Trip to vancouver island.Vancouver Island’s 14 best things to do will make you want to book a trip right now

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We’re sharing the ultimate Vancouver Island road trip itinerary, including everything form surfing, hiking, the best beaches, and more in British Columbia! From deep ocean inlets to the nation’s tallest waterfall, begin to explore every corner of the Island. Places To Go. Explore Vancouver Island Travel Mindfully. Vancouver Island Tours ; · By Gray Line Westcoast Sightseeing · $ ; 93 · By Discover Canada Tours · $ ; · By Prince of.
 
 

– A Spectacular Vancouver Island Road Trip Itinerary (7 Days)

 

For a romantic sightseeing option in Victoria, few experiences offer a more charming ambience than this horse-drawn carriage….

Admire the spectacular panorama of downtown Victoria and the Strait of Juan de Fuca on this memorable half-hour minute…. Walking Tours. Explore the spooky side of downtown Victoria with this narrated nighttime ghost tour of the elegant city.

Your local guide…. This minute seaplane flight is a quick and easy way to travel from Victoria to Vancouver, and adds a little excitement…. Gain a new perspective on Vancouver with a whale-watching tour through the Gulf Islands. Going with a guide ensures you …. Travel from Victoria to Seattle on a convenient high-speed ferry that enables you to skip the hassle of renting a car or….

Private Sightseeing Tours. Tour Victoria in a fun, unique and relaxing way — by horse-drawn carriage! Your experienced, uniformed driver will navigate…. Join us as we cruise Discovery Passage to Toba Inlet where we will disembark our vessel and spend 3 hours on land viewing…. Discover the food, culture, and history of downtown Victoria on a guided walking tour. The tour is a great way for first…. Save time organizing transfers between Vancouver and Victoria by opting for this action-packed day trip with round-trip ….

Take a sea kayaking excursion in the Gulf Islands with a guided, full-day, by seaplane flight from Vancouver to Ganges Harbour…. What travelers are saying. Geoff E 2 contributions. Victoria and Butchart Gardens. The whole day from start to finish was fantastic! Senan our driver and tour guide did an amazing job throughout. He was very knowledgeable about all aspects of the trip and extended the information in an interesting and,often, humorous way. Senan was helpful, recommending places of interest in Victoria and the best way to view the gardens.

Read more. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews. Kiyoko M 3 contributions. Wonderful tour. I’ve been to Victoria, but never been to Butchart Gardens. Our tour guide, Kim, knows everything about Victoria and Butchart Gardens. Kim is such an amazing tour guide and driver. I really had a wonderful day. Thank you so much! Oliver, Canada 11 contributions. Absolutely Amazing Tour.

We booked the half day tour on the catamaran. It was just fantastic and worth every penny. To have finally had the opportunity to see these amazing animals in real life and in their natural environment was breathtaking. We spent a lot of time watching the Ta’s Killer Whales and were lucky enough to see 3 Humpbacks as well, plus Harbour Seals and Stellar and California Sea Lions, in way more than the 3. The staff were all amazing and went above and beyond to make the experience special. The information we learned was astounding.

Highly recommend this trip but a word of caution as well. It can get really cold way out on the sea so be sure to pack warm clothing so you can enjoy the open deck!

Leave your camera at home and enjoy watching the whales instead of peering through a lens, they send you a photo package with all the photos from your trip! HelenandDavehus Cardiff, UK 4 contributions. Brilliant day – one of the highlights of our two weeks in Alaska and Vancouver. It was all very good from the convenience of the travel and ferry arrangements to the time out in Victoria what a lovely city and Butchart Gardens undoubtedly the best Gardens we have ever visited.

Would highly recommend this trip to anyone visiting Vancouver. It’s quite a long day but so much to do and see that time flies and Chase, our driver, was excellent with his information and general helpfulness. Great whale watching. A great morning out.

Our captain Jordan managed to get us 3 sightings of humpbacks, which was pretty special. I suspect the seals and sea lions are predictably there, but he got us close enough for some cool photos. Catherine W Chippenham, UK contributions. Review of: Victoria Whale and Wildlife Cruise.

Superb trip. We went on this tour from Victoria. Izzy our guide was brilliant and I learnt so much about these itinerant orcas and seals,sea lions. She obviously loves what she does and studies these animals rigorously. Lori G 5 contributions. Time well spent. Our favorite trail was to Creyke Point pictured above! Here, you have quick access to famous beaches like China Beach and Mystic Beach , and the town also serves as the beginning of the Juan de Fuca Trail.

This is also where we stayed at this gorgeous rainforest cabin , and listened to the rain as we drifted to sleep. For even more surfing opportunities, rainforest trails, and even a secret waterfall, consider hiking to Sombrio Beach.

