Surfers head out into the swells in Tofino

Tofino, Stanley Park voted B.C.’s ‘best places’ to visit

A new poll of British Columbians has the Park and surfer's paradise one-two atop the province's travel destinations.

The Park edges the beach, just barely, in a ranking of B.C.’s most popular travel spots.

A new poll from Insights West polled British Columbians on their favourite places to visit inside their own province, with Stanley Park (39 per cent) and Tofino (38 per cent) topping the list. Residents were asked to choice their “best places” from 69 options and, while Stanley Park and Tofino stood apart, votes were split across several of B.C.’s landmarks and leisure spots.

“British Columbia’s leisure travellers have a hard time selecting a favourite destination from the many appealing attractions their province has to offer,” said Mario Canseco, the vice president of Public Affairs at Insights West.

“Still, Stanley Park and Tofino were regarded by about two-in-five respondents as visits that cannot be missed.”

Insights West says it polled 600 British Columbians between June 11 and 15, “who have made at least one leisure trip 100 km from home in the past 12 months.”

Granville Island (27 per cent), Butchart Gardens (26 per cent) and the Rocky Mountains (26 per cent) finished on the top five, with Okanagan wineries, English Bay/Spanish Banks, Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands, Whistler Village, and Okanagan Lake finishing the top 10, in that order.

(Okanagan Lake, which finished 10th, still placed on 20 per cent of respondents’ ballots.)

The poll’s youngest demographic, aged 18 to 34, favoured Stanley Park with 46 per cent of their votes. English Bay (33 per cent) and Gastown (23 per cent) also placed high among that age range.

Insights West said notable destinations included Whistler-Blackcomb (19 per cent), Barkerville (17 per cent), Cathedral Grove (16 per cent), and Pacific Rim National Park (15 per cent).

1. Stanley Park

Stanley Park Aerial view

Photo via Wikimedia Commons, author Mjrogers50

2. Tofino

Tofino

Photo via Wikimedia Commons, author SpezNc

3. Granville Island

Granville Island

Photo via Wikimedia Commons, author Taz

4. Butchart Gardens

Butchart Gardens

Photo via Wikimedia Commons, author Jeff Yang

5. Rocky Mountains

Mount Robson in B.C.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons, author Britannicus

6. Okanagan Wineries

Mission Hill wine

Photo via Wikimedia Commons, author Shinsuke Ikegame

7. English Bay/Spanish Banks

English Bay photo

Photo via Wikimedia Commons, author Francisco Anzola

8. Haida Gwaii/Queen Charlotte Islands

Haida Gwaii

Photo via Wikimedia Commons, author Waterfront/Karen Neoh

9. Whistler Village

Whistler Village

Photo via Wikimedia Commons, author Mogodore

10. Okanagan Lake

Lake Okanagan - Peachland BC

Photo via Wikimedia Commons, author TBrandley