A fortified trading post since 1827, this is where James Douglas announced the creation of British Columbia (BC) in 1858, giving the site a legitimate claim to being the province's birthplace. With costumed re-enacters, re-created artisan workshops and a gold-panning area that's very popular with kids – who also enjoy charging around the wooden battlements – it's ideal for families.

If you need an introduction before you start exploring, there's a surprisingly entertaining time-travel-themed movie presentation on offer. And make sure you check the website before you arrive: there's a wide array of events that bring the past evocatively back to life, including a summertime evening campfire program that will take you right back to the pioneer days of the 1800s.