Central Vancouver Island Communities
Coombs British Columbia
A very popular village, Coombs is well known for the “family of goats” that graze on the grassy rooftop of the Coombs Old Country Market. Explore the local historic buildings, gift and craft shops and antique stores. The general store offers an excellent variety of local produce. Children of all ages enjoy the mini-golf and amusement rides. In Coombs there are good restaurants and coffee shops.
Errington British Columbia
A small rural village, Errington is surrounded by both hobby farms and larger commercial farms where summer produce is readily available. In Errington, there is a general store that offers postal services and also a restaurant. The community is located near the Englishman River Falls provincial campgrounds. If you are looking for clean and comfortable accommodations there are a number of B & B accommodations in the area that offer a quiet refuge from the busier centres.
French Creek and Lasqueti Island British Columbia
French Beach is a popular salt-water fishing spot with a Federal Government wharf used for moorage and unloading goods by west coast fishing vessels. Enjoy the view from the neighbourhood pub overlooking the marina. Home of St. Ann's Church and a golf course that has hosted the CPGA qualifying school. Take a day trip from French Creek to Lasqueti Island by passenger ferry and then enjoy a walk to the north end of Lasqueti Island to Scottie Bay and Spring Bay. Explore the natural caves and the eagle nests. While in Scottie Bay visit the local shipyard.
Gabriola Island British Columbia
Access to Gabriola Island is by ferry located on the Nanaimo BC waterfront. Surrounded by rural forested parks, quiet beaches and ocean views. The mild a mild temperate climate creates a relaxed lifestyle. The island is known for its variety of artisans, with a thriving cottage industry and arts and crafts. Visit the Gabriola Museum to get a sense of the Island history that tells the story of this Strait of Georgia island. There are over 50 petroglyphs carved by aboriginal inhabitants discovered at Jack Point, Lock Bay and Weldwood. Outdoor activities include golfing, wild life viewing, hiking, cycling, sea kayaking, fishing and beach combings.
Ladysmith British Columbia
Situated on the 49th parallel Ladysmith was previously one of the largest coal mining towns on Vancouver Island. Recently, the town won a provincial award for “The Most Beautiful Community On Vancouver Island”. Ladysmith was also recognized for its national “Main Street Canada Award” as one of the best revitalization community development projects in Canada. Harrowsmith Country Magazine named Ladysmith “One of the 10 Prettiest Towns in Canada”. The restored heritage buildings in the downtown area offer visitors a chance to step into the past and enjoy island living at its finest. The variety of shops, restaurants, pubs, seaside parks and antique shops make Ladysmith a favourite place to be for both locals and visitors alike.
Lantzville British Columbia
A small village situated on the east coast of Vancouver Island. A suburb of Nanaimo, Lantzville has a general store, neighbourhood pub and limited community services. Outdoor activities include golfing,
Lighthouse Country British Columbia
Along the Oceanside Route Highway 19A north of Qualicum Beach are the communities of Qualicum Bay, Deep Bay, and Bowser. This area offer an abundance of outdoor activities include: boating, fishing, hiking, trail-riding, great beachcombing and of course, golfing. While in the Lighthouse Country explore natural caves in the Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park. Nearby at Spider Lake, best known for its warm clean waters, you can have fun swimming, kayaking, and canoeing. The marina in protected by Deep Bay Harbour and offers moorage, boat charters and rentals. Explore a variety of ocean side accommodations, services, family restaurants.
Nanaimo British Columbia
Know as the Harbour City, Nanaimo is centrally located on Vancouver Island and it is the second largest city on the island. Nanaimo is well known for its picturesque harbour, marinas and seaside walks. Travel from Victoria by automobile to Nanaimo via the Island Highway or travel the waterways with B.C. Ferries from the mainland and Gulf Islands. Nanaimo Airport is a short fifteen minute flight to the city of Vancouver. Nanaimo offers a variety of facilities for conventions, sporting events and indoor and outdoors activities. Explore the downtown historic buildings, restaurants, museums, the theatre centre, pubs and curiosity shops. There are several large shopping centres and box stores that have proven to be popular with island residences and visitors alike. Nanaimo waters are bountiful and offer easy access to fresh and salt water fishing, scuba diving, hiking, kayaking mountain biking, bird watching, and there are poplar beaches and swimming locations along the coastline.
Oceanside British Columbia
Covering the area north from Nanoose Bay to Deep Bay and Arrowsmith in Coombs Country. Oceanside includes the communities of Parksville, Nanoose, French Creek, Qualicum, Errington, Lasqueti Island and Coombs. The Oceanside Route or Hwy 19A follows the Eastern Shoreline of Vancouver Island. Oceanside is a bird watchers paradise with over 250 bird species in the region. Winter and summer residents and visitors explore the variety of safe sandy beaches, beautiful golf courses and west coast forests parks. Oceanside is a very popular destination for family vacations. There is something for everyone in this great outdoors including: mountain biking, canoeing, kayaking, and hiking to mention a few. Stroll the docks and watch local fishermen working on their boats or unloading their days catch. There are charming accommodations, restaurants, neighbourhood pubs, stores and all modern services.
Parksville British Columbia
The community of Parksville is famous for having the largest sandy beaches on Vancouver Island. It is excellent place to enjoy ocean swimming in the summer and the waters warm up considerably. Keep an eye on the tides and build sand sculptures before the tide changes. Parksville's artisans are world renowned for their paintings, pottery, and jewellery. Accommodations to suite every traveler’s budget and expectations are located near the many popular beaches. Relax in the sun, stroll the shoreline, play a round of golf and explore the outlining areas. The town of Parksville offers a variety of restaurants, small owner operated shops, accommodations and services. Outdoors activities include fresh and salt water fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and boating, just to mention a few. For the hiker and camper, nearby Englishman River Falls Provincial Park and Rathrevor Park offer great outdoor camping experiences.
