Greetings, fellow travelers! Journeying Jack here, back with another exciting edition of Suitcase Stories. Today, I’m thrilled to share with you my latest adventure, where I explored the breathtaking beauty of Vancouver Island. If you’re planning a trip to this stunning destination, you’re in luck, as I’ve compiled a list of the top 10 things to do on Vancouver Island that you simply cannot miss. So, buckle up and join me as we embark on this unforgettable journey, discovering the top 10 things to do on Vancouver Island.
From lush forests and serene beaches to vibrant cities and charming towns, Vancouver Island has it all. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or a foodie, you’ll find something to love on this incredible island. So, without further ado, let’s dive into the top 10 things to do on Vancouver Island and start planning your dream vacation!
Discover the Beauty of Tofino’s Beaches
If you’re looking for a beach getaway, Tofino is the place to be. With its rugged coastline, pristine beaches, and stunning sunsets, Tofino is a must-visit destination on Vancouver Island. Here are some of the top 10 things to do on Vancouver Island that you can experience in Tofino:
Tofino is known for its world-class surfing. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced surfer, there are plenty of surf schools and rental shops to choose from. Catch some waves and experience the thrill of surfing in the Pacific Ocean.
Take a stroll along the beach and discover the treasures that wash up on shore. From seashells to driftwood, there’s always something interesting to find.
3. Whale Watching
Tofino is one of the best places in the world to see whales in their natural habitat. Take a whale watching tour and spot humpback, gray, and orca whales.
Explore the coastline by kayak and get up close and personal with the wildlife. Keep an eye out for sea otters, seals, and bald eagles.
Tofino has some of the most beautiful hiking trails on Vancouver Island. From the easy Rainforest Trail to the challenging Lone Cone Hike, there’s a trail for every level of hiker.
6. Hot Springs Cove
Take a boat tour to Hot Springs Cove and soak in the natural hot springs. The journey to the hot springs is just as beautiful as the destination.
Tofino is a fisherman’s paradise. Whether you’re looking to catch salmon, halibut, or cod, there are plenty of fishing charters to choose from.
Experience the great outdoors by camping in Tofino. There are plenty of campgrounds to choose from, including beachfront sites.
9. Storm Watching
Tofino is one of the best places in the world to watch storms. From November to February, the waves can reach up to 10 meters high, making for a spectacular show.
10. Sunset Watching
End your day by watching the sunset over the Pacific Ocean. Tofino has some of the most beautiful sunsets on Vancouver Island.
In conclusion, Tofino’s beaches offer a wide range of activities for visitors to enjoy. From surfing to sunset watching, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss out on these top 10 things to do on Vancouver Island when you visit Tofino.
Explore the Enchanting Butchart Gardens
If you’re looking for a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, the Butchart Gardens is a must-visit destination on Vancouver Island. Located in Brentwood Bay, just a short drive from Victoria, the Butchart Gardens is a world-renowned attraction that offers visitors a chance to explore 55 acres of stunning floral displays, tranquil water features, and winding paths.
As one of the top 10 things to do on Vancouver Island, the Butchart Gardens is a perfect place to spend a day with family and friends. You can stroll through the Sunken Garden, admire the vibrant colors of the Rose Garden, and take in the fragrant scents of the Japanese Garden.
The Butchart Gardens is also a great place to learn about the history of the area. The gardens were originally created in the early 1900s by Jennie Butchart, who transformed a limestone quarry into a beautiful garden oasis. Today, the gardens are still owned and operated by the Butchart family, and they continue to be a beloved attraction for locals and visitors alike.
Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or just looking for a peaceful escape, the Butchart Gardens is a must-see destination on Vancouver Island. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the beauty of this enchanting garden oasis.
Experience the Thrill of Whale Watching
One of the top 10 things to do on Vancouver Island is to go whale watching. Vancouver Island is home to a diverse range of marine life, including orcas, humpback whales, gray whales, and minke whales. Whale watching tours depart from various locations on the island, including Victoria, Tofino, and Campbell River.
Journeying Jack recommends taking a whale watching tour with a reputable company that prioritizes the safety and well-being of the whales. Many tour operators have experienced naturalists on board who can provide fascinating insights into the behavior and biology of these magnificent creatures.
