Category: Qualicum Beach

Milner Gardens Qualicum Beach

Milner Gardens in Qualicum Beach was a visit a long time coming. We visit the Oceanside area of Vancouver Island once or twice a year and, every time we tried to sneak in a visit to Milner Gardens, we’ve been thwarted by scheduling issues. Vancouver Island University came into possession of the 79 acres of seaside walk and botanical gardens in 1996. Make sure to read the History page of the website because the original patrons are super British connected and the gardens have hosted Queen Elizabeth and some of her offspring over the years. For us, we had a […]

Read More

Shopping in Qualicum Beach

Qualicum Beach shares tourism marketing with Parksville but are two rather different towns. Parksville has the “miracle mile” feel along Highway 19A with Tim Hortons, Starbucks, Domino’s Pizza and other national chains. Qualicum Beach on the other hand has only local vendors with lo-branding. The closest is the Quality Foods store, Lefty’s restaurant and the LDB (Liquor Distribution Branch) store. They have other branches in Parksville and, in the case of the government run liquor store, beyond. A few years back a shopping trip to Qualicum Beach yielded so-so results because the stores seemed generic and bland. This trip however […]

Read More

Brand free or Bland? Qualicum Beach vs Coombs Shopping

With the exception of banks, pharmacies and gas stations, Qualicum Beach is fairly brand free. This does not mean that there’s no shopping. There’s a lot of knick-knack, clothing stores, independent coffee shops like Bailey’s and perhaps the last video store in existence called Catacombs Video. A partial list is here: We did find an antique store that had everything. Good quality antique glassware (it may be a rustic shop, but he knows his stuff) along with old LPs, some comic books and memorabilia from the 50s and 60s. There’s enough stuff to fill a man cave / basement […]

Read More

Buena Vista by the Sea – an Oceanside Escape

Qualicum Beach is an unusual town in that its town centre is inland from its amazing seascape, which is right on Highway 19A, suitably called the Oceanside Route. (In fact the tourism board for the area was called Oceanside Tourism, but changed to Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism. Oceanside is a bit generic, so I see why they made the change, but the romance is lost for me.) Along Highway 19A there is a series of accommodations that are perched on the water. One we stayed at was Buena Vista by the Sea, which has x oceanfront suites. Because of the […]

Read More

An Accidental Trip to Deep Bay

We were visiting Qualicum Beach (staying at Buena Vista by-the-Sea) and we decided to do something educational for the kids, specifically the Deep Bay Marine Field Station. This is further down the 19A highway/Oceanside, about 25 km from our motel. It is past Bowser (can’t help but thing of a barking dog) and down a series of streets and a gravel road. Sadly, we picked a day that the place was closed for a private function. Important tip: check their website in advance. There was a sign at the highway saying it was closed, but I was determine to double […]

Read More

Cryptid Tourism in BC?

Cameron Lake, which is about 22 km from Port Alberni and 20 km from Qualicum Beach is supposed to have a strange creature that’s silvery and serpentine, but no one is sure what it is. Such mysteries fall under the category of cryptozoology and in keeping with British Columbia’s tradition of nuttiness, there’s an actual organization called the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club ( that takes a serious approach to various mysteries. Given the lake monster Ogopogo in Kelowna and Sasquatch having its naissance in Harrison Hot Springs, you could create quite an interesting travel itinerary. This local Vancouver newspaper […]

Read More

Lefty’s is the right place to eat in Parksville

Twice now I’ve eaten at Lefty’s (101 – 280 East Island Highway) in Parksville.  It’s got a mix of casual dining with funky booths and decor but the kitchen actually has some imagination.  We had an 8 and 2 year old in tow and there were other families and they had a diverse kids’ menu. I ate a bison burger with bacon and cheese and it was a really nice change from the generic beef. And I actually ate their side salad.  I never eat side salads.  My wife had a curry vegetable bowl with noodles.  She’s a vegetarian and […]

Read More

Qualicum Beach Overview

Qualicum Beach has many activities for both tourists and locals. These are just a few samples. Bard to Broadway The 2009 season will be B2B’s 10th year. Enjoy theatre under the big tent all summer. The company presents 4 plays continously all summer long. This is the 7th year of operation and the plays have been playing to sell out crowds since its inception. The Old School House Gallery and Art Centre The Old School House is a hot bed of the best of Vancouver Island art. In addtion to ever changing shows of the work of BC artists, there […]

Read More

Submit a blog post to