- Museum of Anthropology (Vancouver; tel. 604/822-5087): Built to resemble a traditional longhouse, this splendid museum on the University of British Columbia campus contains one of the finest collections of Northwest Native art in the world. Step around back to visit two traditional longhouses.
- Royal British Columbia Museum (Victoria; tel. 888/447-7977): The human and natural history of coastal British Columbia is the focus of this excellent museum. Visit a frontier main street, view lifelike dioramas of coastal ecosystems, and gaze at ancient artifacts of the First Nations peoples. Outside, gaze upward at the impressive collection of totem poles.
- The Museum at Campbell River (Campbell River; tel. 250/287-3103): The highlight of this regional museum is a multimedia presentation that retells a First Nations myth using carved ceremonial masks. Afterward, explore the extensive collection of contemporary aboriginal carving, then visit a fur trapper's cabin and see tools from a pioneer-era sawmill.
- North Pacific Historic Fishing Village (Port Edward; tel. 250/628-3538): Located on the waters of Inverness Passage, this isolated salmon cannery built an entire working community of 1,200 people -- complete with homes, churches, and stores -- on boardwalks and piers. Now a national historic site, the mothballed factory is open for tours, and you can even spend a night at the old hotel.
- Fort St. James National Historic Site (Vanderhoof; tel. 250/996-7191): In summer, the rebuilt log Fort St. James trading post hums with activity, as actors play the roles of explorers, traders, and craftspeople. This open-air museum of frontier life is a replica of the first non-Native structure in British Columbia, constructed in 1806.
- Barkerville (83km/52 miles east of Quesnel; tel. 250/994-3332): Once the largest city west of Chicago and north of San Francisco -- about 100,000 people passed through during the 1860s -- the gold-rush town of Barkerville is one of the best-preserved ghost towns in Canada. Now a provincial park, it comes to life in summer, when costumed "townspeople" go about their frontier way of life amid a completely restored late-Victorian pioneer town.
- Glenbow Museum (Calgary; tel. 403/268-4100): One of Canada's finest museums, the Glenbow has fascinating displays on the Native and settlement history of the Canadian Great Plains, plus changing art shows and thematic exhibitions. The gift shop is a good place to find local crafts.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.