If you’re looking for the perfect day trip you can access from Vancouver that is different from the usual selection of hikes and scenic vistas, take a step back in time and visit the Britannia Mine Museum.
More than just a museum, the Britannia Mine Museum is a hub of activities for all ages and interests, and it’s less than an hour away! Located along the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway on the way to Whistler, the museum provides an authentic and unique look at British Columbia’s rich mining history.
The perfect spot for a day trip filled with family-friendly fun, there are a variety of activities and educational experiences at the National Historic Site. The distinct 20-storey Mill building, etched into the side of the mountain, is one of the last remaining gravity-fed concentrator mills in North America.
This summer, visitors can look forward to the launch of the museum’s new live-action experience, BOOM!. The multi-sensory, special-effects-filled adventure, which will have its grand opening on June 1 and 2, will bring the 1920s Mill building thundering back to life.
“The show will transport visitors back in time for an authentic, thrilling, visceral and acoustic experience, taking advantage of the sheer mass and awe of the 20-storey historical Mill building,” says Kristin Clausen, executive director of the Britannia Mine Museum.
Visitors can also enjoy a truly Canadian experience in The Underground, where you will board an underground train and ride into an authentic mining tunnel. While inside, experience live mining machinery demonstrations and discover what life for a miner was really like in the 1920s, including a taste of total darkness.
Roll up your sleeves and visit the Gold Panning Pavilion to pan for your very own gold and gems; you get to keep everything you find!
For a brief history lesson, read personal stories of Britannia residents inside the A-Z Building, or you can view the museum’s award-winning film and stunning Mineral Gallery boasting specimens from around the world inside the Visitor Centre.
Once you’re outside, explore the outdoor exhibit Foundations, where you can also take in panoramic views of water and mountains on the Howe Sound decks high above Britannia Beach, and wander around ten acres of exhibits and historic buildings.
If you’ve ever driven along the Sea-to-Sky Highway and wondered what the large building on the side of the highway is — mystery solved. The Britannia Mine Museum is the perfect place to spend a day away from Vancouver.
Address: Sea-to-Sky Highway, between Vancouver and Whistler
Phone: 604-896-2233 (dial 0)
Hours: 9 am — 5 pm, year-round (time changes according to season)