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Vancouver Island

VISITOR

2014 Guide to

Vancouver Island, The Gulf Islands & The Sunshine Coast

www.islandvisitor.ca


“Best whale watching in Victoria, BC” “Entertaining, informative and a whole lot of fun!!!” “Great fun and amazing whale watching” “Great experience start to finish” FROM VISITORS ON TRIPADVISOR

GET ON BOARD THE ULTIMATE WHALE WATCHING EXPERIENCE! Grab the experience of a lifetime. Our whale watching tours leave from Victoria’s vibrant Inner Harbour, seven days a week. We’ve got 20 years of experience sharing Vancouver Island’s marine ecosystems.

BOOK YOUR WHALE WATCHING TOUR WITH US TODAY!

250.384.4444 | 1.800.470.3474 VictoriaWhaleWatching.com 1119 Wharf Street, Victoria BC

$15 OFF!

An Adult Whale Watching ticket, just mention the promo code ‘ISLANDVISITOR’


WE ENJOY THEOut There


WE ARE OAK BAY. WE ARE THE OLD, THE NEW, THE OUT THERE, AND THE OPEN AIR. Oak Bay is a pocket masterpiece, a beautiful corner of Vancouver Island that manages to pack in more of everything else than anywhere else. We’ve got sand, a cool ocean and hot shopping, so you’re spoilt for choice. What’s it to be? Beach or bruschetta, kayaking or crab cakes, haute couture or hot tea? You decide. MAKE YOUR WAY TO OAK BAY CYCLE | PUBLIC TRANSIT | HOP ON HOP OFF

Shop in Oak Bay’s vibrant villages

Taste fresh caught seafood with spectacular views at The Marina Restaurant

Explore beautiful Oak Bay by bicycle. Rentals available from Oak Bay Beach Hotel

VISIT VICTORIA VISITOR CENTRE OR CHECK US OUT ONLINE AT WWW.OAKBAYTOURISM.COM


WE’LL GET YOU

CLOSER. FOUR GREAT RESORTS. ONE GREAT ADVENTURE. Whether it’s your first trip or your fiftieth, nothing, absolutely nothing, beats time on the water with family and friends. Make this the year that you rekindle your love for the outdoors, the excitement of a killer whale passing by, or a big salmon on the line. With four fabulous oceanfront resorts to choose from, we know you’ll find exactly what you’re looking for.

GET HOOKED ON THE PRINCESS AND FISH THE BEST IN THE WEST.

Escape for a breathtaking marine adventure on Vancouver Island’s West Coast with the Canadian Princess Resort in Ucluelet. Guests can choose from a fully guided fishing excursion or an exhilarating whale watching tour. When you’re back on land, relax in the spacious shore-side rooms or enjoy some comfort food in our dining room. Whether you’re a party of two or a large group, the Canadian Princess is an unbeatable destination.


A WORLD CLASS FISHING RESORT FOR ALL AGES.

Painter’s Lodge is the perfect place for that West Coast experience. Along with some of BC’s best salmon fishing, you can watch marine life play as you tour the coastline on a Wildlife Adventure Tour, experience the majesty of Orca Whales, enjoy a soak in the outdoor pool or refine your serve on the tennis courts. From romantic dining to family friendly fun – Painter’s has great food, great service and above all… great fishing.

SIT BACK AND SAY AAAHH...

Located on majestic Quadra Island, April Point offers its guests an ideal mix of adventure and relaxation. Kick back on the deck, get a pedicure in the oceanfront Aveda spa, or watch for eagles and whales from the privacy of your ocean view room. Whatever you choose, from a laidback stay to breathtaking adventure, April Point’s wonderful setting and hospitality will work it’s magic. Guests have the use of a free water taxi to and from Quadra Island.

FOR THOSE WHO LIKE TO CRUISE THE OPEN ROAD.

There’s no place quite like pristine Pedder Bay. Just imagine... a short drive from town on Friday night with your family. Then up early the next morning, grab a coffee, and head out for a day’s fishing on what’s known locally as “The Salmon Freeway”. Later, as you cook your catch, you can plan the rest of the weekend, whether it’s exploring the trails or just kicking back and relaxing. You’re only 40 minutes from Victoria, but it feels like a world away.

