Category: Parksville

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 www.oldcountrymarket.com 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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Ocean Trails Resort and Rathtrevor Beach

In Parksville there’s Rathtrevor Beach which, at low tide, goes out for miles giving you the sense that you could walk to the small Mistaken Island during that low tide period. Ocean Trails Resort, where we stayed for five nights, is accessed via Resort Drive, which has a collection of resorts ranging from the fancier Tigh-na-mara to more modest priced ones. From what I gather Ocean Trails is in the mid range. It does not provide rental units right on the beach, so I’m assuming the price tags on those (e.g. Madrona Beach Resort) are higher. However, there’s this great […]

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Riptide Mini Golf Parksville

Mini Golf is one of those games where, once at the third hole, and if you were playing fairly, gives you the thought “why did I ever think this was a fun game?” The “no cussin’” signs are appropriate. Parksville has a couple of mini golf courses and RipTide is in the southern end of Parksville’s part of the 19A “old” Island Highway. It services all the Rathtrevor Beach traffic and Resort Drive folks. Riptide has two courses that are consistently themed and decorated in a very imaginative way. I’ll let the photos do the talking on that point. Despite […]

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Lefty’s Fresh Food Parksville, facilitated by BC Ferries

It seems we have a tradition with Parksville. It’s Lefty’s Fresh Food, which is a restaurant on the Island Highway. It’s right beside a Thrifty Foods in the same strip mall. We never manage to leave Vancouver early enough to stock up for our stay at Thrifty Foods and have the energy to cook something back at where we stay. Part of the reason that we end up late in Parksville is because of a) we aren’t morning people and b) BC Ferries is odd. BC Ferries charges you extra to book a sailing but they only allow bookings for […]

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Mini Golf has never been this Kitsch

Parksville as a town was always a bit more commercial than its neighbour Qualicum Beach. In recent years with more swanky resorts appearing in Parksville, you start to see the shift away from the classic beach, sunburns, ice cream and burger stand kind of holiday. To prove this all wrong, there’s Paradise Mini Golf and Fun Park. It is a combination of faux castle, mini golf, water bumper cars, a games room, a cheesy gift shop, and RV Park and a Motel (Paradise Seashell). It’s awesome. The mini golf has two courses which can be very annoying. It’s the only […]

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Parksville In a Hurry

The editors of this website asked local businesses for the essential recommendations for Parksville. We asked them: “If you imagine that someone has come to you and they are on a totally tight time line, and asked you these questions, what would you tell them?” 1. Where should I eat that I should not miss in Parksville? Answer: For Parksville, would be either Mekong River located at 625 Island Hwy, Parksville. Best vietnamese food! Or, Gary’s Bistro in Qualicum Beach. Fun atmosphere, great staff, large variett on the menu! They are located at 115 West 2nd Ave. 2. If I […]

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The Old Country Market in Coombs BC

I never thought I’d visit Coombs, which is a small town near Parksville–Qualicum.  It’s a name on the map for me and until we chose to go to Butterfly World I didn’t think I’d have the pleasure of finding one of the most eclectic shopping areas in the world. The draw for this market is that they have grass on the rooftops of the market (I wonder if the new Convention Centre in Vancouver stole their idea) and they have goats trimming the grass.  Well, it’s been pretty darn hot and I suspect that the goats wouldn’t enjoy the dry […]

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Butterfly World & Gardens Coombs

The travelling family is always on the look-out for a good place to visit that the children will enjoy, but has some educational value and isn’t just wall-to-wall commercialism. The Butterfly World & Gardens in Coombs BC fits this bill.  We had an 8 and 2 year old with us and their interests were both piqued.  The eldest just wanted a butterfly to land on her and stay for a couple of moments.  The youngest wanted to just be able to see everything and had a good sense of discovery. Fortunately the facility wasn’t just a pile of butterflies flitting […]

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North Island Wildlife Recovery Association

If you want to see some animals in captivity, but are in captivity for a good reason — i.e. they’d be dead in a minute in the wild — the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington BC is a good choice. To get there, you need to take the Alberni Highway (4A) which you can access via Highway 19.  It’s quite close to Parksville (about 4 km) and makes an excellent day trip for the family. The place is not a zoo as such and it has a wonderfully rustic feel about it.  It’s a place to try to […]

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