Grizzly Bear Sightings and More at British Columbia's Knight Inlet Lodge

View of Knight Inlet

View of Knight Inlet

As we stepped off the boat on our way to the Big Cedar Hike, our guide warned us, “If we encounter a grizzly bear, don’t run. Just stand still and talk to it in a calm, soothing voice.” I found myself wondering how calmly our group would act if confronted by an enraged grizzly bear. Fortunately, we didn’t have to find out.

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Vancouver Island: From One Town to the Next

Maple Bay, on the eastern shore of Vancouver Island, provides quintessential Canadian views

Maple Bay, on the eastern shore of Vancouver Island, provides quintessential Canadian views

Vancouver Island is often dubbed one of the best islands in the world, though it isn’t studded with towering palm trees or soft white sand beaches. It is a land of steep mountains, cobalt lakes, and dense forests growing right up to the island’s 2,136 miles of shoreline. On Vancouver Island—the largest off the west coast of North America—visitors come face to face with a variety of experiences, from small towns and outdoor adventures to modern city living amid urban landscapes. This quintessentially Canadian terrain also teems with bald eagles, black bears, and orcas. It would make sense then, with so many points of interest, that an oft-preferred way to discover Vancouver Island is to spend several days road tripping through its varied regions.

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Explore a Slice of Vancouver Island

Lush Butchart Gardens

Fully exploring British Columbia’s Vancouver Island takes longer than a weekend. But you can discover the adventurous spirit, rugged landscape, and natural beauty of this 12,000-square-mile island by visiting just a slice of it. Fly directly from San Francisco to Victoria (the capital) in just over two hours. From the Saanich Peninsula (north of Victoria where the airport is located) west to Sooke Harbor and back to Victoria on the southern tip, the island is full of fun, delicious food and drink and friendly people.

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