METCHOSIN • BC

We’re more than just great seafood. Enjoy the fresh tastes of the West Coast in a spectacular oceanfront setting at the award-winning Marina Restaurant - a local favourite for delicious seafood, sushi and Sunday Brunch. With sweeping views of Mt. Baker and the Straits of Juan de Fuca, the Marina Restaurant at the Oak Bay Marina offers a feast for all your senses.

FOR RESERVATIONS CALL: 250-598-8555

1 3 2 7 B e a c h D r i v e, Vi c t o r i a B C

BOOK NOW! CALL 1-800-663-7090 • www.obmg.com


SOUTH ISLAND

Vancouver Island

VISITOR

2014 Guide to Vancouver Island, The Gulf Islands & The Sunshine Coast

GROUP PUBLISHER: Penny Sakamoto psakamoto@ blackpress.ca DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING: Oliver Sommer osommer@ blackpress.ca

s "EAUTIFULLYTHEMEDGUESTROOMS s 7OOD BURNINGFIREPLACES*ACUZZIBATHS s #OMPLIMENTARYSPARKLINGWINE CHOCOLATETRUFFLES s 'OURMETIN ROOMBREAKFASTS s BLOCKSFROMDOWNTOWN6ICTORIA"#

1-888-383-0327 www.humboldthouse.com

G.B.S Glass Blowing Visit Our Studio and see the

Art of Hand

10 till 5 pm

Blown Glass

1

Thur to Mon

EDITOR: Jennifer Blyth, jblyth@telus.net

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES: Jim Griffin Annemarie Rindt

FEATURES

The Essentials....................................... 10 Ferries & Transportation................... 10 Discover the Gulf Islands................. 25 Powell River & Sunshine Coast...... 42 Island Attractions ............................. 45

Lake Cowichan.................................... 22 Chemainus ........................................... 22 Ladysmith ............................................. 22

CENTRAL ISLAND

Vancouver Island ............................... 11 The Capital Region............................. 16 Nanaimo ............................................... 27 Oceanside............................................. 28 Comox Valley ....................................... 36 Campbell River ................................... 37

Nanaimo ............................................... 26 Oceanside (Including Parksville & Qualicum Beach)............................ 27 Port Alberni ........................................ 30 Bamfield ............................................... 33 Ucluelet ................................................ 33 Tofino ..................................................... 34 Pacific Rim National Park Reserve . 34

SOUTH ISLAND

NORTH ISLAND

MAPS

Sidney .................................................... 12 Comox Valley ...................................... 35 Saanich Peninsula & Cordova Bay .13 Campbell River & Quadra Island... 36 Victoria .................................................. 14 Gold River, Nootka Sound Oak Bay ................................................. 16 & Tahsis .................................................. 37 Esquimalt .............................................. 17 Sayward, Nimpkish Valley West Shore ........................................... 17 & Zeballos ............................................. 38 DESIGN & PRODUCTION: Sooke and Beyond ............................ 19 Telegraph Cove, Port McNeill, Lily Chan South Cowichan ................................ 19 Sointula & Alert Bay............................ 38 Michelle Gjerde Duncan/Cowichan ............................ 21 Port Alice & Port Hardy...................... 39 For advertising Inquiries, email Oliver Sommer at osommer@blackpress.ca CIRCULATION DIRECTOR: Bruce Hogarth bhogarth@ blackpress.ca

THE COVER

With its long, picturesque shoreline and nearby islands, Nanaimo is a favourite Island destination for paddlers. Ted Kuzemski photo courtesy Tourism Nanaimo ISLAND VISITOR MAGAZINE IS A DIVISION OF BLACK PRESS 818 BROUGHTON STREET, VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA, CANADA V8W 1E4 TEL: 250-381-3484 FAX: 250-386-2624 info@islandvisitor.ca www.islandvisitor.ca ALTHOUGH EVERY EFFORT HAS BEEN MADE TO ENSURE THE ACCURACY OF THE INFORMATION IN THIS PUBLICATION, VISITOR MAGAZINE CANNOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY CONSEQUENCES ARISING FROM ERRORS OR OMISSIONS. NO PART OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE REPRODUCED WITHOUT WRITTEN CONSENT FROM THE PUBLISHER.

