Vancouver Island, British Columbia, is a tourist haven with no shortage of activities for tourists.
Its many attractive destinations include lush parks, prehistoric sites, oceanside villages, and many more.
Vancouver Island ranks as one of the best places to visit in Canada. The outdoor activities are endless, and the fun and excitement never stop even if you want to.
The article covers in great detail, the things to do on Vancouver Island. It will also cover some things that make this city special.
Where is Vancouver Island?
As we mentioned earlier, Vancouver Island is part of one of the several provinces in Canada known as British Columbia.
It is located west of Vancouver and north of Seattle. This island has everything, from beautiful parks to several mountains, rivers, et cetera.
As of 2021, Vancouver Island’s population was 864,864 people, and almost half of that enormous population lived in the metropolitan area of Greater Victoria, the capital of British Columbia.
Some other cities on this magnificent island include port Alberni, Parksville, Nanaimo, Courtenay, et cetera.
Things to Do on Vancouver Island
There are several unique things to do in Vancouver Island, and they include the following;
1. Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve takes the cake as one of the most fun things to do on this island.
The West Coast National Park is a beautiful national park with over 200 square miles of natural beauty.
It’s divided into Long Beach, the Broken Group Islands, and the West Coast Trail.
The trail that runs through old-growth forests and across beautiful beaches is a must-visit for hikers.
In 1906, a group of shipwreck survivors took the trail that led them to the area.
This area allows visitors to listen to traditional stories and take part in nature walks.
Address: The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is located in British Columbia V0R 3A0, Canada.
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2. Outer Shores Expeditions & Wilderness Tours
Through their Wilderness Tours and Expeditions, the team at Outer Shores can take guests on small ship trips to Vancouver Island and other parts of British Columbia.
These trips allow them to see the region from the water. Some areas they explore include the Southern Gulf Islands, Pacific Rim National Park, and Northern Vancouver Island.
During a week-long cruise around Vancouver Island, guests can see various animals such as dolphins and whales from the vessel’s deck.
Aside from seeing wildlife, the ship’s crew members will also allow guests to visit local farms and vineyards.
Address: They are located at 360 B Harbour Road, Victoria, BC V9A 3S1, Canada.
3. Nanaimo Museum
Visiting this Nanaimo museum is always fun as you get to learn new things. The Museum of the City of Nanaimo features exhibits that tell the story of the city’s history.
Some of these include artifacts from the early coal mining and logging industries, a 1920s schoolhouse, and stained-glass windows from the city’s history.
In addition, the museum features displays about the local First Nations people of the area.
Address: The museum is at 100 Museum Way, Nanaimo, BC V9R 5J8, Canada.
4. Museum at Campbell River
This is a fun thing to do on Vancouver Island. The Campbell River Museum is an ethnographic museum focusing on the region’s history.
It was founded in 1958 and featured exhibits about the region’s First Nations people and the lifestyles of early settlers who arrived on Vancouver Island.
The museum features several artifacts from the area’s history, such as the Willows Hotel, a log cabin, and a pioneer’s cabin.
It also relocated structures used in the logging and fishing industry during the 1920s.
Address: The museum is located at 470 Island Hwy, Campbell River, BC V9W 4Z9, Canada.
5. Miniature World
Despite its small size, the exhibits at the Miniature World exhibit will leave a lasting impression.
This museum features over 80 mini railroads, 50 large dollhouses, and several detailed dioramas.
The exhibit’s various pieces have been carefully crafted to create a beautiful depiction of King Arthur and his knights.
Guests will also be fascinated by the details of Charles Dickens’s London, a classic circus set, a space scene from the year 2201, and various other objects. This is another fun thing to do on Vancouver Island.
Address: This museum is located at 649 Humboldt St, Victoria, BC V8W 1A7, Canada.
6. Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park
The Little Qualicum Falls Park is located in the southern portion of Cameron Lake. It encompasses a section of the Little River.
The park’s landscape features a deep forest with steep slopes. The lake and the river are both excellent for swimming and fishing.
