Day Trips

One of the best ways to see Vancouver Island is by day trip. In this section, you’ll find descriptions of some of the most scenic and popular day trips through the central Vancouver Island area.

If you just want to get away and experience something a little different and what the locals find exciting or what’s off the beaten path, we’ve included a couple of things you’ll find appealing.

Located in MacMillan Provincial Park, Cathedral Grove is an old-growth forest, home to beautiful stands of giant Douglas Fir, Western Hemlock and Red Cedar trees.

The treetops mesh together high above your head to form a cathedral-like ceiling. Their trunks rise from the forest floor, so thick that you will need several people to join hands to form a circle around them.

Walking among these magnificent trees is an inspirational experience

Just a few minutes beyond Cathedral Grove, Port Alberni is roughly in the centre of the interior of Vancouver Island and at the end of a long narrow inlet. The Alberni Harbour Quay , a colourful collection of waterfront shops and galleries is where you will find the clock tower which affords you panoramic views of the Alberni inlet.

A favourite destination on Vancouver Island is Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park, which straddles the Little Qualicum River and incorporates the entire southern shore of Cameron Lake.

In this park, impressive waterfalls cascade down a rocky gorge in a beautiful forested setting bordered by steep mountain peaks at this park. This is one of the most beautiful parks on central Vancouver Island.

A number of walking trails are available in and around the park, offering picturesque views of the river and providing access to the upper and lower falls

An easy day trip takes you to the world famous Pacific Rim National Park with Long Beach, Tofino and Ucluelet.

Famous as the longest stretch of surf- swept sand on Vancouver Island’s west coast, this spectacular beach attracts surfers & vacationers from all over the world

The Old Country Market in Coombs is a must see destination. The Market is famous for its “goats on the roof”. Thousands of people each year travel through Coombs, stopping to visit with the goats. Inside the Market you’ll find the freshest local produce and selection of gifts from the farthest reaches of the world.

Just a few minutes to the south of Lighthouse Country is the village of Qualicum Beach. The village atmosphere and the small shops, boutiques and galleries make this an ideal place to stop by.

The entire area of Lighthouse Country and Qualicum Beach is the home to painters, weavers, sculptors, carvers, glass blowers and other artisans who welcome visitors to their studios.

Parksville is situated in a protected bay on the east coast of Vancouver Island. The waterfront forms the eastern border of the city and the warm ocean waters provide for a mild climate. The area has many rivers and streams with a few lakes to the north and west. Small islands dot the inner coastline with larger islands to the north and south in the Strait of Georgia.

The harbour city of Nanaimo is located just 55 Km (33 miles) south of Lighthouse Country. This city with its population of 70,000 is a shoppers paradise. Here you can experience world-class diving; shopping, accommodations; arts and culture; hiking/biking/kayaking; and a protected harbour second to none. Nanaimo is the bathtub racing capital of the world, hosting the International World Chamionship Bathtub Race every July.

Just some 90 Km (60 miles) north of Lighthouse Country is the town of Campbell River. Historically renowned as the “Salmon Capial of the World”, Campbell River lies in the heart of Strathcona Park.

Whale watching tours are available during the summer season, leaving from Telegrah Cove, Kelsey Bay and Robson Bight.

When visiting Campbell river take a stroll along the 600 foot discovery pier where you will see some breathtaking views.

Nestled between the Beaufort Mountains and the Strait of Georgia, the Comox Valley stretches from Fanny Bay to Saratoga Beach and includes the communities of Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland, as well as Denman and Hornby Islands.

Mount Washington, a 25-km (16-mile) drive west of the Comox Valley, is Vancouver Island’s year-round alpine destination. Winter activities include downhill and cross country skiing as well as snowboarding and snow tubing

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