Travel Guides to Canada

2017 TRAVEL GUIDE TO CANADA

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VICTORIA INNER HARBOUR • SHUTTERSTOCK/CHASE CLAUSEN PARK PICK KOOTENAY NATIONAL PARK Icy waterfalls and steamy hot springs. Deep canyons and towering moun- tain peaks. Remote wilderness, within easy reach. Kootenay National Park, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a place of beautiful contrasts. It is long and narrow, running eight km (fi ve mi.) on either side of Hwy 93 in southeastern B.C. Its quirky shape is the result of a 1920 agreement between the provincial and federal governments that created the park in exchange for a highway through the Rocky Mountains. As a result, rugged though it is, many of the park's greatest attractions are easily accessible, even by wheelchair, including the popular healing Radium Hot Springs ( www.parks canada.gc.ca/kootenay). Forget the map, use the app: To explore Kootenay National Park, download Parks Canada's fi rst guided driving tour app, Explora Kootenay. National Parks and Historic Sites: www.parkscanada.gc.ca 1-888-773-8888 and only offi cial member of the Olympic Museums Network (www.therox.ca). Join a whale-watching tour from Tofi no. You'll spot dolphins, orcas, sea lions and, if you're lucky, majestic humpbacks frolicking in the waters off Vancouver Island ( www. tourismtofi no.com). At the Great Bear Rainforest on B.C.'s northern coast, First Nations guides will take you on a search for the elusive white kermode spirit bear ( www.spiritbear.com). Taking tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel is a longstanding Victoria tradition. Even better? Cocktails. Stop by for an Empress Sour at the hotel's chic new Q Bar ( www. fairmont.com/empress). SCENIC DRIVES From the rushing waters of Hell's Gate to the First Nations heritage village of Tuckkwiowhum, the winding Fraser Canyon scenic drive along Hwy 1 off ers a thrill a minute, with delicious stops en route. The open road of Route 97 takes you from the windswept grasslands of the Thompson River Valley cowboy country through the bountiful Okanagan Valley vineyards ( www. route97.net). The Pacifi c Marine Circle Route meanders from Cowichan Valley's wineries to the towering rainforests of remote southwest Vancouver Island, with panoramic ocean views along the way. Take the week-long Hot Springs Circle Route through the Kootenay Rockies and soak in the region's spectacular mountain views as well as its mineral- rich hot springs. For info on these and other driving trips visit: www.HelloBC.com/driving-routes FAMILY FUN Little ones (and big ones, too!) will love meeting British Columba's wilder residents. Whale watching off Vancouver Island is an epic adrenaline rush, but you can also hang with dolphins and belugas at the Vancouver Aquarium ( www.van aqua.org). Prefer to stay on dry land? Learn about cougars and coyotes at the BC Wildlife Park in Kamloops (www. bcwildlife.org), go bug-eyed at the Victoria Bug Zoo (www.victoriabugzoo.ca) and The Exploration Place Museum and Science Centre in Prince George (www. theexplorationplace.com), or visit the resident grizzlies at Grouse Mountain (www.grousemountain.com). BC 69

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