Drive 30 minutes north from Nanaimo to visit Parksville, offering long sandy beaches, lots of water sports, and plenty of arts and crafts to suit all tastes. Known as Canada's Riviera, Parksville is the perfect destination for romantic getaways and family fun.
Top things to do
Credit: Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism
Hike or bike
Hike or bike local trails, birdwatch in Hamilton Marsh, or visit Englishman River Falls Provincial Park, Top Bridge Park or Parksville Community Park.
Set sail on a two hour wildlife adventure led by an expert naturalist and learn about the Salish Sea and the marine animals that reside within it. Navigate around Lasqueti Island and Jedidiah Island in search for whales, dolphins, porpoises and more.
See predators including orcas and bald eagles and in their natural habitats feeding on salmon.
Explore the edges of Lasqueti Island and Jedidiah Island and learn about west coast wildlife from an expert naturalist.
Watch for Pacific white-sided dolphins, porpoises, sea lions, and harbour seals along the way.
Watch the sky turn to orange and pink hues during your three hour sunset adventure in search for whales and wildlife. Sail into the secluded waters of the northern Salish Sea and see orcas, humpback whales, dolphins and more in their natural habitat in the evening light.
Explore the islands that surround Parksville with an expert naturalist as you search for whales.
Keep your eyes peeled for orcas, humpback whales, harbour seals, and porpoises breaching the waters.
Sail in the comfort of an open air vessel and see a myriad of marine birds along the way.
Guaranteed whale sightings so you can sail with confidence.
Take the ferry from Vancouver to visit Nanaimo—the second-largest city on Vancouver Island, with plenty of outdoor activities and adventures for everyone, situated along one of the most beautiful waterfronts in Canada.
Drive 90 minutes from Nanaimo to the heart of beautiful farming landscapes on Vancouver Island to visit Courtenay—the urban centre of the Comox Valley. Downtown Courtenay boasts charming streets filled with art galleries, theatres, shops, artists’ studios, boutiques and gardens, and out of town there are sandy beaches, forests, mountains, parks and lakes. Plus, drive just 15 minutes to the local ski hill.
Located on the East Coast, Comox is rich in agricultural land, forests and mountains. Relax on a beach in summer, or go skiing in winter at Mount Washington, but whenever you visit, head to Fisherman’s Wharf to buy fresh fish right off the boat.
Drive to Port Alberni for a variety of activities and attractions. Close to Barkley Sound, Clayoquot Sound and the Pacific Rim National Park, Port Alberni is the perfect base for exploring the west coast of Vancouver Island.
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