Things to do on Vancouver Island and beyond
Welcome to the enchanting Vancouver Island, where nature’s wonders and vibrant coastal communities seamlessly merge to create an unparalleled destination for adventure seekers and relaxation enthusiasts alike. Prepare to be captivated by a diverse tapestry of experiences, as this pristine island offers a plethora of activities that cater to every traveler’s desires.
Some great stops and getaways:
Experience the thrill of soaring through the treetops and immersing yourself in the natural beauty of Southern Vancouver Island.
Ziplining is an exhilarating adventure where participants glide through the air on a suspended cable, usually in a natural setting such as a forest or a canyon. The thrill of ziplining comes from the sensation of flying and the adrenaline rush it provides. It allows you to see the world from a different perspective and enjoy breathtaking views while experiencing a sense of freedom and excitement. Ziplining can also be a group activity, making it a fun and memorable social experience.
Whale watching involves observing whales and other marine wildlife in their natural habitat, usually from a boat or a dedicated viewing point on land. It offers a chance to witness these magnificent creatures up close, experiencing their beauty, grace, and sheer size. The excitement of spotting a whale or witnessing their majestic breaches and tail slaps can be truly awe-inspiring. Whale watching also provides an educational aspect as you learn about different species, their behaviors, and the marine ecosystems they inhabit.
Kayaking involves propelling oneself in a small, narrow boat called a kayak, using a double-bladed paddle. It allows you to explore various water bodies such as rivers, lakes, or even the ocean. Kayaking provides a sense of adventure and serenity as you navigate through calm waters or ride along gentle rapids. It offers a closer connection to nature, allowing you to appreciate the surrounding scenery, observe wildlife, and discover hidden spots that may not be accessible by other means. Kayaking can be a solo activity for introspection or a social activity when done with friends or a group.
Ziplining, whale watching, and kayaking you connect with nature, and the sense of adventure and excitement they provide. Each activity has its own appeal, attracting people with different interests and preferences.
Cowichan Golf & Country Club www.cowichangolfclub.ca/
Nestled in the captivating Cowichan Valley near Duncan, British Columbia, the Cowichan Golf Club presents a remarkable par 70, 6189-yard, 18-hole course that encompasses all the splendid characteristics of Vancouver Island golf. Originally established as a 9-hole course in 1947, Cowichan expanded to its full 18-hole layout on June 25, 1985. The course not only showcases breathtaking views of Cowichan Bay and the surrounding mountains but also offers an enchanting setting with its tree-lined fairways that demand precision. As our valued guest, you can enjoy our comprehensive club-house services, and we warmly welcome both members and the public. At Cowichan Golf Club, we guarantee a memorable golfing experience complete with stunning scenery, challenging holes, exceptional service, and a delightful club-house and restaurant.
Take a break from golf and enjoy pizza and a beer at the Caddyshack above the pro shop.
Cottonwood Golf www.cottonwoodgolfcourse.com/
Hit the links near Nanaimo. In 1995, the first nine holes of Cottonwood Golf Course were constructed, followed by the opening of the remaining nine holes in 1998, completing the full 18-hole course. Originally established by the Kaese Family in Nanaimo, Cottonwood Golf Course has remained a family-run facility dedicated to providing exceptional golf services, products, events, and an enjoyable golfing experience for families on Vancouver Island.
Cottonwood Golf Course has earned a well-deserved reputation for its stunning greens, meticulously designed course suitable for golfers of all skill levels, a high-quality restaurant and event services facility, and affordable golfing options.
Cottonwood Golf Course has established and upheld an outstanding reputation based on its picturesque greens, meticulously designed course catering to golfers of all skill levels, a top-notch restaurant and event services facility, and affordable golfing opportunities. Our fairways boast a composition of 85% rye, 10% bluegrass, and 5% fescue. Whether it’s spring, summer, fall, or winter, we provide exceptional playing conditions throughout the year, taking advantage of the favorable climate in the beautiful city of Nanaimo, British Columbia.
PJ Music and Fine Arts www.pjfinearts.com/
If the pursuit of knowledge brings you joy, you might find PJ Music intriguing. We provide opportunities to learn and master instruments like the piano, guitar, and voice. Our team of exceptional instructors offers lessons in a diverse range of instruments at multiple locations, catering to both group classes and private sessions for individuals of all ages. We understand that each learner is unique, so we are dedicated to customizing our approach to suit your specific needs.
At PJ Music Studios, we offer classes in early music, piano, guitar, voice, and much more, ensuring there’s something for everyone, regardless of age or ability. To learn more about our offerings, we encourage you to reach out to us. Together, we can determine the best instructor or class that aligns perfectly with your preferences or those of your child.
