Vancouver Island

Vacation Guide 2016

Super, Natural British Columbia

Central Island

Central Vancouver Island Region

Slipping from the comfortably mild to the super, natural wild sides of Vancouver Island is one of the pleasures for visitors to the Central Island region. Shop, eat and sleep in style while exploring a historic harbour city. Stroll miles of shallow, sandy coastline ideal for beachcombing and family fun. Fly a kite in fresh ocean breezes. Dine at Canada’s only floating pub and restaurant. Hurtle down forested mountain bike trails. Meet artists in their home studios. Canoe across placid blue lakes. Giggle at the delightful sight of goats on the grass-covered roof of a country market jammed with unique imported and local goods. Or simply relax, dig toes into warm sand and surrender with a satisfied sigh.

Action-packed weekend getaways and restorative weeks can fly by without a dull moment here on the central eastern coastline. Nanaimo, the Island’s second largest city, has evolved into a lively urban centre with its smartly restored downtown and walkable harbourfront. Not far north, along the scenic Oceanside Route, is the popular beachfront town of Parksville and quiet, classy Qualicum Beach. Not far inland within easy access are lakes, rivers, parks and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve that embraces five distinct climatic zones between sea-level gardens and alpine meadows.

Holiday mornings here typically feature a therapeutic beach or forest hike followed by brunch or lunch at one of numerous bistros, coffee shops and diners. The day ahead then offers active exercise or gentle diversions. Gaze up in wonder at Cathedral Grove’s old-growth giants in MacMillan Provincial Park. Descend deep underground while spelunking at Horne Lake Caves. Play multiple rounds of mini-golf on Parksville’s delightful storybook courses. Or check out the ancient amphibian bones at the Qualicum Beach Museum.

Many visitors arrive in Nanaimo via its ferry terminals, floatplane services, cruise ship terminal and revitalized airport. Weekenders enjoy booking a room and taking leisurely walkabouts punctuated by shopping, dining and shows. Great hiking, cycling, kayaking, boating, ziplines and even a bungy jump are within minutes of downtown. Explore the Old City Quarter before catching a passenger ferry to Protection Island for a pint at Canada’s only floating pub and restaurant (while you wait for your meal, the kids can fish through the floor). Between May to September, some locals like to time their first sip with the roar of the noon-hour cannon fired from the 1852 Hudson Bay Company Bastion fortress.

Playtime!- Fun in the sun, sand and water is the focus at the Parksville beaches.
2013 Photo Contest Finalist: Hillary Smith
Playtime!- Fun in the sun, sand and water is the focus at the Parksville beaches.
2013 Photo Contest Finalist: Hillary Smith

Those eager to shut out the world head straight for Parksville’s check-in and chill-out nirvanas in search of maximum rest, relaxation and stare-at-the-horizon peace. Further along the coastal road to Qualicum Beach are a series of charming inns and motels not far above tideline. Elsewhere in the region, stay in an RV park, camp at Rathtrevor Beach and Englishman River Falls, or try something a little di erent by overnighting in a yurt or pod-shaped tree house.

Outdoor pursuits are close at hand wherever you’re based. Milner Gardens and Woodland is one of Vancouver Island’s favourite public gardens. Scuba divers can explore artificial reefs in Nanaimo’s harbour. Meet locals and their canine companions on beachside promenades. Golfers can roam between 19 courses in the region while their non-golfing partners opt for whatever pleases them: shopping, culinary tours, birdwatching and kidtastic outings to butterfly, wildlife and barnyard refuges. Many simply curl up with a good book and call it a holiday.

People Watching - Enjoy the music, vibes and atmosphere at the Diana Krall Plaza in Nanaimo.
People Watching – Enjoy the music, vibes and atmosphere at the Diana Krall Plaza in Nanaimo.

Things to do in the Central Island

  1. At Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park wander pathways among a rare stand of old-growth Douglas fir, several of which date back 800 years. The biggest trees in this ancient ecosystem are 250ft high and 29ft in circumference.
  2. Enjoy gentle trails, picnic and camping facilities, and two spectacular waterfalls cascading into a deep canyon at forested Englishman River Falls Provincial Park.
  3. Spelunk! Get your cave on when exploring the underground world at Horne Lake Caves, a favourite destination within Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park (voted the Best Natural Outdoor Site in BC). With a newly opened cave, three caves are now accessible year-round for self-guided tours. Guided caving tours lead to ancient fossils, crystal formations and, for adventurous explorers, an exciting rappel down and back up a seven-storey underground waterfall. The wheelchair-accessible Interpretive Centre features a museum and Canada’s only cave theatre. While in the area, visit the regional park with its lakeside campsites and tepees in walking distance of the caves. Canoe, kayak, pedal boat and SUP (Stand-Up Paddle) board rentals are available.
  4. Canoe or kayak at Spider Lake. Dip in the shallow rock pools at Little Qualicum Falls. Or stay on dry land at Rosewell Creek Park with its wheelchair-accessible picnic area and trail through the rainforest to a waterfall.
  5. Coombs is renowned for the goats that graze on the grass roof of its country market. The village is packed with unique retail emporiums and eateries, and families pose for digital portraits amidst the remarkable collection of statutes in the town plaza. Most summer weekends feature a public event of some kind, including a bluegrass festival in July.
  6. Goats aside, a delightful menagerie of animals, birds and butterflies can be visited in the Parksville/Qualicum Beach area. The North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre and Butterfly World are all open to the public. Errington’s Tiger Lily Farm offers horseback riding and a petting zoo.
  7. French Creek is renowned for salmon fishing and seafood fresh from the dock. Marine charters operate from the harbour, which is also home to boating facilities, a Coast Guard station and the walk-on ferry to Lasqueti Island (home to a small population of farmers and artisans). Pilot a boat to Jedediah Island Provincial Marine Park.
  8. Lighthouse Country (north along the Oceanside Route past Qualicum Beach) is named for the offshore lighthouses that mark its boundaries. The communities of Qualicum Bay, Bowser and Deep Bay are nestled into the rugged coastline. Lighthouse Country Regional Trail winds along boardwalks, through woodlands and over rustic bridges. Visitors are invited to drop into Vancouver Island University’s Deep Bay Marine Field Station.
  9. Nanoose Bay, just south of Parksville, is a seaside residential community boasting an award-winning golf course, high-end resort and spa, B&Bs, a marina, and forested hiking trails. Drop into as many as 20 home artist studios, take a stroll through Moorecroft Regional Park, and kayak out to the Winchelsea Islands. Year-round farm produce is available at a local organic farm.
  10. Tee it up on any of 19 excellent golf courses in the Central Island region, all of them within an hour’s drive of one another. No wonder snowbirds flock here to enjoy year-round golf.
  11. Experience some of the best sailing in the world in the Salish Sea on voyages that circle through the Gulf Islands and past local nautical highlights like Dodd’s Narrows. Along the way are no end of snug harbours, pretty moorages and first-rate facilities.
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The Beach Club Resort

