50 Best Things to Do on Vancouver Island in 2024: Ultimate List 

It’s funny how they call Vancouver Island the “Raincouver” because of unpredictable rains that happen all year round, including in the summers. 

But, rain is not a hindrance to exploring this ruggedly beautiful paradise—from the world-class West Coast Trail, enormous old-growth mossy trees at Cathedral Grove, to surfing spots at Tufino, everything is still magical even in dreary weather.

If you’re planning a trip to one of the most beautiful islands in North America, here are the 50 best things to do on Vancouver Island in 2024!

Key Takeaways

  • The must-do things on Vancouver Island include visiting the Butchart Gardens, experiencing Port Renfrew, viewing wildlife from Telegraph Cove, and hiking the Juan de Fuca Trail.
  • Some free things to do on Vancouver Island are walking the Wild Pacific Trail, exploring Victoria’s Old Town, and wandering around Cathedral Grove.
  • Visiting the Victoria Butterfly Gardens, hiking the West Coast Trail, and whale watching are the most unique things on Vancouver Island.
  • For Vancouver Island things to do in summer, try surfing, whale watching, kayaking, scuba diving, fishing, and more.

Must-Do Things on Vancouver Island

1. Visit Butchart Gardens

image showing a couple in butchart gardens
Image credit: Enoch Omololu
image showing butchart gardens

One of the classic and must-do things on Vancouver Island is visiting the Butchart Gardens, a 22-hectare horticultural garden on Brentwood Bay, recently regarded as a National Historic Site of Canada. 

Butchart Gardens is the most highly rated garden not just in Vancouver but in Canada, featuring several intricately designed small gardens, including the Japanese Garden, Rose Garden, Italian Garden, Mediterranean, the Spring Bulb Show of blooming tulips, and the centrepiece, the Sunken Garden. Spend at least three hours in Butchart Gardens and experience having lunch or dinner with a view of the gardens. 

With its immense size and exceptional beauty, it’s not just your typical household garden but an award-winning one with several recognitions like Garden of the Year and Canadian Garden of Excellence by the Canadian Garden Council, Canadian, North America’s Best Gardens, and Tripadvisor Hall of Fame and Certificate of Excellence—no wonder over one million people are visiting the gardens annually.

2. Walk Around Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter

If you’re searching for a spot to indulge in a one-of-a-kind shopping and dining experience, look no further than Nanaimo’s Old City Quarter, located at the heart of Nanaimo! 

Besides its pedestrian streets, this area is brimming with boutiques, vintage shops, delightful eateries, and cozy cafes. You’ll find them nestled within preserved buildings dating back to the 1800s and 1900s that add a vibrant splash of colour.

While exploring on foot, take advantage of strolling along the Harbourfront Promenade and Maffeo Sutton Park, which provide views of the harbour. Take some time to admire the steam-powered clock, marvel at the Gothic-themed architecture of St. Paul’s Anglican Church, and venture to Bastion Street Steps, fondly known as the “Staircase to the Moon.”

3. Visit the Royal BC Museum

image showing the royal bc museum
Credit: Enoch Omololu | SavvyNewCanadians

You can’t miss out on one of the top museums in Canada, the Royal BC Museum, for not just a look at the historical artifacts, displays, and exhibits but an engagement with hands-on activities as well, perfect for kids. Explore the First Peoples Gallery, National History 

4. Try Top-Rated Tacos at Tacofino

If you’re excited to devour the best tacos in the world, try the top-rated tacos at Tacofino! Their tacos are one of the best-selling food items on their menu because it’s not just your ordinary, traditional tacos but a unique one that comes in different flavours.

Whatever flavour you try, fish, chicken, eggplant, cauliflower, yam, bean, tuna, steak, vegan chorizo, and more, they all have different intense flavours and fresh ingredients, averaging at $8. You can even try their other food like meat, nachos, burritos, quesadillas, and desserts like their favourite Diablo Cookies.  

5. Visit Craigdarroch Castle

image showing the craigsdarroch castle
Credit: Enoch Omololu | SavvyNewCanadians

Visiting the $500,000-worth Craigdarroch Castle is one of the most unique things to do on Vancouver Island because of its Instagrammable-worthy Gothic-revival architecture. 

From its woodwork furnishings, stone arts, and beautiful glass windows to its painted ceilings, exhibits, and gardens, wandering the castle is very worthwhile.

You can take the guided tour or roam the place at your own pace. If you would like to spend more time in the castle, stop and relax for a bite at the castle cafe or participate in some workshops or classes offered. 

