A group of friends walking on a bridge (Patrice Halley photo)
On Vancouver Island, there are parks and viewpoints, famous gardens and historic lighthouses, arbutus trees and rocky coastlines.
Gaze up at huge 800-year-old Douglas fir trees in Cathedral Grove or see Orcas and sea lions on whale-watching tour. The Pacific Ocean provides lots of opportunities for beachcombing, surfing, and winter storm watching.
Come face-to-fin with a wolf eel at the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre in Sidney, or listen to guides share stories about the Cowichan First Nations at Quw'utsun' Cultural Centre near Duncan.
Be sure to taste local delights: the island's mild weather and fertile soil supports a huge variety of farms, wineries and cideries.
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15 Attractions in Vancouver Island
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Great Bear Nature Tours
Port Hardy, British Columbia
Journey to the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest to view and photograph grizzly bears. The floating Great Bear Lodge, with a maximum of 16 guests, is the perfect place to enjoy the wildlife & wilderness of British Columbia. Upgraded in 2014, the new lodge uses locally sourced woods and large windows looking onto the forest and fjord. Experienced biologists lead the twice-daily bear-viewing sessions and activities such as interpretive hikes and boat excursions. Tours begin in Port Hardy, on northern Vancouver Island, with a spectacular seaplane flight to the Great Bear Lodge. Voted by National Geographic Adventure as one of the Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth, and recognized by the Canadian Tourism Commission as a Canadian Signature Experience.
3900 Horne Lake Caves Rd
Qualicum Beach, British Columbia
Crystal clear water, amazing caves & spectacular scenery make Horne Lake one of the best camping & adventure destinations on Vancouver Island. Horne Lake Caves was rated #1 Attraction by TripAdvisor. Explore this unique park above and below the surface. Visit Canada's only Cave Theatre and Museum. On the trails, enjoy a wide range of programs from Fossil Geology Hikes to family-oriented cavern tours or the popular 3hr. Spelunking Adventure featuring ancient fossils & amazing crystal formations. For more challenge, you can self-guide two rugged caves or push it to the limits on the "Extreme" expeditions - rappelling down a seven-storey underground waterfall! Build your skills on the 2 hr. Vertical Rappel sessions descending natural rock outdoors. Spectacular lakefront camping right next door.
675 Belleville St
Victoria, British Columbia
This is the largest screen in all of BC with this IMAX, you won't just see it - you'll experience it! The immense size screen & powerful, chair shaking surround sound take you to places you can only imagine! Visit with exotic animals, travel to far-flung locations, dive deep below or soar above the earth's surface. It's IMAX - come along for the adventure.
Shows play hourly throughout the day & into the evening. Hollywood feature length films are often added to the evening schedule.
Full concession & National Geographic Store gift store on site.
#2- 4131 Mostar Rd
Nanaimo, British Columbia
Vancouver Island is ranked in the top 10 for cold water dive destinations. Come and discover our underwater world. Dive the sites our locals divers do by shore or boat. See Giant Pacific Octopus, Wolf eels, Sea Lions and dozens of other interesting critters.
We are a PADI Five star facility. We offer scuba & snorkeling gear rental, scuba & snorkeling gear sales & service, PADI scuba certification courses, air & Nitrox fills.
Never dived cold water before? Let us pre-arrange a dive master lead dive to take you on a tour or our wonderful underwater world.
Contact us at the shop before your visit to Nanaimo and check us out on Facebook at our Sink or Swim Scuba page.
Discover Vancouver Island beneath the surface!
1461 Benvenuto Ave
Brentwood Bay, British Columbia
Victoria Butterfly Gardens offers you a unique opportunity to experience the warmth, beauty & romance of a tropical jungle next door to the world famous Butchart Gardens. Stroll through our indoor tropical oasis where Caribbean flamingos walk through the streams & ponds among the beautiful koi, goldfish, 15 tropical fish species, Australian whistling tree ducks & red-eared slider turtles. Marvel at the red footed & sulcata tortoises, poison dart frogs, geckos & a veiled chameleon. Up to 6000 tropical free-flying butterflies, 30 species of tropical birds & the world's largest moth species. Walk past the vanilla beans growing on the vine, papaya in the trees, pineapple, coffee beans, ginger, among other plants flourishing in our organic soil.
Awarded the 2013 & 2014 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor.