Visit Vancouver Island, prepare yourself for an experience that will not only be memorable - but unforget-table! Vancouver Island travel includes extraordinary coastlines, forests and fauna, to a people steeped in thousands of years of history, this unique part of Canada is a journey of discovery.
Vancouver Island is over 12,000 square miles in area and completely surrounded by water. Visiting Van-couver Island requires a ferry or plane ride. The capital city of British Columbia, Victoria, is located on the southern tip of the island and is a bustling urban center. While Victoria is the most populated area of the island, there are many regions north of the city that draw visitor attention from around the world. Here are a few spots that shouldn't be missed on your visit to Vancouver Island. Vancouver Island tourism includes these popular destinations:
Located on the west coast of the island, Tofino is a year round destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. During the summer months, surfers visit Tofino to ride the waves and nature lovers enjoy camping, hiking and fishing in the area. With a mild climate during the winter, people often visit Tofino just to enjoy its natural beauty, even in the cooler months. Find out more
Also on the west coast of the island, Ucluelet is a region rich in history - with records of First Nation people living and trading with explorers, dating back to 1774. Although there are year round festivals and celebrations, the Pacific Rim Whale Festival, which celebrates the return of the grey whales in March, is certainly an event not to miss on your visit to Vancouver Island. Find Out More
Port Alberni: Cathedral Grove and Coombs Market
The eclectic city of Port Alberni lies on a natural harbour and is surrounded by mountains. Many visitors to the area are awe inspired when they see Cathedral Grove, an endangered remnant of Douglas Fir trees as old as 800 years. Another popular tourist spot is Coombs Market, where visitors can't help but smile when they see the "Goats On the Roof". Primarily known as a trading center hub, this area has become a popular destination to visit on Vancouver Island because it also offers visitors incredible kayaking, along with some of the best hiking and mountain biking trails on the island. Find Out More
Parksville is known on Vancouver Island for its sandy beaches and its annual sand sculpting event "Beachfest". With accommodations ranging from camping and motels to luxury resorts, Parksville is a great place to both stay, and play! Many families visit Parksville for it's family friendly activities. Find out more
Located just North of Parksville, Qualicum has the small town charm many visitors are looking for. It's a quaint town with numerous arrays of flowers, trees, gardens and planters at each and every corner. There are many outdoor activities, on and off the water, to enjoy as well as seasonal cultural events. There are a wide range of accommodations to choose from making it a wonderful destination for a day trip or a week or two away. Many people visit Qualicum Beach and Parksville when visiting Vancouver Island. Find Out More
For decades, artists and urban dwellers seeking relaxation have been attracted to Denman Island. With beautiful scenery and quiet country roads, this small island is a welcome reprieve. Beyond Denman, is Hornby Island. This small island boasts a beautiful white sand beach and is popular with cyclists and hikers. It is accessible by BC Ferries and is a hot spot for summer tourists. Find out more
The Comox Valley is comprised of the communities of Comox, Courtenay and Cumberland, which lie on the eastern border of Vancouver Island. Famous for the landmark Comox Glacier, people also enjoy visiting the area known for its abundant agriculture, wineries, arts and craft shows and festivals like Vancouver Island MusicFest, the Filberg Festival and Comox Nautical Days. Find Out More
The eastern border of Vancouver Island is also home Campbell River, known as “the salmon capital of the world”. Anglers from far and wide come to sport fish the area, and tourists often enjoy whale watching and wildlife viewing from the waterfront or on board tour operated boats. Ferries to Quadra Island depart from Campbell River. Find out more
Boasting one of Canada’s deepest snowfall averages (approximately 10 meters/year), the alpine ski resort of Mount Washington, located on the eastern side of the island, is a skier’s paradise. Drawing crowds from near and far, this ski resort offers a great day for anyone, from beginner to advanced. During summer months, ski lifts are operational for tourists to enjoy spectacular views. Find out more
Strathcona Park is located almost in the center of Vancouver Island, and is unmatched in its beauty and splendor. With mountains, lakes, forest and streams, this is truly a wonderful place for anyone who enjoys being at one with nature. Hiking, biking, canoeing and camping are all very popular activities that bring people to this park year after year.
Port McNeil services the northern areas of the island, and has become popular spot with tourists as a great place for wildlife viewing of black bear, deer and cougar. As home to many First Nation peoples, this area is rich in culturally significant artwork and crafts, as well as landmarks. Nearby Telegraph Cove, with its colorful buildings, is a favorite destination for hikers, whale watchers, anglers and campers during the summer months. Ferries to Telegraph Cove and the island of Sointula are available from Port McNeil.
Whether you are seeking a destination for outdoor adventure, to learn about the fascinating history and long lived traditions of the aboriginal peoples, to spend time exploring local arts and crafts, or to just relax and unwind on the beach – visit Vancouver Island. It has it all. With an incredibly diverse landscape, a people with a warm sense of hospitality and a wide array of places to dine, stay, play and relax, it is a part of Canada that is truly worth the trip!