6. Experience Nature at Port Renfrew

If you like to experience the island’s utopia, exploring Port Renfrew is the most suggested by travellers and the most nurturing thing to do on Vancouver Island. 

You can walk along the Botanical Beach, kayaking or paddleboarding at Lake Cowichan, salmon fishing and birdwatching, and hike the famous 47-km Juan de Fuca Trail with drop-dead gorgeous scenery. 

The Port is also dubbed “the Tall Tree Capital of Canada,” where you can find the most ancient and enormous 73-m high Douglas Fir tree at Red Creek Fir, together with other old-growth trees at Avatar Grove. 

7. Visit the Cape Scott Lighthouse

One of the most famous lighthouses on Vancouver Island is the Cape Scott Lighthouse because of its long, rich history. It has one of the best panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean, amazing tidal pools, and a glimpse of whales and other sea creatures. It also dashes with a unique style, just 9 meters tall and having a skeletal body. 

Visiting the Cape Scott Lighthouse is one of the best free things to do on Vancouver Island. Still, it requires a little effort and endurance, as it’s only accessible through long hikes averaging 13 hours and 15 minutes one-way and camping one to two times if reasonably needed.

8. View Wildlife from Telegraph Cove

image showing telegraph cove
Credit: Inlovewithnature | Pixabay

A former fishing village, now an eco-tourism spot, Telegraph Cove is where you can explore abundant wildlife, including coastal black bears, wolves, salmon, seals, sea lions, birds, otters, and most especially the Orcas or killer whales, and humpback whales. 

Viewing the wildlife from Telegraph Cove is one of the must-do things on Vancouver Island. I suggest you join some designated whale-watching tours and see them all in action on a 360-degree view!

9. Visit the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia

One of the highlights of your Vancouver Island trip would be visiting the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia to learn more about the province’s political history and political system and see the Assembly debate in action!

You can try two options for exploring the building – the guided tour or the non-guided. But once you’re inside, see the stunning Inner Garden Courtyard, the legislative chambers, the Parliament Rotunda, and the Hall of Honour. Don’t forget to stop by the Parliamentary Dining Room Cafe for some food and coffee or the Parliamentary gift shop for souvenirs. 

10. Hike Juan de Fuca Trail

Hiking the Juan de Fuca Trail is one of the best things to do in Vancouver Island because you can immerse yourself in nature, not just one day but for several days. 

The trail runs 47 kilometres, going through China Beach, Sombrio Beach, Parkinson Creek, and then ending at the Botanical Garden. 

11. Ski at Mount Washington Alpine Ski Resort

The Vancouver Islands is a great tropical island destination but transforms into a giant winter wonderland during the cold months. 

During this season, one of the must-do things on Vancouver Island is skiing at Mount Washington Alpine Ski Resort, which has the highest drop in North America at 877 meters.

The skiable areas have 82 runs and ten lifts suitable for all learner levels. Aside from skiing, you may try other snow activities like snowboarding, snowshoeing, tubing, and winter hiking.

12. Visit the Damali Lavender Farm

Are you mesmerized by how beautiful lavenders are and get so addicted to their velvety smell? If yes, visiting the famous 10-acre Damali Lavender Farm in Cowichan Valley is one of the best things to do on Vancouver Island this weekend. 

You may walk through the purple fields and take pictures. Please note that visiting the lavender farm between mid-June and July is best.

13. Admire the Chemainus Wall Murals

Vancouver Island isn’t all about nature, parks, forests, shorelines, and wildlife, but is also a hub for arts! It’s incredible to think that Chemainus becomes an outdoor art gallery of murals directly painted into the buildings showcasing the history and culture of the town. 

Take a self-guided walking tour and visit each of the 40+ murals and 13+ sculptures. 

14. Hike Tsolum Spirit Regional Park

If you want a serene setting for a hiking adventure, Tsolum Spirit Regional Park is a suitable park to explore! The park is 560 hectares of lush green forest with mountains and falls surrounding the Tsolum River, so expect to see diverse wildlife.

Several trailing options exist depending on the difficulty you can sustain, from the accessible River Trail Loop Flume Trail to the challenging Mount Geoffrey Escarpment Trail. 

15. Take a Foodie Stop at Cowichan Bay

image showing cowichan bay
Credit: Vladvictoria | Pixabay

One of the must-do things on Vancouver Island is taking a foodie stop at Cowichan Bay, a small fishing village north of Victoria. Their must-try is their seafood, which is immaculate, especially in the iconic Cowichan Bay Fish & Chips, Rock Cod Cafe, and Cowichan Bay Seafood.

