Canada day vancouver island 2048 xcelerate driving
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Continue along the highway over the Malahat , stopping at roadside pullouts — sweeping vistas at the Malahat Summit are spectacular. Beyond the Malahat lies the Cowichan Valley. For those who have flown in to the island but still want the ferry experience, rent a car in Victoria and head out to Brentwood Bay on the Saanich Peninsula.
This scenic and relaxing cruise takes just 25 minutes and gives one a delightful alternative to traveling by land. Or from Mill Bay, you can continue north up the island or return over the Malahat to Victoria. North of Duncan, visit Crofton , a forestry town renowned for saltwater fishing. The next stop is Chemainus. Now, almost half a million visitors a year come to view the murals and enjoy the other services that have sprung up. From Chemainus, take a ferry trip to Thetis Island — go hiking, fishing, swimming, cruising or kayaking.
A little farther north, visit the pretty little town of Ladysmith and Transfer Beach Park. From Ladysmith, you have four options.
Second, you can drive straight back to Victoria on Highway 1. Third, you can continue north on Highway 1 to Nanaimo where you can take a ferry or plane back to Vancouver. Famous for its varied landscapes and more than two dozen parks, this city possesses one of the most beautiful waterfronts in Canada.
From Nanaimo, a twenty-minute ferry ride takes you to Gabriola Island, where forested parks, quiet beaches, sensational ocean views and amazing sandstone formations await you. Alternatively, take the foot passenger ferry to Newcastle Island , a nature reserve with sandstone cliffs, forests, beaches, caves, caverns and prehistoric native middens. Boasting spectacular sandy beaches, coastal mountain vistas, and lush temperate forests, Oceanside incorporates the holiday communities of Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Nanoose Bay, French Creek, Arrowsmith Coombs Country, and Lighthouse Country.
With no less than seven provincial parks located within a thirty-minute drive, Oceanside provides a host of outdoor recreational activities, including hiking, camping, caving and golfing.
Bordered to the east by the Strait of Georgia, Oceanside also offers every watersport imaginable, including sport fishing, canoeing, sea kayaking, diving, beachcombing, sailing, and windsurfing. Discover for yourself why so many people return again and again to this central Vancouver Island getaway. Bordered by ocean and sheltered by mountains, Parksville is a very popular destination for summer family vacations.
Mild winters allow the leisurely exploration of tidal sand flats, coastal wildlife viewing and invigorating golf year-round. The central location of Parksville makes this oceanside playground a convenient base from which to enjoy all your vacation activities on Vancouver Island.
Like its close neighbour, Parksville, Qualicum Beach is steeped in quaint British heritage. Famous for its local arts, crafts and beautiful English gardens, modern day Qualicum Beach offers visitors the same gentle countryside and golden, seemingly endless, sandy beaches.
Pause here at any of the numerous beachside pullouts and smell the salt air intermingled with the perfume from the many private and public floral displays. The rural community of Nanoose Bay is a vacation paradise and hot spot for golfers, clam diggers and water sport enthusiasts. Nanoose Bay enjoys a country atmosphere while being close to the city amenities of Parksville and Nanaimo. Located just north of Nanoose Bay, Rathtrevor Beach is one of the most popular seaside campgrounds on the Strait.
The bustling marine community of French Creek is located beside the open water of the Strait of Georgia. French Creek Marina offers sheltered moorage and yachting amenities for sailboats and pleasure craft. This post may contain affiliate links, vetted and chosen by yours truly! Vancouver Island is located in British Columbia, Canada. British Columbia sits on the west coast of Canada, and Vancouver Island is the largest island in that province. With 12, square miles to explore, it would take you 7 hours in the car to drive from end to end.
Planning our Vancouver Island road trip, we naively thought we could see the entire thing in a mere two weeks. Oh, how wrong we were! To give Vancouver Island the time and exploration it deserves, one would need to spend at least a month on BC or come back for repeat trips to see different parts of the island. The best way to travel around Vancouver Island is by car. Since this post is a road trip itinerary, we recommend bringing or renting!
Here are a few of our favorite options for getting around Vancouver Island:. There are so many amazing campsites on Vancouver Island, some even right next to the ocean! Our favorite way to rent recreational vehicles is from Outdoorsy. Renting a converted van would mean you have the freeing mobility to be cooking breakfast under a forested canopy in the morning, and watching the sunset through your open doors after a long surf session by evening!
Another really great option for traveling around Vancouver Island would be with a regular-sized car. One large enough to carry your gear, of course, but this gives you options to easily fit in hotel parking lots, down small roads, and still have the option of car camping, too! If you are traveling to Vancouver Island during the busy season May — September we recommend reserving your ferry spots at the BC ferries website.
If you are traveling to Vancouver Island in the off-season, there is likely to be a spot on the ferry, and you can pay for your ticket upon arrival. The changing seasons bring a variety of awesome activities, and it all depends on what you want to include in your one-week Vancouver Island itinerary.