181 Beachside Drive, Parksville • Parksville • Central Island
1-888-760-2008
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The Beach Club Resort hotel is located on the site of the historic Island Hall Resort and features the most luxurious hotel rooms in Parksville, on Vancouver Island’s east coast; offering every guest an unparalleled vacation experience. Rated 4 stars by Canadian Star Quality Accommodations, our luxuriously appointed guest rooms feature the finest in comfort and style. Thoughtful details compliment the design of each room to enhance the enjoyment of your stay. With studios, one bedroom and two bedroom suites, The Beach Club Resort offers the ideal accommodation choice to suit your vacation desires.

We take care of all the little details to help make your stay memorable. Amenities of the resort include direct beach access with a stunning waterfront boardwalk, complimentary underground parking and wireless internet, in-room dining service, a fully equipped fitness centre with ocean view, waterfront in-door pool and hot tub, a 24 hour business centre, bell, valet and concierge services. The onsite Pacific Prime Steak and Chop Restaurant, with its famous beachfront patio just off the Parksville Beach Boardwalk, offers stunning ocean views with a menu featuring the finest cuts of meat, locally sourced seafood, unique appetizers and sumptuous desserts. Serving breakfast lunch and dinner there is something to satisfy everyone’s appetite.

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The Beach Club Resort hotel is located on the site of the historic Island Hall Resort and features the most luxurious hotel rooms in Parksville, on Vancouver Island’s east coast;… Continue Reading
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Little Qualicum Cheeseworks and Morningstar Farm

403 Lowry's Rd. • Parksville • Central Island
250-954-3931
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Visit us at Morningstar Farm, home of Little Qualicum Cheeseworks and MooBerry Winery, where you can sample all of our hand-crafted artisan cheeses and wines, including our award-winning Brie cheese and Blackberry wine!

Open 9 – 5 daily. Self-guided tours of our heritage dairy farm are welcome during hours of operation; and don’t forget to browse our Farm Gate store where you will find unique gifts, toys and farm-raised beef, pork and seasonal lamb.

Visit our web site to find recipes and discover more about Little Qualicum Cheeseworks and MooBerry Winery!

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Visit us at Morningstar Farm, home of Little Qualicum Cheeseworks and MooBerry Winery, where you can sample all of our hand-crafted artisan cheeses and wines, including our award-winning Brie cheese… Continue Reading
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BC Ferries Vacations

Many Communities • Across Vancouver Island
1-888-BC FERRY (1-888-223-3779) Ext 3
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BC Ferries Vacations™ connects you with Vancouver Island’s world-class destinations and provides unique vacation experiences to the avid traveller. Offering several packages for one and two-nights or longer, BC Ferries Vacations™  travel experts have hand-picked the best accommodations and activities and packaged them with the ferry travel to bring you all-in-one convenience, quality and value. The best way to experience the wonders of Vancouver Island is with one of BC Ferries Vacations’™ unique and unforgettable vacation packages.

If you’re seeking an urban getaway with renowned dining and shopping experiences, be sure to take some time to explore Victoria, the capital of B.C. and the largest city on Vancouver Island. Located on the charming harbour front, downtown Victoria boasts the second most restaurants per capita of any other city in North America, BC’s historic Parliament Buildings and the largest Chinatown in Canada. When planning your next visit, be sure to ask about our great offers at the Inn at Laurel Point – located minutes away from the Inner Harbour and downtown – memorable experiences are waiting around every corner in Victoria BC.

If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the west coast surf or just watch it crash onto the rocky shoreline from the comfort of your room, the coastal towns of Tofino and Ucluelet can’t be beat. During storm watching season, swells that travel across the Pacific and pound the shores of Tofino and Ucluelet reach up to 6 metres in height and an average of 10 – 15 storms hit per month. Located in the Pacific Rim National Park on the west coast of Vancouver Island, Tofino and Ucluelet are world-renowned by surfers, nature-lovers and storm watchers alike. If you are looking for great place to watch the wild west coast weather unfold, book a BC Ferries Vacations™ at the Cox Bay Beach Resort in Tofino or the Black Rock Oceanfront Resort in Ucluelet.

Family friendly activities abound in the seaside town of Parksville, centrally located on the East Coast of Vancouver Island. A beachcomber’s paradise, the sandy shore stretches as far as the eye can see and visitors can spend hours exploring Rathtrevor Beach. From Parksville’s annual sandcastle building competition to the Treasure Island themed 36-hole mini-golf course, there’s always something to keep kids (and parents) of all ages entertained. For the best family-friendly offer, ask about our packages at the Beach Club Resort, Parksville.

