The largest island off North America’s Pacific Coast can be found just off the coast of Vancouver Island, Canada. An endless variety of activities, ranging from hiking and camping to whale watching and surfing, may be found in areas with old-growth woods, gorgeous craggy shorelines, and beaches.
Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, is home to various cultural sites, as well as a vibrant nightlife, food scene, and shopping scene.
Some of the best spots to visit on Vancouver Island include the island’s little villages, where you’ll find a slower pace of life, and remote lodges in the rainforest, where you can relax and soak up nature. Little towns are also some of the best places to eat on the island.
Best Places to Visit on Vancouver Island
If you are thinking about taking a vacation to the west coast of Canada, you should make sure that you leave some room in your schedule to visit Vancouver Island. You won’t be sorry you did. Continue reading to learn about the top tourist destinations on the island.
1. Visit in Victoria, Vancouver Island
Victoria, which serves as the principal entry point to Vancouver Island, is where the vast majority of tourists will start their trip, and it is an excellent beginning point.
The capital of British Columbia is one of the most beautiful cities in all of Canada, situated as it is with a view of the mountains on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, which are visible across the Juan de Fuca Strait.
The picturesque Inner Harbour is the location of a great deal, as well as a significant number of the sights and attractions that visitors come to see.
Overlooking Victoria’s Inner Harbour lies the historic Fairmont Empress, which is considered to be one of the city’s hallmark structures. Since its opening in 1908, this hotel has been honored to play host to members of visiting royal families.
2. Have Fun on Your Vacation in Tofino
The quaint community of Tofino is the crowning glory of the western coast of Vancouver Island. This tiny fishing community on Vancouver Island is a popular tourist attraction, yet it doesn’t feel overly crowded very often.
It has a view of Claoquot Sound and a seemingly endless stretch of old-growth forest and beaches on all sides. In addition to this, it is well-known for being Canada’s premier surfing location, and visitors come here to ride waves throughout the entire year.
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Storm watching from November to February, when massive waves come in off the Pacific Ocean, is another reason many choose to visit Tofino in the quieter off-season months. This is a popular activity for those who do not participate in surfing.
3. Pacific Rim National Park and Long Beach are Wonderful Places to Take a Hike, Go Surfing, or Just Relax
Between Tofino and Ucluelet, there is a section of the shoreline that is protected as part of Pacific Rim National Park. The wild and untamed beauty of Vancouver Island’s natural landscape is on full display along the island’s shoreline, which is comprised of beaches and rocky headlands as well as a rainforest full of ancient cedars.
All along the coastline of Pacific Rim National Park can be found large stretches of beaches with fine sand. People flock to Long Beach’s enormous stretch of sand to walk, go beachcombing, surf the big waves, or simply take in a sunset.
Long Beach is 16 kilometers long and has a length of 16 kilometers. Off the coast of the island, whales are occasionally sighted, particularly in the spring and fall months.
4. Take a tour of Butchart Gardens
One of the most exciting things to do on Vancouver Island is a trip to the Butchart Gardens, especially for those who have a passion for gardening.
These wonderful gardens, which are located just outside of Victoria in an ancient quarry, provide visitors the chance to enter a tranquil natural setting with flowers, trees, pathways, and places to sit and rest throughout the entire year.
5. Visit the Old Country Market in Coombs to view the Goats on the Roof
The Old Country Market, which is located on Vancouver Island and has been a tourist destination for a very long time, is one of the most unusual and long-standing attractions on the island. It even has resident goats living on the roof.
Goats have been photographed contentedly munching away on the sod roof for more than 30 years, during which time they have cheerfully posed for photographs. Although you can only see the goats during the summer, this is a very popular tourist destination all year round.
6. Murals on the Chemainus Walls
The town of Chemainus, which is located about an hour’s drive north of Victoria, is well-known for the murals that are larger-than-life size and paint the sides of buildings around the town.
Each of the well-known painters’ paintings depicts a significant event in the city’s history. Visitors follow a trail to the murals, which are accessible by a walking path.
This is a very popular tourist destination in the area, but the Chemainus Theatre and the Chemainus Theatre Festival are also worth checking out because they feature performances by artists from all over the province as well as Canada.
7. An Epic Adventure Awaits You If You Hike the West Coast Trail
One of the best-known hiking paths in Canada is the West Coast Trail, which spans over 76 kilometers in length. A hike that should be done at least once in a lifetime despite its dangerous conditions and breathtaking coastal landscape.
Sailors referred to the stormy coast of Canada’s Pacific Ocean as the “graveyard of the Pacific” up until the beginning of this century.
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This region is noted for its deceptively shallow waters and rocky headlands. Storms and fog were responsible for the loss of a huge number of ships.
8. Ucluelet’s Wild Pacific Trail offers some of the best views in the area
Spending some time on the Wild Pacific Trail in Ucluelet is a wonderful way to view some of the most stunning scenery on Vancouver Island without having to endure the terrible struggle of hiking the West Coast Trail.
This trail is located in Ucluelet. This path network provides convenient access to stunning coastal regions, many of which offer breathtaking panoramas of Barkley Sound and the Broken Group Islands.
9. Learn More About the Clayoquot Sound
On the western side of Vancouver Island is an uninhabited region known as Clayoquot Sound. The majority of it is located near Tofino and features breathtakingly deep fiords, an infinite number of little islands, and one of the few remaining patches of temperate rainforest. It has received the Biosphere Reserve designation from UNESCO.
The decision of the provincial government to authorize the clearing of half of the remaining 3,500 square kilometers of unspoiled wilderness was met with considerable opposition and demonstrations, which resulted in the protection of this unique location.
10. Mount Washington Alpine Ski Resort is the place to go for a day of skiing
Mount Washington Alpine Ski Resort Mount Washington is the most well-known ski resort on Vancouver Island for families and offers activities throughout the entire year.
During the winter months, the mountain is home to a number of different ski routes in addition to a terrain park. From the bottom to the summit of the mountain, the resort has an elevation difference of more than 500 meters.
There are also options for tobogganing, tubing, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing, among other winter sports. During the summer months, guests have the opportunity to enjoy alpine hiking either on the trails at the base of Mount Washington or by taking the Scenic Chairlift Ride to the peak of the mountain.
If you take a vacation to Canada, you will be able to see breathtaking sandy beaches as well as historic rainforests with tall cedar trees. Some of Canada’s largest all-natural ski resorts are located along a mountain range that runs from north to south across the island.
In addition to glaciers and waterfalls, this area is home to some of the world’s most beautiful places. There is a taste of almost every Canadian tradition imaginable right here.
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