Demonstrations 678 Shawnigan Lake Road. Malahat, B.C. (250) 743-5666 www.glassblow.ca 8 • ISLAND VISITOR 2013 | www.islandvisitor.ca

CHOOSE FROM 15 UNIQUE B&B’S

sooke bed & breakfast association


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Special Package Rate

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385

Prices start at $385 per person based on a double occupancy in a standard Oceanview room. Taxes not included. Peak season rates starting at $410 per person begins June 27. Based on availability at time of booking, some restrictions apply. Ask your reservation agent about room upgrades. Mention this ad at time of booking. BOOK TODAY!

per person

1.800.663.7929

Winner of Tourism Industry Association of Canada’s Business of the Year Award

Kingfisherspa.com

4330 Island Highway South, Courtenay


SOUTH ISLAND

THE

essentials Visitor Information:

Most Vancouver Island communities have Visitor Centres where trained staff can answer your travel questions and provide information about accommodation, services, attractions, activities and community events. In this publication, phone numbers and addresses for most Visitor Centres are listed with each community’s information. For general information about touring in British Columbia and accommodation reservations, call 1-800-HELLO-BC (1-800-435-5622 ) or visit www.hellobc.com

Sales Primer:

Purchases are generally subject to a seven per cent provincial sales tax (PST) and a five per cent federal sales tax (GST).

Telephones:

The area code on Vancouver Island and for phone numbers in this publication is generally (250) unless otherwise indicated. For local directory assistance, call 411. For long distance directory assistance, call 1-(area code)-555-1212. In case of emergency, call 911.

Driving the Island:

Speed limits on Vancouver Island are posted in kilometres per hour. For a distance chart of Island communities, see the map on page 11. Approximate Driving Speed Conversions: 30km/hr = 20mph 40km/hr = 25mph 50km/hr = 30mph 60km/hr = 40mph 80km/hr = 50mph 100km/hr = 60mph Please note that it is mandatory to use vehicle seat belts and for cyclists and motorcyclists to wear helmets. It is also illegal to use a handheld device such as a cell phone while driving.

JENNIFER BLYTH PHOTO

Welcome to Vancouver Island GETTING HERE IS PART OF THE FUN!

H

owever you choose to arrive on Vancouver Island, you can be sure your journey will offer some of the country’s most breathtaking views en-route. Most people coming to Vancouver Island do so via BC Ferries, which has been transporting locals and visitors for more than 40 years between major Island centres such as Victoria, Nanaimo and the Comox Valley and Mainland destinations of Vancouver and Powell River. A whole host of smaller routes take locals and visitors to such out-of-theway escapes such as Salt Spring Island and Quadra Island. While BC Ferries offers efficient, year-round transportation – it’s one of the largest ferry systems in the world – it also provides a spectacularly scenic experience and a chance to experience Vancouver Island’s charming communities. The largest ships, including the Coastal Renaissance, Inspiration and Celebration and the Spirit of British Columbia and Spirit of Vancouver Island – each measuring 560-feet in length, or two football fields back-to-back – serve major routes between mainland BC and Vancouver Island and feature a variety of food services, gift shops, ship-to-shore telephones, laptop hook-ups, comfortable seating lounges and outdoor seating areas, video games, preschool play areas and elevators. Reservations are available for a fee on major route sailings between Vancouver (Tsawwassen or Horseshoe Bay) and Vancouver Island (Swartz Bay, Duke Point or Departure Bay) and between Vancouver and the Sunshine Coast (Horseshoe Bay to Langdale). For BC Ferries information, including schedules, fares, reservations and trip-planning tools, visit www.bcferries.com or call 1-888-BCFERRY (1-888223-3779) toll-free throughout North America, or 250-386-3431 in Victoria. From your cell phone, call *BCF (*223) on Rogers or Telus Mobility networks.

