Destinations To Explore On Vancouver Island
Posted by Tom Westley on
There is a magic to finding that perfect vacation spot — somewhere where time seems to fly by, where each day brings something new and exciting, and when the times comes to leave, you wish you could stay and enjoy more new experiences! For many of the visitors who come to our RV haven that place is Vancouver Island. And it’s easy to understand why.
Vancouver Island is the ideal destination for any traveller, with a plethora of destinations showcasing natural beauty, adrenaline-pumping activities, delicious food, culture, and more. With that in mind, here are few of our favourite destinations and experiences on Vancouver Island:
The Loop Route
If you were searching for the best way to make the most of Vancouver Island, your ideal answer would surely be to experience everything it has to offer? Well, that may not be possible without the aid of time travel. But we can suggest the next best thing — a loop route that allows you to circle the island, sampling something from a number of its premier destinations. These are just a few towns you can see along your way.
1. Victoria To Sooke
Starting your journey right here in Victoria’s capital makes this route ideal for our customers here at Salish. And it’ll leave you ample time to take in the many sights and sounds of the Sooke Regional park in between, including any one of their fantastic hiking trails.
After you arrive in Sooke itself you’ll have no shortage of sights to explore — including the geological treasures that can be found in the ancient sandstone bedrocks, as well as the coastal views offered by the Juan de Fuca Strait and the Olympic Mountains. For fishing aficionados, the Sooke River is a great catch and release spot for both coho and chinook salmon. And, once you’ve worked up an appetite you can dine at the award-winning Sooke Harbour House.
3. Port Renfrew
A hiker’s dream, Port Renfrew is the ideal spot for both day and overnight hiking thanks to the 47km Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. Not to mention the beautiful coastal beaches.
4. Lake Cowichan
As Vancouver Island’s second-largest lake no trip could be complete without a stop at Lake Cowichan. If you aren’t feeling bold enough to go for a swim there a number of ways to enjoy the lake itself such as boating or canoeing. Alternatively, you can enjoy scenic views of the surrounding area from one of the many hiking trails.
A large part of what makes Vancouver Island so special stems from the history, culture, and contributions of the different First Nations tribes that call the island home. And, your visit to Duncan will be the ideal place to learn more and appreciate these contributions.
Beaches of Tofino
Nestled away on the west lies the town of Tofino, which offers a unique and unmissable cultural and sightseeing experience. Located on the traditional land of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, the region benefits from a wealth of biodiversity. Tofino is defined by its tranquil inlets, dramatic rainforest backdrops, and its acclaimed food, arts, and cultural scenes, and of course it's beaches. With such a wide variety of beaches to choose from, we’ve had to undertake the impossible task of picking just 3 of our favourites: Chesterman Beach, Cox Bay Beach, and Mackenzie Beach.
Simply known to locals as ‘the beach’ it’s easy to see why Chesterman holds such a revered place in the hearts of Tofitians. At the north end, you can explore tidepools teeming with marine life or at the south end, you can wait for the tombolo leading to Frank Island to emerge and walk out to get a glimpse of the whole beach and the mountains behind it.
Cox Bay Beach
The home of Tofino’s surf culture, this is the ideal spot for anyone looking to catch the crest of crashing waves. If you’re looking for a quieter scene fear not — far away from surfing crowd the beach is also home to some of Vancouver Island’s most peaceful beach spots, as well as a number of acclaimed resorts.
Protected from the coastal winds by an impressive formation of tidal rocks—MacKenzie Beach is the hidden paradise of the Vancouver Island coastline. With its gentle waters, it’s become a go-to destination for families and those seeking a slower pace. And, those same waters make for an ideal spot for paddle-boarding or skimboarding.
Nanaimo - Top Things To Do
Situated on the east coast of Vancouver Island, Nanaimo offers the quintessential pacific northwest experience, with an abundance of culture, natural beauty, and recreation activities for visitors to enjoy. The focal point is the impressive Mount Benson, a favourite of photographers and hikers alike.
Nanaimo is a great spot to enjoy one of the more unique and captivating experiences Vancouver Island has to offer; the chance to see whales up close and in the wild.
It doesn’t matter if your passion is craft ales or indulging your sweet tooth — Nanaimo has a thriving artisanal food and drink scene offering a platter of tour and tasting opportunities to savour.
With a bustling mixture of culture, artisanal stores, and heritage buildings, the Krall Plaza and the Old City Quarter historical district make Nanaimo’s downtown area truly unmissable.
Nanaimo has a rich collection of national parks and areas of tremendous wonder and beauty such as the tidal lagoon at Pipers Park, the Ammonite Falls, and the Abyss fault line.
From the smallest inlets to the larger islands like Salt Springs, the Gulf Islands are an essential part of any Vancouver Island trip itinerary. A trip to these stunning places offers a chance to sample a collection of places each with their own unique character and charm. As well as a chance to take in the breathtaking beauty of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve.
The worst part of writing this article was knowing just how many amazing spots and experiences we’ve left off the list. So we can only imagine how visitors feel trying to see it all! But, that’s where the freedom of an RV holiday comes in. By visiting an RV haven such as ours, you have the ideal chance to explore the wonders of Vancouver Island on your own terms. To find out more or to book your spot, contact us today.