Striking Beauty of a British Columbia Road Trip

One Mile Lake British Columbia

A British Columbia road trip is stunning, regardless of the weather, which will change many times during a trip along the west coast of Canada! Whether there are heavy clouds, light wispy clouds that hover majestically on the horizon, or clear blue skies for as far as the eye can see, the landscape will take your breath away, again and again. You’ll be so spoiled with beauty that just when you fall into a lull, you’ll wake up when your jaw drops again.


Alex Bell Wanderlust Marriage, British Columbia

Walkway at One Mile Lake - British Columbia

In October, we were fortunate enough to visit British Columbia for the second time in less than 12 months. During our first visit we embarked on a small day trip but didn’t venture far outside Vancouver, as there’s so much beauty in the nearby vicinity. But for this past visit, we weren’t going to miss either Victoria Island or Whistler Mountain. But which to choose? If you have the time we’d recommend both! But alas, we didn’t have time for both, so we chose Whistler.
Alex at the boat dock in Squamish

The ferry to Victoria Island costs $12.20 USD ($16.90 CAD) per person one way and a car will cost you an additional $40.00 USD ($55.40 CAD). Round trip for the two of us that was going to cost $128.80 USD. Because we had been traveling a lot, and our free time was only two days, we opted to save the ferry expense by driving north to Whistler and beyond. Given our amazing experience, we definitely don’t regret the decision, but next time we’re in British Columbia, we’ll venture over to Victoria Island!


Alex loves watching the Olympic Games (especially as a kid), and has now visited 15 summer Olympic cities and 3 winter Olympic cities, and Whistler played host to the skiing competitions in 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. He always enjoys making it to a new Olympic Park and grabbing a thumbs up photo with the Olympic rings.

Whistler hotel view
View of Whistler from the balcony of our room at the Summit Lodge

October is low season for visiting Whistler. The weather isn’t easy to predict, but there isn’t any real snow yet either. We found a beautiful room with a kitchenette, iPad, balcony and other nice amenities at the Summit Lodge with the amazing view pictured in the photo above. We were right in the heart of Whistler village for under $100 USD a night, where in peak summer and winter seasons the same room could run you over $200 USD a night.

British Columbia Highway

Normally on a road trip we move each night so we can explore more terrain, but Whistler was the perfect base, so we spent both nights in Whistler Village. The town was really quiet and peaceful and we especially enjoyed hanging out at Amsterdam Cafe, which is filled with Dutch memorabilia and reminded us of our former home of 3 and 1/2 years. There’s a lot of great restaurant options in Whistler but we didn’t love our meals at the BrewHouse, though the view of the Olympic Park was nice. Our biggest tip for eating in British Columbia is to enjoy lots of salmon if you like seafood, because the wild Pacific salmon is excellent in this region!

We explored further north of Whistler, driving to Pemberton and beyond. We drove through a tiny native American town just outside Pemberton that felt like another country from the rest of Canada. We even came across a small rodeo ground, which was incredibly picturesque. We’ve seen many of the most gorgeous landscapes around the world like the Greek islands, Swiss Alps, west coast of Ireland, Great Barrier Reef, amazing southeast Asian islands like Malaysian Borneo and Ko Samui Thailand and driven around the Colorado Rockies and Florida keys, and the beauty of driving along Highway 99 north of Vancouver rivals anything else we’ve ever seen in pristine beauty!

Rodeo grounds in BC

Off the BC Sea to Sky Highway
Alexander waterfall in British Columbia


Have you visited British Columbia and would you recommend Victoria Island or Whistler Mountain if you could only choose one?

12 thoughts on “Striking Beauty of a British Columbia Road Trip

  1. Beautiful photos. British Colombia is the most beautiful province in Canada, unfortunately the last time I was there was 15 years ago. Yes, go to Victoria, half of the reason is just taking the ferry through the inlets…when I was a kid I would have to commute to school on Vancouver Island and it was so beautiful…I’d often see Orcas coming up over the water along the way.
    Great part of the world!
    Frank (bbqboy)

    1. Thank you for sharing your awesome story Frank! We’d love to visit Victoria Island the next time we get back to British Columbia (and we’d LOVE to return someday).

      That’s amazing that you saw Orcas in the wild out there as a kid. I (Alex) saw Orcas as a kid growing up in Florida (at Sea World in Orlando, lol). Your orca story is a thousand times better than mine!

      All the best and happy travels!

  2. After have been all over North America, British Columbia I thought was the most beautiful place in North America, you post with beautiful pictures, brings back memories of my trip, perhaps to make another trip this time all the to Alaska

    1. That would be an amazing trip to go all the way up to Alaska! It is so peaceful in BC outside of Vancouver and the landscape is simply amazing. That is quite a statement about BC being the most beautiful place you found in North America!

  3. Unfortunately I haven’t been to British Columbia yet, or many other Canadian provinces yet. Looks stunning though and is up there on my top travel destinations!

    1. If you get a chance to visit it really is stunning! Alex was born in Toronto, but we haven’t spent a lot of time in any other provinces in the past 10 years, but from the little we have seen BC is the most spectacular!

  4. I absolutely LOVED Vancouver. We were going to drive over to Whistler during our visit but then Fleetwood Mac was in concert and we scored great tickets so there went that plan. Nice pictures!

    1. That is great that you got to check out a concert though in Vancouver! Hope you have another chance at heading up to Whistler.

      And thank you on the photos 🙂

  5. If I had to choose between Victoria Island and Whistler, I would pick the island. We spent a year in Seattle some time ago, so I did some research about British Columbia. Sadly, we did not have a chance to visit it. Apparently, a year is not enough to explore the Northwest.

    1. Ahh that is often the difficulty when things are in your “backyard”. We’ve been in Boston nearly 2 years and still not made a trip up to Quebec, though we finally have one planned for March this year and we can’t wait 🙂

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