2202 or visit www.ferrytovictoria.com • The Clipper offers year-round, high-speed, passenger-only service from Victoria’s Inner Harbour to Seattle, Wa. Visit www.clippervacations. com or call 1-800-888-2535. • Washington State Ferries operates the Anacortes Ferry, which leaves from a terminal just south of Sidney, and serves the San Juan Islands and Anacortes, Wa. See www.wsdot.wa.gov/Ferries

Air Service

• Harbour Air provides floatplane service to the Gulf Islands, Vancouver, Victoria and Nanaimo, including scheduled, charter flights and adventure tours. Call 1-800-665-0212 or 250-384-2215 in Victoria or see www.harbourair.com (See ad page 13). • Helijet offers scheduled service between downtown Victoria and downtown Vancouver. Call 1-800-665-4354 or visit www.helijet.com • KD Air is located at the South Terminal at Vancouver International Airport and offers flights to Tofino, Qualicum Beach, Port Alberni and Texada Island, plus charters. See www.kdair.com or call 1-800-665-4244. • Kenmore Air offers scheduled service between Seattle and Vancouver Island, the Gulf Islands and the Sunshine Coast. Call 1-866-435-9524 or see www.KenmoreAir.com • Pacific Coastal Airlines provides daily scheduled flights between Vancouver and Victoria, Comox Valley, Campbell River, Port McNeill and Powell River. Call 1-800-663-2872 or visit www.pacificcoastal.com • Tofino Air offers scheduled flights between Nanaimo and Sechelt on the Sunshine Coast, plus Ferry Service from/to the U.S. • Blackball Transport’s MV Coho is a year-round scenic flightseeing tours leaving from Tofino and auto/passenger ferry between Victoria and Port An- Vancouver, and special charters. Visit www.tofinogeles, Wa with four 90-minute sailings daily during air.ca or call 1-877-461-5749 in Nanaimo the peak summer season. For details, call 250-386- or 1-866-486-3247 in Tofino. See ad page 43.


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100 km

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18

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Gabriola I.

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Squamish

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VANCOUVER Bowen I. Gibsons Horseshoe Bay

Gambier I.

Howe Sound

Port Mellon

Salmon Inlet

Brackendale

99

WHISTLER

SIDNEY 57 SOOKE 441 436 TAHSIS 337 331 429 TOFINO 311 306 404 42 UCLUELET 26 37 421 316 291 VICTORIA 480 475 201 469 444 460 ZEBALLOS

QUALICUM BEACH 178 172 263 166 141 158 303

Jervis Inlet

305 483 478 203 471 446 463 87

Departure Bay Mt. Arrowsmith NANAIMO 1817

Carmanah Pacific Park Carmanah Pt. W es tC oas t Trail

Cape Flattery

355 533 527 253 521 496 512 136

PORT ALICE 53 PORT HARDY 54 44 PORT McNEILL 597 586 547 PORT RENFREW

Princess Royal Reach

400 389 350 280 45 215 210 308 122 96 195 347

PARKSVILLE PORT ALBERNI

50 366 355 316 232 11 167 162 274 171 146 147 313

OF GE QUALICUM OR BEACH GI A PARKSVILLE Nanoose Bay / Fairwinds Lantzville Coombs

Nitinat Lake

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36 84 402 391 352 196 47 131 126 309 206 180 111 349

19A

North Island Route is Hwy 19 between Campbell River and Port Hardy

Oceanside Route is Hwy between Parksville and Campbell River

Distance Chart

in Kilometres - 1 km = .6 miles approx.

LAKE COWICHAN 73 NANAIMO

Powell Lake

51 23 58 107 424 413 374 173 69 108 103 332 228 203 88 372

POWELL RIVER

136 157 192 241 558 547 508 36 203 88 31 466 362 337 68 506

Hornby I.

Bowser

Denman I.

Bamfield

508 435 399 433 97 50 88 630 388 566 561 286 554 529 546 170

Gillies Bay

Blubber Bay

Alberni Inlet

Fanny Bay

160 km

317 243 208 242 187 176 137 440 197 375 370 66 363 338 355 135

101

COMOX

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Sproat Lake

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140 km

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80 miles

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Comox Lake

Broken Group Islands

120 km

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Ucluelet

Long Beach

4 Kennedy Lake

Tofino Inlet

Great Central Lake

182 30 108 51 73 87 106 135 293 452 282 441 243 402 304 145 62 97 239 80 234 75 202 360 228Toba 256 203Inlet 231 219 60 241 400

Desolation Sound Marine Park

43 37 76 122 439 428 389 152 84 96 88 347 241 218 70 387

Hernando I.