Vancouver Island is home to several award winning spas and boasts numerous spa getaways for those looking for a luxurious and relaxing weekend away. From the trendy, harbour city of Victoria to the relaxing island style of the Gulf Islands, a spa vacation with your friends couldn’t be easier to find. If you are looking to recharge with a laid back beach getaway, ask about our packages in Courtenay at the luxurious Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa.

To stay up to date with BC Ferries news, promotions, contests and great deals, sign up for the BC Ferries OnBoard Newsletter or join us on Twitter to receive up to the minute notices on specials, deals and services.

To see what diverse and exciting packages BC Ferries Vacations™ has to offer across Vancouver Island, be sure to contact us and request a vacation package quote or a customized itinerary for the vacation of your choice.

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BC Ferries Vacations™ connects you with Vancouver Island’s world-class destinations and provides unique vacation experiences to the avid traveller. Offering several packages for one and two-nights or longer, BC Ferries… Continue Reading
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Golf Vancouver Island

Many Communities • All Regions
1-888-465.3239
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GOLF VANCOUVER ISLAND IS A CENTRAL RESERVATIONS SERVICE FOR GOLF PACKAGES, VACATIONS AND TEE TIMES on the Vancouver Island Golf Trail.

Golf Vancouver Island is your “one-stop shop” for Island Golf Getaways and Vacations. From airfares and ferry reservations to tee times, accommodations and even après golf activities, they take care of it all!

Owned and operated by the golf courses on Vancouver Island, consumers save time and money, while choosing from 10 golf courses and 5 accommodation options on the internationally renowned Vancouver Island Golf Trail. Golf Vancouver Island provides complimentary information, vacation planning assistance and reservations for Vancouver Island golf vacations.

The Vancouver Island Golf Trail, a 250 kilometre golf trail of Pacific paradise from Victoria to Campbell River, awaits golfers on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, including designs by renowned architects Jack and Steve Nicklaus, Les Furber, Graham Cooke and Bill Robinson – making for “plenty of gold medal worthy golf” according to GOLF Magazine. There are 10 destination golf courses on the Vancouver Island Golf Trail, and from South to North include…Olympic View, Highland Pacific, Bear Mountain Resort Mountain and Valley Courses, Arbutus Ridge, Cowichan, Fairwinds, Pheasant Glen, Crown Isle and Storey Creek.

Please visit www.GolfVancouverIsland.ca for further information on the Vancouver Island Golf Trail courses, packages, instant quotes, transportation, golf tips, photo galleries, and much more! Ask for the EXCLUSIVE Tourism Vancouver Island referral offer to save $50 pp!

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GOLF VANCOUVER ISLAND IS A CENTRAL RESERVATIONS SERVICE FOR GOLF PACKAGES, VACATIONS AND TEE TIMES on the Vancouver Island Golf Trail. Golf Vancouver Island is your “one-stop shop” for Island… Continue Reading
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Oceanside Village Resort

1080 Resort Drive • Parksville • Central Island
1-877-248-8961
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Welcome to Cottage Life, Island Style!

Steps away from endless sandy beach, Oceanside Village Resort is a spectacularly beautiful 15 acre community that offers both ownership opportunities and vacation rentals within easy walking distance to the core of the tourist-rich Parksville Beach area. This unique development features thoughtfully designed luxury cottages within easy walking distance where you can explore the walking/hiking/biking trails of Rathtrevor Provincial Park. The beautiful falls of Englishman River, Cathedral Grove’s old growth trees, Cameron Lake, Coombs Country Market, a tourists dream stop with Goats on the Roof and the beautiful Milner Gardens  are mere minutes from your door. The quaint little village of Qualicum Beach is a short jaunt up the road where you’ll find several unique shops showing the wares of local artisans.

While enjoying your stay in magnificent Parksville, be sure to take advantage of our many golf courses open pretty much all year round and can accommodate any level of golfer, novice to pro. If you prefer to enjoy what the winters have to offer, you can be from pillow top to powder top of Mt. Washington in one hour. In the winter season we offer long term stays to numerous snowbirds from across Canada and we’re always happy to welcome your furry family members any time of year.

At Oceanside Village Resort, our luxurious newly constructed 1 & 2 bedroom loft cottages boast all the comforts of home. They come with fully equipped kitchens of four appliances, washer/dryer, all linens, two or three TV’s, DVD player, large open concept great room with vaulted ceiling and field stone fireplace. For summer enjoyment, take in the serenity and natural beauty from your front and back decks featuring patio furniture and BBQ’s. After a day of exploring, relax in our recreational building which houses our 28 x 50’ indoor pool, hot tub and exercise facility or have fun next door at our Riptide Lagoon Adventure Park offering two, 18 hole mini golf courses and laser tag bumper cars.

If you’re looking to pamper yourself, spend an afternoon at our on-site Tranquil Moments Day Spa or Aglow Salon. Take in the tasty temptations of our Taste Cafe & Bistro after perusing several local talented artists featured at our Oceanside Village Artists Gallery.

No matter what time of year, it’s always a great time for a getaway. With a stay at Oceanside Village Resort, we promise you’ll want to keep coming back for more!

