Vancouver Island Travel Guide

  • Vancouver Island
    by corysharon
  • Things to Do
    by mcuriel
  • Things to Do
    by mcuriel

Vancouver Island Things to Do

  • Butchart gardens

    55 Acres of Garden, I was in my element!A gardeners delight and lot of pleasure even if you aren't a gardener. It was June when I was here, and there were quite a lot of flowers in bloom. Of course as Summer progressed, then the gardens would be at there best.I have seen photo's of them in all seasons, and believe they are worth visiting at any...

  • Totem Poles in Victoria

    There are totem poles in many places in Vancouver Island. The ones that I show here are from Victoria

  • Stop & Taste the Wine

    We've done the drive between Nanaimo and Victoria a few times, and on our most recent visit I insisted to my husband that we stop at, at least 1 winery on our drive along the Hwy 1. After he agreed we picked the next turn off and ended up at Enrico Winery. The setting was absolutely gorgeous, they staff was friendly, the prices were very reasonable...

  • China Town

    Such as any bigger cities the Chinese always has their own community and town and once you stroll around you'll have the feeling that you are in ChinaIn Victoria walking in China town is totally different than elsewhere, because the story still behind and they have proven it to put marked on the early immigrant in the city on the wall it's...

  • Netherlands Centennial Carillon

    ust before the museum standing this tower, while roaming around in the center of Victoria we came to this Dutch carillon donated by the Dutch community of British Columbia in 1967 in honor of Canada's 100th anniversary the queen of Holland Juliana unveiled the cornerstone on May 23, 1967This carillon is a musical instrument with a set of 23 or more...

  • Thunderbird Park

    The park just in front of the museum complex, this park is one of the highlights of any visit in Victoria for it Totem pole. Here you will find many different types of totem poles and other monuments of the indigenous people of Canada. The park derives its name from the mythological Thunderbird is depicted on many totem polesWe've seen totem poles...


Vancouver Island Hotels

  • The Clayoquot Wilderness Resort

    P.O. Box 728, Tofino, British Columbia, V0R 2Z0, Canada

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 5 out of 5 stars

  • Middle Beach Lodge

    400 Mackenzie Beach Road, Tofino, British Columbia, V0R 2Z0, Canada

    Satisfaction: Excellent

    Good for: Solo

    Hotel Class 3 out of 5 stars

  • Glen Lyon Inn

    6435 Hardy Bay Rd., Box 103, Port Hardy, British Columbia, V0N 2P0, Canada

    Satisfaction: Very Good

    Good for: Business

    Hotel Class 3 out of 5 stars

Vancouver Island Restaurants

  • White Spot restaurant in Courtenay

    There are more then 60 locations in British Columbia and Alberta of this restaurant. The headquarter of White Spot is in Vancouver, BC.In White Spot you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner. You can choose between several items (soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, spot classics, pastas, rice bowls, stir-fries, steaks, chicken....).Phone:...

  • White Spot

    In Saanich, right next door Western 66 Motel, there is this a restaurant called White Spot, either for breakfast or just a meal.Very close to Swartz Bay ferry terminal and at about 20 kms. from Victoria, on Vancouver Island.

  • Where is everybody?

    We had dinner here on both of the evenings of our stay in Telegraph Cove (it’s either that or cook in your cabin, and I always prefer to eat out on holiday), and also had lunch on one of the days. The meals were all excellent – plenty of seafood of course, given the location, but other choices too for non-fish eaters. We also came here for hot...


Vancouver Island Nightlife

  • Lady_Mystique's Profile Photo

    Katz Martini Lounge: Great Place to Hear Jazz...and other...

    by Lady_Mystique Written May 10, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    KATZ in Nanaimo is a really cool and funky martini bar.
    Katz features live music and has a nice location and pulls off great atmosphere with their limited space.

    A martini...but I had a Singapore Sling!
    Related to:
    • Music
    • Singles

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Vancouver Island Transportation

  • The wonderful Inside Passage

    If you like being on a boat and you're fond of spectacular scenery, this trip is a real must-do when in the area.BC Ferries takes you on a north- or southbound voyage between Port Hardy on the north tip of Vancouver Island and Prince Rupert on the mainland.You cross about 450 kms in 15 hours time (depending on the weather conditions of course).As...

  • BC Ferry

    Crossing to the otherside of Vancouver the ferry is an easy way to take if you are on foot, bicycle or with car, is a more than an hour sail to the otherside and during the ride you remain inside the passengers deck where you can enjoy the views or do some shopping there are retail and coffee shops insideThere are ferries every 2 hour to and from...

  • Take the Ferry

    Taking the Ferry is an incredible way to get to and from the Island - especially on a nice day when you can get up on deck and really enjoy all of the beautiful days. We are most familiar with the routes from Vancouver - Victoria (Tsawwassen to Swartz Bay) and Vancouver to Nanaimo (Horseshoe Bay - Departure Bay). There are a variety of routes you...


Vancouver Island Shopping

  • Everything you need you'll find it here

    The first thing we need looking for the shopping areas once we took off the BC ferry we were looking for a shopping center and we pass to this placeYou'll find everything you need there were different stores around in the area, Walmart we found what we all needs there were a few coffee/restaurants like Starbucks and othersThis shopping center has...

  • Second Hand Records at Mill Bay

    Mill Bay is not in the VT database, so I place this insider tip on Vinyl Frontier here.The shop is easy to find, once you know it. Just off the Trans-Canada Highway 1 at the junction with Shawnigan Bay Mill Rd about 1 km North of Mill Bay.It's a small and friendly shop with interesting records, but no real rare ones. Quality is...

