With a population of no more than 2,700 inhabitants, Port McNeill is a small town that is located in the scenic region of Northern Vancouver Island, British Columbia in Canada. As a result, you can have the experience of a lifetime by visiting the heart of one of the country's most prestigious natural environ-ments. Here, you will instantly feel welcomed by the area's close-knit, friendly community and will feel overwhelmed with its wide range of things to do and places to see.
Getting to Port McNeill
You can reach Port McNeill through various modes of transportation.
By car, Port McNeil is about six hours driving distance from Victoria or four hours from Nanaimo. From Vancouver, take the BC Ferry either from Horseshoe Bay or Tsawwassen to Nanaimo and then head North.
Alternatively, you can catch a bus that departs at 5:30 am from Vancouver and will reach the town by 3 pm.
To reach Port McNeill by sea, be sure to take the BC Ferry either from Horseshoe Bay or Tsawwassen to Nanaimo. It will take four and a half hours by car once you exit the ferry.
Travelling by air, you can fly from Vancouver and Calgary with Air Canada or WestJet into the Comox Valley Airport and then take a three hour drive north. There is also a small airport in Port Hardy that offers flights from Vancouver with Pacific Coastal Airlines. From there, it is about a 30 minute drive to Port McNeil.
History and Climate
Port McNeill is a location rich in history and traditions. Its historical origins go all the way back to the Kwakwaka'wakw people, who inhabited the region nearly 9,000 years ago and to whom Port McNeill owes its spectacular cultural heritages and historical legacy. As for more recent records, the small town of Port McNeill first came into the spotlight with the arrival of loggers during the 1930s.
After approximately 30 years, the first signs of a bustling economy began to take shape due to the growth in population and the relocation of businesses to the region. The very name McNeill was cho-sen to pay tribute to Henry McNeill, who was the captain of the SS Beaver ship, belonging to the Hud-son Bay Company.
The climate of the port is somewhat tropical. Temperatures are generally warm and sunny and a con-siderable amount of rainfall is the norm, even in dry months. The average yearly rainfall amount is ap-proximately 1750 mm, whereas the average yearly temperature is roughly 8 degrees Celsius.
Port McNeill Activities
One of the many activities that you can enjoy with your time at Port McNeill is hiking. There is plenty of variety in terms of hiking trails. Whether you are interested in testing your endurance or are thinking about trying hiking for the very first time, you can head to the Cape Scott Trail, located in the Cape Scott Provincial Park. Hiking at this epicenter of picturesque surroundings can make for a very reward-ing experience.
If you are more of a water person, you can always enjoy getting your feet wet at one of many lakes, rivers, and coastlines. Some of the various activities you can enjoy include fishing, swimming, diving, paddling, canoeing, surfing, whale watching, and many more. Be sure to head to the Visitor Centre to ask for water locations to suit your interests.
You can also go for one of the many boat tours or cruises to enjoy the amazing natural vistas and re-member to take plenty of pictures and record videos as you sail through the captivating sights.
Don't feel like getting an adrenaline rush and want something calm and soothing? Not to worry; you can always go on various sightseeing tours to get a taste of the town's community spirit and culture. There are various tours that you can choose from including cultural tours, wildlife tours, culinary tours, and more.
Port McNeill Accommodation and Dining
Port McNeill is not short of comfortable accommodation facilities to suit your travel requirements. The 4-star Black Bear Resort Hotel, for instance, consists of state-of-the-art hotel amenities and facilities, such as a sauna and swimming pool, which have been designed with your comfort in mind. Other fa-mous resorts and hotels that you can choose from include the Nimmo Bay Resort, Hidden Cove Lodge, and Haida Way Motor Inn.
You can also expect to find a range of quality dining options in Port McNeill. Mexican, Greek, and fast-food options are readily available. Be sure to visit the Harbour Sushi in Dalewood Hotel to experience the best of Japanese cuisine.
If you have a soft spot for seafood, you can visit the captivating Northern Lights restaurant. Here, you can get the best seafood specialties including shrimps, halibut, sea asparagus, and bay scallops.