This trail will bring you to a slot canyon covered in bright green moss, perfect for those Indiana Jones discovery moments on Vancouver Island! Here you can stop in to grab a bite to eat at the exceptional Shirley Delicious restaurant and maybe even time your visit for the annual craft fairs around Christmas and springtime.

Outdoor attractions nearby Shirley include the Sheringham Point Lighthouse Park , and French Beach , where we saw plenty of winter surfers catching waves! A little bit more about Sheringham Point Lighthouse — established in , it saved numerous lives on the dangerous waves offshore this area is known a the Graveyard of the Pacific and was designated a historic site for visitors to enjoy year-round! Standing in the middle of a clear cut forest towers Big Lonely Doug, a 70 meter tall Douglas fir tree.

No one knows why this tree was spared and the others not, but it is a beautiful sight to come and see with your own eyes.

We were surprised at how truly huge this tree was, we definitely felt like tiny ants at its base! Looking to explore deep in the rainforest on Vancouver Island? Avatar Grove is located just a short drive north of Port Renfrew, and it boasts some of the largest trees in the county! Each has a series of boardwalks to weave you through the forest to explore the numerous attractions along the way. Plan to see them together to save time! Mystic Beach is one of the most popular beaches to visit in this part of Vancouver Island.

Serving as one terminus of the Juan de Fuca Trail, you will see backpackers enter here for their long kilometer journey as well as day hikers coming to watch the sunset.

The journey is just as fun as the destination! Along the way, you will find yourself walking across a suspension bridge , crossing streams, and climbing over tree roots to reach the beach. Once you arrive, turn to your left to discover the waterfall cascading over the sandstone cliffs into the ocean! This beach in British Columbia has some of the richest and most diverse tide pools in the area.

Most of them are so clear and so deep that it looks like you are peeking into a mini aquarium at your feet! We highly recommend visiting during low tide so you can experience the tide pools in their entirety. Tide pool etiquette rules are required to keep this place alive and thriving, so do your part by stepping only on bare rocks and putting things back where you found them. Finally, never turn your back to the ocean even at low tide!

Click to read the full list here! These road trip planner apps help us find everything from the fastest routes to the cheapest gas stations. We use these road trip apps all the time to make our lives a little bit easier during long road trips, and we hope you find your new favorites, too!

Want to get to know your group better? You can even download the list for offline use here! Tofino is a west coast town on Vancouver Island, known for its surf culture and relaxing ocean vibe. We think that if you spend a few days here, you can achieve everything on this list below!

Some of our favorite times of the day were spent wandering the shores of beautiful beaches in Tofino. Depending on the time of year you take your road trip on Vancouver Island, the beaches can look very different, each season with its own unique vibe! Come to Cox Bay to watch experienced surfers catch the waves.

There are so many beaches in Tofino to explore — we recommend stopping by the Tofino Visitor Centre to ask for suggestions. They can let you know which beach is best for you and your desired activities. Hot Springs Cove is a once in a lifetime adventure to a geothermal pool tucked away on the rocky shores of Vancouver Island! Plan for a full-day trip to these hot springs in BC.

Regular tours leave around am and return around pm. For more information and tricks to potentially get it all to yourself! This short but steep hike is located at the southernmost point of Cox Bay. There are hot pink trail markers wrapped around tree trunks to help guide your way if you get lost. Once at the top, enjoy expansive views of the Clayoquot Sound and the town of Tofino in the distance.

The park is split into three units, often visited separately. Permanent fixtures inside the museum are split into natural history 2nd floor and human history 3rd floor. Both focus almost exclusively on BC. More ostentatious country mansion than fortified castle, Craigdarroch, with its turrets, stained-glass windows and palatial interior, looks like it might have been teleported over from the Scottish Highlands.

Beautifully preserved by a local historical society, the interior is filled with rich period detail and notable for its spectacular wood-paneled staircase that ascends from the entry vestibule. Fringed by crashing ocean, this waterfront park is ideal for feeling the breeze in your hair — check out the windswept trees along the cliff top.

You’ll also find a gigantic totem pole, Victorian cricket pitch and a marker for Mile 0 of Hwy 1, alongside a statue of the Canadian legend Terry Fox, who ran across the country in for cancer research. If you’re here with kids, consider the popular children’s farm www. Visible across Clayoquot Sound and accessible via kayak or water taxi from the Tofino waterfront, Meares Island was the site of the key Clayoquot Sound anti-logging protest that kicked off the region’s latter-day environmental movement.

