Real Life. Real News. Real Voices.
Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard.
Join HuffPost Plus
thinner_close_xCreated with Sketch.
THE BLOG

Your Guide to Everything Western Canada

This post was published on the now-closed HuffPost Contributor platform. Contributors control their own work and posted freely to our site. If you need to flag this entry as abusive, send us an email.

2016-04-15-1460753883-7189403-banff.jpg
The beauty of Banff can't be missed


Alberta

Alberta has some of the world's most beautiful natural wonders. A visit there wouldn't be complete without a stop at Banff National Park. It's a hiker's paradise with snow-capped mountains, crystal-clear blue lakes, and miles of unspoiled land. After your hike, relax at the Banff Upper Hot Springs in the soothing, natural mineral waters.

Skiers should be sure to visit Lake Louise for 4,200 acres of terrain. Not a ski bunny? Hang out at the Fairmont Lake Louise and take in the views.

Make time to shop, too. Located near Edmonton is Real Spirit Apparel, an independent boutique known for its modern take on boho designs. In the charming town of Picture Butte, AB is a shopping gem called Ups and Downs Boutique. Keep the sun off your head on your explorations with one of its amazing hats. Farther north of Edmonton is Rural Fashion Girl, a boutique that embraces a country-chic look.

2016-04-15-1460753566-7912914-Alberta_Badlands.jpg
Amazing views at Alberta's Badlands

The Royal Tyrrell Museum is another must-do, especially for dinosaur enthusiasts. It houses the world's largest displays of the prehistoric animals. The nearby badlands add to the museum's Jurassic allure, with craggy rock formations all over.

British Columbia

With the picturesque city of Vancouver, the quaint charm of Victoria, and stunning national parks, British Columbia has no shortage of activities.

Visit Vancouver's Stanley Park, the city's largest most diverse urban park and a national historic site. There are options for every interest, from biking to mini golf to tennis to sunbathing at the beach. While in Vancouver check out artisanal food vendors, fresh produce, artwork at the Granville Island Public Market.

Take advantage of downtown Vancouver's amazing shopping scene while you're in town. NAMES Accessories features silk scarves, bejeweled clutches, and many more can't-leave-without-it pieces. Then stop by Courtney Boutique to browse clothing by local Vancouver designers.

The Canadian Rockies are another breathtakingly beautiful stop on the British Columbia tour. Take in views of stunning Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies and take a hike in Yoho National Park for glacier, waterfall, and wildlife views.

2016-04-15-1460754023-5902307-Ahorse.jpg
Visit the "horse capital" of British Columbia

Forty minutes outside of Vancouver is the scenic Fraser Valley brimming with wineries, local museums, and historic heritage sites. Stop by Fort Langley National Historic Site, a wooden fort with costumed interpreters, to get some Canadian history under your belt. Langley also prides itself on being the "horse capital of BC" so take advantage of the equestrian scene with a scenic ride at Glen Valley Stables or Langley 204 Riding Stables. Don't miss the lifestyle brand Unika while in town. The company believes in dressing well, buying green, and shopping local. Who can't get on board with that?

Next, head to the gorgeous Vancouver Island to take advantage of pristine waters for kayaking, surfing, and swimming. Families will enjoy the beaches and amenities in Parksville or Qualicum Beach, while MacKenzie Beach in Pacific Rim National Park Reserve by Tofino is perfect for a peaceful stay. In Tofino, make a pit stop at Habit Clothing for some seriously covetable leather goods and stylish threads.

Should your travels through British Columbia take you north, stop off in the charming town of Terrace. It's the perfect stop for nature lovers, with gorgeous wilderness at every turn. Enjoy the local culture with Terrace's many bars and restaurants. The Elephant's Ear is a favorite for live music on weekends and with friendly staff there to help, U.C. Fashions at Urban Colour is the perfect spot to score some new clothes.

2016-04-15-1460754549-6033341-SASK.jpg
A view of the Royal Saskatchewan Museum

Saskatchewan
If your travels lead you to Saskatchewan, head to the Royal Saskatchewan Museum to learn more about the history and traditions of Aboriginal societies that live in Saskatchewan.

Every vacation should have some relaxation built in, so hit the beautiful geothermal mineral baths at Moose Jaw's Temple Gardens next. Located in Kindersley, SK is the fabulous LaBelle Boutique which should be a stop for traveling trendsetters.

Ready to take in the beauty of Western Canada? Tell us where you want to travel in the comments section and score some adventure-worthy outfits from local boutiques on Shoptiques.com.