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Welcome to Cottage Life, Island Style! Steps away from endless sandy beach, Oceanside Village Resort is a spectacularly beautiful 15 acre community that offers both ownership opportunities and vacation rentals… Continue Reading
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Harbour Air

Comox, Duncan, Ganges, Nanaimo, Victoria • Central Island, Cowichan, Gulf Islands, North Central Island, South Island
1-800-665-0212
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Experience Vancouver Island from a new point of view with a breathtaking seaplane adventure. Enjoy a 20 minute Victoria panorama flight featuring unique views of the city & the Olympic Mountains in the distance. Day trip to the world-renowned Butchart Gardens or downtown Vancouver. A variety of exciting tours await. Discover British Columbia’s spectacular coastlines with Harbour Air Seaplanes. Harbour Air Seaplanes also offers frequent and convenient scheduled flights connecting downtown Victoria, downtown Vancouver, Richmond (YVR Aiport), Comox, Nanaimo, Sechelt and the Sunshine Coast, the Gulf Islands and Whistler (seasonally). Travel like a local and experience a true West Coast tradition. We are proud to be North America’s first carbon neutral airline.

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Experience Vancouver Island from a new point of view with a breathtaking seaplane adventure. Enjoy a 20 minute Victoria panorama flight featuring unique views of the city & the Olympic… Continue Reading
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Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort

1175 Resort Drive • Parksville • Central Island
1-877-977-8669 • 250-248-4674
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Affordable Luxury in Parksville, BC!

Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort is the perfect place to start your Vancouver Island vacation. Located just 37 km north of Nanaimo, Parksville is situated on 10.2 beautiful acres of property with peaceful surroundings and incredible landscapes. A short walk will take you to the endless beaches that Parksville is well known for.

The community of Parksville hosts a wide range of recreational and cultural events annually and is central to a variety of golf courses. Reserve your Parksville vacation rental during Beachfest and marvel at the creativity and patience of competing sand sculptors, come and play one of the many challenging and scenic golf courses, or enjoy the spectacular beaches and natural beauty. Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort offers comfort and relaxation while you get ready for your next Oceanside adventure.

Enjoy a fully furnished, fully equipped 1, 2, or 3 bedroom luxury vacation home with incredible views of the surrounding landscape, rippling ocean waters, or sandy beaches. These spacious residences allow you and your family to enjoy your vacation together at our Vancouver Island resort. Relax in front of the fireplace, entertain around your large granite countertop island in the kitchen, BBQ out on your deck while taking in the beautiful views or retreat to your private bedroom or guest suite to read your favorite book. There’s plenty of room for everyone!

Our Resort also offers lock-off studio suites, a comfortable option if you are looking for smaller accommodations at an affordable price. These suites offer a queen bed, private bathroom with shower, limited kitchenette with microwave, mini bar fridge, and coffee maker.

Give us a call today and start making new memories at Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort!

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Affordable Luxury in Parksville, BC! Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort is the perfect place to start your Vancouver Island vacation. Located just 37 km north of Nanaimo, Parksville is situated on… Continue Reading
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Tourism Nanaimo

Nanaimo • Central Island
1-800-663-7337
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Home to the famous “Nanaimo Bar,” Nanaimo & Region is a central Vancouver Island destination with a rich mining history and vibrant cultural attractions. Explore the Morden Mine, sample your way through the tasty Nanaimo Bar Trail or take in a live performance.  Outdoor enthusiasts can Kayak around Newcastle Island, hike or bike an extensive trail network or play in one of our 200+ parks.   From hostels to hotels and art galleries to wave pools, Nanaimo & Region offers something for everyone.

It’s amazing what you can do here! Create your Nanaimo & Region escape at http://www.tourismnanaimo.com

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Home to the famous “Nanaimo Bar,” Nanaimo & Region is a central Vancouver Island destination with a rich mining history and vibrant cultural attractions. Explore the Morden Mine, sample your… Continue Reading
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Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort & Conference Centre

1155 Resort Drive • Parksville • Central Island
1-800-663-7373
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Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort & Conference Centre is an all-season destination resort offering 192 beautifully appointed log constructed accommodation units set in 22 acres of forest. Tigh-Na-Mara is home to the #1 Spa in Western Canada, The Grotto Spa, featuring signature treatments with a focus on West Coast ingredients. Tigh-Na-Mara Resort has everything you could ask for and more – it’s the Natural Choice year-round for your next get-away.

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Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort & Conference Centre is an all-season destination resort offering 192 beautifully appointed log constructed accommodation units set in 22 acres of forest. Tigh-Na-Mara is home to… Continue Reading
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Parksville and Qualicum Beach

Coombs, Errington, Parksville, Qualicum Beach • Central Island
1-888-799-3222
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We revel in our uniqueness and the amount of fun that you can have in Parksville Qualicum Beach. Seeing goats on a roof, exploring underground caves, viewing world-class sand sculptures and visiting a research station shaped like a giant shell are just some of the quirky experiences you’ll be able to tell your friends about back home.

Our visitors yearn for a connection to the past and, in particular, to their past. You want to relive moments that have made you who you are and share new memories with your families. We can help in Parksville Qualicum Beach, because the activities we offer, and the spirit in which we offer them, is reminiscent of a better, purer time.

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We revel in our uniqueness and the amount of fun that you can have in Parksville Qualicum Beach. Seeing goats on a roof, exploring underground caves, viewing world-class sand sculptures… Continue Reading
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Ocean Trails Resort

1135 Resort Drive • Parksville • Central Island
1-888-248-6212
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Ocean Trails Resort offers family friendly accommodations on the bluff above sandy Rathtrevor Beach. Offering all the comforts of home in our bright, one, two and three bedroom condominiums. All units have fully equipped kitchens, in-suite washers/dryers, free WIFI, free local calling, cable TV, DVD, cozy fireplaces. Outdoor hot tub, seasonal pool, children’s playground, tennis/ basketball and complimentary access to fitness centre. Make us your relaxation destination. Ask our friendly staff about specials and discounts.