Aside from seafood, you can also try other cafes and restaurants: bread from True Grain Bread, Hilary’s Cheese Shop for artisanal cheese, wines from Masthead Restaurant, and beer from Cobblestone Pub.

Free Things to Do on Vancouver Island 

16. Walk the Wild Pacific Trail

A perfect combination of adventure and heart-pumping activities perfectly describes the Pacific trail in Ucluelet. You can enjoy various activities like hiking or even joining a walking tour of Victoria or Chemainus. Take note that you can enjoy all these activities for free. 

17. Tour the Parliament Buildings

image showing the parliament buildings
Credit: Enoch Omololu | SavvyNewCanadians

Who says that you have to spend money to enjoy? You can take advantage of guided tours in the Parliament Buildings seven days a week. You can enjoy the breathtaking views of intricate architectural design. 

The 40-minute tour will allow us to learn the rich history beyond the pillars of Parliament Buildings. The tour schedule for the upcoming weeks is posted every Friday afternoon.

18. Explore Victoria’s Old Town

Visiting Victoria’s Old Town assures you a trip to remember, from walking tours to seeing its historic landmarks like the Parliament buildings and the Royal BC museum. Take your time to appreciate the Colorful facade of the buildings and vibrantly painted streets. 

Lastly, you can shop at their specialty stores, Like Munro’s Books, which has been in business since 1963. The store is famous for its collection of books about arts and architecture. Visiting Oldtown is a bucket list filler and a must-do on Vancouver Island. 

19. Walk Around Fisherman’s Wharf

image showing the fisherman's wharf
Credit: Enoch Omololu | OnlyEarthlings
image showing the fisherman's wharf
image showing enoch omololu and his wife at the fisherman's wharf

Walking around Fisherman’s Wharf is considered a must-do on Vancouver Island, not just because of the cardio exercise but also because there are plenty of activities that you can do, like exploring the docks. You can marvel down the docks and watch the boat passing by. 

Another free thing to do on Vancouver Island is take a walk and enjoy the pristine landscape views of the lake. It would help if you also tried their sightseeing bus that stops precisely at Fisherman’s Wharf, a great way to explore the island’s top spots. 

20. Walk Around Beacon Hill Park

Beacon Hill Park is one of the most beautiful parks on Vancouver Island. From exploring the area’s vicinity, like the famous Japanese garden, to visiting the petting zoo, you can even feed some of their animals, like ducks and peacocks. 

Finally, you can also picnic in the park for a relaxing day. It has lots of benches and tables that you can use for a picnic and even grassy areas where you can set up your picnic blanket. 

21. Drive Pacific Marine Road

Driving through Pacific Marine Road is the perfect activity if you are looking for a weekend getaway. 

One of the unique things to do on Vancouver Island is going through approximately 260 kilometres of Marine Road. You can complete your journey within one day, but it is best to take at least two to four days to maximize your trip and enjoy all the activities ahead. 

After a long journey, you can have quick breaks to enjoy a beach walk or even hike through the island’s wilderness. Lastly, take advantage of a quick stop at their famous locations, such as Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, Port Renfrew, Park, Sooke Potholes, and Duncan.

22. Visit the Old Country Market

Take a tour of one of the most unique markets in the world, the Old Country Market. The Old Country Market offers a shopping experience at Alberni Highway because its structural designs feature a grass roof with resident goats. The market grounds are open every day. The festive market begins in early March to the end of December. 

23. Walk Along the Chesterman Beach

There are plenty of free things to do in the Vancouver Islands; one is walking through their Beautiful Chesterman Beach in Tofino, British Columbia. 

You can also use the area to swim, surf, or get your skin tanned by sun baiting. You can also try riding a bike for a less tiring area tour. 

24. Wander Around the Big Trees of Cathedral Grove

image showing trees and a bridge in cathedral grove

Other unique things to do on Vancouver Island are visiting the giant trees of Cathedral Grove. It is a perfect place to unwind because of its unique vicinity. The Cathedral Grove is also home to some of Canada’s oldest and tallest trees, Including Douglas First, over 800 years old and with a staggering height of 250 feet. You can also see the Big Tree Trail, the most popular route in Cathedral Grove. 

25. Hike Tsolum Spirit Regional Park

It is hailed as the most popular trail park, according to AllTrails.com; with a 6.2-kilometer (3.9-mile) loop trail, it is rated as a moderate loop. You can enjoy the peaceful and tranquil surroundings of the area. It usually takes 2-3 hours to complete your hike. 

