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Victoria vancouver island places canada
CA British Columbia Vancouver Island West Coast Trail
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ca-ucluelet-bc-vancouver island
Victoria vancouver island places canada
CA British Columbia Vancouver Island West Coast Trail
ca-Strathcona Provincial Park-bc-vancouver island

The top 5 things to do around Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island is known for its rugged beaches and coastline, beautifully colourful harbours, marine wildlife watching opportunities and nature preserves with giant trees.

With its stunning landscapes, diverse wildlife, and vibrant communities, Vancouver Island offers a unique blend of outdoor activities, cultural experiences, and mouthwatering cuisine. It is a true paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. In this blog, you'll discover five of the best things to see and do around the island.

View of the Telegraph Cove marina on a sunny day
Vancouver Island is the perfect destination for adventure lovers
Join a guided kayaking tour for a different perspective

Pacific Rim National Park

This unique national park is made up of temperate rainforest, lovely sand beaches and rugged rock archipelagos. The Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is a breathtaking coastal wonderland that showcases the rugged beauty of the island. This protected area covers over 500 square kilometres of land that is divided into three distinct regions: the Long Beach Unit, the Broken Group Islands, and the West Coast Trail.

Long Beach

With its windswept beaches, towering old-growth rainforests, and crashing waves, Long Beach is a paradise for surfers, beachcombers, and hikers. You can take a leisurely stroll along the sandy shores or simply watch the majestic sunsets. And if you're feeling adventurous, try your hand at surfing the Pacific waves.

Broken Group of Islands

Embark on a kayaking expedition through the Broken Group Islands, a collection of over 100 islands and islets. Paddle through pristine waters, spot marine wildlife such as seals and sea lions, and camp under the stars on the deserted islands for a truly immersive experience in nature.

Views over the Pacific Ocean in British Columbia, Canada
The Pacific Rim provides stunning views over the North Pacific Ocean
Vancouver Island very comfortable accommodation
The Broken Islands are situated on the West of Vancouver Island in the middle of Barkley Sound

Inner Harbour

This historic waterfront is a must-see in British Columbia. Located at the centre of the charming city of Victoria and surrounded by historic architecture, it is any photographer's delight. This colourful harbour has been used for thousands of years, including by the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations. Today, it is a hub for small cruises and tourism. Especially during the warmer months, when Inner Harbour is a great spot for festivals and music events.

Inner Harbour is also a great location for catching whale watching tours and other wildlife activities. And even better, the harbour has a particular focus on promoting ecotourism.

Historical Inner Harbour in Victoria, British Columbia
Inner Harbour is particularly beautiful and ideal for photographers at golden hour
© Vlad D., Unsplash
Colourful botanical garden, Butchart Gardens in British Columbia
The Butchart Gardens have a total of 22 hectares with different gardens and art displays
© Kosuke Noma, Unsplash

Butchart Gardens

Prepare to be enchanted by the Butchart Gardens, a botanical wonderland filled with exquisite flowers, themed gardens, and tranquil pathways. This Victoria garden is a world-famous attraction, and is sometimes referred to as one of the world’s most beautiful gardens. No matter the season, these gardens are a year-round spectacle of colours and scents. Although certain seasons offer more variety in the flowers you can see. For example, mid-April through mid-May are the best time for spring blooms, and summer is when the gardens put on outdoor concerts for visitors to attend. Butchart Gardens are both the photographer's and gardener’s dream destination.

Houses on stilts near the water in Telegraph Cove
The vibrant houses of Telegraph Cove make the scenery even more charming
A man standing at the edge of the water at Telegraph Cove
Historic jetties connect the building around the cove

Telegraph Cove

Telegraph Cove is one of Vancouver Island’s more hidden gems, and offers visitors views of the surrounding pristine nature and an abundance of wildlife. The rugged coastline, cosy cottages and lush forest will capture the hearts of both those seeking adventure in nature, and those looking for a tranquil escape.

The combination of the historic and colourful buildings on stilts, boats on the pristine marine waters and surrounding mountains make this destination truly picturesque. This, along with the hub of ecotourism focused wildlife tours, shows why the town comes alive during the warmer months, despite the fact that Telegraph Cove Resort only has 20 residents.

A serene view of the tip of a whale's tale coming out of the water with moutnains in the distance
May through October is the ideal time for whale watching
A kayak in the water near Telegraph Cove
Kayaking through the islands allow you to take your time and soak in the scenery

Broughton Archipelago Marine Provincial Park

One of the best aspects of Telegraph Cove is that it serves as the entrance to Broughton Archipelago Marine Provincial Park. This park is the biggest in British Columbia, and is one of the few remaining areas of untouched nature.

Book a local wildlife tour

Take the opportunity and book a whale watching tour on the Johnson Strait. Get up close to these majestic animals and learn about the preservation of the local wildlife.

Explore the islands

The best ways to explore the archipelago is by kayaking, swimming and fishing around the islands. These are the best way to get up close to the pristine waters and explore secluded coves and admire the scenic coastline.

Fresh mussels and seafood from British Columbia, Canada
Vancouver Island's local seafood is a must for any foodie
© Adrien Aala, Unsplash

Indulge in the local culinary delights

The abundance of seafood and local produce make for a delicious and vibrant culinary scene on Vancouver Island.

Seafood haven

Local restaurants and seafood shacks offer a variety of seafood delights, featuring the finest Pacific salmon, succulent Dungeness crab, and buttery spot prawns, ensuring a mouthwatering experience.


Experience the farm-to-table movement at its finest, with many restaurants sourcing ingredients directly from local farmers and producers. Savour dishes made from organic and sustainable ingredients that showcase the island's culinary prowess.

The local and Indigenous led tours emphasise wildlife preservation
Enjoy the sunset against the boats around the island

Vancouver Island, with its awe-inspiring landscapes, cultural delights, and thrilling adventures, is a destination that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime. Whether you choose to explore the rugged coastline, immerse yourself in the island's history, or simply unwind amidst nature's splendour, Vancouver Island promises an unforgettable journey that will keep you coming back for more.

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