British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada, notable for its Pacific coastline, lush national parks, and snow-covered mountain ranges. While you might be familiar with the larger cities in the region, like Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia has many hidden gems for exploring! Check out these 12 must-visit small towns in British Columbia and learn about their attractions and other noteworthy sights.
The quaint village of Nekusp is in Southeastern British Columbia just south of the Kuskanax Creek’s mouth on the Upper Arrow Lake. Nekusp is a small town rather famous for its natural hot springs that attract thousands of visitors each year. It’s a breathtaking scenic area with plenty of outdoor recreation to keep you busy. Spend your days fishing, mountain biking, and soaking in steamy natural baths.
Located along Highway 95A between the Rocky and Purcell Mountains, Kimberley is another must-visit small town in Southeast British Columbia. It’s a stunning and homey mountain town best known for its skiing, hiking, and golfing. Book a stay at the Alpine ski resort, where you can cuddle by the fire and sip hot cocoa.
The small city of Nelson is in the southern interior of British Columbia. It sits in the Selkirk Mountains on Kootenay Lake’s West Arm. With its restored heritage buildings nestled between lush vegetation and surrounded by mountains, Nelson is definitely a must-visit town. From its quaint shops and brewing companies to its mountain lodges and historic buildings, there are many things to do and see in this town.
Located in the heart of Slocan Valley, Silverton is a tiny village in Southeast British Columbia. For such a small town, the area is full of old-growth forests, stunning lakes, glaciers, and wildflower meadows. Many people visit for fishing and hiking in Valhalla Provincial Park or Slocan Lake.
This small district on Vancouver Island on the country’s west coast is known for its breathtaking natural scenery, from sandy beaches to ancient rainforests. Visitors can stay at a beach resort, visit a national park, or go surfing. Plus, don’t forget to stop by one of Tofino’s delicious restaurants or coffee houses.
Located at the southern tip of Vancouver Island, Sooke is a charming town about 40 minutes outside of Victoria. It’s a popular seaside destination with many parks, hiking trails, and old-growth forests. When you’re not fishing or relaxing at a brew pub, you can spend your time whale watching.
7. New Denver
In the West Kootenay region of Southeast British Columbia, New Denver sits on the east shore of Slocan Lake. New Denver, like most towns in Canada, has immense natural beauty where visitors can explore park trails by hiking and biking. The town also has small museums and many scenic spots, like Wilson Creek Falls.
8. Harrison Hot Springs
Harrison Hot Springs is a relaxing getaway and small community in the Fraser Valley on the southern end of Harrison Lake. This charming resort town is famous for its mineral pools and luxury hotel that draws visitors from around the world. When you’re not soaking in the springs, you can go horseback riding, hunting, fishing, and boating on the lake.
Known for its inland temperate rainforest and mountain caribou populations, Revelstoke is a beautiful small city in Southeast British Columbia nestled in the mountains. It is an adventurous playground where visitors can enjoy hiking, biking, and general sightseeing. Book your stay at the mountain ski resort and check out the railway museum.
Located in the foothills of the Selkirk Mountains in West Kootenay, Sandon is a near ghost town with only 20 residents within the community. This historic town has a rich history and was once a silver mining town that found destruction after a fire and massive flood wiped out most of the buildings. It’s an interesting town to tour and learn about its history.
11. Qualicum Beach
This unique coastal community is on Vancouver Island and offers visitors abundant recreation, a comfortable climate, and a laidback lifestyle. Qualicum Beach is a secluded ocean getaway with long stretches of sandy beaches and calm waters, perfect for a family vacation.
Sitting on the west shore of Kootenay Lake, Kaslo is a mountain village nestled in a lush valley. This town has immense historic charm as it was once a gold and silver mining hub in the late 1800s. Visitors can experience the great outdoors while learning about history at some of Kaslo’s iconic heritage sites.
A Recap of the 12 Must-Visit Small Towns in British Columbia
|Rank||Small Towns in British Columbia|
|#8||Harrison Hot Springs|
The photo featured at the top of this post is © Harry Beugelink/Shutterstock.com
Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.