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PACIFIC OCEAN ISLANDS INFORMATION

Canada

Vancouver:

Thar She Blows - A Whaling Good time On Vancouver Island's Rugged West Coast - The thunderous roar of waves resonates in my ears. Ocean spray cloaks my bright yellow slicker. The unruly breakers toss driftwood timbers as though light as toothpicks, and mesmerize surfers clad head to toe in neoprene. They also draw out storm watching aficionados, true blue romanticists, and families like mine who have come in search of some outdoor adventure. Its Vancouver Island's rugged West Coast; a destination that offers excitement for everyone!...read more »

A Bird's Eye View of Victoria - Sophisticated yachts and regal schooners skim the sun-glinted waves far below. They unite with ocean going kayaks, competitive dragon boats and other vessels that yearn to share their hulls with the sensational seaside. Framed by a rugged coastline and backed by powdered peaks, it's a setting that's picturesque to a fault and truly epitomizes the axiom, Super Natural British Columbia....read more »

R&R in Cordova Bay - Drifting off into a semi-comatose state, I took in a deep breath permitting the salt sea air to fill my senses. The warmth of the sun's rays enveloped me like a sauna and the squawking from soaring gulls were soothing and melodic. It could have been any beach in the South Pacific or Caribbean. But it wasn't. Instead, just fifteen minutes outside of Victoria, while in search of a little rest and relaxation, we discovered this seaside haven, offering uncrowded beaches, recreational opportunities and quaint accommodations. One of Vancouver Island's best-kept secrets, the community of Cordova Bay....read more »

Five Fabulous BC Island Retreats That Promise to Rekindle Romance

Clayoquot Wilderness Resorts - Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. Luxury resort hotel offering all-inclusive vacation packages, spa holidays, corporate retreats.

Ferrer Charters - Book now for an Angling opportunity of a lifetime!

Yukon Territory is bordered to the south by British Columbia, to the east by the Northwest Territories, to the north by the Beaufort Sea in the Arctic and to the west by the state of Alaska. Most of Alaska sits to the left of Canada, but the gorgeous Alaska panhandle, a narrow coastal strip with widely separated communities, many on islands, runs several hundred miles south, bordered to the east by BC. At the top of the panhandle, the towns of Skagway and Haines offer road access to the rest of Alaska, the US and Canada.

The easiest way to get here is by air. International air carriers serve Vancouver and Anchorage. National carriers serve these destinations and Whitehorse (the Yukon capital). Alaska Airlines serves major Alaska cities and many smaller communities. Air Canada and its partners serve BC and the Yukon. Throughout the region, huge distances make plane travel essential. Smaller airline, charter and air taxi service is widely available across the north. From Seattle, a non-stop flight to Anchorage takes 3.25 hours. From Vancouver, a non-stop flight to Whitehorse takes 2.5 hours.

Highways run north through BC and Alberta, connecting to the Alaska Highway, which starts officially at Dawson Creek, BC, and runs through the Yukon into central Alaska. It is 817 miles from Seattle to mile zero of the Alaska Highway; and 548 miles from Calgary....read more »

Vancouver: Whether approached by air, land or sea the city of Vancouver never fails to impress. Like a creation lifted straight out of a comic book, this gleaming mass of glass and steel is pure Canadian eye candy. Beneath its grand exterior is a destination worthy of its appearance. Known as one of the cleanest and safest cities in the Americas, Vancouver is a warm, friendly and welcoming place even on a cool winter's day. In fact, such is the ambience and culture here, you may find that you never want to leave!... What to see in Vancouver...read more about Vancouver »

Vancouver Attractions: One of the most unique aspects about Vancouver is its location. The wilderness is only a hour drive away from downtown!

Getting close to nature is very easy here. The hiking, sailing, skiing and golfing opportunities are just awesome and available most of the year. You can travel to Whistler quite easily (1.5 hr drive from the city), and the ferry to Victoria on Vancouver Island is a short 30 km trip to the south....What to see in Vancouver...read more about Vancouver Attractions »

Ladysmith BC on Vancouver Island: Ladysmith has focused its interest on attracting tourism by setting up world-renowned annual festivals and events. In spring there is a two-day festival which attracts hundreds of paddle sport enthusiasts for boating fun, food and music. On Canada Day there is cake, fun and music on Ladysmith's historic waterfront. On BC Day there is a daylong weekend parade, a soapbox derby, logger sports, games, rides, music, entertainment and fireworks.. Ladysmith Fall Fair in late August or September, showcases Ladysmith and area talents in horticulture, arts and crafts, home economics, beer and winemaking.

