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Planning a girls getaway to Parksville Qualicum Beach? Here are 19 places to visit for your best trip ever.
1. Visit Milner Gardens & Woodland with 70 acres of forest trails and beautiful gardens. Plan your visit around one of their special events (Christmas Magic, Fairy House Surprise in June, and the Easter Bunny Trail are especially popular) or enjoy smaller crowds on a regular day. Be sure to visit the Camellia Tea Room for afternoon tea.
2. Enjoy breakfast, lunch, or dinner at the waterfront Shady Rest in Qualicum Beach. This iconic building has been around since 1924!
3. Head to one of many local yoga studios for an intense workout or relaxing stretch class. In the summer, you can even do yoga classes on the beach! Check our calendar for dates and times.
4. The Grotto Spa at Tigh-Na-Mara has been voted the number one spa in Canada by Spas of America. Relax with a Dip & Dine - a dip in the Grotto Mineral Pool followed by Endless Tapas Dining in the Treetop Tapas & Grill.
5. Explore the little village of Coombs. Here you'll find the infamous Old Country "Goats on the Roof" Market, the Coombs Emporium, and several quirky, small shops. Stop for dinner at the Cuckoo trattoria. If weather permits, sit on the patio - a peaceful spot that feels like Tuscany!
6. Stroll gentle paths through lush old-growth forest at Cathedral Grove - MacMillan Provincial Park. The oldest trees are 800 year old giants!
7. Visit Little Qualicum Cheeseworks for cheese tastings, a self-guided tour of the farm, and shop the Farmgate Store.
8. Shop fresh and local at our farmers markets! The Errington Farmers Market runs Saturdays from May to September. The Qualicum Beach Farmers Market is open year-round on Saturday mornings!
9. Shop charming downtown Qualicum Beach. You won't find big box stores in this community. Lots of unique finds in the boutique shops here.
10. The Waterfront Walkway in Parksville runs along the shore at the Parksville Community Park. Part boardwalk, part paved pathway, it's the best place to go for a relaxing sunset stroll.
11. Head to Spider Lake Provincial Park for kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding or a swim. This lake is an especially peaceful spot since it is off-limits to all motorized boats.
12. Cameron Lake is a local favourite for picnics and swimming. This is also where you'll find the trail head for hikes up Mount Arrowsmith.
13. For underground adventure, visit Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park. This place has received a "Remarkable Experiences" award from Destination BC and has also been recognized as the "Best Natural Outdoor Site in BC". Explore the public cave on your own, challenge yourself with the 5 hour Extreme Rappel Expedition, or choose an experience somewhere in between.
14. Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park has one of the best beaches in our area, a network of forest and meadow trails, and one of the best campgrounds in BC. At low tide, the ocean recedes almost a kilometer back from Rathtrevor's shoreline creating an expanse of sand ideal for heart-to-heart conversation strolls.
15. The talent of the artists that make their homes here is remarkable. Discover something wonderful at the McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville, The Old School House in Qualicum Beach, or at one of numerous other studios and galleries in our area.
16. Off the beaten path near the community of Coombs, you'll find the unique Bamboozle and House of Leaves boutique shops. Full of funky finds, word of mouth keeps these two woodland "houses" hopping from May to December.
17. Pass a day at Pacific Shores Resort in Nanoose Bay strolling the resort's oceanfront pathways.
“ The talent of the artists that make their homes here is remarkable. ” Sharyn Sadauskas
18. From June till the end of August, visit the Summer by the Sea Street Market on Tuesday evenings in Parksville. Vendors travel from all over Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands to participate in this extremely popular market. Add live music and mouth-watering offerings from food trucks to the mix and you've got yourself a fabulous mid-week outing.
19. Next to the Orange Bridge in Parksville is Robert Held Art Glass with one of a kind vases, bowls and more. You can even take a glass-blowing class here!
Thanks to our Facebook friends and followers for helping us to compile the list! Did we miss anything? Let us know!
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