One of the best things about travelling is getting off the beaten path. And getting off the beaten path is an easy thing to do on Canada's west coast.
According to the Province of British Columbia, the total land and freshwater area is 95 million hectares, larger than France and Germany combined. The province has nearly 1,000 provincial parks and protected areas, attracting about 20 million visits every year. Since 2001, 65 new parks have been established.
Most of us have heard of the Olympic Village, the Vancouver Lookout, and the gut-turning Capilano Suspension Bridge. But British Columbia has several other attractions that can be enjoyed, and we're betting that unless you live there you're probably unfamiliar with some of them.
To view our gallery showcasing just some of British Columbia's cool attractions, click below.
There are hundreds of adventures to be found in British Columbia. Here are 20 of the Huffington Post's favourites.
The Inside Passage stretches from Port Hardy on Vancouver Island to Prince Rupert in northern BC, through the protected waters of British Columbia's central and northern coastline. Enjoy a ferry ride turned wildlife cruise in the Inside Passage.
Strike gold in historic Barkerville. Unlike many gold rush towns from this era - which have long disappeared - Barkerville remains a thriving place, rich in history and full of life. Each year, thousands of visitors from all over the world travel to the foothills of the Cariboo mountains to take in this one of a kind heritage attraction, much like miners and prospectors did during the original gold rushes.
Golf Bear Mountain on Vancouver Island, designed by the Golden Bear himself.
Heli-hike the Bugaboos
Take a breathtaking heli-hike among the beauty of the Bugaboos.
Capilano Suspension Bridge
Suspend your imagination at the Capilano bridge in North Vancouver.
Ride the range, Cariboo-style. The Cariboo Region is extremely diverse. It includes remote coastal inlets, the dry grassland expanse of the Chilcotin Plateau and the interior rainforest of the Cariboo Mountains.
Have a delicious adventure at Richmond's night market, voted one of the top 4 in the world by the BBC.
Fly Fishing in the Kootenays
Try your hand fly fishing a turquoise gem in the Kootenays.
Gulf Islands National Park
This small park reserve includes thirty-six square kilometres of land and marine area on fifteen islands, numerous islets and reefs which provide valuable habitat for seals and nesting shorebirds. Additionally twenty-six square kilometres of submerged lands are also administered for national park purpose.
Stanley Park Seawall
The seawall refers to the 22km (13.7 miles) walking, jogging, cycling and inline skating path that lines Vancouver's waterfront from the convention centre on Burrard Inlet (Coal Harbour), around Stanley Park and False Creek, past Granville Island and ending at Kitsilano Beach Park. Jog, bike, or just walk the scenic Stanley Park seawall.
The spirit bear, also known as the kermode bear (Ursus americanus kermodei), is a race of black bear that has a white coat. The Spirit Bear (also known as the Kermode Bear) was added to the list of B.C.'s official symbols in April 2006. The greatest concentration of Spirit Bears can be found on the Central Coast and North Coast of British Columbia. The Spirit Bear is not albino, but rather it is a black bear that has white fur due to a rare genetic trait.
Small, compact and nestled between ocean and rainforest in the northern Vancouver Island wilderness, Telegraph Cove (population around 20) seems to have jumped through time. The boardwalked resort with its preserved historic buildings recalls a rustic past in which the cove harboured a lumber mill and salmon saltery.
Victoria Inner Harbour
Victoria Harbour is comprised of Inner Harbour, Upper Harbour, Selkirk Water, Gorge Waters and Portage Inlet. The Inner Harbour is entered between Shoal Point & Colville Island and extends northeast to the Johnson Street Bridge. Source: apps.gov.bc.ca
One of the most thrilling places in the world to go for a bike ride is Whistler. Amazing scenery and a good workout!
Whistler Olympic Plaza
Whistler Olympic Plaza is the site where global audiences gathered nightly to see the best athletes in the world step up to the podium at Victory Ceremonies during the 2010 Winter Games. Designed as a lasting legacy, Whistler Olympic Plaza accommodates audiences of up to 8,000 and is now a permanent venue for recreation, arts, and culture. It features a lawn, playground, outdoor performance spaces, and public art celebrating the 2010 Winter Games. Source: Whistler Olympic Plaza
Yoho National Park
Hold history in your hand with the shale fossils at Yoho National Park.
This beautiful Provincial Park provides one of the world's best canoeing opportunities with 116 kilometers of lakes and rivers. You will see bald eagles, osprey, moose, mink, beaver, bears and a wide variety of bird life from your canoe.
Take the most thrilling tour of your life at Hell's Gate, a narrow pass along the mighty Fraser River. You can also do an airtram ride over the rushing waters, or walk the suspension bridge above them.
Destination: British Columbia
British Columbia is a land of amazing diversity - there's an almost endless variety of places to see and things to do. Take in BC's breathtaking scenery, exciting cities and resorts including Vancouver, Victoria and Whistler. Experience our activities, from skiing, golf and fishing to whale watching, wine tasting and dining. For more info, visit: www.hellobc.com