The highlight of a visit here is Fort Langley National Historic Site, the region's most important and evocative old-school landmark.

A fortified trading post built in 1827, it's where James Douglas announced the creation of British Columbia in 1858, giving the site a legitimate claim to being the province's birthplace. With costumed re-enactors, re-created artisan workshops and a gold-panning area that's a kid-friendly must-do (they also enjoy charging around the wooden battlements), it's an ideal destination for families aiming to add a little education to their trips.

If you need an introduction before you start wading into the buildings, there's a surprisingly entertaining time-travel-themed movie presentation on offer. Also check the website before arriving: there's a wide array of interpretive events and activities that bring the past to life here, including blacksmithing workshops (book ahead).