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Ocean Trails Resort offers family friendly accommodations on the bluff above sandy Rathtrevor Beach. Offering all the comforts of home in our bright, one, two and three bedroom condominiums. All… Continue Reading
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Ocean Sands Resort in Parksville

1165 Resort Drive • Parksville • Central Island
1-877-733-5969
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Situated on four acres of beautiful oceanfront property overlooking Rathtrevor Beach with a heated outdoor pool, hot tub and sauna.  The resort consists of one and two bedroom oceanfront condominium units with fully equipped kitchens, gas fireplaces and balconies with spectacular ocean and mountain views.

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Situated on four acres of beautiful oceanfront property overlooking Rathtrevor Beach with a heated outdoor pool, hot tub and sauna.  The resort consists of one and two bedroom oceanfront condominium… Continue Reading
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Inn On Long Lake

4700 N Island Hwy • Nanaimo • Central Island
250-758-1144
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The Inn On Long Lake is your lakeside resort in the heart of North Nanaimo. All rooms feature lakeview patio or balconies, microwave, mini fridge, and coffeemaker. Complimentary enhanced Continental breakfast included. Free high speed wireless and parking. Pedal boat and kayak rentals in-season.

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The Inn On Long Lake is your lakeside resort in the heart of North Nanaimo. All rooms feature lakeview patio or balconies, microwave, mini fridge, and coffeemaker. Complimentary enhanced Continental… Continue Reading
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Horne Lake Caves & Outdoor Centre

Horne Lake • Central Island
250-248-7829
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Don’t miss a visit to one of the most spectacular outdoor destinations on Vancouver Island. Ranked #1 Attraction by TripAdvisor, this unique park offers something for everyone, both above and BELOW ground. Open YEAR ROUND, park visitors can check out Canada’s only Cave Theatre, hike the Fossil Trail, explore the marble caverns, or learn how to rock rappel.

The easiest and most popular caving experience is the 90 min. Family Cavern Tour. This guided family-oriented tour leaves every hour 10am – 5pm in summer months and visits the crystal-filled Riverbend Cave without any crawling or vertical climbing. Great for kids age 5 and older.

For those looking for more adventure, try the 3hr. Ice Age Spelunking Tour which adds some extra caves  that feature easy climbing and rock scrambling along with an underground slide!

For maximum thrills, the 4hr. And 5 hr. Extreme Tours are your best bet. The 4hr. High Adventure Expedition is a great introduction to vertical roped caving – no previous experience necessary. Short crawls and roped climbing leads you to a unique crystal formation over 4 storeys tall! The 5hr. Extreme Rappel Tour adds a wild rappel down a seven-storey waterfall UNDERGROUND and a look into the China Shop near the end of this amazing cave!

If you’re not familiar with rappelling, you can learn the ropes outdoors same-day on the 2hr. Rock Rappel Clinic. Great for families looking for extra fun. The Extreme Cave experience is much more enjoyable if your first rappel is not done in complete darkness!

If you prefer to guide yourself, the park has two caves open for self-guiding – Lower Cave and Andre’s Annex. These public-access caves are more rugged than the Family Tour and are open for exploring during park hours, 10am – 4pm. To help get you geared up, helmets with mounted lights and maps are available to park visitors.

In winter, visitors can witness the awesome natural forces that created these amazing caverns on the 3hr. Wet & Wild Spelunking Adventure. Climb an underground waterfall, scramble through the ceiling galleries on this thrilling and sometimes wet adventure.

Since the park can get very busy, reservations are highly recommended and can be made online at HORNELAKE.COM or by phone (250) 248-7829. Call or email for more detailed information including departure times and weather conditions.

Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park is located next door to the Horne Lake Regional Park Campground. This campground offers a beautiful beach, lakefront camping and canoe / kayak rentals – all within walking distance to the cave park.

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Don’t miss a visit to one of the most spectacular outdoor destinations on Vancouver Island. Ranked #1 Attraction by TripAdvisor, this unique park offers something for everyone, both above and… Continue Reading
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Beach Acres Resort

1051 Resort Drive • Parksville • Central Island
250-248-3424
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Our guests say it best, these reviews were submitted via Trip Advisor:

“The proximity to Rathtrevor and the beach were the most important features, our expectations were exceeded, We will be back again next fall to enjoy the tranquility and beauty of the area but will plan to stay longer.”

“Our family loves the sense of summer that pervades Beach Acres. We love the smells of the hot sun on the pine trees. The cottages are great, well kept and if we need anything we can ask; making popovers is just a walk to the office to borrow a muffin tin or two. Riding bikes in a safe place, forest paths to stroll on, and the most beautiful beach in BC, along with an indoor pool for a rainy day.”

“We again spent 1 week of our summer vacation at Beach Acres and thoroughly enjoyed our stay. We stayed in one of the private forest cottages and it was clean, comfortable, cozy and quiet. Our 6 year old son had a fantastic time in the playground and played for hours at the amazing beach. We will be back next year for our third year in a row.”

“Fantastic for kids, relaxing summer vacation. Beach Acres is a great place to take the kids, relax, and pretend that the cottage you’re renting is your own. Cabins are great, the beach is gentle for kids, and it has the warmest ocean water north of Mexico.”

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Our guests say it best, these reviews were submitted via Trip Advisor: “The proximity to Rathtrevor and the beach were the most important features, our expectations were exceeded, We will… Continue Reading
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Art by MONK

151A Morison Avenue • Parksville • Central Island
250-228-6648
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Leave a LEGACY on a masterpiece! Thousands ‘GO MONK HUNTING’ yearly for the opportunity to paint right on an ‘original MONK’ painting and become part of art history. A truly UNIQUE EXPERIENCE the whole family will treasure! Photos with MONK are welcome. Many believe that it is ‘Good luck to paint with MONK’… after adding to the masterpiece on the front they write a wish or leave a dedication on the back. MONK paints daily and is a guest artist at many large special events. Generally, this loveable, talented character can be found painting the old growth forest in Cathedral Grove, or the beach and seascape on Rathtrevor Beach at MONK’S BEACH STUDIO (#1065 Tanglewood Place #5, located right next to Rathtrevor Provincial Park and Beach Acres Resort). MONK’S working gallery is located in Downtown Parksville one block off the beach across from the Beach Club Resort #151A Morison Avenue (parking is on Morison Ave). This gallery boasts West Coast original art.

