Vancouver Island

Named for Captain George Vancouver, a British Royal Navy officer who explored the region, Vancouver Island is British Columbia's largest measuring 460 by 80 kilometres and is also the location of the capital of the province, Victoria.

Click on the map pins below to view the available activities within Vancouver Island

Map of Things to do on Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island is the world's 43rd largest island and sits at the most southerly point of Canada's West Coast. Separated from the mainland by the Strait of Georgia (and the Juan de Fuca between the it and Washington State) which are part of the Salish Sea, Vancouver Island offers coastal mountains, windswept beaches, rivers and creeks, temperate rain forests, unique flora and fauna and the mildest temperatures in Canada.

The Island is composed of several sections, the North Island, Central Island, Pacific Rim, Cowichan, and South Island regions, each with different attractions, towns and places to visit. Several national and provincial parks can be explored, but its the Island's western coastline which sees most of its visitors as the marine wildlife (such as seals, sea lions and a variety of whales can be spotted along the coastline), surfing, trails and year-round beauty brings thousands of tourists.

Perfect for a day trip, a month long adventure, or something in between, there are dozens of activities to enjoy all over Vancouver Island from Port Hardy at its northerly tip to Victoria at its southern edge.

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TOP 10

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Victoria Butterfly Gardens

Whittle away the day in a tropical paradise surrounded by colourful flowers, reptiles, fish, birds, butterflies and more at the Victoria Butterfly Gardens

Seals at Oak Bay Marina

Visit the Oak Bay Marina in Victoria, British Columbia to see its star attractions, the small group of wild seals! See these beautiful sea creatures up close and even throw them some fish!

Beacon Hill Park

Visit Victoria's Beacon Hill Park and explore its beautiful and rare plants, manicured gardens as well as its historic buildings, structures and monuments.

Beacon Hill Children's Farm

Experience a rural farm in the city at the Beacon Hill Children's Farm! Visit the animals including chickens, pigs, peacocks, donkeys, goats, sheep and more.

Fan Tan Alley

Fan Tan Alley, located in Victoria, British Columbia, is recognized as Canada's narrowest street. The Alley measures 0.9 meters at its narrowest point and contains several shops and apartments.

Craigdarroch Castle

Visit Victoria's Craigdarroch Castle and step back into 1890 when this formidable structure was the most impressive residence in the city and a reflection of the wealth and power of Coal Magnate Robert Dunsmuir. Today, the castle is a museum filled with artifacts from the region's rich history to explore.

Royal BC Museum

Featuring exhibits focusing on British Columbia's culture, history and heritage as well as exhibits on loan from around the world, the Royal BC Museum is the province's premier museum located in the city of Victoria, British Columbia.

BC Parliament Buildings

See British Columbia's iconic provincial parliament buildings in Victoria. Explore these historic buildings inside and out with guided and self-guided tours or observe a debate when the house is in session.

Miniature World

Experience the Greatest Little Show On Earth, Miniature World! Encompassing several rooms with themed tiny miniature models, Miniature World is a fun place to explore a miniature wonderland!

Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites

Explore Vancouver Island's history dating back to 1860 at Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites.

Sooke Region Museum

Learn about Sooke, British Columbia at the Sooke Region Museum which includes artifacts, historic photographs, dioramas, displays and scale models.

Whiffin Spit

Walk along the edge of the ocean on Whiffin Spit in Sooke! Enjoy beautiful views of Sooke, the ocean and innner harbour, bird watch and make your way to the lighthouse at the end of the one kilometre natural sandy spit.

French Beach Provincial Park

Located on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, French Beach Provincial Park offers a relaxing atmosphere with a beach, grassy lawns and forests.

Juan de Fuca Provincial Park

Visit Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, a crown jewel along Vancouver Island's western coastline. Peek into the tide pools of Botanical Beach and hike part or all of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail!

Avatar Grove

Visit Canada's Gnarliest Tree at Avatar Grove near Port Renfrew, British Columbia as well as giant Western Red Cedar and Douglas Fir found throughout this old growth forest on Vancouver Island.

Kinsol Trestle

At 44 meters (145 feet) high and 188 meters (614 feet) long, the Kinsol Trestle along the Cowichan Valley Trail (part of the Trans Canada Trail) is the highest and largest surviving free standing timber trestle in Canada.

BC Forest Discovery Centre

Learn about British Columbia's forestry history at the 100 acre open air BC Forest Discovery Centre which includes three kilometres of operational narrow gauge railway, exhibits, artifacts and more.

Nanaimo Bastion

Visit the Bastion, North America's oldest freestanding Hudson Bay Company fort. This historic 1853 fortification situated on the shores of Nanaimo stands three stories tall and is open to visitors in the summer. Come explore the Bastion and watch the cannon firing ceremony at noon!

Cathedral Grove

Experience the quiet beauty and the giants of Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park. Visitors can see the Park's 900 year old Douglas Firs and walk along its many trails. Don't miss the opportunity to walk among this spectacular old growth forest on Vancouver Island.

Goats On The Roof at the Old Country Market

Visit the famous Goats on the Roof as they graze on the sod roof atop the Old Country Market in Coombs, British Columbia - one of the area's most popular roadside attractions for over thirty years!

Englishman River Falls Provincial Park

Not far from the town of Errington, Englishman River Falls Provincial Park is a beautiful place to explore with two waterfalls, a spectacular canyon, three kilometres of trails, old growth and second growth forests as well as diverse flora and fauna.

Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park

Explore the stunning Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park in Parksville - a beautiful place with old growth forests and seemingly endless beaches. Enjoy camping, hiking, beach combing and wildlife viewing!

Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park

Explore this nine acre waterfront park referred to as the “Jewel in the Comox Crown”. Walk through the manicured gardens and see the rare and exotic plants, see the deer and farm animals, visit the tea house, lodge and buildings which date back to the 1930s!

Mount Washington

Experience beautiful Mount Washington - a resort offering seasonal activities including apline and nordic skiing, snowshowing, tubing, sightseeing, mountain biking, hiking, camping and more.

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Experience the rugged beauty of British Columbia's West Coast at the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. Hike thorough temperate rain forests, spruce bogs, beaches and rocky shorelines while exploring the three separate sections of the Park: Long Beach, the Broken Islands and the West Coast Trail.

Kwisitis Visitors Centre

Learn about the unique history, geography, flora and fauna of the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve at the Kwisitis Visitors Centre which offers exhibits, films and special events from March to October.

Wild Pacific Trail

Hike Vancouver Island's rugged West Coast along the Wild Pacific Trail. Overlooking Barkley Sound, the Broken Group Islands and the Pacific Ocean this popular trail winds along rocky shores, forests and Amphitrite Lighthouse.

Amphitrite Lighthouse

The West Coast of Vancouver Island was once a treacherous place and was known as the Graveyard of the Pacific. To combat shipwrecks and fatalities, Amphitrite Lighthouse was built in 1906 and is a popular locale to explore with its rugged coastline and surrounding forest.