Golf, sport fishing, skiing, paddling, bungee jumping, hiking, swimming, and whale watching are just a few of the things available in this outdoor playground. Choose from the places below, or tell us your interests and we will put together a package for you.
Comox Valley and North Central Coast
Campbell River near the Comox Valley is the “Salmon Capital of the World” for Sports-fishers.
Courtney/Comox offers great skiing at Mt. Washington Alpine Resort in the winter, and superb hiking at Strathcona Provincial Park. Farms and farmers’ markets abound in the summer.
Mount Arrowsmith, the highest on Vancouver Island, offers hiking for all levels, rock climbing, and skiing in the winter months.
Coombs or Goats on the Roof, boasts a general store with goodies from all corners of the world, edible and not, restaurants, art galleries, and shopping.
Lighthouse Country on the Oceanside route of Vancouver Island, offers fishing at Qualicum Bay, arts and crafts, golf, beaches, and the Chrome Island Lighthouse on Denman Island and the Sisters Lighthouse on Lasqueti Island (both accessible by ferry). Nearby Spider Lake is stocked with small mouth bass and rainbow trout for the anglers, and offers paddling of all kinds and warm water for swimming.
Horne Lake Caves Park offers spectacular spelunking for amateur and experienced cavers, and is considered the best in Canada. Tours range from self-guided up to guided five-hour adventures that include underground rappelling. For those disinclined to go underground, the park offers a museum and education centre and walking trails.
Nanaimo provides ferry service to Vancouver, and so much more. Here you can play and relax! Go whale watching, discover local artisans, fish or paddle, or sample the craft beers. Nanaimo has all the amenities of a city with a wilderness backdrop!
Parksville is a quiet community, with lovely beaches such as spectacular Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, resorts such as Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Resort, parks, and many family activities.
West Coast Mid Vancouver Island
Bamfield, a small, close-knit community, is only accessible by logging roads or on the M.V. Frances from Ucluelet or the Lady Rose from Port Alberni. This is unspoiled natural B.C. beauty at its best. Hiking, sport fishing, the Pachena Point Lighthouse, and abundant ocean life are all here.
Ucluelet is the place for kayaking, storm watching, cycling, spas, zip lining, fishing, golf, hiking, and marine wildlife tours.
The historic mill town of Port Alberni has interactive museums where visitors can learn about the logging industry. Hiking, wineries offering tastings, day cruises, art galleries, swimming at Sproat Lake, wind surfing, and guided back-country tours are at your fingertips.
Gorgeous Tofino, located in the UNESCO Clayoquot Sound Biosphere Region is a surfer’s paradise. Here you can storm watch (weather permitting), see old growth rainforests, partake of the unique local art and culture, stay at some of the most beautiful resorts in the world, and dine at any of the exquisite restaurants.
The small town of Gold River provides boating, sport fishing, canoeing, camping, hiking, mountain biking and golf.
Other Nearby Destinations
Denman Island is home to vineyards, farms, a vibrant arts community, forests, lakes, orchards, parks and shoreline. The island is 51 square km (19 square miles). Here you can bird watch, kayak, visit the museum, or Chrome Island Lighthouse.
Hornby Island has some of the best ocean swimming on the West Coast. Beautiful views from the bluffs show off the west coast’s natural splendour. Go kayaking, mountain biking, or hiking. For the scientifically curious, the Hornby Island Natural History Centre and the Island Stars Astronomical Observatory are excellent.
Mt. Washington Alpine Resort is open year-round. Ski in the winter on one of the biggest alpine snowfall bases in North America. Mt. Washington has 1,700 acres of terrain over 505 vertical metres. Tubing and snowshoeing are near the Alpine village. Summer time offers lift-accessed mountain biking for downhill fun, quad bungee trampolines, disc golf, scenic chairlift rides, shopping, and dining. Opening summer 2019 is Zip Tours zip line adventures.
Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, near Tofino hosts the trail head for the West Coast Trail (advance booking required), surfing, and all manner of water sports and activities. Here you can hike, cycle, and see amazing wildlife. World famous Long Beach is in this park.
Strathcona Provincial Park, the oldest park in Canada (1911), adjoins Mt. Washington, and is almost perfectly centred on Vancouver Island. This is rugged, undeveloped mountain country for the backpacker or hiker. Buttle Lake and Forbidden Plateau are the only developed visitor areas. Camping is available in the park or accommodation at the Strathcona Park Lodge.