It’s hard to say which Canadian province we love the most but BC is definitely high up on the list.
From mountain tops and crystal clear blue lakes to world-famous Vancouver to the most beautiful small towns in BC, an incredible coastline, and world-renowned skiing, you’ll have to try really hard to be bored!
Whether you’re planning a road trip traversing the province or you’re considering moving, there’s a lot for you to explore.
BC has beautiful small towns all over from the edge of the Canadian Rocky Mountains to Vancouver Island. Visiting some of these small towns is an awesome way to get the proper BC experience.
In this post, we’ve listed a variety of small mountain towns to little trade towns which all have something unique to offer. We hope it helps spark some inspiration so you can plan your next visit!
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11 best small towns in BC worth visiting
The 11 towns highlighted in this post are scattered all over BC and in no particular order. Depending on where in the province you are (visiting) you can plan which of these towns you want to explore.
Some of them are truly quite small with only a few (but very unique) activities to do and some are proper towns with ski resorts, great communities, restaurants, and hotels where you can stay for a few nights and enjoy everything there is to do in the area.
Enjoy these small towns in BC and, hopefully, you can check a few of these off the list! Going to places like Revelstoke or New Denver you get to see the very best of BC!
Fernie is a small town in the Elk Valley area of the East Kootenay region of British Columbia. It’s a small mountain town of roughly 5000 people and a bit more during the winter months!
Winter or summer, Fernie is an amazing place to be. With more amenities than other small towns in BC, Fernie has everything you need from grocery stores to hotels and campsites.
Fernie is an outdoor lover’s paradise with the Rocky Mountains right in your backyard you’re only a short walk away from some of the best hikes in the area and the best skiing in the winter.
The Mount Fernie Trail is probably one of the most popular hikes to do in the area. From this viewpoint, you’ll hands down get the best view of Fernie and all the surrounding peaks that overlook this beautiful mountain town!
Fun activity to do in Fernie
You can load this Heritage Walking Tour Map in Fernie and make your way around town on a self-guided tour and learn about all the historic buildings in town.
From there you can see where you end up! Maybe a coffee, beer, or ice cream will be around the next corner!
#2 New Denver
New Denver is a small town on the east shore of Slocan Lake, in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia.
When it comes to small towns in BC, New Denver is one of the smaller ones with a population of roughly 500 people.
For being such a small town it has quite the history dating back to 1892 when the village was founded. From a mining boom to a Japanese/Canadian internment camp in the 1940s, this small town has a very unique culture and history!
Located by the Selkirk Mountains you have some amazing hiking and beautiful nature right around the corner. And with Slocan Lake right next to the town, there are endless outdoor activities you can do.
There are some great mountain bike trails and hiking trails nearby (check AllTrails for inspiration). And if you like to be out on the water you can take a paddleboard out on the lake and enjoy the views of the mountains all around you!
New Denver is a true small outdoor town in BC that’s worth checking out while exploring the Kootenays!
Note: If you’re planning on going to New Denver with a group of friends, your family, or on a business trip, consider staying at New Denver Lodge which was designed specifically for group trips.
Fun activity to do in New Denver
New Denver is an outdoor paradise so you can imagine all the different outdoor activities you can do but one of the highlights has to be the Wilson Creek Falls Trail which takes you to a stunning waterfall.
Revelstoke is a small town in southeastern BC and this might be our favourite place in the entire province! We might be biased as we lived in Revy for a few months back in 2020 but we absolutely love this town.
Revelstoke is located right along the Trans-Canada Highway right next to the Columbia River at the foot of Mount Revelstoke National Park.
With a population of around 6000 (and a few more during the winter months), Revelstoke is a thriving small town in southeastern BC with some of the best heli-skiing in the world.
We’re going to sound quite repetitive here but like most small towns in BC, Revelstoke is an outdoor paradise. It is so famous for its skiing but for us, the summer months in Revy are almost even better!
During the summer you can explore everything from climbing, kayaking, hiking (read our post about the best hikes in Revelstoke here), some incredible mountain biking, and an awesome alpine coaster.
Revelstoke has some great campsites and hotels too so it’s an awesome place to stay for a few days!
Fun activity to do in Revelstoke
A fun little activity you can do in Revy is to walk by one of the local cafes (Dose Coffee & Main Street Cafe), have a quick coffee or lunch and then make your way on the Greenbelt Path and explore the nature around Revelstoke.
You can also head over to the Revelstoke Mountain Resort and go ride The Pipe Mountain Coaster which is a whole lot of fun and a nice little adrenaline rush!
Rossland is a small town located in the West Kootenay region of South Central British Columbia.
Rossland is a beautiful mountain town in BC with a population of roughly 4000 people. The town of Rossland is quite popular because of its location and the fact that Red Mountain Resort is only a short drive from town.