The park’s various hiking and walking trails also provide multiple opportunities. It is an excellent way to have fun on the island.
Due to the presence of mountains, the lake can get windy. This makes it an ideal spot for people who like to sailboard.
Address: The Little Qualicum Falls Park is located at 4001 Alberni Hwy, Qualicum Beach, BC B9K 1X7, Canada.
7. Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Site
The Fisgard Lighthouse is on Fort Rodd Hill, surrounded by a rocky patch of land surrounded by the ocean.
This historic site features beautiful views of the ocean and the Olympic Mountains.
Aside from the lighthouse, visitors can also take a self-guided tour of the grounds to learn more about the area’s history.
Guided tours are also available through the Garry oak ecosystem. During this time, visitors can enjoy camping under the stars in an oTENTIK, a combination of a tent and an A-frame cabin.
You must try to make a trip to this place when on Vancouver Island.
Address: The Fisgard Lighthouse is located at 603 Fort Rodd Hill Rd, Victoria, BC V9C 2W8, Canada.
8. Englishman River Falls Provincial Park
One of Canada’s most popular provincial parks is Englishman River Falls, which features two cascading waterfalls.
This 240-hectare park also has old-growth forest areas filled with various trees, such as maple, hemlock, and Douglas fir.
It’s also home to several walking trails that can be used to explore the park’s various attractions.
Some campsites are vehicle-accessible and have various features such as fire rings, picnic areas, and drinking water.
Swimming is permitted in the park below the falls. This is one of the exciting things to do in Vancouver Island.
Address: The Englishman River Falls Provincial Park is located at 2245 Errington Rd, Errington, BC V0R 1V0, Canada.
9. Fisherman’s Wharf
The Fisherman’s Wharf is a fun spot for locals and visitors in Victoria, Australia. It’s a short walk from the city’s inner harbor.
There, you’ll find a variety of boats docked, including tour boats, float houses, and commercial vessels.
Besides these, the port also has a variety of shops and kiosks that sell various accessories and clothes.
There’s something for everyone at the Fisherman’s Wharf, as there are various available food options.
Besides fish and chips, visitors can also enjoy a variety of other food items such as fresh crab, coffee, and ice cream.
It would be best if you also tried out this harbor; you’ll enjoy the cuisines on display.
Address: The Wharf is located at 12 Erie St, Victoria, BC V8V 4X5, Canada.
10. Elk Falls Provincial Park
Several people regard the Elk Falls in British Columbia’s Provincial Park as the park’s centerpiece.
It spans 85 feet high and features a pool at the bottom. The river then collects and flows through the falls.
Elk Falls Provincial Park is in the heart of Douglas fir forests.
There are several activities that visitors can do in the park, such as fishing in the lakes or hiking through the forest. If you enjoy fishing or hiking, this is the place for you.
Address: The Elk Falls Provincial Park is located at Hwy 28, Campbell River, BC V9H 1P1, Canada.
11. Comox Airforce Museum
The museum in Courtenay, British Columbia, offers a self-guided tour that explores Canada’s history of aviation.
It features artifacts from the First World War, such as uniforms and aircraft engines.
Some documentaries feature historical footage and interviews with pilots.
In addition, visitors can explore the Heritage Air Park and see some of the country’s former military vehicles. This is another exciting place to visit on the island.
Address: The Airforce Museum is located at Military Row, Lazo, BC V0R 2K0, Canada.
12. Beacon Hill Park
Beacon Hill Park, located in the southern part of the city, used to be called Maeacan.
This refers to the hill’s shape, which looked like a man’s large stomach resting on his back.
This park, which features gardens and greenery, has been around since 1882.
This park is located in Victoria, British Columbia, and it features various activities such as a petting zoo and walking trails.
It also has a giant totem pole, which measures over 160 feet tall. This was erected in 1956 to honor the members of the First Nations.
Address: The park is at 100 Cook St, Victoria, BC V8V, Canada.
