6 Things to do on the West Coast of Canada
By Delaney Rombough
Posted on July 26, 2021
The west coast of Canada is known for the Rocky Mountains, its stunning nature, and outdoor lifestyle. Whether you like skiing, hiking, or big city adventures, there’s lots to do in Alberta and British Columbia.
The Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede is an annual rodeo, festival, and exhibition held every July in Calgary, Alberta. The 10-day event features rodeos, a parade, midway carnival games, concerts, agricultural competitions, chuckwagon races, and First Nations exhibitions. The whole city participates and this event is a big part of Calgary’s identity. Event attendees often show up wearing western wear such as cowboy hats and boots, and there are dozens of pancake breakfasts and barbeques that take place over the course of the Stampede. It’s fun for the whole family.
Banff National Park
In Banff National Park you can find turquoise glacier lakes, mountain peaks, lots of wildlife (you might even see an elk or a grizzly bear), scenic drives, and a picturesque mountain ￼town. The park is approximately two hours west of Calgary, and is a great place to visit in all seasons. You can go hiking, skiing, camping, biking, or just enjoy nature. Banff is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Park UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are over 1600 kilometres of maintained trails for you to enjoy. Sunshine Village Ski Resort in Banff is known for having three mountains, and Canada’s best snow in the winter. In the town of Banff, there are many boutique shops and restaurants and chateau-style hotels. If you love the outdoors, you will love Banff.
Surfing in Tofino
With 35 kilometres of beaches and exposed coastline in Tofino, British Columbia, surfers of all skill levels can surf all year round. If you’re new to surfing, that’s no problem, you can take lessons with an instructor or maybe try paddleboarding for something a little more relaxed. The water is cold so you’ll definitely want a wetsuit. If surfing’s not your thing, there are other things to do in Tofino such as canoeing or kayaking, hiking and biking trails, or just hanging out on the beach.
Whistler, British Columbia is a mountain resort town about an hour-and-a-half north of Vancouver. Whistler is one of the top destinations for alpine skiing and snowboarding in the winter, and mountain biking, golf, and hiking in the summer. Over two million people come to Whistler every winter, but there’s lots to do year-round. In the 2010 Winter Olympics, many of the events—including skiing, bobsled, skeleton, and luge—were held in Whistler.
Located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Stanley Park is the city’s oldest, largest, and most popular urban park. The Park is 400-hectares of natural west coast rainforest and has beautiful scenic views of the mountains, the ocean, and trees. You can bike or walk around the 10-kilometre seawall, visit the First Nations totem poles, or relax on the beach. You can also take a guided tour on a trolley, bus, or horse-drawn carriage to learn more about the park’s history.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Vancouver, British Columbia. It draws over 1.2 million visitors every year. The simple suspension bridge is 140-metres long and crosses 70-metres above the Capilano River. In addition to walking across the bridge, there are other activities you can do in the park, such as Treetops Adventure or a Cliffwalk high above the forest floor. You can also go on other walks and tours to learn more about the history and nature of the forest.