During the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to see whales up close in their natural habitat. It’s an unforgettable experience to witness these gentle giants breach, spyhop, and swim alongside the boat. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the moment!
In addition to whales, you may also spot other marine life such as sea lions, seals, porpoises, and bald eagles. Some tour operators even offer the chance to go on a bear watching excursion or to visit remote islands where you can see sea otters and other wildlife.
Whale watching is a must-do activity on Vancouver Island, and it’s an experience that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Book your tour today and get ready for an adventure like no other!
Delve into the Rich History of Victoria
Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, is a must-visit destination on Vancouver Island. It is a city that is rich in history and culture, and there are plenty of things to do and see that will take you back in time. Here are some of the top 10 things to do on Vancouver Island that will help you delve into the rich history of Victoria:
1. Visit the Royal BC Museum
The Royal BC Museum is a world-class museum that showcases the natural and human history of British Columbia. It has a vast collection of artifacts, including First Nations artifacts, natural history specimens, and historical objects. The museum also has a replica of a 19th-century street, complete with shops and storefronts.
2. Explore the Inner Harbour
The Inner Harbour is the heart of Victoria and has been a hub of activity for over a century. It is home to the iconic Empress Hotel, the Parliament Buildings, and the Victoria Conference Centre. Take a stroll along the waterfront and soak in the history and beauty of the area.
3. Take a Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour
Experience the charm of Victoria’s past by taking a horse-drawn carriage tour. The carriages are operated by knowledgeable guides who will take you on a tour of the city’s historic sites and landmarks.
4. Visit Craigdarroch Castle
Craigdarroch Castle is a Victorian-era mansion that was built in the late 1800s. It is now a museum that showcases the history of the castle and the people who lived there. The castle has been beautifully restored and is a must-visit attraction in Victoria.
5. Walk through Chinatown
Victoria’s Chinatown is the oldest in Canada and the second oldest in North America. It is a vibrant and colorful neighborhood that is steeped in history and culture. Take a walk through the narrow streets and alleys and explore the shops, restaurants, and galleries.
6. Visit the Emily Carr House
Emily Carr was a famous Canadian artist and writer who lived in Victoria. Her childhood home has been turned into a museum that showcases her life and work. The museum also has a beautiful garden that is worth exploring.
7. Take a Ghost Tour
Victoria is known for its haunted history, and there are plenty of ghost tours that will take you on a spooky journey through the city’s past. Learn about the ghosts that haunt the city’s buildings and streets and hear the stories of their tragic pasts.
8. Visit Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse
Fort Rodd Hill is a national historic site that was built in the late 1800s to protect Victoria and the Esquimalt Naval Base. The site includes a fort, gun batteries, and underground magazines. The nearby Fisgard Lighthouse is the oldest lighthouse on the west coast of Canada and is also worth a visit.
9. Explore the Maritime Museum of BC
The Maritime Museum of BC is located in Victoria’s historic Inner Harbour and showcases the maritime history of British Columbia. The museum has a collection of artifacts, models, and photographs that tell the story of the province’s maritime heritage.
10. Take a Walking Tour
Victoria is a city that is best explored on foot. There are plenty of walking tours that will take you on a journey through the city’s history and culture. Whether you want to explore the city’s architecture, gardens, or neighborhoods, there is a walking tour for you.
In conclusion, Victoria is a city that is rich in history and culture, and there are plenty of things to do and see that will take you back in time. These top 10 things to do on Vancouver Island will help you delve into the rich history of Victoria and make your trip to the island a memorable one.
Embark on a Scenic Hike through Pacific Rim National Park
If you’re looking for an adventure that combines stunning natural beauty with a bit of exercise, then hiking through Pacific Rim National Park is a must-do activity on your list of top 10 things to do on Vancouver Island.
Located on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Pacific Rim National Park is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in Canada. The park boasts over 500 square kilometers of rugged coastline, old-growth rainforest, and pristine beaches. With over 75 kilometers of hiking trails, there’s something for everyone, from easy strolls to challenging multi-day treks.