MONK’S paintings and limited edition gicleés (prints) are sold to homeowners and corporations worldwide. MONK’S GALLERY is host to many excellent artisans and the renowned photography of Vancouver Island’s Craig Carmichael…a must see! This working gallery is relaxed and welcoming to all. For more information on weekend workshops, 3-4 day art classes, drop-in classes, and ART Camps, call (250) 228-6648 or visit artbymonk.com

Have a MONK day, and create a legacy you will treasure!

Art includes: ancient totems, Rathtrevor Beach, Parksville beach, trees, sailboats, fishing trolleys, docks, marinas whales, watersports, flowers, native themed art, Mt. Arrowsmith, Mount Washington, Buchart Gardens, Milner Gardens, Filberg Lodge and Park, Goats on the Roof in Coombs, Tofino, Long beach, Wickaninnish Inn, lighthouses and much more. If this gallery does not have what you want MONK can paint it for you. Commissioned art is also available.

Want to paint but didn’t bring your supplies? At MONK’S BEACH STUDIO is a large driftwood easel and a box of painting supplies you may use (acrylic, oil, water color) Many come from around the world to enjoy painting on stunning Rathtrevor Beach on MONK’S EASEL. All are welcome year round just bring something to paint on. MONK’S Beach studio is often host to many fundraisers and clubs…if your organization would like to use it just call MONK.

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Leave a LEGACY on a masterpiece! Thousands ‘GO MONK HUNTING’ yearly for the opportunity to paint right on an ‘original MONK’ painting and become part of art history. A truly… Continue Reading
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Kenmore Air

Seattle, WA • All Regions
1-866-435-9524 • 425-486-1257
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Fly with Kenmore Air from Seattle, Washington to over 45 spectacular Northwest destinations. Year-round daily scheduled seaplane flights leave from Seattle’s downtown Lake Union to Victoria’s Inner Harbour, and our seasonal air service flies between Seattle’s Lake Union or Kenmore or Lake Washington to Nanaimo, the Gulf Islands, Sunshine Coast, Desolation Sound, Blind Channel and the Northern Inside Passage. Skip the ferry lines & and avoid long lines at the boarder. With Kenmore Air you’ll be in Victoria in about 45 minutes. It’s fast, convenient and stress-free!

Kenmore Air also offers combined Fly + Stay air and hotel packages to Victoria. When booking your tickets online, first select your preferred flights. At the bottom of the page you’ll be then asked if you would like to “Continue without Accommodation” or “Select Accommodation”. If you want to add a hotel room to your flight reservation just click on the Select Accommodation blue box and you’ll see what hotel options are available. If you prefer to book by phone, just ask your reservation agent what hotels are available at your destination and we’ll get you set up.

Fishing Expeditions: Flying on a seaplane from Seattle to your favorite fishing lodge in beautiful British Columbia is also fast, convenient and stress-free. No other region in BC matches Vancouver Island for easily accessible fresh and saltwater fishing excitement. For some, it’s the exhilarating quest of fighting a trophy-sized fish, and for others it’s the escape to breathtaking natural surroundings – but to most, it’s both! Thrill to the challenge of battling salmon from a small boat on calm, protected waters, just a short cast from shore, knowing that the comforts of home are just a few minutes away from prime fishing grounds.

Desolation Sound & Campbell River (Mid-May to mid- September) – This is Vancouver Island’s center for outdoor adventures, but salmon fishing is still “king”. These storied fishing grounds are ideally located to intercept the many runs of salmon migrating south along the Inside Passage. The unique and extraordinary lodges and resorts we fly to from Seattle include April Point Lodge, Dent Island, Dolphins Resort, Morgan’s Landing, Nanook Lodge, Painters Lodge, Sonora Resort and Steep Island Lodge. If you’re looking for a 3-day complete fishing package that includes round-trip air from Seattle and gourmet food check out the West Coast Wilderness Lodge.

Northern Inside Passage (mid-June to early-September) – Our most remote frontier offers a tremendous variety of fishing, lodging and wildlife experiences. Fishing holes are scattered among countless uninhabited islands and steep-walled inlets. Distinct seasons from May through September produce prize catches of salmon, halibut and freshwater trout. Lodges and resorts we fly to from Seattle include Blackfish Lodge, Bones Bay Lodge and Sund’s Lodge. Click here to see our Northern Inside Passage flight schedule.

Charter flights are also available!

Categories: Air Service, All Season
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Fly with Kenmore Air from Seattle, Washington to over 45 spectacular Northwest destinations. Year-round daily scheduled seaplane flights leave from Seattle’s downtown Lake Union to Victoria’s Inner Harbour, and our… Continue Reading
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National Car & Truck Rental

Campbell River, Courtenay, Duncan, Nanaimo, Port Hardy, Victoria • Central Island, Cowichan, North Central Island, North Island, South Island
1-800-CAR-RENT (227-7368)
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  • Discounts on Golf, Mount Washington Winter Lift Tickets and Summer Scenic Chairlift Ride & Butchart Gardens
  • Low daily, weekly & monthly rates
  • Special weekend packages
  • Entertainment & AAA rates
  • One way drop off on Vancouver Island & Vancouver
  • Cars, mini-vans & 4×4’s
  • Free local pickup & drop off
Map Data ©2016 Google
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Discounts on Golf, Mount Washington Winter Lift Tickets and Summer Scenic Chairlift Ride & Butchart Gardens Low daily, weekly & monthly rates Special weekend packages Entertainment & AAA rates One way drop off… Continue Reading
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Qualicum Beach Inn

2690 West Island Hwy • Qualicum Beach • Central Island
1-800-661-0199
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The Qualicum Beach Inn has been beautifully restored, with 32 ocean view rooms, new restaurant and bar, outdoor patio with fireplace, conference room, pool, and fitness centre.

