Parksville-Qualicum Beach

Welcome to Canada’s Riviera!

Just up-Island from Nanaimo is the amazing vacation destination of Parksville-Qualicum Beach. Youll find world-class visitor experiences here you wont find anywhere else. For starters, theres a whole string of big, curving sandy beaches just waiting for your towel and your toes. And between them are incredible coves full of sea life. Just turn over a rock! Plus, there are so many seaside hotels, motels and resorts that theres even an entire street named Resort Way! Many visitors have found their favourite places to stay and they keep coming back year after year. And dont worry about shopping and dining. Theres everything youd want and more, and a lot of its just a stroll from the beach!

THE BEACH

Okay, youre getting the theme here. Its the beach! The east coast of Vancouver Island. The sparkling Strait of Georgia. The distant snow-capped purple mountains. Life is good. This is a kid-safe, sun-kissed paradise: sand castles, wading, swimming, tossing a ball, throwing a frisbee. For older kids: kayaking, paddleboarding, boating, fishing — these are all things the locals do, so join in the fun! Rathtrevor Provincial Park, Parksville Community Park, Qualicum Beach — you dont have to pick one. At low tide, theyre all one big beach!

KIDS STUFF

Look, its all kids stuff but maybe some things a little more than others. Parksville Community Park has a huge adventure playground and spray park for the kiddies, as well as a skate park, beach volleyball courts and even an outdoor gym. Just up from the beach, the big castle tells you youre at Paradise Fun Park with two elaborate 18-hole mini-golf courses, a motel and an RV park. Just at the corner of Resort Way and the Oceanside Drive coastal highway is the Riptide Lagoon Adventure Park, featuring two mini-golf courses, laser tag, bumper cars and an arcade.

MORNINGSTAR FARM

This is a real working farm where cows graze contentedly in meadows surrounded by snowcapped peaks. Clarke and Nancy Gourlay invite you to tour the farm, watch the cows being milked, check out the pigs, calves, goats, sheep, bunnies and donkeys, and stay for a picnic under the willows by a beautiful pond. Guess what else? They make gourmet cheese sought after the world over. And they make their own fruit wine! All of which of course you can sample and buy in the Farmgate Store.

MILNER GARDENS

Want a break from the beach? Welcome to Milner Gardens & Woodland, a 28-hectare (70-acre) seaside garden visited by Queen Elizabeth, Prince Phillip, Prince Charles and Princess Diana. Stroll winding pathways through ancient Douglas fir forests. Meander through magical woodland gardens lined with rhododendron, cyclamen and trilliums. Enjoy afternoon tea in historic Milner House.

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SKYDIVING

Too sedate? Why not jump out of an airplane? SkyDive Vancouver Island operates seven days a week out of Qualicum Beach Airport and youd be amazed by the number of people who are taking the plunge. Then again, imagine hanging up there against the blue sky, surrounded by mountains, the beaches, the sparkling sea. Maybe theyre not so crazy after all!

WILDLIFE

Just inland from Parksville and Qualicum Beach are some unique nature experiences you wont want to miss. The North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre is a world-class rehabilitation and discovery centre. Youll find rescued black bears, eagles, owls, falcons and ravens, as well as an interactive learning centre, all in a serene natural setting. Nearby is the very different Butterfly World & Gardens. Its full of butterflies and moths — including one with a 10-inch wingspan! —  all around you sipping on orchids, flowers and other plants from around the world. 

HORNE LAKE CAVES

Vancouver Islands mountains are seamed with limestone and that means amazing caving adventures. Horne Lake Caves offers unique, safe and accessible caving adventures for kids and adults alike. Kids have rated it one of the Top 25 things to do in Canada! Explore underground tunnels, crystal caverns, wet and wild underground rivers and waterfalls. Climb ladders, ride the cave slides and discover ancient fossils.

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AND MORE!

Englishman River Falls Provincial Park, Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park, the Qualicum Beach Heritage Forest, the Qualicum Fish Hatchery, the Old Country Goats on the RoofMarket in Coombs, farmersmarkets, street markets, plus many, many special summertime events, including the world-famous Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition. Theres so much to see and do in Parksville and Qualicum Beach, youll just have to come back for more!

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