As a result, it preserves some geriatric trees including a year-old red cedar, called the ‘Hanging Garden,’ that would have been a sapling not long after the Roman Empire fell. There are two hiking trails on Meares. Don’t be put off by the unassuming concrete exterior: this is one of Vancouver Island’s best community museums. Studded with fascinating First Nations displays — plus an eclectic array of vintage exhibits ranging from bottle caps to dresses and old-school toys — it’s worth an hour of anyone’s time.

History buffs should also hop aboard the summertime Alberni Pacific Railway steam train www.

 

Trip to vancouver island –

 

You can find tons of resources, as well as many delicious restaurants to prep you for the big trail ahead. Here, you can take their many coastal trails to discover secret coves perfect for a picnic!

Our favorite trail was to Creyke Point pictured above! Here, you have quick access to famous beaches like China Beach and Mystic Beach , and the town also serves as the beginning of the Juan de Fuca Trail.

This is also where we stayed at this gorgeous rainforest cabin , and listened to the rain as we drifted to sleep. For even more surfing opportunities, rainforest trails, and even a secret waterfall, consider hiking to Sombrio Beach. This trail will bring you to a slot canyon covered in bright green moss, perfect for those Indiana Jones discovery moments on Vancouver Island!

Here you can stop in to grab a bite to eat at the exceptional Shirley Delicious restaurant and maybe even time your visit for the annual craft fairs around Christmas and springtime. Outdoor attractions nearby Shirley include the Sheringham Point Lighthouse Park , and French Beach , where we saw plenty of winter surfers catching waves! A little bit more about Sheringham Point Lighthouse — established in , it saved numerous lives on the dangerous waves offshore this area is known a the Graveyard of the Pacific and was designated a historic site for visitors to enjoy year-round!

Standing in the middle of a clear cut forest towers Big Lonely Doug, a 70 meter tall Douglas fir tree. No one knows why this tree was spared and the others not, but it is a beautiful sight to come and see with your own eyes.

We were surprised at how truly huge this tree was, we definitely felt like tiny ants at its base! Looking to explore deep in the rainforest on Vancouver Island?

Avatar Grove is located just a short drive north of Port Renfrew, and it boasts some of the largest trees in the county! Each has a series of boardwalks to weave you through the forest to explore the numerous attractions along the way. Plan to see them together to save time! Mystic Beach is one of the most popular beaches to visit in this part of Vancouver Island. Serving as one terminus of the Juan de Fuca Trail, you will see backpackers enter here for their long kilometer journey as well as day hikers coming to watch the sunset.

The journey is just as fun as the destination! Along the way, you will find yourself walking across a suspension bridge , crossing streams, and climbing over tree roots to reach the beach. Once you arrive, turn to your left to discover the waterfall cascading over the sandstone cliffs into the ocean!

This beach in British Columbia has some of the richest and most diverse tide pools in the area. Most of them are so clear and so deep that it looks like you are peeking into a mini aquarium at your feet! We highly recommend visiting during low tide so you can experience the tide pools in their entirety.

Tide pool etiquette rules are required to keep this place alive and thriving, so do your part by stepping only on bare rocks and putting things back where you found them. Finally, never turn your back to the ocean even at low tide! Click to read the full list here! These road trip planner apps help us find everything from the fastest routes to the cheapest gas stations. We use these road trip apps all the time to make our lives a little bit easier during long road trips, and we hope you find your new favorites, too!

Want to get to know your group better? You can even download the list for offline use here! Tofino is a west coast town on Vancouver Island, known for its surf culture and relaxing ocean vibe. We think that if you spend a few days here, you can achieve everything on this list below! Some of our favorite times of the day were spent wandering the shores of beautiful beaches in Tofino.

Depending on the time of year you take your road trip on Vancouver Island, the beaches can look very different, each season with its own unique vibe! Come to Cox Bay to watch experienced surfers catch the waves.

There are so many beaches in Tofino to explore — we recommend stopping by the Tofino Visitor Centre to ask for suggestions. They can let you know which beach is best for you and your desired activities. Hot Springs Cove is a once in a lifetime adventure to a geothermal pool tucked away on the rocky shores of Vancouver Island! Plan for a full-day trip to these hot springs in BC. Regular tours leave around am and return around pm.

For more information and tricks to potentially get it all to yourself! This short but steep hike is located at the southernmost point of Cox Bay. There are hot pink trail markers wrapped around tree trunks to help guide your way if you get lost. Once at the top, enjoy expansive views of the Clayoquot Sound and the town of Tofino in the distance. On a clear day, this is an incredible spot to watch the sunset!