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The Qualicum Beach Inn has been beautifully restored, with 32 ocean view rooms, new restaurant and bar, outdoor patio with fireplace, conference room, pool, and fitness centre. Continue Reading
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Fast Time Grand Prix

1460 Springhill Rd • Parksville • Central Island
250-586-9797
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Great family entertainment minutes from downtown Parksville, 35-turn road course designed to give you the feel of driving like a “Formula One racer.”

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Great family entertainment minutes from downtown Parksville, 35-turn road course designed to give you the feel of driving like a “Formula One racer.” Continue Reading
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Best Western Dorchester Hotel

Conveniently located in the heart of downtown over looking picturesque Nanaimo Harbour. A charming heritage boutique-style hotel decorated in a style that blends old world class with modern conveniences. Featuring an onsite restaurant, lounge complimentary high-speed internet, Guest Laundry, Fitness Facility, Bicycles, overnight parking, rooftop deck and more!

Nanaimo • Central Island
250-754-6835
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Nanaimo Airport Commission

Less travel time. MORE Island Time
Centrally located, Nanaimo Airport gets you more time for what matters most – adventure, golfing, beached, spas, wineries, special time with family and friends.
Only 2.5 hours to Tofino and 10 minutes to Nanaimo!

12 daily flights to lower mainland, 3 daily non-stop flights to Calgary and 1 daily non-stop flight to Edmonton
Car rentals on site
Airport Shuttle
Greyhound bus services

Your Gateway to Vancouver Island

Book your flight at NanaimoAirport.com

Nanaimo • Central Island
250-245-2157
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North Island Wildlife Recovery

We are located on Vancouver Island in Canada. North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre is a non-profit, charitable organization which specializes in the rehabilitation of black bears and raptors. The mission of the North Island Recovery Centre is to partner with the citizens of Vancouver Island to establish a facility for the care of the ill, injured, or orphaned wildlife and to educate the public on wildlife and environmental issues. Our wildlife viewing area houses non-releasable wildlife, which is designed for the pleasure of the public to see these magnificent birds and animals at close proximity.

1240 Leffler Road • Errington • Central Island
250-248-8534
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Ramada Inn Nanaimo

In the heart of downtown and minutes from lots of attractions, is Nanaimo's new Ramada Inn. Enjoy a complimentary deluxe hot and cold breakfast bar with your stay, free above ground on-site parking, and wireless high-speed internet. Book online for our guaranteed best rates!

Nanaimo • Central Island
1-866-925-2009
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Milner Gardens & Woodland

Milner Gardens & Woodland offers visitors a beautiful old-growth forest walk, a delightfully wild artist's garden highlighted by more than 400 Rhododendrons, and a magnificent view of the Strait of Georgia. Enjoy afternoon tea and views in the 1930's cottage style Milner House where the Queen once stayed.

Qualicum Beach • Central Island
250-752-6153
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Madrona Beach Resort

Located on five acres of oceanfront, this quiet property on the safest, sandiest, warmest ocean beach in BC offers spectacular ocean views.  A pleasant five minute stroll from Rathtrevor Beach, our units at beach level are 2 bedroom with fireplace.  Ridge ocean view units feature: ground level studios with fireplace and second level one bedroom kitchenettes. With reasonable rates year round, we also feature a third night-at-no charge option for most times during the shoulder season.  Use of propane BBQs, access to tennis court and children's playground are all included.

1145 Resort Drive • Parksville • Central Island
1-800-663-7302
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Howard Johnson Harbourside Hotel

The Howard Johnson Harbourside Hotel is a centrally located downtown Nanaimo Hotel on beautiful Vancouver Island, BC. This Vancouver Island Hotel boasts an excellent location adjacent to the seawall where guests can experience a vibrant waterfront just steps away with many charming boutiques, restaurants and Nanaimo parkland to enjoy.  Whether you’re traveling to Nanaimo on business or pleasure, you will find our hotel rooms spacious and well equipped to ensure a relaxing and comfortable stay.

Nanaimo • Central Island
1-800-663-7322
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Coast Bastion Hotel

Stunning ocean views from all guest rooms, and a 4-star experience make The Coast Bastion Inn a perfect base camp for island getaways. Located on Nanaimo's inner harbour, the Coast Bastion Inn is steps away from the seawall walk-way, Swy-a-lana Lagoon, specialty stores and quaint cafes. Get pampered at Pure Spa, or savour contemporary west coast dining at our Minnoz Steak and Seafood Restaurant and Lounge featuring local seafood and meats, pasta dishes and tapas.

Nanaimo • Central Island
250-753-6601
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Riptide Lagoon Adventure Park

Vancouver Island's Premier Adventure Golf!

Riptide Lagoon offers two challenging 18 hole themed courses.  Play through "Wandering Willie's" snug little harbour, have your picture taken with the "Catch of the Day", enjoy an ice cream on the patio.  Bring the whole family and experience mini golf at its finest.  NEW! Laser Tag Bumper Cars!

Parksville • Central Island
250-248-8290
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Quality Foods Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition

The Quality Foods Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition and Exhibition is a world-class event! Master Sand Sculptors travel from all corners of the globe to participate in our remarkable competition and exhibition in Parksville, BC, Canada. Sculptors have 24 hours over three days to create their masterpieces from just sand and water (and a lot of ingenuity!)
Competition July 14 – 17, 2016 ; Exhibition July 18 – August 21, 2016.

