Campbell River is a coastal city in British Columbia, nestled on the east coast of Vancouver Island, at the south end of the Discovery Passage. "The Salmon capital of the world" enjoys a stellar reputation amongst the anglers, who flock here year after year, in pursuit of the picturesque scenery, majestic serenity, unruffled tranquility, and the promise of reeling in all the five species of the Pacific Salmon.
Getting to Campbell River
Campbell River is served by the Campbell River airport (YBL), the Comox Valley Airport (YQQ), Campbell River Water Aerodrome at Campbell River Harbor, an ocean side island highway and an inland island highway, which connect the city to the rest of Vancouver Island
History and Climate
The history of Campbell River is one of discovery, exploration, pioneering, extreme fortitude, independence, and entrepreneurship. Long before the arrival of Europeans, the first settlers in the area were members of the Island Comox and akin to the Coast Salish people. They were preceded by the Kwakwaka'wakw (Kwak'wala-speaking) people of the Wakashan culture, who voyaged south from the area of Fort Rupert.
In the early 1500's, the first European, Sir Francis Drake, arrived just south of Campbell River, and by 1880's, the European travelers had seriously set up shop in the region. It is said that Campbell River was named for the Irish doctor, Samuel Campbell, who was stationed on the British survey vessel HMS Plumper in 1860. The Campbell area was restored after 1911, and became a supply point for northern Vancouver Island, Cortes Island, and Quadra Island. Logging and mining in the area prospered, and commercial fishing became its staple.
The city of Campbell River enjoys a moderate climate and thousands of travelers sprint to the destination annually to revel in the moderate temperatures. Summer time marks the most active tourist season but winter lows can hover around the freezing mark.
Things to Do In Campbell River
Fishing is the life blood of the city and sport fishing in Campbell River, where the salmon congregate en masse, enchants all of the diehard rod-and-steel aficionados. You can fish off the public pier downtown, stand alongside the anglers at the shores, or reel in the big catch with the help of professionals onboard fishing charters. Adventure tour companies can usher in the region's grizzly bears, orcas, and marine life in to camera range on wildlife viewing excursions in fall, spring and summer. Whether knee-deep in the Campbell, out at the raging sea, or trolling a glassy fresh water lake, Campbell River is the Mecca of avid fishers.
If you are a visiting boater, you can utilize moorage in the Discovery Harbor Marina
near the mouth of the Campbell River. Sailors can bunk down at the Coast Discovery Inn and tie up at the hotel's own marina. If you aspire to bird watch, you can visit the Mitlenatch Island, a rain-shadow-protected abode to the most staggering seabird colony on British Columbia's West coast.
Kayaking and Scuba Diving
There's nothing quite like a saltwater kayak for delving in to remote mesmerizing islands and uninhibited coves. Similarly, Campbell River is a mere minutes away from some of the world's most glorious diving sites. Beneath the steep underwater channel, you would stumble across a breathtaking array of vibrant and fascinating sea life, including sponges, anemones, corals and a plethora of fish - as well as pacific giant pacific octopus, salmon, seals, wolf eels, orca, and sea lions. When underwater, you can also behold the 110 meter long HMCS Columbia, a decommissioned navy ship that was sunk as a diving attraction in 1996.
The canyon view trail in the Elk falls provincial parks, and a trail culminating at the Quinsam Salmon Hatchery Park
, are the most popular hiking routes. Golfers can stroll along the nicely groomed Sequoia Springs layout, or the lushly forested 18-hole
Golf club. Similarly, Strathcona Provincial park
is the oldest provincial park in BC and incorporates untamed wilderness, the awe inspiring Buttle Lake and the looming Forbidden Plateau.
Innumerable salmon return each year to the Campbell River system to spawn. This exclusive and daring excursion would take you on a 2 km stretch for a rendezvous with five species of salmon.
Accommodation and Dining
RV parks, luxurious beachside resorts, motels, and exquisite hotels line the Highway 19A (the Oceanside Route) from Oyster River north through town. You can also come across bed and breakfasts and motels in Campbell River. The most high-end spot in Campbell River is the lodge and fishing resort, housing an eclectic blend of oceanfront cabins, hotel suites, and full-service packages for fishing aficionados.
The city boasts an equally abundant array of choices when it comes to tempting the appetite. From indulging in surf and turf platters in an opulent pub or restaurant, to munching on finger licking fish and chips served dockside in a marina, the Campbell River dining scene caters to all gastronomic predispositions. Perhaps, the best seafood restaurant in the area is the casual wharf side eatery, Patti Finn's Seafood, which offers scrumptious local prawns, crabs, oysters, and grilled fish!
With mesmerizing coastal vistas, gourmet food, adventurous sporting activities, and year round activities, Campbell River should be your next vacation destination!