13. Abkhazi Garden
The Abkhazi Garden was first established in 1946 by Prince Abkhazi and Princess Abkhazi.
Over the years, it has flourished with various features, such as native trees and sloping landscapes.
Although it’s close to the road, visitors would never believe it’s secluded.
The Abkhazi Teahouse is a beautiful location that offers various traditional and modern tea services.
Guests can enjoy a cup of hot tea or a light lunch at the restaurant. The Abkhazi Teahouse is known for its impeccable service and traditional pastries.
Address: The garden is located at 1964 Fairfield Rd, Victoria, BC V8S 1H2, Canada.
14. The Pacific Northwest Raptors
Seeing the calls of hawks and eagles in the skies is instantly recognizable.
Unfortunately, these majestic birds of prey are also very endangered.
To help protect these animals, a group of scientists has created a sanctuary for them on Vancouver Island.
This natural habitat allows them to fly away whenever they please, but they will always be able to return to it.
Address: The Pacific Northwest Raptors is located at 1877 Herd Rd, Duncan, BC V9L 5W4, Canada.
15. Craigdarroch Castle
The Craigdarroch Castle, built-in 1887, is a fairy tale castle with a history that goes back to its origins.
It was constructed on a hill overlooking Victoria and featured a four-story building with intricate carvings and stained-glass windows.
Today, the castle is open for tours. When it was built, it was owned by the Dunsmuir family.
The castle features a 200,000-square-foot area, and visitors can explore its various features.
Address: The castle is located at 1050 Joan Crescent, Victoria, BC V8S 3L5, Canada.
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16. Victoria’s Historic Center
British Columbia’s capital city of Victoria, founded in 1843, is known for its history.
There are many things to see and do in this area, such as The bustling Bastion Square, which is home to bars, restaurants, and shops, and Fan Tan Alley, considered Canada’s narrowest street.
Address: The Victoria’s Historical Center is located at 4507 Victoria Blvd, Hampton, VA 23669, United States.
17. Butchart Gardens
The Butchart Gardens, just north of Victoria, is a unique and meticulously-designed botanical area.
It has over a hundred years of history and is one of the most popular attractions on Vancouver Island.
The facility employs over 50 individuals and is home to over 900 plant species.
Address: The Butchart Gardens is located at 800 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay, BC V8M 1J8, Canada.
18. The Goats at Old Country Market
The Old Country Market, located in Coombs, is a must-visit area for anyone on Vancouver Island.
It’s known for its wide variety of imported gifts and food and its prize attraction, which is the GOATS!
This market is also known for its selection of groceries and other goods.
Address: The Goats at Old Country Market is located at 2326 Alberni Hwy, Coombs, BC V0R 1M0, Canada.
19. Fairmont Empress
A reservation at the Victoria’s Fairmont Empress hotel is a must-do if you’re a tea lover.
This elegant establishment has been a staple in the city’s downtown core since it was first opened in 1908.
The hotel’s High Tea service is one of the most popular activities in the area.
Address: The Victoria’s Fairmont Empress hotel is located at 721 Government St, Victoria, BC V8W 1W5, Canada.
20. Sooke Potholes Provincial Park
Unlike the many roads in the area, the pools at the Sooke Potholes Provincial Park are filled with crystal-clear water carved into the sandstone of the region’s glaciers.
Although swimming is allowed in these pools, it’s important to note that the water levels may get very deep.
Address: The Sooke Potholes Provincial Park is located at Sooke River Rd, Sooke, BC V9Z 0Y1, Canada.
21. Harbor Ferry Cruise
One of the easiest ways to get around Vancouver Island is by taking a sightseeing cruise.
This is a great way to get around the area and give you a taste of the local culture.
Various types of cruises can be taken in the region, such as those that leave Victoria, Campbell River, and the other areas.
Address: The Harbor Ferry Cruise can be accessed at 501 Denman St, Vancouver, BC V6G 2W9, Canada.
Visiting Vancouver Island should be on everyone’s bucket list because it’s such a fantastic place, and I suggest you start planning your visit immediately.