Black Creek

Quathiaski Cove

226 153 117 151 248 238 198 349 107 284 279 157 273 248 264 196

Cortes I.

252 179 145 95 495 484 445 375 140 310 305 403 217 191 290 442

BAMFIELD 246 CAMPBELL RIVER 217 191 CHEMAINUS 201 45 146 COURTENAY 230 204 13 159 DUNCAN 337 91 281 136 294 GOLD RIVER 528 282 472 326 485 220 HOLBERG 336 310 113 265 106 400 591 JORDAN RIVER 202 176 17 131 28 266 457 134 LADYSMITH

COURTENAY Forbidden Plateau 1354 Cumberland

Strathcona Park

Golden Hinde 2200

Elkhorn Mt. Buttle 2195 Lake

19

Quadra I.

Mt. Washington 1590

Quinsam L.

28

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Maurelle I.

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Vernon Lake

Klaklakama Lakes

Schoen Lake Park

Mt. Cain 1804

Sayward

Kelsey Bay

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19

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19

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Turnour I.

Telegraph Cove

Alert Bay

Sointula

Broughton I.

Sullivan Bay

Malcolm I.

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Brooks Peninsula Park

Port Alice

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SOUTH ISLAND BC Legislature, overlooking the Inner Harbour

SUNNY DAYS ON THE

SOUTH ISLAND

H

ow would you describe your ideal vacation? Warm, wide-open sandy beaches? Get-away-from-it-all hiking and camping? World-class shopping and dining? Cultural sites that inspire and amaze all ages or thrilling adventures you’ll be talking about for years to come? Looks like you’ve come to the right place! Vancouver Island is all this and more, and whether you’re visiting for a day, a week or a month, we invite you to take Island Visitor Magazine on your journey. Filled with ideas, inspiration and information – everything you need to discover one of Canada’s most celebrated destinations – let us be your guide for your most memorable vacation yet!

Sidney

For many Island visitors, Sidney is the gateway to Vancouver Island, yet it’s also so much more! Just minutes from Victoria International Airport, the South Island’s main BC Ferries terminal at Swartz Bay and the ferry from Anacortes, Wa, the seaside town of Sidney is often the first stop for visitors arriving on Vancouver Island. Make your first stop the Visitor Centre, located at the top of Beacon Avenue (Sidney’s main street) near Highway 17, at the Mary Winspear Centre. 12 • ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca

KEN SAKAMOTO PHOTO

Beacon extends from the highway to the waterfront, featuring colourful flower displays, benches, public art and a delightful array of shopping and dining diversions. While Sidney is known as Booktown for its many unique book stores, you’ll also find numerous boutiques, galleries, attractions and restaurants. At the waterfront enjoy picturesque ocean views, the Sidney Sculpture Walk and the Port Sidney Marina, a full-service facility attracting boaters and visitors in search of adventures such as whale watching, kayak rentals, scuba diving and fishing charters. You’ll also find family attractions such as the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre – a terrific attraction filled with the wonders of the Salish Sea. Other fine Sidney-area attractions include the Mary Winspear Centre, with a great line-up of live theatre performances and special events, the Sidney Museum, Mineral World and Scratch Patch, the BC Aviation Museum and the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, including the delightful Sidney Spit, accessible by passenger ferry departing from the dock at the foot of Beacon Avenue. Go for the day to enjoy hours of birdwatching and sandcastle building or pack your camping gear and book and overnight getaway at one of the walk-in campsites. Reserve your spot at 1-877-737-3783. CONT. ON PAGE 13