There are two main shopping areas: the First Avenue in the downtown area and the modern Coronation Mall on the Island Highway, with a wide variety of shops, services and eateries.

Ladysmith, with its downtown heritage buildings, was named one of the ten prettiest towns in Canada by Harrowsmith Country Life magazine. Ladysmith has been given the National Communities in Bloom Award with a 5-Bloom rating, with a special mention for Heritage Conservation....read more about Ladysmith BC on Vancouver Island »

Granville Island Vancouver
When he came up with the idea of the Granville Island Museums, owner-curator John Keith-King had a couple of objectives in mind. The first was to showcase the extraordinary skill of craftsmen who lived and worked in this Province, which led to the opening of the Model Ships Museum. Then, recalling the magic of his boyhood fascination with trains, Keith-King unveiled the Model Trains Museum-a show-stopper if ever there was one.

The Model Ships Museum has its own set of unique wonders. The display of war ships spans several centuries, from Admiral Nelson's HMS "Victory" to a modern Russian titanium nuclear submarine. Keith-King points out an example of engineering ingenuity: a US submarine which can submerge and re-surface. It also fires underwater torpedoes, has a periscope which moves up and down, rear guns that swivel and shoot blanks, and a variety of sound effects: a sonar ping, the rumble of deisel engines and a dive klaxon. The model has been featured in two episodes of the X-files, where it appears on film as a full-size sub. ...read more about Granville Island Vancouver »

Vancouver Whale Watching
About forty-five minutes after leaving Steveston, we get our first glimpse of the Orcas: small black conical dots dipping and rising through the sequinned flash of waves. A gasp of delight runs through the passengers, and Mary adds, her voice rising with excitement. "They're coming directly towards us. It looks as though they are going to pass right in front of our bow!" For the next while we have ringside seats at a magnificent performance: the Orcas-about twenty or more-arch, leap and re-submerge in a synchronised, rhythmic water ballet. Hard to imagine such fluid grace in creatures approximately 7 to 9 metres long and weighing 8000 kilos on average. An underwater microphone eavesdrops on their "conversation" as they go by -a series of whistles, hoots and clicks....read more about Vancouver Whale Watching »

Grouse Mountain - Vancouver
Virtually all my favourite travel spots in the world combine mountains and water and Vancouver just has it all. Located on the edge of the Pacific, surrounded by the Coastal Mountain Range, Vancouver is a scenic dream. Just about 15 minutes from downtown Vancouver you can enjoy wonderful vistas over the city all the way south to the Olympic Mountains in Washington State - Grouse Mountain is the "Peak of Vancouver" and provides the best viewpoints of the area as well as a host of year-round activities. ....read more about Grouse Mountain Vancouver »

Canada's Yukon
Live on your own island. SIR Country Ranch will drop you at Big Salmon Lake, which is so remote; it is accessible only by boat or floatplane. Rejuvenate your souls in a cozy cabin for relaxing days of fishing, sketching, hiking and rest assured that the only company you will have is each other - oh and Mother Nature of course!...read more about Canada's Yukon »

British Columbia

Sooke Harbour - Through the rising steam of our private outdoor hot tub, we enjoyed the majestic view of the Olympic snow-capped peaks across the Juan de Fuca Strait. Waves lapped up onto the rocky shore directly below and blustery November winds made our hot tub retreat even more inviting. Unpredictable weather is a given at this time of year, and although preference for most travelers is during the dry months, an experience at The Sooke Harbour House will promise perfection in whatever month you visit.

A warming fire later crackled, while the Pacific Northwest rains pelted against the windows of our suite. Herbal tea blends and other beverage choices from our wet bar were soothing comforts to share. A soak in the claw foot tub and an experience in the unique two-person steam shower definitely reduced any of the week's remaining tension to a bare minimum....read more about ...Sooke Harbour and Sooke Harbour House »

Markham House - Victoria, B.C. - Although not viewing the pounding Pacific or a sandy beach, the quiet seclusion and natural beauty of this great escape makes it every bit as romantic. Nestled into its rural hillside, the English-style Tudor is bordered by towering firs and flowering perennials. A lazy hammock overlooking a trout pond waits for couples to cuddle in. A golf tee and Bocci ball are set up for guests to enjoy. Pathways leading to mossy bluff lookouts are inviting to stroll and explore. There is an immediate sense of peace and tranquillity in this haven, which is idyllicaly removed from the hustle and bustle of city-life routines. The Markham House is a perfect retreat...even during the fall and winter months!...read more about Markham House »

