that wine tasting sounds fabulous. I have never heard of the name Osoyoos. I don’t know how it’s pronounced but I love it. I agree that with all the greenery, it does not look like your typical desert.

  29. What a wonderful 5 weeks road trip! I agree that your whale watching trip was the highlight of the trip. How amazing that you got to see the humpback and a pair of Orca. As always, you had the best food or treats during the trip. I’m loving all that treats on your high tea.

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