British Columbia

Signature Cities Vancouver & Victoria

Enjoy culinary explorations, architectural walks, visits to museums and fascinating lectures as you immerse yourself in the unique story of Vancouver and Victoria.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20578RJ
8 days
Starts at

At a Glance

Embark on an exploration of Vancouver and Victoria to learn about these world-class cities with British, European and Asian traditions. Discover the planning that has made Vancouver one of the world’s most livable cities and explore its fascinating neighborhoods, including Gastown and Chinatown. In Victoria, meet with a local expert and explore historic landmarks including Old Town, the Inner Harbor, the British Columbia legislature and the grand Empress Hotel.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Walking up to one mile a day over varied terrain; climbing a few flights of stairs.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Explore Granville Island with a local expert chef and sample tastings of regional foods.
  • Enjoy an expert-led exploration of Vancouver’s Stanley Park; and explore the growing phenomenon of ethnic enclaves in the city.
  • Get a first-hand look at the city’s Victorian architecture and see the British Columbia Parliament Buildings and the historic Empress Hotel.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Margaret Springer
For more than a decade, Margaret Springer was a television host and producer for Rogers and Shaw Community Channels, covering the arts community and local celebrities. She then spent three years a journalist for the Oak Bay News, covering local gardens, jewelry, flowers, lore and legend. As a result of interviewing Lawrie Wallace, the Queen's Secretary in British Columbia, Margaret was invited to the press reception aboard the Royal Yacht Britannia, and was presented to Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in 1983. Margaret has a keen interest in royal history and traditions, and is a frequent guest speaker on all things royal. For the past seven seasons, she has been an educational excursion leader at the Fairmont Empress Hotel, and has presented a series of lectures on the Royal Family and the traditions of afternoon tea.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

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Margaret Springer
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George Baker
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Phil Foster
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John Atkin
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Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Art of the Northwest Coast
by Aldona Jonaitis
A survey of Pacific Northwest art and artistic traditions from Puget Sound to Alaska, featuring thought-provoking essays by art historian Jonaitis along with 152 illustrations, 89 in color.
The West Beyond the West, A History of British Columbia
by Jean Barman
A fascinating history of the Canadian province from the 18th century to the mid-1990s. The author weaves portraits of major personalities and events into a readable overview of the cultural and social influences that have shaped the region.
Vancouver Then and Now
by Francis Mansbridge
This installment in the Then and Now series takes stock of Vancouver’s evolution by placing antique photographs side-by-side with contemporary ones. It peels back the years so that readers can see city fixtures as they once were.
Northwest Coast Indian Art: An Analysis of Form
by Bill Holm
An in-depth analysis of the form, shape and texture of the art of the Northwest Coast Indians by an artist, teacher and expert in the field, illustrated throughout.
The Last Great Sea, A Voyage Through the Human and Natural History of the North Pacific Ocean
by Terry Glavin, Carl Safina (Introduction)
A wide-ranging conservation history of British Columbia and the North Pacific Ocean. Glavin lives in the Gulf Islands, where he writes frequently about fisheries and environmental issues facing the region.
Moon Vancouver and Victoria, Including Whistler and Vancouver Island
by Andrew Hempstead
A no-nonsense practical guide in the Moon series, jam-packed not only with travel necessities (hotels, restaurants, sights), but also with a good overview of history, flora and fauna and geology.
Great Bear Wild
by Ian McAllister, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. (Introduction)
A colorful photographic journey through the Great Bear Rainforest that follows the coast from Vancouver Island to southern Alaska; McAllister captures the spectacular landscapes and wildlife, including wolves, whales and bears.
Exploring Vancouver, The Architectural Guide
by Harold Kalman
In this highly accessible and authoritative guide to Vancouver's architecture, specialists Harold Kalman and Robin Ward take us on a tour of Vancouver's fourteen neighborhoods, exploring the city's rich architectural heritage in over 450 entries. Each entry includes historical, social and architectural commentary accompanied by striking, full-color photographs.
Vancouver Birds: An Introduction to Familiar Species
by James Kavanagh
This pocket-sized reference for the bird enthusiast includes illustrations of over 120 species and a map of local birdwatching hotspots.
Myths and Legends of the Pacific Northwest
by Katharine Berry Judson
Presented here with 52 photographs, these traditional stories, first collected in 1910, reveal myths and traditions of creation, alongside noted geographical features of the territory.
Snow Falling on Cedars
by David Guterson
A beautifully wrought, extremely evocative novel set on San Piedro Island in Puget Sound in the 1950s. Readers are rewarded not only with some fine storytelling and beautiful prose, but also with a vivid glimpse of island life.
The Island Within
by Richard Nelson
A beautifully written tribute to the Pacific Northwest. Drawn from the author's journals, this is an account of the natural and cultural history of an island in the waters of Haida Strait, with emphasis on the relationship between people and the land.
The Raven Steals the Light
by Robert Bringhurst, Bill Reid (Illustrator), Claude Levi-Strauss (Introduction)
A classic collection of 10 Haida myths and legends with accompanying black and white etchings by Vancouver artist Bill Reid. These stories capture the storytelling traditions of the Haida.
Bachelor Brothers' Bed and Breakfast
by Bill Richardson
Lake Woebegone goes British Columbian in this humorous slip of a novel about an unconventional Vancouver B&B, which features twin bookworm brothers, a talking parrot and a motley crew of hotel guests.

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