Summer's the greatest season of all (in our opinion 😉). If you're searching for an escape to see some of British Columbia's wonders, we have you covered with over a dozen activities to start ticking off your BC Bucket List. Better still, you can win $10,000 to spend on your adventures in our BCAA Bucket List Contest (it’s free and easy to enter, just sign up for free Insurance Renewal Alerts.
To review part one of our top BC Bucket List adventures, you can check in here. Now, here’s our August bucket list inspirations to get you dreaming of packing up your car and hitting the open road.
On the coast
What: One of the top-rated whale-watching tour companies is Adventure Tofino Wildlife Tours. They’ll take you to the hot spring cove, private tours, bear watching, and whale watching on the open Pacific Ocean. Their success rate for sightings of gray whales, humpbacks, or killer whales is 97%—and they’re the only local tour operator to offer you a 75% refund if you don’t see a whale.
When: 2.5 - 3 hour trips from March to October
What: Canada’s surf capital offers you long sandy beaches, waves, fog zone forests, and excellent cold-water surfing. Take surfing lessons with the highly-rated surfing instructors at Surf Sister, and the owner-operated Tofino Surf School.
When: You can surf year-round in Tofino (except during massive storms) but the best surfing is in the fall
Facebook: @SurfSisterSurfSchool, @TofinoSurfSchool
Instagram: @surfsister, @tofinosurfschool
What: Ride an amazing zipline eco-tour through ancient growth rainforest and soaring above the Kennedy River Canyon. WestCoast Wild Adventures has a special zipline spot in Ha’uukmin Tribal Park, with easy access along Highway 4 between Port Alberni and Tofino and the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.
When: Highway 4 (Surf Highway)
Haida Gwaii Museum
What: Saahlinda Naay (the Haida Gwaii Museum) offers you a fascinating look into Haida Gwaii culture. The museum’s underlying theme is the complex link between the land, sea, human beings and Supernatural Beings—all which give Haida Gwaii its incomparable natural and cultural character. Enjoy their galleries, learn about the Haida language, art and culture, and enjoy their visual art exhibitions and public programs.
When: Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am-5 pm
How to get here: You can fly to Sandspit Airport on Haida Gwaii (Pacific Coastal airlines or Air Canada) or take the eight-hour ferry from Prince Rupert
Delkatla Wildlife Sanctuary
What: You’ll love this 290-hectare intertidal wetland on the north coast of Haida Gwaii. It’s on the Pacific Flyway and lies adjacent to Dixon Entrance and Masset Inlet. Thanks to its proximity to the wild offshore waters of the Pacific Ocean, the sanctuary is a critical land point for birds blown off-course by storms that rage and sweep through and around Haida Gwaii.
When: Visit from the end of May to the end of September, 2-4pm from Thursday to Sunday. The sanctuary can open by request if your trip to Masset falls outside of their regular season.
Where: Gwaii Haanas National Park Reserve and Haida Heritage Site on Moresby Island, Haida Gwaii
What: You’ll love the salmon fishing off the coast of Haida Gwaii. Rockfish, ling cod, salmon and halibut are just some of the species that visitors have caught and enjoyed in Gwaii Haanas. Please note: saltwater fishing requires a Tidal Waters Fishing License while freshwater fishing is not permitted in Gwaii Haanas. Book your epic fishing charter with Haida Gwaii Fishing Charters.
In the mountains
What: Whistler beckons the world’s most adventurous mountain bikers. The area has an extensive network of cross-country trails and the #1 mountain bike park in the world. The Whistler Mountain Bike Park is the top lift-accessed bike park on the planet. It offers 4,926 vertical feet of lift-serviced, gravity-fed, adrenaline-fueled downhill trails.
When: Spring through mid-autumn with August falling right in the middle of the biking season. Check out the park’s trail map and daily trail status.
PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola
Where: Whistler Blackcomb
What: Your PEAK 2 PEAK Alpine Experience lets you visit Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains in one day and get a bird's eye view of the forest, valley, and mountains. At 436 metres (1,427 feet) above the valley floor, PEAK 2 PEAK is the world’s highest lift of its kind and a marvel of engineering that links Blackcomb Gondola to the Village Gondola in one continuous lift system. Take a ride up to Whistler’s Roundhouse Umbrella Bar or enjoy a fine dining experience on Blackcomb at Christine’s Restaurant.
What and where: Whistler’s nearby Green, Elaho, and Squamish rivers offer some of the most thrilling whitewater rafting adventures in the world. Take a tour and get on the raft with Wedge Rafting or Canadian Outback Adventures.
When: April to September
Facebook: @TAGWhistler, @outbackrafting
Instagram: @tagwhistler, @outbackrafting
Gravity Assist Biking
Where: Retallack Lodge in BC’s Selkirk and Purcell mountains
What: A mountain biker’s dream trip. Over three days, you’ll experience 5,900 square kilometres of wilderness biking, 100km of singletrack, and a 6,000 vertical foot (1,828 vertical metre) descent—one of the longest downhill tracks on the planet
When: Three-day packages available till September 28th
Instagram: @tagwhistler, @retallacklodge
In the North
What: Discover the lovely Bulkley Valley surrounded by the Babine and Telkwa mountain ranges with a plane, float plane, or helicopter ‘flight seeing’ tour. You’ll see gorgeous northern lakes and majestic mountain walls of local mountains and the Skeena Coastal Range, as well as spectacular glaciers and icefields. Book a flight with Canadian Helicopters or Alpine Lakes Air and you can choose to go hiking, fishing, canoeing and even stay in a remote cabin.