It is perfect for both seasoned and skilled hikers because it has various trials that are perfect for all levels of hikers. 

Unique Things to Do on Vancouver Island 

26. Have High Tea at the Fairmont Empress

image showing the empress hotel
Credit: Enoch Omololu | OnlyEarthlings

Vancouver offers a lot of beautiful places and fun-filled activities, and your visit here is complete with having tea at Fairmont Empress. It has been a staple at Fairmont, Empress, since 1908, and It is considered one of the best culinary places. 

You can enjoy the tea in their lobby, which still features its Victorian past. Lastly, you can enjoy premium quality teas over their homemade strawberry jams and honey from their homegrown hives. 

27. Visit the Victoria Butterfly Gardens

Visiting Victoria Butterfly Gardens is one of the unique things to do on Vancouver Island. It features over 75 species of butterflies and moths and caters to different species of animals like birds and fishes. 

The Butterfly Gardens is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. except on Christmas. The admission fee continuously depends on your group size. Children under two years old are free, while students and seniors have discounts. 

28. Check Out the Many Castles

Do you want to experience being a royal for a day? You must visit the castles around British Colombia—Marvel around Craigdarroch Castle, a historic national site with Victorian architecture. 

You may also go to Hatley Castle, built in the 1900s, open for the public guided tour. You can explore its different rooms and beautiful gardens. Hatley Castle is located on the Royal Roads University. 

29. Visit the Sheringham Point Lighthouse

Find solace when you visit the Sheringham Point Lighthouse—built in 1912 after the fatal Wreck of the SS Valencia. 

It is open to the public. You can roam the area and enjoy the breathtaking views, but be careful or stay away as much as possible from the cliff edges. The Lighthouse still works today for navigation Purposes. 

30. Hike Avatar Grove

Hiking at Avatar Grove is one of the must-do’s on Vancouver Island. It assures you a fun and unforgettable experience. The Grove Nature Trail is famous because of its 1.6 km loop trail that is well-maintained. It is also renowned for its ancient trees, including the Gnarliest Tree”. But take note to check for any updates regarding the opening or closure of the trail. 

31. Hike the Famous West Coast Trail

With over 75 km of hiking trail, the West Coast Trail is the most challenging yet most beautiful hike you can experience in British Columbia. A thrilling adventure awaits with its rough tracks in the forest, to coastal walking on sand gravel and boulders. 

Note that cable cars and bridges are alongside the significant waterways. Finally, the hiking season is limited to five months due to winter’s stormy weather, and you also need to make a reservation if you plan to trail. 

32. Go Black Bear Watching

image showing a cub black bear in canada
Credit: evevi | Pixabay

Known for its healthy black bears, it is a must-see wildlife attraction that you can enjoy in Vancouver Island, British Columbia. 

There are several known areas that you can visit to watch these adorable animals, namely the Lacs à Jimmy outfitter and Tadoussac. Take advantage of watching the bears in the daytime because it is also the time when they are active. 

33. Take the Malahat Skywalk

The Mahalat Skywalk features a 600-meter tree walk through the picturesque arbutus forest that will lead you to the breathtaking viewing platforms that oversee the beautiful surrounding mountains and seas. 

It is also open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Finally, the admission fee continuously varies from your age bracket, and groups of children under five years old are free. At the same time, students and seniors have discounted fairs. 

34. Explore Clayoquot Sound

One of the most beautiful and diverse wildlife is just west of Vancouver Island, the Clayoquot Sound. It is a Biosphere Reserve famous for its natural beauty, including lush green forests, clustered islands, emerald valleys, and old-growth trees. You can also try many outdoor activities, including whale watching, kayaking, hiking, camping, and fishing. 

35. Cross the Kinsol Trestle

Crossing the Kinsol Trestle is one of the most unique things to do on Vancouver Island because you can cross a wooden railway trestle, which was last used as a rail line in 1979. The bridge is approximately 44 meters high and can take 30 minutes to an hour to cross at the right pace.

Vancouver Island: Things to Do in Summer 

36. Go Whale Watching

image showing a lighthouse in vancouver
Credit: Enoch Omololu | OnlyEarthlings
image showing a yacht for whale watching in vancouver

It’s time to bring your binoculars and cameras to Vancouver Islands! Whale watching must be one of the best things to do in summer on Vancouver Island, as you can do this activity along almost all island coasts. There’s Campbell River and Telegraph Cove in the east and Tofino and Ucluelet in the west.