Prince of Whales Whale Watching princeofwhales.com
Prince of Whales, leaves from Victoria’s Inner Harbour. To find Prince of Whales, follow the vibrant pulse of the city to the heart of the harbor, where you’ll find us just steps away from top-rated accommodations, delightful restaurants, and other local attractions. With our convenient hourly on-demand departures, embarking on a whale watching excursion is a breeze. You can select the departure time that suits you best, and we’ll ensure you’re back in time for your next planned activity.
The waters surrounding Victoria are teeming with breathtaking marine wildlife, including whales, sea lions, otters, harbor seals, bald eagles, jellyfish, and other fascinating marine mammals. While our Victoria whale watching cruise primarily encounters orca whales (killer whales) and humpback whales, there are occasional sightings of minke whales and gray whales as well. Complement your exploration of Victoria with one of our wildlife tours, and rest assured that our whale sighting guarantee ensures an unforgettable experience.
Vancouver Island Motorsport www.islandmotorsportcircuit.com
The Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit offers far more than just a venue for speed. It is a captivating motorsports haven that brings together driving enthusiasts, friends, and businesses in a vibrant atmosphere where they can connect, socialize, and indulge in delightful dining experiences alongside like-minded aficionados. Nestled in the picturesque Cowichan Valley just 5 minutes North of Duncan, we are committed to providing professional training, track-side support, defensive driving programs, and comprehensive drivers’ education to enhance everyone’s confidence and safety both on and off the track. Featuring 19 thrilling corners and an impressive elevation changes, this circuit must be experienced firsthand to truly grasp its technical prowess and the exhilarating challenge it presents.
Beyond pure fun, VI Motorsport offers circuit driving, high performance driving, open lapping, new driver program, winter driving, island luxury tour and pro coaching.
Victoria Harbour Cats Baseball Club www.harbourcats.com
The Victoria HarbourCats, based in Victoria, British Columbia, are an exciting summer-collegiate baseball team competing in the West Coast League (WCL). Their home games take place at the renowned Royal Athletic Park.
Established in 2012, the HarbourCats emerged as an expansion team. Following a spirited public naming contest that attracted over 600 submissions, the team proudly adopted the moniker “HarbourCats” on October 12, 2012.
This season, the Harbour Cats have plenty of home games for locals to enjoy!
More to see
Make the trek to Pacific Rim National Park, where ancient rainforests meet rugged shorelines, and endless sandy beaches beckon you to stroll along their tranquil shores. Embark on thrilling whale watching excursions from Victoria or Tofino, where you’ll witness majestic orcas and humpback whales gracefully dancing in the pristine waters. For the adventurous souls, the towering mountains and crystalline lakes of Strathcona Provincial Park provide an idyllic backdrop for hiking, camping, and discovering hidden alpine gems.
Indulge your taste buds in the gastronomic delights of Cowichan Valley, a food lover’s paradise boasting award-winning wineries, farm-to-table cuisine, and charming cideries.
Unleash your inner explorer as you kayak through the enchanting Gulf Islands, a marine wonderland dotted with secluded coves and teeming with marine life. For those seeking a cosmopolitan experience, the vibrant cities of Victoria, Nanaimo and Courtenay offer a blend of history, art, shopping, and delectable culinary adventures.
Whether you’re seeking thrilling outdoor escapades, tranquil moments in nature, or cultural immersion, Vancouver Island is a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. So, pack your bags, breathe in the salty ocean air, and embark on a journey of a lifetime on this captivating island that will leave you with cherished memories and a longing to return.
Montana Hill Guest Ranch www.montanahillguestranch.com
Looking further afield, Montana Hills Guest Ranch offers ranch experience in the Cariboo. Montana Hills has a rich history spanning several decades, but it was in 2016 that Elaine and Al, the current owners, purchased, renovated, and reopened the ranch. Prior to their venture at Montana Hills, Elaine and Al successfully operated a boutique inn and farm on Vancouver Island. Their years of experience ensure that when you arrive at the ranch, you’ll be greeted with warmth, relaxation, and a sense of being part of the family. The intimate setting at Montana Hills means you won’t encounter large crowds, allowing for a highly personalized experience.
So, how did Al and Elaine fall in love with the captivating Cariboo region? The answer becomes evident from the moment you set foot on the ranch. Managed by Al and Elaine, Montana Hill Guest Ranch is a fully operational cattle ranch nestled in the heart of cowboy country within the picturesque south Cariboo region of British Columbia. The main ranch encompasses vast acres, gracefully nestled amidst the rolling ‘Montana’ hills adorned with pine, aspen, and fir trees. Stretching for miles in all directions, the surrounding public lands offer an abundance of scenic hiking and riding trails, as well as pristine lakes ideal for fishing. The fresh air, panoramic vistas, and tranquil surroundings create an atmosphere that rejuvenates your spirit and alleviates the stresses of everyday life. Prepare yourself for an extraordinary vacation experience at Montana Hills Guest Ranch, where unforgettable memories are waiting to be made.