Welcome to Beautiful British Columbia, where the trees stand tall, the mountains stand taller, and the ocean is literally at every turn. It’s no surprise to the locals that people from all over the world come to visit the province located on the ‘best coast’ of Canada, but it is our most unusual spots that keep the tourists coming and keeps the locals enticed. We all know BC is the place to find all the #pnw treasures but these nooks and crannies offer up so much more than just rain, nature, and hiking.
Once you’ve finished touring Stanley Park and The Capilano Suspension Bridge because Lonely Planet and your aunt’s book club told you to, you might want to explore the less touristy but just as Instagrammable spots all across the province. I mean, who wants to be as basic as the “top 10 places to see in BC”, anyway? Pscht, not me. I mean come on, who goes to London just to see the Big Ben? Wouldn’t you rather find some abandoned castle and explore like a local?
Yes, "unusual" is to the eye of the beholder and some of these spots may be on your radar, off your radar, or in your backyard. You may be familiar with some of these spots but have you ever even been? Face it, you have no excuse. Your Netflix has been asking “are you still there?” for the last 4 seasons of Friends and quite frankly you’re not even checked into Ross’ latest mishap anyway.
Listen, I know you need an adventure. You’ve grown tired of midterms and your boss and you just need to get out, amiright? I know I’m right. Do yourself a favour and grab your BFF or bae and chase these incredibly unusual location all across BC in the best damn road trip bucket list of your life!
12. Free Spirit Spheres // 420 Horne Lake Rd
What's better than wooden orbs suspended from the trees? Nothing, that's what. Find your way to Vancouver Island and monkey around in the branches in one of these floating spheres.
Qualicum is home to all kinds of unique escapes but none better than the Free Spirit Spheres that you can cozy up inside with your favourite human.
Wander the trails or stay perched inside with a book, these spheres will help you forget about your buzzing phone and be one with the spheres.
11. Othello Tunnels // 67851 Othello Road
You can envision the trains that passed through these tunnels as you explore Hope's Othello Tunnels on your next trip up to the interior.
The trail is short (3.5km round trip) so you have absolutely no reason to back out or be lazy. It passes through a bunch of the rock formation tunnels and over top a rushing river and it makes for the perfect place to stop and stretch out your legs after driving up the Coq.
Plus, Rambo was filmed here. 'Nuff said.
10. Whistler Trainwreck //Cheakamus Lake Rd
This trainwreck has nothing to do with your personal life.
Make sure to add this to your list of stops on your way up to your raging weekend in Whistler to capture a few snaps against the vibrant
destruction of property graffiti.
If you decide to hit it on the way back, this trail is completely hangover proof as it's an easy stroll from the parking lot off Cheakamus Lake Rd to the parked train.
Bonus: For the thrill seekers who are willing to put in the time, the trail will lead you to a suspension bridge worth exploring.
9. Boswell Bottle House //3-4 km south of Boswell on Hwy 3A
Name something more BC than recycling? I'll wait. This house in Boswell is made entirely of recycled bottles and it's nicer than your apartment.
Overlooking the Kootenay Lake sits the Bowell Bottle House where David Brown has left his legacy. Brown began building his glass castle in 1952 because he wanted to quote, "indulge a whim of a peculiar nature".
Indulge he did. The house attracted so much attention that it was bye, bye privacy, hello tourists.
After 500,000 bottles were used, Brown's Bottle House comes to a whopping 1,200 square feet and even has a fireplace.
How's your $1,300 bachelor suite feeling?
8. Dude Chilling Park // 2390 Brunswick St
UGHHHHHH. This is definitely a must-visit for the Instagram snap alone but is there anything more Vancouver than the city letting the people vote and keep this as the official park name?
What started as a prank is now an official park in the most hipster park of Vancouver, Mount Pleasant. After a local artist pitched the sign that was swiftly removed by the city, Dustin Bromley sent out a petition to "save the sign." No, I'm not kidding.
I wish I could say that it's all jokes but Jimmy Kimmel alluded to it in his monologue and, well, that's pretty chill.
7. Jimi Hendrix Shrine // 432 Homer St
Is there anything you wanted to know about Jimmy Hendrix? Let this painfully bright shrine to the legend give you all the information you could possibly want (and some that you could have done without).
Did you know that Jimi's grandmother lived in Vancouver and that he spent a huge chunk of his life in the city because his parents were always off-loading him to his grandmother? The city is practically a second home to the guitar legend and because of that, the shrine lives on.
Check it out for historic images and memorabilia and consider it for your next event. Yes, the shrine is available for rental, yes you need to plan your next birthday party here.
6. World's Largest Hockey Stick & Puck // 2685 James St
Of course, Canada has the world's largest hockey stick. Are you even surprised?
Duncan may be known for many things: a pass through city, where Tim Hortons is known as the best coffee shop, the leading location for Sasquatch sightings (that actually is pretty cool), but did you know that it's also home to the largest hockey stick and puck in the world? Yes, you read that correctly, the world.
This city that has less than 5,000 people is in the Guinness Book of Records at 205 ft long and weighs 62,000 lbs. It's arguably the best
reason to go to thing to see while you're in Duncan.
5. Pesuta Shipwreck // 1Y0, Queen Charlottes Hwy
Is this not the coolest looking thing?
You will want to consult a tide table before visiting the shipwreck so it isn't, er, sunken, when you arrive, but when you do, be sure to be armed with your DSLR and a patient model.
The 264-foot boat crashed during a particularly heavy storm back in 1928 and has remained on the Haida Gwaii shores since.
Bonus: The shipwreck trail leads into 10km of rainforest to explore! Can you say #pnw??
4. Goats On A Roof //2326 Alberni Hwy
This place is G.O.A.T.
The Country Market in Coombs is worth the drive out to the middle of nowhere. The market itself offers snacks from gelato, coffee, and candied salmon to indoor and outdoor decorations and trinkets for the home. You can find children's toys and art supplies as well as masks and all kinds of statues for sale.
Head outside to visit with the goats who roam the grassy rooftop and graze while soaking up the island sun. The market is surrounded by other small shops with local clothing, jewelry, and furniture and makes for the perfect window shopping pit stop.
Between visiting the goats you can also play mini golf at the course not too far from The Country Market. You'll be sure to forget about all the driving you have left to do!
3. Spotted Lake // Osoyoos
Who dares entering the Spotted Lake? Better than running into the Ogopogo in the Okanagan Lake amiright??
Spotted Lake is giving a whole new meaning to salty beach hair. The lake is enriched with magnesium and sodium sulfates and the rings appear due to most of the water evaporating in the summer time.
It is not swimmable and is only available to view from behind the lake but if you have one of those video drones, this should be the place you take it this summer.
2. Mystic Beach // Juan De Fuca Trail
As mystical and gorgeous as it's namesake, Mystic beach is complete with waterfalls, trails, a white sandy beach, and all your wildest dreams.
It is located along the Juan De Fuca Trail and depending on your trip planning skills you can either start or end your hike at this site (though I would suggest the latter).
Experienced hikers are recommended for this hour long hike from the parking lot but the outcome is worth the trek. Be sure to visit on a day where you don't mind getting splashed by the cool ocean, the rope swing is a can't miss.
1. Horne Lake Caves // 3905 Horne Lake Caves Rd
Come down to Horne Lake for year-round spelunking! Horne Lake Caves encourage cave conservation and education while putting you outside your comfort zone and challenging you to be strong and brave while exploring the depths of nature.
Choosing safety and sustainability as some of their core values, you and your tour can explore these caves with primal intuition and educational tips you will take away from your cave leaders.