If whale watching is your primary reason to visit the Vancouver Islands, it’s best to see between May and October for an assured sight of Orcas and Humpback whales. Once you get to the middle of the ocean, watch out for splashes, tails, and dorsal fins, and you’ll know they’re near when you hear their calls and vocalizations.

37. Go kayaking

Alongside whale watching, you can also try kayaking on some of the best spots in the Vancouver Islands, including Pacific Rim National Park, Johnstone Strait, and Telegraph Cove.

If you can handle yourself, paddle on your own, or if not, you can take guided tours. If you’ve never experienced crystal kayaking, Broken Islands near Ucluelet is the best spot. 

image showing the entrance to pacific rim national park
Credit: Enoch Omololu | Only Earthlings

38. Swim in Sooke Potholes Provincial Park

About 30 minutes from Victoria is a hot summer destination to experience swimming in “potholes,” as they call it, in Sooke Potholes Provincial Park! These geological formations form unique deep holes for fantastic freshwater swimming. 

To get the best experience, hike a short trail, go to the Main Area day-use park, and swim in aqua-green-colored pools. Around the Sooke Potholes Provincial Park is an overabundance of things to do, including eating at picnic areas, hiking trails, and swimming at Crescent Beach. 

39. Hike the Botanical Beach Loop Trail

The Botanical Beach Loop Trail, a 2.8-mile track, is one of the shortest but one of the most famous trails in Vancouver Island, known for its presentation of fantastic shoreline and coastal forest scenery. 

Along the trail, you’ll see tidepools, sea creatures, birds, and the ever-glowing strait of Juan de Fuca, undoubtedly showcasing the island’s natural diversity. You can complete the trail in one to two hours from Botanical Beach, ending in Botanic Bay.

40. Swim in Westwood Lake

Near downtown Nanaimo is a clean freshwater lake, perfect for family bonding and cooling off during the hot summer, the Westwood Lake! Swimming in Westwood Lake is one of the best things to do on Vancouver Island, as you can bring your whole family.

There are shallow waters for the kids, a floating dock for jumping, and many country-side activities you can engage in, including picnicking, boating, fishing, mountain biking, and running. 

41. Hike Mount Benson

Located in West Nanaimo, Mount Benson is a popular hiking destination! Taking the Mount Benson trail is one of the best things to do in summer on Vancouver Island. It lets you breathe through the beautiful forests, see the wildlife, and be amazed by the stunning panoramic Nanaimo and Salish Sea views.

This 5.2-km out-and-back hike is challenging because of the rugged terrain and high elevation change at the top of the mountain. With this difficulty, expect to take the whole trekking between three to four hours back and forth.

42. Go Surfing in Tofino

image showing people at the beach in tofino
Credit: Enoch Omololu | Only Earthlings
image showing people at the beach in tofino

If you want to test your surfing abilities, Tofino is the sweet spot for that! With its 35 kilometres of beaches and consistent waves, surfing in the area is one of the best things to do on Vancouver Island.

If you’re a beginner or just starting out, take on the gentler waves of Cox Bay, Chesterman Beach, or Long Beach. If you have intermediate or advanced experience, challenge yourself with the big waves at The Point or The Breakwater.

43. Visit Long Beach

image showing a child enjoying at the long beach tofino
Credit: Enoch Omololu | Only Earthlings

Just next to Tofino is a stretch of 10-km underdeveloped beach perfect for relaxation and surfing, the Long Beach. It’s nicknamed the “Surfing Capital of Canada,” where you can catch beautiful waves from the Pacific Ocean.

Since it is also a part of the Pacific Rim National Park, expect to see quite a few wildlife in Long Beach. Aside from water activities, you can wander around the coastal forest for birdwatching.

44. Go Scuba Diving

Scuba diving is also one of the best things to do in summer on Vancouver Island because there are so many worthy and unique options! 

If you want high current dives, go to the Gulf Islands, especially Dodd Narrows. To experience the most transparent waters with a sight of diverse marine life, the perfect spots are Campbell River and Comox. And if you want to witness excellent artificial reefs, head to Sunshine Coast.  

45. Fishing at Alberni Harbor Quay

One must-do on Vancouver Island is to buy your license for tidal water sports fishing and proceed to Alberni Harbor Quay. You can try shore fishing at the docks and pier or the famous salmon fishing. Aside from salmon, you can catch rockfish, lingcods, and cabezons in the harbour. 