  • Buying native art

    One of the things we often choose to bring back as a souvenir of a trip is a print or painting. These are easy and light to pack and carry, and once hung on the wall give us many happy memories of the place where we bought it. Vancouver Island is a great place to indulge this interest as there are lots of small galleries with interesting...


Vancouver Island Local Customs

  • Whatever you do, don't get...

    (work in progress)'Canadian English' is just different enough from 'English English' to be idiosyncratic, and sometimes charmingly old fashioned.Take, for instance, the term 'pop', which in Canada refers to what the Brits would call a 'soft drink' (and Australians and South Africans would confusingly call a 'cold drink' or a 'cool drink',...

  • Regional geography and proper...

    Vancouver Island is commonly referred to by locals as the island. Even on the mainland, if you hear people talking about "heading over to the island" - you can be certain that they're not talking about Hawaii! Unless of course, they happen to own a cottage on one of the many other islands (like the Gulf Islands), but if the context is not readily...

  • THE Nicest People

    The people of BC and more specific the sunshine coast and Vancouver Island are the nicest most genuine people we have ever met. Low-key, friendly, always helpful. Would like to own a place there someday...


Vancouver Island Warnings and Dangers

  • Wildlife Encounters

    If you're visiting the island and plan on doing camping and hiking, make sure you are always prepared for wildlife sightings - in particular bears and cougars. Most marked trails will have warnings posted if an animal has been spotted in the area, and will also usually post tips on how to keep yourself safe. Since my husband had worked in an area...

  • The going is slow, even on highways

    (work in progress)When you're planning your road trip around Vancouver Island, you'll probably anticipate that the going will be fairly slow on more minor roads due to the nature of the topography. However, by contrast, you might be encouraged to see a major road - Route 19 (usually known as the Inland Island Highway) - running down the eastern...

  • Unpredictable weather requires a...

    (work in progress)Let's be charitable - Vancouver Island has an unpredictable climate and the fact that it is vegetated with temperate rain forest should speak volumes about the weather!To put things into perspective, it rains an average of 206 days a year in Tofino. Actually from a tourist's point of view, the rain usually isn't so much of a...


Vancouver Island What to Pack

  • Pack for all weathers

    Make sure you take layers when visiting Vancouver Island in the summer. During our July visit we experienced a couple of cool rainy days but also quite a few warm and sunny ones. Shorts and long trousers, t-shirts and a warm sweater or two, and a waterproof jacket should see you through most situations, although if you plan to eat in any of the...

  • Diver's Guide

    Well if you are a diver and are planning on coming to Vancouver Island then the book Diver's Guide Vancouver Island South would be quite useful. It is written by Greg Dombowsky and is published by Heritage House. Over 50 of the areas sites are included in this book with maps and some pictures. Also how to get to the dive sites and what to expect...

  • Bring a sweater or vest, or both.

    Walking shoes, sweater, vest. Jeans are de rigeur. Any camera, from plastic to digital, and you'll get great photos.


Vancouver Island Off The Beaten Path

  • Port Alberni - Steam Locomotive Rides

    A restored Old No.7 (1929 Baldwin 2-8-2T 90 ton) locomotive to pull the tourist train. Operate on summer weekends. Trains leave the E&N Railway Heritage Station at the foot of Argyle Street near the Harbour Quay in Downtown Port Alberni. on the hour from 11:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M.

  • Butterfly aviary

    At first it looked ike a waste of time, but we stopped at the Butterfly aviary and we have talked about it ever since. They had Butterflies from all over the world. I only have slides of that trip so I can't upload a picture yet. It's located on the way to Buchard Gardens from Victoria. It was a high light od the trip.

  • Bald eagles

    We were lucky enough to get a good look at a bald eagle on two occasions while on Vancouver Island. The first was on Quadra Island, near the lodge at Tsa-Kwa-Luten, flying between the pine trees near the shore (second photo). The second was this one at Telegraph Cove, perched on one of the pilings in the harbour – we spotted him from our table in...


Vancouver Island Sports & Outdoors

  • Scuba Diving

    Jacques Cousteau is said to have ranked the waters of the Pacific Northwest among the world's best places to dive, second only to the Red Sea for marine life diversity.Readers of Scuba Diving magazine recently named British Columbia the Top Overall Dive Destination in North America. It's easy to see why.Vancouver Island's cold, clean waters offer...

  • Bungy Jump Vancouver Island!

    Bungy Jump from 143 feet off the river in a beautiful rive gorge just outside of Nanaimo. Time it right and you might be able to jump right under a moving train! No gear needed, in fact on February 14th and 15th you don't even need clothes! For this is when Bungy Zone hosts their "Annual Naked Weekend"

  • Vancouver Island Hotels

    12 Hotels in Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island Favorites

  • Great tourist brochures to help you plan...

    (work in progress)I was really impressed by the quality of tourist brochures on Vancouver Island: the coverage and quality of research is excellent, and these were particularly welcome resource after the disappointment of the hopeless Lonely Planet City Guide to Vancouver (which - out of 256 pages - devotes a meagre seven pages to Vancouver Island,...

  • Nanaimo Bars

    Yes, you can get them at any Tim Horton's, but you should really get them in a non-chain location while you are on Vancouver Island. Preferably Nanaimo itself, but somewhere nearby will do in a pinch.These rich chocolate bars were invented by a woman who lived in the central Cowichan river valley, and they were successfully marketed in nearby...

  • Tofino

    This was probably our favourite place on Vancouver Island, and I wish we’d planned to spend a little more time there than the two days we’d allowed for. There’s lots to do – see my Things to Do tips for ideas about whale watching trips and scenic flights, for instance. It’s also a pleasant place to simply stroll around, with several interesting...


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