The outdoor culture in Rossland is pretty big with smaller mountains surrounding the town. You’re never too far from a mountain bike trail or a hiking trail and there’s no shortage of adrenaline activities to do in Rossland!
It’s not just the outdoor activities that make Rossland one of BC’s best small towns to visit… It’s the local charm from the farmers market, the cute shops downtown, and the community that makes the stay.
Even though it’s a small town you can easily end up spending a week exploring Rossland and its surroundings.
Fun activity to do in Rossland
We love the outdoors and anything adventurous but we’re spicing it up with this one! In Rossland, you can find Rossland Beer Company and just 20 minutes away, you can find the Mountain Soul Vineyard.
Depending on whether you’re more of a wine or beer person you got your pick of where to visit. We personally would visit both! 😉
Oliver is a small BC town on the south end of the Okanagan Valley in Southern Interior BC.
The town itself has a population of roughly 5000 people and it’s the first one on this list that isn’t all about outdoor adventures and mountains.
This beautiful little town in southern BC is actually Canada’s Wine Capital! The whole Okanagan is famous in Canada for its wine but this little town is at the heart of it.
Knowing that you can imagine what the landscape and weather is like. During the summer it’s one of the warmest places in the country with an average high of 30 degrees Celsius (86 Fahrenheit).
So if you’re looking for somewhere warm in BC to explore then the Southern Okanagan is the perfect place.
There is no shortage of vineyards in the area so you definitely know where you’ll be spending some (read: most 😉) of your time during your visit.
Fun activity to do in Oliver
District Wine Village! What a surprise!! You’re in wine country in Canada’s wine capital so why not enjoy some delicious local wine?
This little “village” is home to 13 wineries, 1 brewery, 1 distillery, and 1 place to eat some yummy food. You really don’t need to go far to enjoy yourself in this town!
Merritt is another small town in BC located in the centre of the province in the Nicola Valley (Interior BC).
The town itself has a population of roughly 7000 people and is quite famous for Canadian country music!🤠 Merritt was once known as the country music capital of Canada so you got an idea of what you can expect from this little BC town.
Merritt is actually a bit like Revelstoke in the sense that if you didn’t know to stop there you’d most likely just fill up gas and continue along the highway. Especially since Merritt is somewhere near the halfway point between Kelowna and Vancouver. But that would be a mistake!
From the Merritt Walk of Stars to the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame you’ll get your chance to see Canada’s Country Music history. Along with the historic buildings in town and ranching history, you have lots of great opportunities to see what Merritt is all about!
Fun activity to do in Merritt
As we mentioned, there is a ton of country music history in Merritt but that’s impossible to miss…
One thing you could miss though if you don’t do much research is a 20-minute drive from downtown Merritt in the Monck Provincial Park: Nicola Lake.
At Nicola Lake, you can go swim, suntan, or even paddleboard! It’s probably no surprise either that there is lots of great hiking nearby.
Kimberley is another one of BC’s small ski towns. It is located in southeast BC near Cranbrook.
The town itself has a population of just over 7000 people and is most known for its skiing at Kimberley Alpine Resort.
Kimberley is another one of those small outdoor towns in BC where you can do anything imaginable when it comes to outdoor adventures.
A fun fact about Kimberley is that it actually won BC’s #1 small town in 2022!
It’s a competition the CBC runs and in 2022, Kimberley won it. There’s also a quote about Kimberley stating that it’s “easy to get to, hard to leave.”
One of the main reasons for that is the fact that Kimberley has truly transformed into a four-season destination. So there really is no bad time to stop by Kimberley as you’re travelling through BC.
There’s the historic Underground Mining Railway, Cominco Gardens, and Marysville Falls! On top of that, you have a ton of adventure spots and hikes in the area.
Kimberley has so much to offer so make sure to give yourself at least a few days at this awesome mountain resort town!
Fun activity to do in Kimberley
Something fun and different to do in Kimberley is mini-golf at the Kimberley Riverside Campground. You don’t have to be a guest to play and you can go enjoy a fun round of mini-golf for just $10!
Stewart is one of BC’s small towns located in northwestern BC. The town of Stewart has a population of roughly 500 which truly makes it one of BC’s smallest towns!
Stewart is quite unique because it’s a border town located right on the Canada/US border by Alaska right at the end of the Portland Canal.
This small town is as remote as it gets. You’re completely surrounded by nature and wildlife. It doesn’t get more off-the-beaten-path than this when thinking of places to explore in Canada.
There sure won’t be many people during your trip to Stewart as the town is very small. It may lack in people and infrastructure but it makes up for it with some of the most beautiful nature in the world.