So how should you break down the days on your 1-week Vancouver road trip itinerary? Your Vancouver Island Road Trip route is going to begin on a ferry. As explained above, there are several ways to get here, but Berty and I chose to take the Black Ball Ferry Line from Port Angeles, Washington, which docks you right in the heart of downtown Victoria.
The ferry ride was an adventure all its own! Berty and I wanted to make this one of the first stops on our Vancouver Island road trip because we wanted to gain a deeper appreciation for the land before we discovered any further. Each one shares a unique story about British Columbia and what makes this area special. Keep returning to this post, because when we make a return trip to Vancouver Island and we want to very soon! To continue your Vancouver Island road trip, grab some coffee at a local roaster in Victoria and hit the road driving to the west coast of the island.
Today will include places like Sooke with amazing cliffside views and trails , Jordan River lush rainforest hikes , and delicious small town treats! Sooke is an adventurous town, just 30 minutes west of Victoria, BC. Many come here to enjoy the surrounding nature, which includes the popular Whiffin Spit Park popular for bird watching and the Sooke Potholes. Sooke is the perfect base to get prepped before your big backpacking trip. 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?
Both trails are not very long and are easy to walk, so take your time and hike both. Like the hole in the wall, a natural attraction outside of Port Alberni.
This short trail, only metres off the highway leads you to a human-made hole in the rock that was taken back by nature, becoming a waterfall. This pull-off from the highway. Fair warning, the Pacific Rim Highway is not for the faint of heart. After clearing Sproat Lake, the rest of the journey follows the twists and turns of the Kennedy River valley for 42 kilometres.
And while the scenery is gorgeous, you need to keep your eyes on the road to watch for falling rocks, tight turns and sections of the mountains that jut over the highway. Falling asleep in the dark, with the stars above me, listening to the sound of the waves beat against the rocky beach was one hell of an experience. Wya Point Resort is located just south of the fork — also known as The Junction.
Each yurt has a perfect view of the beach and the Pacific Ocean both inside and out on the private deck. Yurts come equipped with a comfortable bed, bedding, a kitchenette really just a wash station and dishes , a gas fireplace, and a small generator to run the lights. There are no washroom facilities in the yurt, but a common facility with bathrooms and showers is nearby. I was unbelievably impressed with Wya Resort.
I still dream about how quiet the night was, except for the sound of the ocean with that feeling of being in the middle of nowhere and at peace. I stayed at Wya Resort for the duration of my stay in the Tofino area.
I used it as my jumping-off point for all the other adventures! Quite literally, you are on the western coast of Vancouver Island with nothing but ocean in front of you.
It protects over square kilometres of forest, beach and ocean on Vancouver Island. With activities like hiking and surfing, it is an excellent place for adventure seekers. The most popular and most easily accessible unit is Long Beach. Take your pick. Enjoy the surfers play in the waves, look for starfish and other underwater creatures in the tide pools, spot eagles flying gracefully overhead as the wind whips around you.
There are a ton of hiking options in Pacific Rim National Park. The trail consists of two 2km loops on either side of the highway. Each loop takes you through moss-covered boardwalks, up and downstairs, over and under giant trees. It is absolutely breathtaking, and a moment of reflection will reveal how small we are in the world. This is where Live to Surf, the original Tofino surf shop, started back in the 80s.
Make sure to check out Tacofino Cantina — the original Tacofino, which sparked a delicious taco movement into Vancouver. Honestly, the best goddamn fish and chips I have ever tasted in my life. Surfing in the Pacific Ocean requires a full-body wetsuit, boots and gloves.
But how exhilarating! One of the most amazing adventures I had on my Vancouver Island road trip was a beginner surfing lesson I had in Tofino. I had never surfed before, so why not throw myself into the rough, cold waters of the Pacific Ocean in Tofino? The ocean here is not one to mess around with. There was a high wind warning for the area, making the waves extra powerful, but everyone at the surf shop was chill about it, so I let myself relax.
There are so many surf shops in Tofino that you can have your pick with which one will fit you best. After researching thoroughly, I chose Surf Sister for my first time surfing adventure. She wanted to have a shop that helped female surfers make their mark in Tofino. And get this — she succeeded. Surf Sister is a popular shop in Tofino, and their instructors are absolutely incredible and specialize in making a comfortable environment for beginners.
I see why people love it here. Tofino is a small coastal town at the western edge of Vancouver Island. While the trek to the Tonquin Beach is only metres, the whole loop is 3km of boardwalk and gravel trail. The island is only accessible by a Once you get off on the dock, the Hot Springs Cove is located at the end of a 2km boardwalk hike that includes quite a few stairs. Victoria is a gorgeous city, aptly named the Garden City, and is an excellent stop for a Vancouver Island road trip.
The trek to Victoria from Tofino takes just over four hours since you have to drive all the way back to Nanaimo before heading south. There are many places you could stop along the way, but I suggest straight-shooting it all the way there to give yourself as much time in Victoria as you can.
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