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.
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.