Destination guide

Explore British Columbia while staying in a vacation rental

Canada's sprawling westernmost province is a sure thing whatever the season – winter sees powder hounds howling down Whistler's ski slopes, summer brings hikers and mountain bikers to the national and provincial parks, and the natural scenery makes for postcard-perfect snapshots in spring and fall. Set up a cushy base in a vacation home or condo rental and experience the best that British Columbia has to offer, whether you're museum-hopping with your family in downtown Vancouver or wine-tasting with your significant other in the Okanagan Valley.

History

For thousands of years before British Columbia was colonized by the Europeans, many indigenous peoples called the area home. The first contact between First Nations and European settlers took place at Yuquot, also called Friendly Cove or Fort San Miguel, where the last of the Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nations are more than happy to share their stories with travellers. There are historic buildings throughout BC, including a Romanesque Revival-style synagogue, a railway roundhouse, and the oldest surviving mission church near Vancouver.

Things to do

Things to do on your British Columbia vacation rental stay

Make no mistake, there's no outdoor playground to match big BC. Seven parks make up the UNESCO-listed Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site, while North America's largest ski resort, Whistler Blackcomb, is named for the 2 mountain peaks it encompasses. Vancouver alone has more than enough to keep you busy, from beaches and the North Shore mountains to museums, galleries, and shopping districts in the city centre. The 22-kilometre Seawall leads to popular Stanley Park, a sprawling waterfront attraction that's buzzing with attractions.

How to get around

Travelling around British Columbia from your vacation rental

Most BC cities have good public transit networks, although it's still best to get behind the wheel and navigate the region by car if you can. Eco-minded folk will be pleased to learn that there are over 500 electric charging stations throughout the province, and winter tires are mandatory in some areas from October through March. BC Ferries provides most of the boat services in the province; key journeys link Tsawwassen with Vancouver Island, Nanaimo, and the Gulf Islands. VIA Rail offers limited train services, while Greyhound and Pacific Coach Lines run coaches between major cities.

Food & drink 

Indulge yourself with British Columbia's regional food and drinks

Know your tannins from your tartness? Your aroma from your astringence? Well, you're in luck, because the Okanagan Valley is BC's largest wine region. If you're ever in the area, sign up for a wine-tasting tour, or do a DIY version and explore the wine country on a bike. Craft breweries also abound in BC, and there are several "ale trail" itineraries that'll have you tipping back the best local beers and ciders in town. Vancouver's Chinatown is among the oldest of its kind in North America; head there for the classic BC Roll, which was created by chef Hidekazu Tojo in 1974 and features barbecued salmon and cucumber.

Essential info

Facts to note for your British Columbia vacation rental stay

Sandwiched between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, British Columbia, or BC, is Canada's westernmost province and third most populous, with a population of nearly 5 million. Victoria is the provincial capital, while Vancouver is the largest city. The legal drinking age in BC is 19. A 15% to 20% tip is standard stuff at bars and restaurants, and it's also usual to put your hand in your pocket for tour guides, taxi drivers, and porters. In case of an emergency anywhere in Canada, dial 911.

How many vacation rentals are available around British Columbia?

Our 2019 vacation rental listings offer a large selection of 10,913 house rentals around British Columbia. From 910 Cabins to 910 Cottages, find unique vacation rental for you to enjoy a memorable holiday or a weekend with your family and friends. The best place to stay around British Columbia is on HomeAway.

What are the most popular destinations to visit in British Columbia?

There are many lovely places to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in British Columbia. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular destinations to visit are:

  • Vancouver: 1,272 vacation rentals
  • Kelowna: 1,169 vacation rentals
  • Victoria: 1,127 vacation rentals
  • Tofino: 152 vacation rentals
  • Whistler: 1,880 vacation rentals

And HomeAway offers you the chance to discover many other popular destinations in British Columbia! Please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available in other popular destinations.

What are the main cities to discover in British Columbia?

Whether you're travelling with family or friends, here are the cities with the largest selection of vacation rentals for a holiday trip or just for a weekend in British Columbia:

  • Vancouver: 1,272 rentals
  • Kelowna: 1,169 rentals
  • Victoria: 1,127 rentals
  • Tofino: 152 rentals
  • Whistler: 1,880 rentals

For other cities, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Can I find easy-access vacation rentals when travelling by plane to British Columbia?

Yes of course. Our owners offer a large selection of vacation rentals near airports. The airports with a large selection of lodging choices in British Columbia are:

  • Vernon, BC (YVE-Vernon Regional): 582 home rentals
  • Vancouver International Airport (YVR): 1,321 home rentals
  • Tofino, BC (YTP-Tofino Water Aerodrome): 157 home rentals

For other airports, please use our search bar to access the selection of vacation rentals available.

Near which points of interest can I spend my holiday in British Columbia?

HomeAway offers a large selection of lodging choices near lovely places in British Columbia. From HomeAway travelers, the most popular points of interest to stay for a holiday trip or just for a weekend are:

  • Revelstoke Mountain Resort: 137 vacation homes
  • Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park: 332 vacation homes
  • Canada Place: 1,324 vacation homes
  • Pacific Rim National Park Reserve: 267 vacation homes
  • Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community: 182 vacation homes

But there are many other points of interest around British Columbia listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Just write your wanted destination in our search bar and have a look at our selection.

Explore destinations around British Columbia

Vancouver
1,272 vacation rentals
Kelowna
1,169 vacation rentals
Victoria
1,127 vacation rentals
Tofino
152 vacation rentals
Whistler
1,880 vacation rentals
Penticton
390 vacation rentals
Osoyoos
247 vacation rentals
Parksville
247 vacation rentals
Nanaimo
191 vacation rentals
Invermere
325 vacation rentals
Surrey
939 vacation rentals
Cultus Lake
73 vacation rentals
North Vancouver
1,144 vacation rentals
Vernon
552 vacation rentals
Ucluelet
115 vacation rentals
Radium Hot Springs
335 vacation rentals
Qualicum Beach
274 vacation rentals
Sooke
960 vacation rentals
Kamloops
330 vacation rentals
Richmond
1,159 vacation rentals