Glaciers, mountains, fiords, and an abundance of wildlife is what you’ll come across during your trip to Stewart!
Fun activity to do in Stewart
One thing you can’t miss if you make your way all the way to Stewart is the Salmon Glacier. It’s an absolute natural wonder and something you have to see in person! Check out the image above if we haven’t convinced you yet 😉
Lumby is a small town in BC located near the edge of the Monashee Mountains in the north Okanagan region of BC.
The town of Lumby has a population of roughly 2000 people and for the longest time, it has been known as a little logging town not far from Vernon.
While it’s known as a logging town it’s still (like many of the small towns in BC we recommend) an outdoor lover’s paradise.
With the Monashee Mountains nearby there are so many hiking trails you can do (over 100 actually).
Even the campsites in the area are so beautiful. You have Mabel Lake Provincial Park nearby and just an abundance of nature and beauty all around you.
Lumby is also quite famous for hang gliding and paragliding so if an adrenaline rush is something you’re after then Lumby is the place to go!
Fun activity to do in Lumby
One of the fun activities to do in Lumby has to be hang gliding or paragliding but if you’re not after a crazy adrenaline rush you can look to explore the Monashee Mountains where you’ll find an abundance of hiking trails.
Sandon is a small town in BC located in the foothills of the Selkirk Mountains in the West Kootenay region of BC.
This ghost town is located about 14 kilometres east of New Denver so you can easily make a day trip out to this nearby ghost town and check it out.
We feel like this list of small towns in BC wouldn’t be complete without a ghost town, so here we have Sandon!
This tiny little town has a bit of history as it’s known as being a former silver mining town with a saloon and casino where the miners would meet up, drink, and most likely get in a few brawls.
You’ll definitely have some time to enjoy the historic side of Sandon along with the beautiful nature surrounding it.
Fun activity to do in Sandon
One of the main activities to do in Sandon has to be to summit Idaho Peak which overlooks New Denver, Silverton, and Rosebery!
It gives you an incredible view of Slocan Lake and the Valhalla Mountain range!
Squamish is a small town in BC located between Vancouver and Whistler on the Sea-to-Sky Highway.
The town of Squamish is no longer the small logging town it used to be but is now a popular pit stop for people on their way to Whistler from Vancouver.
With a population of roughly 20,000 Squamish is still considered a town but it’s definitely on the bigger end compared to some of the other towns on this list!
In downtown Squamish, you can find a vibrant atmosphere with cafes, restaurants, and cute shops! It’s a nice place to relax and enjoy some good food with good views before getting out and about with all the outdoor adventures you can find around town.
From some of the best mountain biking trails in Canada to bouldering right in town there’s so much fun stuff to do in Squamish.
You can easily spend a week or two enjoying Squamish and all the surrounding areas. There are some incredible hiking trails in the many provincial parks that are located near Squamish. There’s something to do for absolutely everyone!
Fun activity to do in Squamish
One of the fun things you can do in Squamish is to head to Legacy Park and play a round of disc golf in the forest between the trees! It’s a fun 18-hole course that’s free to play for the public and an awesome afternoon activity to do right in town.
Other related questions to small towns in BC
What are some small towns in British Columbia worth visiting?
There are plenty of small towns in BC that are worth visiting from small mountain towns like Kimberley, Sandon, and New Denver to other small towns rich in history like Merritt and Lumby.
Where is the cheapest place to live in BC?
In general, the smaller towns in BC are cheaper to live in than the big cities like Vancouver and Victoria.
When it comes to the cheapest places in BC you can look at towns and cities such as Castlegar, Cranbrook, and Dawson Creek.
You may also like…
- 6 of The Best Hikes to Do in Revelstoke
- 5 Gorgeous Spots for Camping in Revelstoke
- A Guide to the Stunning Greenbelt Trail in Revelstoke
Recap of the best small towns in BC
Each one of these small towns in BC are all unique in their own way. Even though BC isn’t the oldest province in Canada there’s still quite a bit of history when it comes to mining, silver, country music, and even the mountains!
All of these small towns are worth visiting while travelling through BC if you have the time!
We know it’s a huge province and there’s a good chance you won’t be able to see them all. However, we hope this list can help you plan which ones to add to your itinerary.
If you do a bit more research on each small town as places like Revelstoke, Kimberly, and Squamish you can easily spend weeks exploring all the things to do and hikes to conquer in the area.
Even though they’re some of BC’s small towns they still have an abundance of things to do.
If you have questions about travelling around BC, small towns in the province to visit, or anything else related to exploring western Canada, feel free to DM us on Instagram @redwhiteadventures or leave a comment below.
We hope this list of small BC towns gives you some inspiration for new places to visit. BC is incredible and its mountains, lakes, coastlines, and small towns give travellers so many unique places to explore!