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 view from the top of Ocean Trails that starts off your walk down their ramps to the beach. (Note that this is for able bodied persons only as one of the sections is steep.)
Once on the beach, there’s sky and sand and water forever. If you are on vacation and trying to de-stress from office work, make sure when you rise in the morning you head down for a beach walk every day. This beach experience is what you are paying for at any of these resorts.
Tides play a role, however. You can check with the front desk and they’ll give you a tide chart for the area to tell you the best time to beachcomb. We totally lucked out with this 10 AM time frame during our stay.
There are lots of creatures to look for including crabs, hermit crabs, sand dollars and clams, who hide in the sand and spit up sand into oddly worm-shaped piles. Many birds will fly overhead and show off how beautiful they are.
Walking out to the water’s edge is fun, particularly when the tide starts to come back. Make sure you know where you left your sand toys and sandals as the incoming tide may take them for an interesting trip.
The 8th and 9th pictures in the gallery show the views to the north, where Rathtrevor Beach becomes a provincial park, and west, where you can see the resort properties in the distance. That’s how far we walked.
As to the actual facilities at Ocean Trails Resort, we had a self catering kitchen that was perfect for four people. There was a living area where we placed our multi-night Monopoly game and we had a master bedroom with a queen bed and another room with two singles for the kids. Were we to add a 5th, it would start to get tight.
The kitchen was totally functional with an essential set of tools. We did go buy a brownie pan from the Parksville Home Hardware so we could make our own.
There’s also a small pool that is really good for the kids. (Adults wanting to swim lengths would find it inadequate and shallow.) Plus there’s a hot tub. If you want less child noise, you’d want to request a spot further away from the pool.
Our five nights sailed by. With long beach walks, trips to local attractions (see Coombs Shopping, Mini Golf and Lefty’s Fresh Food) and me really losing at Monopoly, our vacation ended far too quickly.Author Google+ Profile