Historic & Heritage Sites
Heritage buildings (Picture BC photo)
From Aboriginal cultural centres to maritime museums, Vancouver Island’s rich past is reflected in its historic and heritage sites.
Aboriginal people have lived on Vancouver Island for centuries; learn about their culture and traditions at sites like the U’mista Cultural Centre in Alert Bay or the Quw’utsun’ Cultural Centre in Duncan.
European settlement didn’t begin here until the early 18th century, but that history is manifested today in stately architectural monuments, such as the Fairmont Empress Hotel, Craigdarroch Castle, the BC Parliament Buildings and the Bastion in Nanaimo.
Other sites on Vancouver Island celebrate the region’s rich natural resources. Fishing, forestry, and logging are industries that helped build this island and are featured at the McLean Mill in Port Alberni and the Marine Heritage Centre in Campbell River.
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19 Historic & Heritage Sites in Vancouver Island
11 - 19 of 19 Results
28 Bastion Square
Victoria, British Columbia
Explore British Columbia's rich maritime history through themed galleries where you will learn about explorers, fur traders and pirates. Discover the adventure of whaling and seal hunting and relive an era of graceful travel aboard Canadian Pacific ocean liners. A family friendly Museum, children can pick up their scavenger hunt and discover hidden treasures through this 20,000 square foot museum.
Visitors can also feel the history of the building in the restored Vice-Admiralty Courtroom where Judge Matthew Baillie Begbie once presided as Chief Justice of BC and take a ride in the ornate birdcage elevator.
Want a more personalized visit? Check out our tour schedule for public tours available on a variety of topics or host your event at the Maritime.
2179 W Island Hwy
Qualicum Beach, British Columbia
Escape back in time & experience a retreat once reserved for Royalty.
Discover Milner Gardens, a one-of-a kind woodland estate & gardens nestled in the peace that only an old-growth forest can provide; an oasis that rejuvenates the soul. Stroll the winding pathways and magical surroundings of an ancient coastal Douglas fir forest. Find peace & tranquility as you meander through the woodland gardens lined with rhododendrons, cyclamen & trilliums. Indulge in afternoon tea in the historic house overlooking the Strait of Georgia. Please visit our website for listings of special events.
Based In Heriot Bay
Quadra Island, British Columbia
Join us for the exhilarating & unforgettable mothership adventure of your dreams. Extraordinary wildlife viewing, breathtaking landscapes & warm, hospitable crew combine to thoroughly satisfy & delight every guest. We offer a variety of sea kayak tours where we paddle each day & return to the mothership each night. Accompanied by qualified naturalists, we explore the remote wilderness areas of coastal British Columbia, kayak through glacial fed waters, amongst lushly forested islands dotted with ancient First Nations village sites & observe numerous species of wildlife including orca killer whales, dolphins, harbour seals, black bears, grizzly bears, bald eagles & deer.
470 Island Hwy
Campbell River, British Columbia
Rated tenth in the country by Trip Advisor, the Museum at Campbell River on Vancouver Island is often called "a gem of a place". Located conveniently on the Island Highway, the Museum houses a fine collection of permanent exhibits that represent the unique culture & history of Northern Vancouver Island. Highlights include First Nations carvings & artifacts, the history of the logging & salmon fishing industries & interactive exhibits like a touch screen kiosk that especially intrigue young visitors. While you are here, be sure to watch our film about the famous Ripple Rock explosion & explore the Museum Gift Shop for local books & unique Northwest Coast art.
Commercial Street & 100 Museum Way
Nanaimo, British Columbia
Discover our fascinating history & modern day contributions to Canada's West Coast in our 1,486 sq m (16,000 sq ft) museum located in the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. Stroll through time in our main gallery to get a sense of what life was like for Nanaimo's earliest settlers & hear stories of the Snuneymuxw First Nation. Feel what it was like below the surface in our new replica Coal Mine exhibit. The museum also manages the Bastion, an original Hudson's Bay Company outpost built in 1853. Don't miss the cannon firing at noon daily in the summer.
34 Weway Rd
Quathiaski Cove, British Columbia
The majestic backdrop of Discovery Passage frames the Village of Cape Mudge on Quadra Island, home to Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre. Established in 1979, Nuyumbalees was the first museum of its kind in Canada, designed specifically to house the Sacred Potlatch Collection. This unique grouping of masks, ceremonial items and regalia was repatriated from the federal government.
Visitors can view over 250 items removed during the Anti-Potlatch era (1884-1951), as well as stone tools displays, pre-contact basketry, and historic Totem and Welcome Poles located in our Carving Shed. At the Ah Wah Qwa Dzas guests will see several petroglyph, more than 2500 years old. Traditional Salmon BBQ dinner & dance performances held May - Sept (reservations are required).
Gift Shop and Tours are available throughout the year.
675 Belleville St
Victoria, British Columbia
See all of BC at the Royal BC Museum. Experience galleries & immerse yourself in the tales of where we've been & where we are going. Discover things & people you never knew before. Experience authentic artifacts in highly realistic immersive settings - from Woolly Mammoth in his rocky, icy world; to a trip on the tar-scented HMS Discovery. Stroll through Old Town's wood-cobbled street, enjoy its shops, cinema & railway station.
4196 Glanford Ave
Victoria, British Columbia
Experience Victoria aboard one of our authentic British Double Deckers! Sightseeing Victoria tours are designed to allow you the flexibility of exploring the many points of interest Victoria has to offer. Our experienced driver-guides promise a personal, informative, and entertaining experience.
We offer Double Decker Hop-On Hop-Off tours hourly (evenings thurs/fri/sat only) and an express coach to the Butchart and Buttefly Gardens, every two hours.
A unique Aboriginal Cultural experience. One of the most unique trips in Tofino!
Dug-out Canoe Tours: Join your Nuu-chah-nulth guide and paddle a hand crafted dug out cedar canoe. Learn about local aboriginal culture and history. Walk along 1000 year old red cedars on the Big Tree Trail on Meares Island.
Paddle board Tours and Lessons: Try stand up paddle boarding and explore the ecology in the little known Tofino Inlet, a calm and relaxing place to paddle right in Tofino.
If it's your first time paddle boarding or you looking to explore new areas of Tofino, our guides provide instruction and cater paddle board tours to your abilities.