Vancouver Island is a must-see if you’re planning a trip to British Columbia. It’s well-known as a vacation destination near the water, surrounded by beautiful scenery and natural wonders.
The island is also home to several stunning beaches, parks, and fun attractions, including live music bars and art galleries. This is why it’s easy to see why Vancouver Island is such an attractive destination for visitors looking for something truly different.
Continue reading to learn why Vancouver Island is definitely worth a visit.
Best Locations on Vancouver Island
Walk the Malahat SkyWalk
The Malahat Skywalk offers a unique and refreshing outdoor experience, immersing visitors in nature as they travel along a 600-meter elevated walkway.
This attraction leads through an extensive forest of arbutus and Douglas fir and a lookout tower where guests can enjoy a breathtaking view of mountains, islands, forests, and the Pacific Ocean.
Another option is to climb the partially suspended net in the tower’s center, providing a unique perspective of the spiraling structure below.
We highly recommend this location as it offers a deeper connection with nature as you’re surrounded by trees, birds, animals, and marine life.
Single admission tickets cost between CAD 20.95 and CAD 34.95. Customers will also appreciate the fact that their ticket is flexible, as it is valid for one year from the date of purchase, allowing them to use it whenever they want.
Visit Artina’s Jewellery
Artina’s Jewellery is a family-run business that has been selling Northwest Coast Indigenous and contemporary Canadian jewelry since 1989.
If you like jewelry, we definitely recommend you stop by this shop as they have a large selection of unique and locally-made jewelry on Vancouver Island.
Some of the collections they sell include bracelets, rings, earrings, chains, pendants, and indigenous jewelry. Their products range from CAD 225 to CAD 10,000.
Artina also promotes both indigenous and contemporary artists by providing them with their own, easily accessible platform where they include their biography and work.
Experience Vancouver Island’s Craft Breweries
For those who enjoy beer, Vancouver Island has over 40 craft breweries located throughout the lower portion of the island.
All of these breweries make handcrafted beers with locally sourced ingredients. Many of them have tasting rooms where visitors can try their brews and perhaps enjoy a snack or a full meal.
Download the BC Ale Trail app for a more in-depth guide to Vancouver Island’s beer scene, which includes detailed information and itineraries to help you locate all of the island’s breweries.
Join the Homalco Wildlife & Cultural Tours
Homalco Wildlife & Cultural Tours is an indigenous-owned and operated tour that provides an insight into the Xwémalhkwu people’s rich culture (Homalco).
They provide a fully guided tour of the Discovery Islands and the Bute Inlet’s traditional territory. Throughout the journey, the Homalco people’s traditional stories, history, language, and culture will be shared by the First Nation guide.
During your sea voyage, you will most likely see sea animals such as dolphins, orcas, and others, so prepare your cameras to take photos.
We recommend this tour for those interested in learning about Canada’s Indigenous people while exploring the magnificent West Coast.
Adult tickets cost CAD 248, while children and youth tickets cost CAD 218. Please remember that the full amount is due when booking to secure your tour slots.
How to Get to Vancouver Island
If you’re visiting Vancouver Island by car, it’s a good idea to stop by a gas station first as it’s a 5.5-hour drive from Victoria to Port Hardy. There are no bridges that go directly to Vancouver Island, so you’ll have to take the ferry if you want to bring your car.
Those interested in taking the ferry have three options. Visitors can take the Coho Ferry, which runs between downtown Victoria and Port Angeles on a daily basis.
Another option is to take the Anacortes ferry or the Clipper Navigation. Ferry tickets to Vancouver Island cost approximately CAD 17.20, while those wishing to bring their car may be charged approximately CAD 75.
There are several airlines that fly to Vancouver Island, including Air Canada, Westjet, Pacific Coastal Air, and Harbour Air. You can also fly into Vancouver Island from many Canadian cities, including Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary.
Flights from Vancouver usually take 30 to 40 minutes each way and cost between CAD 140 and CAD 200.
Visitors to Vancouver Island can reach the island via a variety of transportation options. If you ever get lost, it’s a good idea to ask the locals, who are known to be friendly and accommodating.
Vancouver Island has a wealth of beauty and adventure to offer, tied together by wonderful cities and small towns.
Whether you’re looking for the wet and wild coastline, or you want to easily explore nature in a national park, you can find all this and more on Vancouver Island.
While only a few hours away by plane, the island can keep you busy for a week or more, so make the most of your time there by planning as many activities as you can.