Category: Vancouver Island

Top 5 Things To Do on Hornby Island

Hike the trail at Helliwell Provincial park. Free admission, easy trail (5kms). Recommend doing it in clock-wise direction for best view of cliffs . Allow time for photos along the way. Lots of great views, including old growth forest, spectacular coastline, seals, flowers. hint: take binoculars if you have them for watching the seals and sea lions. Hornby Island Blues Society puts on several events throughout the year, including a Blues workshop in May featuring several renowned Canadian blues musicians as instructors. Enjoy a great dinner at the Sea Breeze Restaurant. They also have great housekeeping cabins and a […]

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Dutch Imports

In Coombs BC, there is a small little Dutch Imports store right off Highway 4. They are a bright orange and hard to miss, they have everything from Dutch food to little Dutch dish towels. When you walk in the first thing you see is the aisle of Dutch candies, with their specialized licorice. They also carry a variety of other foods, meat, cheese and treats such as Dutch honey cake and speculaas cookies. The service is helpful and friendly, no complaints there. The only complaint I have is something rather unfixable, the location of the store. I’m not the […]

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Riptide Lagoon Adventure Golf

In Parksville on Resort drive is Riptide Lagoon Adventure Golf, with two mini golf courses that easily serve tourists who stay at the resorts. This summer I stayed with my family at Ocean Trails Resort, one of the places on Resort Drive for about the fifth time in a row. Due to the fact we’ve been staying so long the mini golf has worked its way into becoming a family tradition. They have several attractions on their grounds, bumper cars, arcade, ice cream, and of course the mini golf. Actually playing mini golf is a bit like playing in a […]

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Lefty’s Restaurant in Parksville

Lefty’s is a yummy restaurant in Parksville, B.C. Their menu has many choices with a lot variety, as it is not a “we-only-have-one-focus-that-we-take-way-out-of-proportion” restaurant. Lefty’s has everything from pastas to burritos, literally, when I visited I had a burrito. When I went it was at an odd time, before dinner but after lunch so there were very few people in the restaurant. The waitress came right away with menus and drink orders (I had a Shirley Temple) so no complaints there. However, once we’d decided what we wanted to eat and ordered it took a rather long time for the […]

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Shopping Therapy Coombs BC

Coombs BC is an interesting place. It’s 10 km from Parksville and is noted for its eclectic shopping, specifically Goats on the Roof AKA The Old Country Market. See This was not our first time at the market, but changes had been made as they are refurbishing the non wooden buildings across the street from the main market. Because this market prides itself in being fairly brand-free, the opportunities for unique shopping are good. For example, I was not expecting to find a clothing store called Wabi Sabi, which is a surfer clothing store. Considering the nearest surfing in […]

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Parksville Museum and Farmers Market

The Parksville Museum, which is also called the heritage park, is located right next to the BC tourism info centre off of highway 19A as you enter Parksville via Nanaimo. This small museum works to preserve Parksville’s history. It comprises of a collection of old buildings that have been moved to the site and filled with artifacts dating back to the late 1890s. What’s compelling is the rustic harshness that people who lived in the area had to deal with. They were all trying to keep a connection to the larger world while dealing with the limitations in transport and […]

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BC Ferries – A View

BC Ferries. When you say this name to BC residents, you might not receive entirely enthusiastic responses. Most people place BC Ferries somewhere in the annoying category. Because many Vancouver Island and Gulf Islands communities are cut off without the service, people see it as an extension of the highways and wonder why the cost is so high when most other roads in BC have no tolls. (E.g. a Nanaimo to Vancouver ferry cost $129.15 for one child and three over-12-year-olds and that included the $15 advance reservation fee. The question of why we are charged extra to let BC […]

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B.C. Ferries

When visiting Vancouver Island or its surrounding companions, there is only one ferry company to get people to their destinations. That’s right, I’m talking about B.C. Ferries. Now, I know people say “Eww!” thinking about a public ferry service however, it could be a whole lot worse. It depends on what ferry you take in relation to your destination. For example, if you are traveling to Victoria, tons of people visit there all the time. The boat is going to be much larger and be fit with nicer accommodations such as, the “Coastal Café” an on ferry restaurant/buffet (that ends […]

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Ruckle Point Provincial Park and Yeo Point Salt Spring Island

Our second Salt Spring Island beach walk on our trip (see Jack Foster Trail) was at the south east part of the Island. To find the access point to this trail, from Ganges, take Fulford-Ganges Road, turn left on Cusheon Lake Road, right on Stewart Road, left on Beaver Point Road, left onto Bullman Road and then right onto Meyer Road. There’s a cul-de-sac at Meyer Road where you can park. The trail soon becomes this mossy magical location. In March the moss was so profound and wet and green that it felt like a scene from The Shire in […]

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Sunset Farm Studio Salt Spring Island

At the north end of Salt Spring Island, there’s a place to visit called Sunset Farm, which is on Sunset Drive, conveniently. Basically it’s a hobby farm with sheep, ducks, chickens, goats, two ponies and very cute black lambs (just don’t tell my kids what happens to most of them). One thing we learned was that it’s a lot easier to raise sheep on Salt Spring Island because there are no foxes, coyotes or wolves. In the Fraser Valley, predation by coyotes is an issue. Interestingly if you are raising chicken, you don’t want to be too close to the […]

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