On my recent trip to Vancouver Island, one of the parts that I loved about it was how relaxing everything was. I enjoyed being able to turn off the main road to explore different parts of the island. There was constantly a sign tempting me to see something new, from gardens to beaches to waterfalls.
Unlike some trips I’ve been on, I never felt in a rush to see everything as quick as possible. I was having so much fun driving around the island that I wanted to take my time. There are so many places to visit, but these were some of my favorite outdoor activities you need to do on Vancouver Island.
Spend an Afternoon on Protection Island
Protection Island was one of the most unique experiences I had. From a marina in downtown Nanaimo, you can take a short ferry ride to the island. It’s the cutest little boat and everyone was excited to see what the island was like.
The boat docks right at the Dinghy Dock Pub, which may be one of the coolest pubs I’ve ever been to. It’s Canada’s only floating pub and gives you an amazing view of Nanaimo. The fish and chips were somehow made better by the fact that I was right on the water.
Visit Milner Gardens
When you come to Vancouver Island, you have to make a stop at Milner Gardens. Located in Qualicum Beach, it’s a short drive away from the main part of town. After a short walk, you’ll be in the gardens, where they have some of the most beautiful flowers. It was rated one of the ten best public gardens in all of Canada, and it’s easy to see why. There are 70 acres of a beautiful forest filled with Douglas firs, unique artwork, and colorful flowers like rhododendrons.
It’s such a tranquil place to be that even Princess Diana, Prince Charles, and Queen Elizabeth have been here to visit. You can even have afternoon tea like the Royals in the Milner House. With several different sections to explore, it’s the perfect place to find peace and quiet and reflect on your thoughts. You’ll feel a sense of calmness when you leave the garden.
Walk Along the Beaches
Vancouver Island wins the award for some of the most scenic beaches in the world. From mountains in the background to other small, tree-covered islands, your jaw will drop when you see the backdrop for some of these beaches. Rathtrevor Beach is a great one to walk around, as the tide goes out really far during the day. Bring a picnic so you can take your time exploring the beach.
Catch A Sunrise
While the beaches are beautiful, the sunrises are absolutely stunning. One morning I happened to wake up at 5 AM and peaked through one blurry eye outside to see the sky painted pink and orange. I immediately got dressed, grabbed my camera, and headed outside. Each morning the sunrise was completely different, so you’ll never be disappointed. Set your alarm and coffee maker and head outside. Trust me when I say it’s worth getting up early for.
What’s your favorite part about exploring a new area?
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