Tofino is one of the best places to visit on Vancouver Island and to top it all off, they have some of the best restaurants, too! Some of our personal favorites included Tacofino an iconic taco food truck with outdoor seating and Rhino Coffee and Donuts. However, there are so many more restaurants in Tofino that we loved, here are just some of them below…. Campbell River is located on the north-eastern side of Vancouver Island , along the edge of the Discovery Passage waterway.

Known for its iconic Tyee fishing spots and abundant outdoor activities this is a great spot for nature lovers of all ages. Stay awhile in Campbell River for their unique local eateries like Beach Fire Brewing with crazy Tuesday experimental brews! They are also known for being close to nature, which means you can grab brunch in town and be out on the trails just a half-hour later! No matter how many days you choose to stay, Campbell River is a must-stop destination on your Vancouver Island trip!

Elk Falls provides a fun opportunity for the whole family to get outside. With just a 2-kilometer trail you can experience epic views of Elk Falls from the platforms, as well as walk across the suspension bridge to view the powerful meter drop.

Come for the short trail to the falls, or stick around longer to take an extended hike 6 kilometers farther down the river for more magical river views. Another amazing activity to do along your Vancouver Island Road Trip is to discover the many nearby waterfalls in Strathcona Provincial Park.

One of the easiest waterfalls to reach is Myra Falls, a 1-kilometer out-and-back trail with a killer view of this multi-tiered falls. Come to the two viewpoints upper and lower and explore around the rocks to discover even more places to view the falls from up close! Love chasing waterfalls?

Here are some other waterfalls on Vancouver Island to explore! This unique resort in Campbell River offers the luxury of oceanside views combined with the feeling of being tucked away in the woods. Berty and I stayed at their room called the Beach House , which is a converted studio with unobstructed views of the water, specifically over Discovery Passage. It was an incredible place to watch the sunrise , as well as feel rejuvenated and restored for a new day of adventure ahead!

In BC, all winter roads lead to Whistler , one of the largest and most comprehensive ski resorts in the world. But savvy islanders, wary of slow-moving lift lines and bulging apres-ski bars, often prefer to stick to the cheaper, less crowded runs of Mt Washington near Courtenay. Along its course it dips into sandy coves, empty beaches and thick, wind-contorted rainforest following a rough, unkempt path that utilizes boardwalks and cable cars to cross creeks and rivers.

In such a remote and unsullied region, the wildlife is legion and inclement weather is practically guaranteed, so pack accordingly. Read more: Vancouver Island’s 7 best hikes. The island is awash with totem poles, including the world’s tallest, a m ft carving depicting whales, wolves and two-headed serpents held up by taut cables.

This unique facility, whose design was inspired by a wooden longhouse, eloquently displays a vast array of repatriated Kwakwaka’wakw artifacts confiscated when potlatch ceremonies were prohibited in Canada between and The center, which has been slowly negotiating the return of pieces from museums around the world, is adorned with a growing collection of masks, carvings, totems, stories and historical anecdotes.

Comprising a three-layered slab of wafer topped with cream and icing, it combines coconut, vanilla custard, and chocolate in a rich explosion of densely packed calories. To strengthen its credentials, the city has come up with a stop Nanaimo bar trail allowing sugar-lovers to surf a raft of local restaurants and cafes and enjoy the confection in a myriad of weird manifestations from deep-fried to liquified in a cocktail.

Book a cabin for overnight excursions winter or day trips summer and wave goodbye to civilization until you reach the isolated fishing settlement of Prince Rupert just shy of the BC-Alaska border. Sailing on comfortable, medium-sized ferries equipped with good eating facilities and adorned with striking First Nations motifs, passengers get the same scenery as the big cruise ships, but at a significantly more economical price.

This magnificent wooden trestle built in once carried a railroad across a deep ravine cut by the Koksilah River. After falling into disrepair when the line ceased operation in , it was rescued by a vociferous community fundraising campaign that helped renovate and reopen the trestle to foot and two-wheeled travelers in Cute clapboard houses aside, the village is famed island-wide for its whale-watching and grizzly bear viewing.

Humpback and orca whales can be seen breaching on seasonal boat trips or more athletic guided sea-kayaking excursions. It hosts a tasting bar dispatching multi-sample flights of the fruity booze. Beyond cider, Merridale also has a micro-distillery producing gin and vodka, a patio bistro serving crusty apple pie, and posh yurts offering visitors the opportunity to glamp overnight in the adjacent orchard.

Want more of Canada’s bookish history? Here’s a coast-to-coast itinerary to get you started. Canada’s best wildlife experiences Experience First Nations traditions in British Columbia Smoking weed in Canada: how to legally toke up.

This article was first published September and updated December

 
 

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