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Explore Parksville Qualicum Beach.
1. Explore Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park & bring your gumboots so you can explore the tidal pools.
3. Visit the Parksville Community Park, the jewel of Parksville, featuring a Lions Outdoor Gym, and plenty of space for beach volleyball and kite-flying.
4. For a beautiful sunset stroll on a summer evening, walk along the Board Walk, suitable for pedestrians, wheelchairs and strollers, from The Beach Club Resort to the Parksville Community Park. Or take a sunset cruise with Haida Gold Ocean Adventures.
5. From mid July to mid August, witness the sand creations during the Quality Foods Sand Sculpting Competition & Exhibition at the Parksville Community Park.
6. Museum buff? wander through the artifacts at either or both the Qualicum Beach and Parksville Museums. Visit Craig Heritage Park featuring several buildings from the late 1800s and early 1900s.
7. For the history lover, St Anne's Anglican Church, located on Wembley Road, is one of the oldest on Vancouver Island built in 1849.
8. Stroll the walkable downtown cores for some great boutique shopping in Parksville and Qualicum Beach.
9. Visit the art gallery and studio of Monk, an award winning West Coast artist renowned for her unique style of painting - she invites young and old to join in and add their brushstrokes to original paintings, creating a truly collaborative work of art.
10. Spend the night in a tree house for adults at Free Spirit Spheres - a unique accommodation of handcrafted spheres, set among tall trees of the west coast rainforest.
11. Relax and unwind in the Grotto Spa at Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort, where you can plunge in the mineral pool, indulge in a variety of spa options, and round out your spa experience by dining (in the comfort of your robe) at the Treetop Tapas & Grill.
12. Celebrate nature during March and April during the Brant Wildlife Festival with events that could include bird watching, eagle release, marsh tours, film presentations and more.
13. Combat your claustrophobia with an exciting cave tour at Horne Lake Caves & Outdoor Centre. A variety of tours is available for ages 5 and up, no previous experience necessary for some cave experiences.
14. Grab your swim suit and take a dip or paddle a canoe on one of the many lakes including Cameron Lake, Spider Lake, and Horne Lake Regional Park.
16. Bring the family and spend the day in Coombs - explore the frontier town and shop for unique gifts in the many arts & crafts stores. The community also hosts special events such as a bluegrass festival and a rodeo. A stop at Coombs is not complete without exploring the Old Country Market and saying hello to the famous goats on the roof.
17. Visit the animals at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre, a world class wildlife rehabilitation facility specializing in raptors and black bear. Magnificent eagles can be viewed through one-way glass in the largest flight cage of its kind in Canada.
18. Take a self-guided tour of the Deep Bay Marine Field Station and learn about marine conservation issues and how you can help protect the marine environment.
19. Stroll through tropical gardens filled with trees, plants, flowers and butterflies from around the world at Butterfly World & Gardens.
20. Visit the bustling marine community at French Creek, with a federal dock complete with facilities for visiting boaters, moorage, fresh seafood sales, fishing charter companies, whale watching tours, and a marine pub. It's also the base for the walk on ferry to Lasqueti Island.
22. Explore Moorecroft Regional Park in Nanoose Bay, a 34 hectare park featuring Western Red Cedar, Douglas Fir, twisted Arbutus trees, and endangered Garry Oak. If that's not enough, add in a hike to The Notch, and end the day with a pint at a destination English pub - The Rocking Horse Pub.
23. Explore Morningstar Farm, home to Little Qualicum Cheeseworks. Family fun abounds with self-guided tours, festivals & events, lots of farm animals to see and pet, and of course, cheese.
24. Encounter an artist at work in one of the many galleries in the area including The Old School House Arts Centre, McMillan Arts Centre, and The Salish Sea Market.
25. Wander through the local Farmers Markets and Summer Street Markets while you pick up locally made art or fresh produce, cheese, baking and more.
26. Test your ocean skills at skim boarding, Stand-up Paddleboarding (SUP), kayaking, wind surfing, and kite boarding.
27. Fore! Grab your clubs and check out the seven Golf Courses in the area including Fairwinds, Qualicum Beach Memorial, Eaglecrest, Arrowsmith, Pheasant Glen, Morningstar, and Brigadoon.
28. Enjoy a cup of tea in the same house Royals once visited, at Milner Gardens & Woodland, a beautiful public retreat where a historic estate and wild garden are buffered by a stand of old growth forest.
29. Take a hike on the Arrowsmith CPR Regional Trail, built by Canadian Pacific Railway in 1912 to service guests at their Cameron Lake Resort. The entire trail is about 10 km so be prepared: pack water, warm clothing and wear sturdy boots.
30. Visit Cathedral Grove, located in MacMillan Provincial Park, and stroll through a network of trails under the shadow of towering ancient Douglas fir trees, some more than 800 years old.
31. The Coombs Fair is held every August and celebrates local agriculture and community. And Coombs Fair's Family Day is a full day of fun in February. Check our calendar for the latest info.
32. During their Christmas Toy Drive, bring a new unwrapped toy to Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort, and enjoy a free breakfast. Non-perishable food items and "coins for kids" will also be accepted. Check our calendar for this year's date.
33. Candy Cane Lane on Resort Drive at Christmas.
34. From wine or beer newbie to seasoned palate, enjoy the culinary experiences during the Parksville Uncorked Food & Wine Festival. Or try local beer and spirits right from the source.
35. If you're a car buff, you don't want to miss the Father's Day Seaside Cruizers Show & Shine in Qualicum Beach - mentioned on the Oprah Winfrey Show as one of the 10 best things to do on Father's Day. Bring your dad!
36. Join the fun and festivities on Canada Day with a Parade, Festival and Fireworks display at the Parksville Community Park.
37. Witness the acrobatic talent of kite fliers during the Parksville Lions Kite Festival in July at Parksville Community Park and celebrate the art of the kite.
38. Fun in the sun can be had at the Van Isle Shriners Show & Shine (previously Oceanside Overdrive Car Show) in Parksville, with hundreds of custom, classic and modified cars, trucks, hotrods, and motorcycles on display.
39. Take a dip at the Ravensong Aquatic Centre which also offers a hot tub, sauna, Finnish steam room and several family change rooms. Or grab your skates and head to the Oceanside Place Arena where public skates, special events, lessons and camps are offered year round.
40. Are you the outdoorsy type? Grab the tent and go camping in the many regional or provincial parks offering varied landscapes from beachfront to forest. Tent not your style? Reserve a comfy, rustic cabin and enjoy the simplicity of roughing it in comfort.
41. Every day is beach day in Qualicum Beach, but Beach Day includes special events to celebrate the beauty of the beach. Enjoy the Shriners breakfast, live music, games and entertainment on the beach.
42. Burn off some energy at one of the many sporting events in the area including the Qualicum Beach Triathlon and the 5k River Run.
43. Take flight training at the Qualicum Beach Airport.
44. There are a variety of dining experiences to discover for all palates - popular restaurants include cedars restaurant & lounge at Tigh Na Mara Seaside Resort, Pacific Prime Steak and Chop Restaurant at The Beach Club, Lefty's in Parksville and more.
45. Take a flying leap! Go skydiving with SkyDive Vancouver Island.
No matter what outdoor activity you are planning, be prepared. Follow the three Ts—trip planning, training, and taking the essentials. AdventureSmart is a great resource to help you get informed before heading outdoors.Learn More
About the Author
Karyn Doerksen and Lana Kingston