Vancouver Island is one of the most stunning and historic locations
in Canada. With so much to do, it makes a great vacation destination! Renting
a car is the best transportation option for reaching the campgrounds and
provincial parks where you can bike, swim, kayak, canoe, and hike to your
For a more relaxing vacation visit the beaches, museums, galleries, shops,
spas, and wineries. With such mild weather, the golf season never ends!
area alone boasts 8 championship golf courses. Kids will love
the region, as it’s dotted with activities such as zip lining, corn
mazes, bug zoos, and butterfly gardens.
The provincial parks are teeming with wildlife. Whale watching is a must!
Approximately 85 orcas live around the Gulf
Islands. In addition, grey
whales and killer whales can be seen in March and April as they migrate
up the Mexican
coast towards Alaska. Otters are often spotted as well.
Further inland you may catch a sighting of bears, deer, elk, cougars, and
a great range of bird species!
The city of Victoria has a fascinating history, and a British feel. Take
a stroll around the stunning inner harbor, and relax in a horse drawn carriage
through old downtown. Canada’s oldest Chinatown boasts authentic
markets with wonderful sights and smells! With the Royal BC Museum, First
Nations Gallery, Carr House, and Gastion Square, there is no shortage of
things to do! For some great photo opportunities make sure to visit the
BC Legislative Building, which boasts murals, marble columns, golf leafing,
flower gardens, fountains, and wondrous views!
The Malahat Drive is a scenic mountain highway taking you into the Saanich
Peninsula. Viewpoints of Goldstream Provincial Park, Spectacle Lake, and
the Gulf Islands make a car trip truly enjoyable! Explore the Butchart
Gardens, a natural historic site and floral show garden. A magnificent
butterfly garden in the area homes over 6000 butterflies (75 species),
and carnivorous plants! Check out historical artifacts, visit the Shaw
Ocean Discover Centre, and hike around the John Dean Provincial Park on
Mount Newton; a great place to spot bald eagles and red tailed hawks.
Sidney is near the top of the peninsula, and proof that great things come
in small packages. With marinas, bookstores, seaside walks, delicious restaurants,
and a view of the Gulf Islands it’s a lovely place to spend some
time. Diving is available to explore the G.B. Church, Tozier Rock, Burial
Islet, Octopus Point, and many others!
West of Victoria you’ll come across Sooke. With salmon fishing year
round, longboat races, and fine art shows there’s always something
to do! Visit the relocated lighthouse from the Northern Triangle Island,
(Shipwreck Alley). Visit the East Sooke Regional Park to find Sooke Potholes;
deep freshwater pools in the rock with amazing swimming! The Sooke River
has one of the only salmon runs in the area.
Further West is Port
Renfrew, the jewel of the West coast. This tiny town
is well known for its historic hiking trails and fresh/salt water fishing.
It’s right next to Juan de Fuca Provincial Park which hosts spectacular
hiking, marine and wildlife viewing, and a roaring surf. Most of the trails
are intense, but the trailheads lead to some moderate day trails. The Botanical
Beach is a must see. Framed by shale and quartz ridges, at low tide you
can walk along the sandstone to discover aquatic gemstones in the tide
pools. If you’re brave, explore the Devil’s Punchbowl - a series
of caves inaccessible at high tide. Keep an eye out for migrating whales