One of the most popular hikes in the park is the West Coast Trail, a 75-kilometer trek that takes hikers through some of the most rugged and remote wilderness in Canada. The trail is not for the faint of heart, but for those who are up for the challenge, the rewards are well worth it. Along the way, you’ll see towering old-growth trees, stunning waterfalls, and breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
For those who prefer a shorter hike, the Rainforest Trail is a great option. This 2-kilometer loop takes hikers through a lush rainforest, with towering trees and a variety of wildlife. The trail is well-maintained and easy to navigate, making it a great option for families with young children.
No matter which trail you choose, hiking through Pacific Rim National Park is an unforgettable experience that should be on everyone’s list of top 10 things to do on Vancouver Island. So pack your hiking boots, grab your camera, and get ready to embark on an adventure you’ll never forget.
Indulge in the Island’s Culinary Delights
When it comes to food, Vancouver Island has a lot to offer. From fresh seafood to locally grown produce, the island’s culinary scene is a foodie’s paradise. Here are some of the top 10 things to do on Vancouver Island for food lovers:
Visit the Local Farmers’ Markets – Vancouver Island is home to many farmers’ markets where you can find fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, baked goods, and more. Some of the popular markets include the Victoria Public Market, Duncan Farmers’ Market, and Comox Valley Farmers’ Market.
Try the Seafood – Being surrounded by the ocean, Vancouver Island is known for its fresh seafood. You can try some of the local delicacies like salmon, halibut, and oysters at restaurants like The Fish Store in Victoria or The Pointe Restaurant at the Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino.
Explore the Wineries – Vancouver Island has a growing wine industry, with many wineries producing award-winning wines. Some of the popular wineries to visit include Averill Creek Vineyard, Blue Grouse Estate Winery, and Venturi-Schulze Vineyards.
Take a Food Tour – If you want to experience the island’s culinary scene in a unique way, consider taking a food tour. Companies like Island Gourmet Trails and Edible Island offer guided tours that take you to some of the best foodie spots on the island.
Visit the Chocolate Shops – Vancouver Island has some amazing chocolate shops that are worth a visit. Some of the popular ones include Rogers’ Chocolates, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, and Hot Chocolates.
Try the Craft Beer – Vancouver Island has a thriving craft beer scene, with many breweries producing unique and delicious beers. Some of the popular breweries to visit include Phillips Brewing & Malting Co., Tofino Brewing Company, and Driftwood Brewery.
Attend a Food Festival – Vancouver Island hosts many food festivals throughout the year, including the Feast of Fields, the BC Seafood Festival, and the Cowichan Wine & Culinary Festival.
Take a Cooking Class – If you want to learn how to cook some of the island’s culinary delights, consider taking a cooking class. Companies like Cook Culture and The London Chef offer classes that teach you how to make everything from seafood to pastries.
Visit the Tea Houses – Vancouver Island has some beautiful tea houses that offer a unique dining experience. Some of the popular ones include The Teahouse at Abkhazi Garden in Victoria and The Empress Hotel’s Tea Lobby in Victoria.
Try the Ice Cream – Vancouver Island has some amazing ice cream shops that are perfect for a sweet treat. Some of the popular ones include Cold Comfort, Island Farms, and Kid Sister Ice Cream.
In conclusion, Vancouver Island is a food lover’s paradise with a diverse culinary scene. Whether you’re a seafood lover, wine enthusiast, or chocolate connoisseur, there’s something for everyone. Don’t miss out on these top 10 things to do on Vancouver Island for a truly indulgent experience.
In conclusion, this incredible journey through the top 10 things to do on Vancouver Island has shown us that there’s no shortage of adventure and beauty to be found on this stunning Canadian gem. From the breathtaking natural wonders to the rich cultural experiences, Vancouver Island truly offers something for everyone.
As Journeying Jack, I’ve had the pleasure of exploring many destinations, but the top 10 things to do on Vancouver Island have left an indelible mark on my heart. I hope that my Suitcase Stories have inspired you to embark on your own adventure and discover the magic of Vancouver Island for yourself.
So, whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time explorer, the top 10 things to do on Vancouver Island are sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime. Don’t hesitate to dive into the wonders of this remarkable destination, and remember to share your own Suitcase Stories with the world.
Until our next adventure, happy travels, and may the top 10 things to do on Vancouver Island guide you on an unforgettable journey!