Qualicum Beach British Columbia
A beach-side-community popular for beachcombing, sunbathing, swimming, leisurely walks and bike riding along the waterfront. Explore the unique downtown area with a variety of shops, restaurants and services to offer you. Well kept beautiful gardens have distinguished Qualicum Beach as the proud winner of a “Five Blooms Award”. In April, the world famous Brant Festival takes place in Qualicum Beach during the Brant spring bird migration. Qualicum Beach is truly a bird watchers paradise. Golfers from around the world enjoy a choice of five beautiful golf courses designed to provide a variety of challenges. For the fishermen there is great salmon, halibut and cod fishing. The nearby lakes and rivers offer cut throat trout fishing or winter steelhead fishing. There is a variety of accommodations designed to make your stay comfortable and affordable.
Campbell River British Columbia
Known as the Salmon Capital of the World where fishermen catch record size Chinook, Chum, Coho, and Sockeye salmon. Ships of all shapes and sizes from ocean liners to freighters, fishing vessels and seasonal boaters navigate the waters off Campbell River passing through the Inside Passage to Alaska or the far north. The main shopping areas of Campbell River are located near the shoreline with a large variety of stores, restaurants, neighbourhood pubs, coffee shops, museum, theatres and commercial services. Accommodations are offered near the ocean and in private residential areas. A favourite place to stroll is on the Discovery Wharf or along the sea walk. There is easy access to fresh water fishing, scuba diving, kayaking, bird-watching and the beaches are suitable for beachcombing or swimming. A favourite trip is with is with Eco-tourism Adventures where you can arrange excursions to view killer whales and grizzly bears
Comox British Columbia
Situated on a Peninsula with its small farms and unique residential areas surrounded by the Georgia Strait and Comox Harbour. The Comox area offers both a country and small town atmosphere unique to the area. The Harbour offers safe and secure moorage facilities and marine services. The downtown area located just off the waterfront offers accommodations, restaurants, stores and craft shops. Comox is well known for the four day Filberg Arts Festival where artists and musicians gather from around British Columbia. Here you can stroll the bustling waterfront and arrange a fishing charter or whale watching excursion. There is easy access to Forbidden Plateau, a Mt. Washington ski hill and also Strathcona Provincial Park. The Comox Valley offers a large variety of outdoors activities depending on the season including: golfing, boating, scuba diving, surfing, hiking, mountain biking, swimming, winter skiing and snow boarding. Every two years CFB Comox stages one of Canada's best air shows featuring airplanes from around the world.
Cortes Island British Columbia
Access is by BC Ferry on the east side of Quadra Island. Semi-isolated Cortes Island offers a laid back life style and wilderness tranquillity. Accommodations include cozy lodges, retreats, and bed and breakfasts. There is a general store, limited community services and a new museum. Boaters appreciate Gorge Harbour as a popular marina and protected anchorage. There is easy access to fresh and salt water fishing, scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, bird watching, swimming and beaches rich in sea life. Cortes Island is part of the Discover Island Group.
Courtenay British Columbia
Downtown Courtney is known for its island charm and features specialized shops, restaurants, coffee unique shops, tree line streets and plenty of parking. There are several larger shopping centres that provide additional choices in shopping and community services. Courtenay is known as the cultural hub of the Comox Valley offering theatres, concerts, entertainments events. Courtney is a popular haven for artists and you can purchase Native carvings, paintings, pottery and a variety of arts and crafts unique to this area. Tour the Comox Valley and enjoy the wide variety of farms and purchase fresh produce and other local farm products. There is easy access to fresh and salt water fishing, scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, bird watching, sailing, boating, winter skiing and snowboarding also, popular beaches and swimming locations. Golfers from around the world appreciate the beautiful world class golf courses designed to provide a variety of challenges. There is a large variety of accommodations designed to make your stay comfortable and affordable.
Cumberland British Columbia
A short drive from Courtenay will take you back into the past where Cumberland's historic buildings and surrounding area was once a bustling coal mining town from 1888 - 1966. There is a variety of comfortable accommodations that offer a quiet refuge from the larger centres. The village of Cumberland has several restaurants, neighbourhood pubs, coffee shops, and small stores selling antiques, books and musical instruments. Be sure to explore the replica of a coal mining tunnel.
Denman and Hornby Islands British Columbia
Access is by BC Ferry from Buckley Bay south of Courtenay to Denman Island and by a connecting ferry to Hornby Island. Denman and Hornby Islands are known for warm beaches, semi -isolated quiet retreats and artistic communities that boasts the largest number of artists per capita in Canada. There is a variety of accommodations that include: bed and breakfasts, beach resorts, small community co-op stores, craft shops, restaurants and community services. Denman Island is part of the Discover Island Group.
Quadra Island British Columbia
Access is by BC Ferry from downtown Campbell River to Quadra Island. A variety of accommodations include bed and breakfasts, lodges, farm stays and resorts. Charter boats and guides for salmon fishing can be arranged through your accommodation host. Outdoors activities include fresh and salt water fishing, scuba diving, hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, bird watching, sailing, swimming, and boating. A number of popular beaches are warmed by the incoming tide that offers ideal swimming conditions. Quadra Island is part of the Discover Island Group