Kayaking around Quadra Island
Big trees. Big mountains. Big waves. Vancouver Island has it all and boasts some of the most stunning natural environments on Earth. From the towering forests of the West Coast Trail to the summer swells of Long Beach, it offers a range of super-sized outdoor adventures that you can’t find anywhere else.
The west coast of Vancouver Island, and in particular the area around Tofino and Ucluelet, is home to a string of pristine beaches that look out over the open Pacific Ocean. These long, sandy stretches are perfect for beachcombing or for just relaxing in the sand, and the ocean swells make for some of the best surfing around. Be sure to check out some of the most popular spots, including Chesterman, Cox Bay and Long beaches.
Catch the perfect wave in the west coast village of Tofino, named “Best Surf Town in North... Read more America” in Outside Magazine's 2010 Editors' Choice Awards. Step into a wetsuit and paddle out to meet the swells – this is cold-water surfing at its finest. Pacific Surf School or Surf Sister Surf School can have you geared up and catching waves in no time. After a day at the beach head to SoBo Restaurant for fish tacos and other tasty treats. Be sure to check out the Eagle Aerie Gallery featuring the artwork of acclaimed First Nations artist Roy Henry Vickers or Storm Surf Shop for funky local art and clothing.
To see the sub-alpine forests, mountain lakes and snow peaks of Vancouver Island’s interior, head for Strathcona Provincial Park, just west of Courtenay. Your base camp can be Strathcona Park Lodge, a comfortably rustic lakeside complex just outside the park. One of Canada’s leading outdoor centres, it’s just the place to get in touch with your inner adventurer. Try kayaking, ziplining, rock climbing, canoeing, orienteering and more at the lodge, or join a multi-day wilderness expedition with the lodge’s experienced guides. Tip: the lakeside cabins are great for a family or group getaway.
See the ocean’s biggest attraction at Telegraph Cove, where approximately 265 Orcas populate nearby Johnstone Strait between Vancouver Island and the mainland. In summer, Orcas (killer whales) congregate to feed on returning salmon. Whale-watching boats and kayak tours can take you from Telegraph Cove, Port McNeil and Alert Bay to see these magnificent mammals in their natural habitat. And don’t miss Telegraph Cove's Whale Interpretive Centre, set in one of the village’s historic boardwalk buildings.
Fancy seeing a whale breaching in the wild? From the Inner Harbour, head out to sea to meet some of the Orca pods residing just offshore. Choose from a fast-moving inflatable Zodiac or comfortable covered boat; either way, you’ll probably see sea lions, seals and sea birds as well as whales in nearby waters.
In Victoria, join locals for a pedal along the car-free Galloping Goose and Lochside regional trails or the Seaside Touring Route. BC’s island capital is, after all the cycling capital of Canada with more riders per capita than any other city in Canada. And no wonder: the trails are flat and easy and the landscape is delightful, with rustic trestles, farmland, lakes, forests and seashore.
Set off from the resort in a 17 foot Boston Whaler an...
Scenery by land, air and sea: getting to Vancouver Island really is half the fun! BC... Read more Ferries has three routes that offer regular service between the mainland and Vancouver Island. These comfortable ferries also serve the Gulf Islands. Travelling car-free? Pacific Coach Lines offers downtown to downtown service. From Washington State, Black Ball Ferries, Washington State Ferries, and the Victoria Clipper all sail to Victoria. Prefer to fly? Daily flights connect Vancouver, Seattle and Victoria, while frequent floatplane service links all three cities. You can even go by helicopter, with Helijet’s Vancouver to Victoria service.
The airport is situated approximately 25KM (15.5...
While the Strait of Georgia reaches out below you, majestic mountains and towering skyscrapers beckon on the horizon, Helijet's spacious helicopters fly you to your destination in som...
View all locations
Find over 6,000 restaurants, activities and accommodations in BC on your smartphone or tablet.
Enter your email address below to receive seasonal travel information from Destination British Columbia including trip ideas, great places to go and fun things to do on vacation in BC.
You may also wish to receive (check all that apply):
We value your privacy and never share your information, and you may withdraw your consent and unsubscribe at any time.