46. Check out Sproat Lake Provincial Park

If you’re up for an exciting adventure in the Vancouver Islands, Sproat Lake Provincial Park is an all-in-one location covering around 345 hectares in area. It’s not just a summer destination, but you can enjoy the surroundings of Sproat Lake all year round.

You can camp, try out easy hiking trails to the challenging ones, wildlife viewing, horseback riding, or mountain biking. 

Other than these land recreational activities, there are water activities like swimming, boating, kayaking, canoeing, and fishing. Unique to the park are the petroglyphs named “K’ak’awin,” dated many years ago.

47. Fish at Campbell River

Is fishing your favourite hobby? Whatever the time you’re trying out this activity, fishing at Campbell River will always be memorable. Trust me, this is one of the best things to do in summer on Vancouver Island.

You can use several fishing charters and guides to know the best spots. Try salmon fishing, especially Chinook and pinks, and fly fishing, such as trout and steelheads, for the best experience. 

48. Explore Elk Falls Provincial Park

Once in the Campbell area, explore the Elk Falls Provincial Park, with Elk Falls as its main highlight! You can reach the falls through the main Elk Falls trail, which might take about one and a half hours. 

Take sight of the stunning 25-m drop Elk Falls while being amazed by how salmon climb up the falls to the river. For the best photo spots, go to the suspension bridge crossing the canyons and view the falls up close.

49. Wander Englishman River Falls Park

The Vancouver Islands is a hotspot for impressive waterfalls, and you should take advantage of the Englishman WaterFalls at Englishman River Falls Park. What’s unique about this waterfall is its two chutes —the high upper and wide lower falls.

Aside from the falls, there are picnic areas, hiking trails, 500-year-old Douglas firs and Western red cedars for you to explore, and swimming holes perfect for summer.

50. Explore Goldstream Provincial Park

image showing goldstream provincial park
A low angle shot of a lake in the Goldstream Park, Vancouver Island, BC Canada

Not all provincial parks in Vancouver Island allow site camping, but Goldstream is one of the few! Exploring Goldstream Provincial Park is one of the best things to do on Vancouver Island because of many things to range over.

You can camp on-site and choose from almost 200 available, view packs of bald eagles, explore the old-growth trees, watch salmon runs, and join hiking trails. 

What is the Best Area to Stay on Vancouver Island? 

The best area to stay on Vancouver Island depends on your interests and the activities that you want to engage with. Here are some of the top regions recommended for your travel plans.

  • Tofino: Tofino is just the right place if you’re after quick access to beaches and outdoor water activities, including surfing. If not Tofino, you can go to Ucluelet, also on the west coast, perfect for swimming and whale watching. 
  • Victoria: For city attractions like the Royal BC Museum, the Butchart Gardens, and the like, staying inside the capital city is thoroughly recommended. 
  • Parksville & Qualicum Beach: For golf enthusiasts who also want to experience the sandy beaches of Vancouver Island, Parksville or the Qualicum Village is the right option. 
  • Cowichan Valley. Cowichan Valley is just the right place if you want somewhere near the farms, vineyards, and provincial parks. 
  • Gastown: Gastown is the right place for vibrant nightlife with restaurants, bars, shops, and some historical architecture. 

FAQs

How many days do you need to see Vancouver Island? 

Travelers recommend exploring Vancouver Island for at minimum 5-7 days to see just the island’s highlights. If you want to see more, including those off-the-beaten, you may spend two weeks up to a month.

Which part of Vancouver Island is the best? 

Deciding the best Vancouver Island all depends on what activities you’re after. Victoria for museums and restaurants, Tofino and Long Beach for some water activities, Pacific Rim National Park for rainforests and beaches, and Campbell River for whale watching and fishing.

What is the best time of year to visit Vancouver Island? 

For decent weather and fewer people, Vancouver Island is best visited during the shoulder seasons—between mid-May and early October.

Do you need a car to get around Vancouver Island? 

Using a car to get around Vancouver Island is convenient but unnecessary. The transport system of Vancouver Island is systematically available in the city and even in the suburbs. You can take public buses, inter-city buses, trains, taxis, ferries, or even bikes. 

image showing a list and photos of the best things to do on vancouver island

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Enoch Omololu

Enoch Omololu is a traveller, culinary tourist, and money expert. He is the co-founder of Only Earthlings and established the popular Savvy New Canadians platform. Enoch has been featured in Business Insider, Forbes, Best Life Online, GOBankingRates, Penny Hoarder, Globe and Mail, Yahoo, and CBC News.

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