Crown Isle - Crown Isle is ideally situated close to Mount Washington for ski hounds, the Strait of Georgia for beach lovers and Stratcona Provincial park for hiking enthusiasts. Salmon fishing, kayaking excursions and whale watching packages can also be arranged, although once you get a glimpse of the award winning golf course, you may want to just enjoy the property. That was our intention during our visit, although, as I was new to this sport, it was with some trepidation that I unpacked my clubs. ...read more about Crown Isle »

Salt Spring Island
Hastings House - Salt Spring Island, British Columbia

Galiano Island
Island getaways possess a definite appeal for those in search of relaxation and romantic aspirations. Skirted by wave-lapping shores and distanced by a body of water, they offer an idyllic reprieve from businesses, babies and the bustling throngs of metropolitan centres. ...read more about Galiano Island and the Galiano Inn »

The Queen Charlotte Islands
The Queen Charlotte Islands off the northwest coast of British Columbia are the 7000 year ancestral home of the Haida who believed their islands were at the boundary of the world....read more about Queen Charlotte Islands »

Barkerville
We are now on our final stretch to Barkerville. It is late afternoon and the sky has turned sullen. By the time we dismount in the parking lot, a cold malicious drizzle whips against our faces. Most visitors have gone home, and we make our way to the Lung Duck Tong restaurant in the Chinatown sector. The building dates back to the early 1900s and the hospitality, like the food, is generous. And piping hot!

Barkerville is where illusion and reality merge. The rain has disappeared by morning, and the main street buzzes with activity. At the door of the school house, Miss Mary Hastie stands primly awaiting the arrival of her pupils, and further up the road, a whiskered gentleman in a top hat and cape bows a polite, "Good morning Ma'am" to a pretty young woman dressed in a crinoline. A couple of kids emerge from the costume shop: the little girl wears a bonnet and pinafore; her older brother is in a waistcoat, necktie and burglar cap. Mum and Dad are also in period costumes, and the family beam as an obliging miner puts down his shovel and clicks a shot before handing the camera back to Dad. Visitors peer into the windows of miners' log cabins; some stop to watch Mr. Cameron at work in the blacksmith's shop, while others buy candy and postcards at the Mason & Daly General Store....read more

Cariboo Gold Rush Trail
Yale was the cork in the bottle as far as river traffic was concerned. North of the town, the Fraser was un-navigable, churning downstream as it did, in a maelstrom of white water. To proceed further up the canyon, miners and mule trains picked their way along a perilous shelf-like track clinging to the sheer rock facade of the gorge. Today's four lane highway follows the same route, but the canyon walls now resound with the rush of semi-trailers and camper vans, and as I pause to aim my camera at the torrent of water fuming through Hell's Gate, a train shrunk to toy-like dimensions, caterpillars its way along the opposite bank.

We board the Hell's Gate Airtram, swing on cables across the seething river, and on dismounting I discover anotherwisp of the past: a pigtailed Chinese cook named Ah Foo Yu whose claim to immortality is that his culinary expertise was so prized by a company of railroad workers that pandemonium broke out when he was abducted by a rival camp. Worse still, his stove refused to light. Eventually Ah Foo Yu was found and brought back and he happily continued to turn out meals until his death on July 10th 1880. Legend has it that his stove, now displayed on the boardwalk, turns warm on the anniversary of Ah Foo Yu's death although it has never again been fired up. It is a charming little tale, and I like to think that the venerable old Chinese cook's spirit does hover around the area, but since the stove stands bathed in fierce sunlight in July, its heated surface probably owes more to natural causes rather than any supernatural intervention....read more

Victoria
...we went on a little drive in the neighbourhood and drove down to the lagoon from where we had a perfect lookout to the Olympic Mountain Range in Washington State, across the narrow strait from Vancouver Island. One of the mountains was snow-covered and this majestic mountain range combined with the waters of the Pacific creates one of the most stunning sceneries this lovely planet of ours has to offer. We had a view of a historic light house and the Esquimalt navy base and after a brief drive through the hilly coastal roads (and another close encounter with a deer) we drove back to Clare's beautiful house on the slopes.....read more about Victoria