5 Family-Friendly Campgrounds in BC

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With dozens of British Columbia parks offering campgrounds to suit every type of camper, where do you begin your search for the perfect place to take your family this summer? We thought we’d try to help answer that question by asking some of our expert Destination BC staff members, who have recently camped with their kids. Here are five great options for family-friendly campgrounds in BC, according to Destination BC staffers:

5. Green Point Campground, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

A desolate beach landscape at sunset.

Green Point Campground, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Photo: Lisa Parker via flickr

As the only campground located in Pacific Rim National Park’s Long Beach Unit, Green Point is a very popular place to pitch a tent and spend some quality family time on Vancouver Island‘s west coast. Between Tofino and Ucluelet, the campground is situated on a bluff above spectacular Long Beach, a stretch of soft sand that just keeps going. Here, it’s virtually impossible for little ones to run out of room building sandcastles. Older kids can take advantage of the surfing lessons offered by many local surf schools. If you’re very lucky, you may even spot a grey or humpback whale frolicking in the open Pacific Ocean. In the evenings, the campground’s indoor theatre offers scheduled presentations.

4. Kokanee Creek Provincial Park

A woman relaxes on a wooden wharf under a cloudy sky.

Kokanee Creek Provincial Park. Photo: Albert Normandin

Kokanee Creek Provincial Park is located on the scenic shores of Kootenay Lake, near Nelson. It boasts three campgrounds and more than a kilometre of sandy beaches. Spend time in or on the lake – paddling is a favourite activity here, and there is a boat launch for those who prefer a little more speed. Kids will enjoy the park’s adventure playground, and in late summer don’t miss a visit to one of the spawning channels to watch spawning kokanee salmon.

3. Shuswap Lake Provincial Park

A stunning orange sunset over Shuswap Lake.

Sunset over Shuswap Lake. Photo: Amber Harding

Located in BC’s sunny Okanagan region, Shuswap Lake is a very popular choice for families, offering plenty of activities to keep every member of your family happy. The lake itself is great for swimming and all manner of watersports, and there are many trails to explore, including a self-guided nature trail. The park includes Copper Island (accessible only by boat), a great place for a scenic hike. There is a large, grassy play area, adventure playground and nearby family favourites such as mini golf, go-carts and bumper boats.

2. Porpoise Bay Provincial Park

A small boat is pulled up onto a rocky beach.

Porpoise Bay Provincial Park. Photo: einstraus via Flickr

Located on BC’s Sunshine Coast, Porpoise Bay is another winner with families, thanks to its sandy beaches, open grassy areas and lush forest. There is a roped off area for swimming and plenty of trails to explore in the area around Angus Creek. A bridge over the creek leads to an estuary alive with waterfowl and sea birds, and harbour seals may also be spotted here. The protected waters of Sechelt Inlet are ideal for paddling, with rentals available nearby.

1. Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park

An expansive sandy beach under a blue sky.

Rathtrevor Provincial Park. Photo: Jennifer C. via Flickr

And our unanimous favourite is the wildly popular Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville on the east coast of Vancouver Island. Here, the tide goes out so far that you can barely see the ocean in the distance. This creates a ton of soft sand (and several tide pools) to keep kids occupied for hours. Also in the area is a fantastic adventure playground and water park, right on the beach, and the community has enough going on to fill any summer getaway. Mini golf, bumper boats, a butterfly garden, waterfalls, farms, museums, a wildlife recovery centre… the list goes on. Family-friendly activities include hiking, kayaking, even spelunking(!), with some nearby wineries for mom and dad. Ahhh summer!

Do you have a favourite family-friendly campground in BC? Share in the comments below!