A new book by a Vancouver author highlights the best adventures Canada has to offer, in the city and beyond. The Great Canadian Bucket List explores more than 100 must-do-before-you-die experiences across the country, from tracking spirit bears to harvesting icebergs.
So what’s there to do in our neck of the woods? B.C. experiences included in the book range from familiar favourites to options sure to surprise even jaded adventurers. I’ve included 5 bucket listers from the book below, but I’d like your take: What are the absolute must-do, bucket-list experiences in Vancouver and British Columbia? Weigh in below.
- Mountain bike the North Shore: Vancouver’s North Shore was one of the places where downhill mountain biking was born and still boasts some of the best trails anywhere.
- Hop on VIA Rail’s The Canadian: The railway’s famous four-day transcontinental journey starts (or ends, depending on your perspective) in Vancouver and continues all the way across the country to Toronto.
- Smell the roses in Butchart Gardens: Just across the Georgia Strait near Victoria is one of the world’s finest formal gardens – 55 manicured acres maintained by a staff of 50 gardeners.
- Stare down a grizzly: The Great Bear Rainforest in northern B.C. is one of the last great temperate wilderness areas in the world. Fly-in lodges offer adventurers the chance to see cougars and wolves, as well as grizzlies and even spirit bears.
- Experience the Via Ferrata: A via ferrata is a series of steel cables, bridges and iron rungs built into a mountainside to assist novice climbers. And Canada’s longest via ferrata is hung more than 1,000 meters above the ground on Mt. Nimbus in Northern B.C. – allowing almost anyone to experience the terror of high-alpine ascents.
The book is the culmination of a lifetime of travel writing for award-winning Vancouver journalist Robin Esrock. Esrock spent much of the last two decades crisscrossing each of Canada’s provinces and territories (and much of the planet) for his travel columns in the Globe and Mail and Vancouver Sun and his National Geographic television series Word Travels.
He’s taken the best of Canada and crammed it into a 400-page bucket list, with plenty of photographs and practical advice on how to make these experiences your own. Adventures range from outdoorsy to culinary, adrenaline-fueled, historical and – especially – quirky. The author is hardly the typical travel guide and the book is filled with humour, trivia and more than a few cocktails along the way.
Have a few B.C. bucket list experiences of your own? Let us know below.
For more travel ideas in Vancouver and beyond, follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza.