Vancouver Island is the largest island in the Pacific west of New Zealand, and you can find it off the southern British Columbia coast. Its southern reaches are found just across the Strait of Georgia from Vancouver, so getting there from the mainland is an easy pursuit. All you have to do is hop on one of the ferries or charter a flight. As for what to do on the island, there are plenty of enticing options. The Vancouver Island attractions include some of the best beaches and provincial parks in all of Canada, and you can get your fill of urban exposure in the lovely capital of Victoria. There's something for everyone on Vancouver Island, and since it has the mildest climate in the country, it is an especially ideal place to escape to when looking to enjoy time outdoors.
Vancouver Island offers a variety of ecosystems, the likes of which include mountains, rainforests, beaches, and marshes. It also offers excellent wildlife viewing opportunities. Whale watching along the west coast is among the top Vancouver Island tourism draws, and birding enthusiasts are sure to revel in the possibilities. More than 200 bird species are spotted on the island during a year's period. These bird species include bald eagles and trumpeter swans. Some of the best places to explore the varied terrain and take in the fascinating wildlife are the island's parks. These parks include provincial parks such as the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park and the French Beach Provincial Park. They also include one of the best national parks in the province—the multifaceted Pacific Rim National Park. Among other things, this park is home to Long Beach and the renowned West Coast Trail.
On a visit to the west coast of Vancouver Island, many travelers look to stay in Tofino, and for good reason. This attractive town offers scores of accommodations and is an ideal place to arrange excursions of all kinds. Maybe a day of diving will be in order, or perhaps you'll want to enjoy a storm-watching tour during the winter months. You don't have to fill all of your time with fun activities to get the most out of your visit to Vancouver Island's west coast. As is true of the island in general, this region is overflowing with spectacular vistas. Just sitting back and taking it all in can sometimes be the most rewarding pursuit of them all.
Vancouver Island tourism revolves largely around fishing, so anglers will definitely be in their element. The island's Campbell River is hailed as the Salmon Capital of the World, while the label of Fly Fishing Capital of Canada goes to its Cowichan River. Fishing is a major Vancouver Island industry, and as far as tourism is concerned, visitors will find it easy to book guided fishing excursions. As for the fishing tours, salmon aren't the only species that you can hope to snag. Steelhead are found in good number in the island's rivers and lakes, and the halibut fishing is excellent. Rainbow trout and cutthroat trout are also among the most common catches when it comes to Vancouver Island BC fishing. If you like shellfish, oysters, crabs, prawns, shrimp, and clams are found in the area waters.
The east coast of Vancouver Island offers some charming waterfront communities, such as Qualicum Beach, and if you venture to the southern edge, you will find the British Columbia capital of Victoria. This city is home to many of the best Vancouver Island attractions of the manmade variety. Walking tours in Victoria can be especially rewarding, as the city boasts some beautiful nineteenth-century architecture, and you can learn all about the region at the wonderful Royal BC Museum. Other excellent Victoria attractions that you might also look to enjoy include the beautiful Craigdarroch Castle, the renowned Butchart Gardens, and the landmark Parliament Buildings.
Vancouver Island tourism is alive and well, and if you haven't yet been, you'll understand once you arrive. This dynamic island of relatively few residents is an outdoor enthusiast's dream, and there's no shortage of ways to stay busy in the various cities, towns, and villages. You can even go skiing on this tranquil and beautiful island. The Mount Washington Ski Resort, while not the largest and most impressive ski resort in British Columbia, offers more than enough in the way of quality to appease even the most finicky of skiers and snowboarders.