Parksville • Central Island
250-951-2678
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Deep Bay Marine Field Station

Deep Bay Marine Field Station is a unique green Science Center and Aquarium offering: Guided interpretive tours, Self-guided tours, Interactive displays, Aquariums, and Touch tanks. Open 10am-4pm daily

Deep Bay • Central Island
250 740 6611
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Paradise Mini Golf and Fun Park

Paradise Adventure Fun Park includes two 18-hole world-class mini-golf courses complete with miniature scenes, waterfalls and thousands of plants and flowers.  You will have a chance to soak your friends in the super fun bumper boats with water cannons and don’t forget to check out the games room where the kids can win prizes and test their skills.  Gifts and toys and a café serving ice cream flavours you can only dream about are just inside the Castle.  Look for the large boot or the lighthouse and you have arrived at your fun-filled destination.

375 W. Island Hwy • Parksville • Central Island
(866) 325-1874
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Vancouver Island Military Museum

Canadian Military History on Nanaimo's dynamic waterfront. Come See, Come Learn, Come Experience History at British Columbia most significant Military Museum. Celebrating Canada's proud military history and tradition and honouring the men and woman of the Canadian Armed Forces, RCMP and Merchant Navy past and present. No visit to Nanaimo is complete without visiting The Vancouver Island Military Museum.

100 Cameron Rd • Nanaimo • Central Island
250-753-3814
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Hammond Bay Oceanside B&B

Relax and enjoy our oceanfront setting on beautiful Hammond Bay, in north Nanaimo. Our Bayside Room, with kitchenette, accommodates 2 guests. Our Oceanside Suite, with a full kitchen and living room, features one or two bedrooms, accommodating 2-4 guests comfortably. Both suites offer a private entrance, patio, gas fireplace, ensuite bathroom, wifi, queen beds, beach access. We are situated between two marine parks – Pipers Lagoon Park and Neck Point Park.

Nanaimo • Central Island
250 751-1409 • 250 618-4300
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Living Forest Oceanside Campground & RV Park

At Living Forest, what you see is what you get. And what you see is one of the best campgrounds anywhere! 53 forested acres sprinkled with 300 spaced sites. Lots of oceanview, riverview or forest sites. Trails, paddling, summer swimming and wildlife viewing are blended with paved roads, premium hookups and facilities built to the high standards and vision of the same family that opened Living Forest 20 years ago. Minutes to everything, but a world apart. Online park map with 1 year availability calendar and photos for every site. Look then book! Our campers gush on TripAdvisor!

6 Maki Road • Nanaimo • Central Island
250-755-1755
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Susan McGougan – Personal Real Estate Corporation

Respected, Favoured and Trusted…In Nanaimo Real Estate. CERC relocation specialist specially trained to help “you” relocate when buying or selling your home. Born in Nanaimo & selling homes for 25 years.

Nanaimo • Central Island
250-248-1071
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Chateau Wolff Estate Winery and Vineyard

2534 Maxey Road • Nanaimo • Central Island
778-441-2625
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Mountainaire Campground and RV Park

Fully serviced campsites, fresh clean washrooms, and friendly people.

1092 Spruston Road • Nanaimo • Central Island
1-866-311-CAMP • 250-245-1169
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Pacific Shores

Tucked away next to the peaceful waters of Craig Bay and providing panoramic views of the Salish Sea, Pacific Shores Resort & Spa is the ideal setting for your vacation and all types of celebrations and meetings.

When you choose Pacific Shores Resort and Spa’s breathtaking ocean front location, you will leave your everyday responsibilities behind and discover the serenity of island life.

Pacific Shores is ideal for families, large groups and long term stays with all-suite accommodations and plenty of on-site amenities.

1-1600 Stroulger Road • Nanoose Bay • Central Island
1.855.733.4876
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Travelodge Nanaimo

96 Terminal Ave • Nanaimo • Central Island
2507546355 • 2507546355
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Travelodge Parksville

A warm West Coast welcome awaits you at the Travelodge Parksville in the heart of friendly Parksville on Vancouver Island. Relax and enjoy hospitality at its best; our friendly, professional staff is committed to making your stay a memorable one. Take the Island Highway North from Nanaimo or Victoria, or South from Courtenay or Campbell River. Located across the street from Parksville's world-famous beach, this family-friendly, corporate-comfortable hotel is an affordable option for the discerning traveller.

424 West Island Hwy • Parksville • Central Island
1.250.248.2232 • 1.800.661.3110
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Helijet

Get ready to take off on a one-of-a-kind helicopter experience! No visit to Vancouver Island is complete until you soar over the spectacular scenery of the Salish Sea on a scheduled Helijet flight to or from Vancouver. In just minutes you will be witness to the beautiful West Coast nature as Helijet's comfortable 12-seat Sikorsky S76 Helicopters whisk you to your destination. Join the jet set, as you fly between Vancouver Harbour and Downtown Victoria in just 35 minutes or Vancouver and Nanaimo Harbour in just 18 minutes. Call or click to take off with Helijet today!

100 Port Drive • Nanaimo • Central Island
1.800.665.4354
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Nanaimo Bites and Sights Food Tour

A unique and flavorful walking food tour in downtown Nanaimo and the Old City Quarter.

Participants will enjoy the sights as they stroll to 5-6 locally owned eateries and specialty shops to sample culinary delights. Between each tasting your local experienced guide will introduce guests to the history and architecture of Nanaimo as well as share some fun facts! The delicious food, combined with the people you meet along the way make for a memorable tour!  Why just have lunch make it an experience…..

Walk, Eat, Enjoy!

Tours offered: May-September, Tuesday - Saturday

Nanaimo • Central Island
1-866-736-6343