Vancouver Island Travel Guide
Driving across island
Somass River in October. Port Alberni
Relatively unspoiled, great scenery and awesome whale-watching
In a nutshell
I can't wait to get back to the Island!
Duncan - Qu'wusun Cultural Center
The Qu'wutsun Cultural Center is located in Duncan B.C., just off Highway 1. It presents the story of the First Nations peoples of the Cowichan Valley, both prior to and after their encounter with white-skinned Europeans. The center features a number of beautifully crafted...
Vancouver Island Wineries - Cherry Point
Vancouver Island is emerging as a highly respected "terroir" in the florishing world of Canadian wines. (A positive effect of global warming, perhaps?) While not as famous as the Okanagan Valley on the other side of British Columbia, the central Cowichan Valley produces some...
Cowichan Valley - Merridale Cidery
The Cowichan Valley is a special agricultural zone which enjoys fertile soil, ample rains - and a good dose of sunshine. It's become an important center for wineries, as well as the expansive Merridale Cidery and Apple Orchards. Merridale is a pleasant place to spend an hour...
White Spot: 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...
IslandLink Bus Nanaimo to Victoria
Had reservation from Nanaimo to Victoria. Ferry was few minutes late and bust had left.Reservation confusing as it looks like to match BC Ferry arrival but not so.Other bus companies better service and %20 cheaper. If travelling by ferry do not trust Islanlink bus...
Getting to Victoria by bus
(work in progress)Given the choice and budget, the most convenient way to explore Vancouver Island is by car, which allows you to access the many scenic spots for which the island is justifiably famous and stop at will en route. However, car hire isn't within everyone's...
By far the coolest way to arrive!
(work in progress)Of all the cool ways to travel, float plane has to be up there close to the top of the list!Far from just being tourist activities, float planes are well integrated into Vancouver Island's transport network and service a number of commercial routes between...
The BC ferries are an absolute delight!
(work in progress)Although they were a staple of our childhood trips back to Ireland, it's a long time since I took a car ferry, so I was looking forward to the ferry rides between the mainland to Vancouver Island. And so I should have been - they were terrific, and a real...
Ferry signage on Vancouver Island is terrific
(work in progress)I cannot overstate how good the signage to the BC Ferries terminals at Departure Bay 3.2km north of Nanaimo) and Swartz Bay (32km and about half an hours drive north of Victoria) is: if you get manage to get lost despite this, then you must really have made...
The BC Ferries are a relaxing way to come over to the island from Main land Canada,The are ferries on these major routes:Tsawwassen to Swartz BayTsawwassen to Nanaimo (Duke Point)Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo (Departure Bay)Powell River (Little River-Westview) to ComoxCortes...
Vinyl Frontier: 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...
Whatever you do, don't get discombobulated!
(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...
Regional geography and proper pronunciations
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...
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...
Unpredictable weather requires a flexible schedule
(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....
Bear bells: Jingle all the way!
(work in progress)When I started to research our trip to Vancouver Island, I was intrigued to come across a passing reference to 'bear bells' in one of toonsarah's tips.As they say in the classics, "Ïf you go down to the woods today, you're in for a big surprise", and in the...
This is not the place to economise on waterproofs!
(work in progress)To say that it rains a lot on Vancouver Island is an understatement: unless you're a rainforest enthusiast, it's probably one of the wettest places that you'll volunteer to go on holiday, so bear this in mind when you're packing for your trip.In truth,...
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...
Great tourist brochures to help you plan your trip
(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...
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...
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