As the days get longer and the sunshine gets a little warmer, it’s hard not to want to get out for an adventure (and a beery reward at the end). But staying home and staying physically distant from others while out on essential trips is going to be an important part of all of our lives for a while longer as the public health emergency of COVID-19 continues.

illustration of mountain landscape with hashtag ExploreBC...later
Explore BC virtually for now, come see it live and in person later.

While you’re at home during this time (hopefully with a solid delivery of craft beer from your local brewery or private liquor store), there’s no reason why you can’t enjoy dreaming of your next ale-venture once this crisis ends. Here’s a roundup of some ways to explore BC virtually today so you can explore BC to the fullest in real life later.

Explore BC virtually

First, start your virtual exploration of BC by visiting some of the province’s majestic sights online. BC’s ale trails can be discovered via videos too, showcasing what BC has to offer (in terms of scenery and beer!).

Explore BC… later

For now we pause, stay in, and dream of later. The more we do today, the sooner we can all explore BC again. This video was created from existing footage and with a remotely recorded voiceover, to support physical distancing.

Posted by Destination British Columbia on Tuesday, March 31, 2020


Then take a read through some back issues of British Columbia Magazine and plan the perfect route for your post-pandemic road trip. Google Earth also lets you wander around in your own backyard (or the entire world) from the comfort of your favourite couch or chair.

Get to know more about the history of a place with a virtual tour of a museum. For example, the Royal BC Museum has a whole digital section that you can peruse online to learn more about the people and places of BC’s past. The Virtual Museum of Canada offers another digital trove of knowledge and information, as does the Museum of Vancouver. You can explore the Museum of Anthropology’s collection online too and Science World has a Home Activities section to discover. 

photo of woolly mammoth model housed at royal BC museum in Victoria
The woolly mammoth at Royal BC Museum in Victoria, British Columbia. (Photo by Thomas Quine / CC BY 2.0)

Of course, there’s more to BC than Victoria and Vancouver (although this year’s Cherry Blossom Festival in Vancouver is definitely worth a virtual visit!). Take an online trip to Kamloops in BC’s interior, complete with virtual wine tastings, online gnocchi-making, tours of museums and parks, virtual concerts, and a 3D look at the 2141 “Spirit of Kamloops” steam train. Visit Kelowna while you’re in the virtual neighbourhood or take a walk through downtown Nelson via their photo collection of heritage buildings. For a grander online adventure, peruse digital magazines from Prince George and Haida Gwaii to start planning a summer trip north!

Another great resource for virtual tours is Google Arts & Culture, allowing you to visit museums and galleries from around the world.

Animals to adore from afar

For the animal lover, there are a ton of live webcams available from well-known aquariums and zoos, including our very own Vancouver Aquarium. Grouse Mountain has a bear den cam set up so you can watch Grinder and Coola hibernate as you hibernate too. Calgary Zoo is providing a Daily Dose of animal goodness, with activity PDFs to keep the kiddos attentive. Toronto Zoo has parent resources and daily content to engage with as well.

photo of orange jellyfish on royal blue background from Vancouver Aquarium
Visit the jellyfish at Vancouver Aquarium virtually.

More animals can be visited at the San Diego Zoo and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute also has a couple of panda cams up for some more animal antics. Earth Cam provides a great collection of other cams showcasing places and animals from around the globe and offers a similar catalogue that’s primarily focused on the animal kingdom.

Get your festival fill

And if you’re still looking to engage with the arts from a safe distance, check out the Social Distancing Festival created by Torontonian and musician, Nick Green. The festival features streamed visual arts, dance, music, and theatre performances from around the world and even comes with a virtual Beer Tent to socialize safely in! Many other musicians are performing via virtual concerts so check with your favourite bands to see what they’re up to online in the time of COVID.

A benefit concert like no other to enjoy virtually from home.

Speaking of special performances, the One World: Together At Home concert will be held on Saturday, April 18th. Enjoy music by Lady Gaga, Elton John, Paul McCartney, Alanis Morisette, Andrea Bocelli, Stevie Wonder, John Legend, Billie Eilish, Lizzo, and more from home! This global live benefit concert is being held in support of frontline healthcare workers and the World Health Organization.

Stay safe, stay hopeful, stay home

There are countless other resources to make use of virtually while we temporarily hunker down at home and this is the perfect moment to do some research, explore new (or old) places from behind your favourite device, and dream of your next ale-venture on the BC Ale Trail.

And, in the meantime, please keep supporting local breweries and businesses wherever possible to ensure they’ll be there once COVID-19 no longer is.

support your local brewery
Vancouver Island Brewing and other BC craft breweries are offering local delivery.

Stay safe, happy, and hopeful at home and join the BC Ale Trail every Thursday from 6pm to 7pm for a virtual beer and some cheers while you’re at it!

For more information about COVID-19, please refer to these government resources.

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