Historic walking tour
What: Take the Historic Walking Tour to experience Dawson Creek’s Pioneer and World War II history. Follow the tour map route, see original photos and murals on the city’s building walls, and read about the rich history of this Gold Rush town. You can also visit the Dawson Creek Visitors Centre in the N.A.R. Station Train Museum and the Mile 0 marker of the Alaska Highway.
Tumbler Ridge Global Geopark
What: There are 161 UNESCO Global Geoparks on the planet and the Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark is one of only five UNESCO Global Geoparks in Canada—and the only one in Western Canada. A UNESCO Global Geopark is an area with internationally significant geological heritage where visitors can touch the “memory of the Earth.” They are the geological DNA of a region, offering you fascinating terrain, complex ecosystems, and incredible biodiversity that are worth preserving, seeing, and learning about. The Tumbler Ridge UNESCO Global Geopark cuts through epic valleys, foothills, and rivers, plus six provincial parks, linking nearly 100 kilometres (62 miles) of canyon, forest, alpine, rivers, and valley. It’s also home to the only dinosaur museum in BC, and the only known dinosaur trackways in the province.
In the interior
Sparkling Hill Resort & Spa
What: Nestled atop a granite ridge overlooking Okanagan Lake in beautiful Vernon (next to the Predator Ridge golf course), Sparkling Hill is a luxury 4-diamond resort that offers open-concept guest rooms and penthouses, a whole-body wellness experience, and gourmet farm-to-table dining. The resort is truly sparkling, with over 3.5 million Swarovski crystals decorating the hotel and guest rooms. Their KurSpa facility features seven aromatherapy sauna and steam rooms, an indoor pool with underwater music, plus there’s even a -110°C cryogenic cold chamber. Even better, BCAA Members save 15% on the best available rate for rooms.
Where: Halfway between Vancouver and Calgary, the Shuswap region includes the resort town of Sicamous where you can rent a floating house for 3-7 days of summer fun and sunny relaxation.
What: Three local companies, Bluewater Houseboats, Twin Anchors Houseboats and Sicamous Houseboats will happily rent a houseboat to you and your family/friends. Most houseboats come with a full kitchen, deck BBQ, living/dining room and cozy sleeping quarters, and some even have hot tubs and water slides. You can bring your bikes and venture off the boat and onto beautiful trails, and beaches. Pick up groceries from a general store, then enjoy a beach campfire and star gazing. It’s truly an amazing way to enjoy beautiful summer nights.
When: 3-7 nights from May to September
Facebook: @TwinAnchorsHouseboatVacations, @sicamoushouseboats
Instagram: @twinanchorshouseboats, @sicamoushouseboats
Wine tours in the Okanagan
What and where: There are 40 wineries within 20 minutes from Kelowna where you’ll find plenty of terroir to swirl and savour. The Kelowna area has five unique wine trails: Downtown Grapes & Grains, Lake Country's Scenic Sip, Lakeshore Wine Route, Sip South East Kelowna, and Westside Wine Trail.
When: Many Kelowna-area wineries are open year-round with the peak months being June through August
What: Known as the hottest place in Canada (and Canada’s pocket desert), experience the beauty and diversity of the unique Okanagan desert. These grasslands and bald hills are an extension of the Sonoran Desert that runs as far south as Mexico. Just north of Osoyoos, the Osoyoos Desert Centre is a 67-acre nature interpretive facility features the semi-arid, antelope-brush ecosystem, one of Canada’s most rare, fragile, and endangered ecosystems. Take a guided or self-guided tour along a 1.5km boardwalk, explore hands-on displays in the interpretive building, and walk through the native plant garden.
When: 9 am-4 pm daily
See them all with our BCAA Bucket List contest
We’re incredibly fortunate to call BC our home and to enjoy every incredible experience on this bucket list. It's time to see and experience it all with help from the BCAA Bucket List Contest.
One lucky winner will be awarded $10,000 to explore BC’s greatest adventures, destinations, culture and scenery. No purchase necessary, simply enter by signing up for free BCAA Insurance Renewal Alerts.
Enter today to start your #BCBucketListAdventure.
We’d love to protect you, your loved ones, and your vehicles in the years ahead. For more information on ICBC Basic Autoplan & BCAA Optional Car Insurance, including all your car insurance options and ways to renew visit bcaa.com/car. While you're busy ticking off your #BCBucketList don't forget to keep your biggest investment protected while you're on your adventure with BCAA Home Insurance. Get a quote today. Plus, Members save up to 20%.
Have a great, safe, BC Bucket List-worthy summer!
Insurance is sold through B.C.A.A. Holdings Ltd. dba BCAA Insurance Agency, a licensed insurance agency. Home insurance is underwritten by BCAA Insurance Corporation. Auto Insurance is underwritten by CAA Insurance Company and/or the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia. Travel Insurance is underwritten by BCAA Insurance Corporation and insurance claims are administered by Orion Travel Insurance Company and its subcontractors, Active Care Management (2018) Inc. and Global Excel Management Inc.