Best of British Columbia on less than $150
A big birthday is always an excuse for a big party! The bigger the birthday, the bigger the celebrations. This year Canada turns 150 years old, and for British Columbia, that means one hell of a party! British Columbia is a province rich in natural beauty, but also blessed with awesome adventure activities and amazing hotels. Here’s our roundup of how to spend just $150 for the best time of your life.
Soak up the serenity
Who doesn’t love hot springs? Especially when all it costs to enjoy them is a $5 entry fee into a Park? The Liard River Hot Springs inside Provincial Park are some of the province’s most popular hot springs, and that’s no surprise, given the idyllic location. Follow a boardwalk down to the springs, past warm-water swamps and boreal forests, and keep your eyes peeled for local moose who like to grab a bite to eat in the swamps. The springs sit at a very pleasant 42-52C°, and unlike other popular Canadian outdoor activities, they’re open year round – so in winter you can soak surrounded by the snow!
Forget plain old kayaking; take the opportunity to learn more about BC’s First Nations people with a paddle in a dugout canoe. The T’ashii Paddle School in Tofino offers canoeing trips from March through to October – you’ll explore Clayoquot Sound with a local Nuuchahnulth guide, learning about the history of the area while you marvel at the scenery. From just $65 per person, you’ll stay well under budget and take home a new perspective on the Tla-o-qui-aht territory.
Hop on your bike
Just because you’re in a city doesn’t mean you can’t still get outdoors and work up a sweat. Vancouver’s Stanley Park Seawall is part of the Seaside Greenway, the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path. It’s a stunning track meandering all the way along the waterfront. Cover the most ground by hiring a bike, setting you back around $20 for several hours. The Seawall is 9km and will take around an hour to cycle, so start with that and see how you go. Save time to stop at the historical monuments and cafés along the way.
For the thrill-seekers, take your adrenalin levels up a notch with a ride on the Superfly Zipline. Soar above the treeline at up to 100km per hour, more than 150 metres above the ground. The views out to Cougar Mountain are stunning, if you dare to keep your eyes open! In winter you’ll take a snowcat to and from the course too. $123AUD
$150 per night stays
You don’t need to blow the budget to spend the night somewhere stunning. Expedia’s travellers are a savvy bunch, spending under $150 a night on these great hotels around BC:
The Sylvia Hotel, Vancouver
If you like a serve of history before you even start your sightseeing, The Sylvia is the spot to stay on your trip to Vancouver. Built back in 1912, the property has a colourful past, from providing rooms for merchant marines during WW11 to being the site of Vancouver’s very first cocktail bar. The beautifully restored building is a local landmark, with its stunning terracotta brick façade covered in a sprawling vine. It also has a great location right next to Stanley Park.
Emerald Lake Lodge, Golden
In the heart of Yoho National Park, near BC’s Alberta border, the Emerald Lake Lodge has all the old world charm of a country hunting lodge that feels like you’ve stepped back in time. Dating back to 1902, the lodge sits on a small peninsula jutting into the famous Emerald Lake. Think enormous fireplaces, hand-carved timber and an oak wooden bar salvaged from a Yukon saloon dating back to the 1890s. Curl up by the fire or head out for cross-country skiing in winter, or strike out on the lake in a kayak this summer.
Executive – The Inn at Whistler Village
What a lot of Aussies don’t know is that Whistler isn’t just a winter playground. Year round there’s plenty of action happening in Canada’s famous ski area, even without the snow. Go mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, zip lining and more, and better yet, you can stay right in the heart of town for under $150. Executive’s The Inn is a boutique hotel that’s cosy and comfortable, with a little bit of attitude. Expect zebra skin throws and leopard print blankets – with the fireplaces, leather armchairs and country club vibe, it works.
Duffin Cove Oceanfront Lodging
Perched on the very edge of Vancouver Island, tiny Tofino is an excellent spot for a few days of whale watching, surfing, kayaking, fishing or just enjoying the peace and quiet. Duffin Cove’s cabins and suites look straight out to the Pacific – it’s a vantage point others would pay a fortune for elsewhere in the world, but here you can score a room for under $150 a night, leaving you with spare change to hop on a tour or go for a paddle.
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