SOUTH ISLAND

Lochside Trail JENNIFER BLYTH PHOTO

CONT. FROM PAGE 12

Saanich Peninsula and Cordova Bay

Stretching from Sidney south to Victoria, the Saanich Peninsula is a picturesque, largely rural region of farms, parkland and waterfront. Highway 17 (the Pat Bay Highway) is the fastest route into Victoria, but sightseers will want to take one of the earlier exits to explore the quaint communities and quiet country roads. Peninsula highlights include the worldfamous Butchart Gardens near Brentwood Bay; Victoria Butterfly Gardens, a tropical garden with free-flying butterflies; the BC Aviation Museum near the airport; and Heritage Acres, a 12-hectare park with restored farm buildings, museum and nature trails and the site of a variety of special events though the year. The region is also home to a growing agritourism industry, with a variety of farms, markets, and awardwinning wineries. Come enjoy a taste of Vancouver Island! Outdoor enthusiasts will want to explore Island View Beach, a popular sunbathing, beachcombing and bird-watching spot, CONT. ON PAGE 14

Ghostly Walks Tours start outside the Visitor Information Centre 812 Wharf Street, Victoria Tel: 250-384-6698 www.discoverthepast.com

Victoria’s famous ghost tour includes Old Town’s most haunted places. Our 90-minute walking tours will thrill you with stories of eccentric characters, heroic deeds, intrigue, love, humour, hangings and murder. Take one, if you dare! May 1 to Oct. 31 tours every night. Nov. 1 to April 30 Fridays and Saturdays. ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca • 13


SOUTH ISLAND CONT. FROM PAGE 13

John Dean Provincial Park, popular with hikers and wildlife enthusiasts, and Elk and Beaver Lake Park, a destination for swimmers, anglers, paddlers and runners who enjoy the 10km loop trail. The Peninsula is also home to several fine golf courses, from family-friendly Par 3s to beautiful championship courses with challenging play and spectacular views. Closer to Victoria, Cordova Bay is a gorgeous neighbourhood overlooking Haro Strait with views of Mount Baker, two golf courses and a charming collection of shops and services known as Mattick’s Farm.

For Sidney and Saanich Peninsula details, call 250-665-7362. The Visitor Centre is at 2281 Beacon Ave, Sidney Victoria and Adjacent Communities

Sidney Pier Van Isle Visitor Ad - March 2014 Size: 4.675” (w) x 4.475” (h) • Rev 1 • March 19/14

Comfort Come get your share.

Discover the perfect blend of contemporary style and comfort at our oceanfront 55 room boutique hotel in the charming town of Sidney.

distinctlysidney.ca distinctlysidney y ca

9805 Seaport Place Sidney, Vancouver Island, BC Phone: 250.655.9445 Email: reservations@sidneypier.com www.sidneypier.com

The often-photographed Inner Harbour is home to many of the city’s top attractions, including the Royal BC Museum, the Legislative Buildings and the Causeway, a people-watching hotspot where summer buskers entertain passers-by. A busy transportation hub for floatplanes and ferries, many outdoor adventures also start here, including kayaking and wildlife-watching tours. Ideal for touring on foot, downtown Victoria’s impressive restored heritage buildings house shops, art galleries, restaurants and attractions, such as the Maritime Museum of BC in Bastion Square and Canada’s oldest Chinatown. Find a vibrant selection of shops brimming with everything from international favourites to locally crafted specialties only available here, while world-class restaurants serve a delicious array of cuisine, from fresh seafood to exciting ethnic flavours. Near downtown, James Bay is home to historic homes, the Ogden Point Breakwater – perfect for a stroll out over the water – Fisherman’s Wharf and Emily Carr House, the birthplace of BC’s best-loved artist; in Rockland find heritage mansions, the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Government House and Craigdarroch Castle. Fairfield is a lovely residential neighbourhood with tree-lined streets, the expansive Gonzales Beach and the charming Abkhazi Garden, while Beacon Hill Park is a peaceful oasis steps from downtown, filled with gardens, duck ponds, play CONT. ON PAGE 16

14 • ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca


THE MAGIC OF

NATURE IN THE HEART OF THE CITY

SEE OVER 100 WORKS BY WORLD FAMOUS ARTIST ROBERT BATEMAN

ON VICTORIA’S INNER HARBOUR NEXT TO THE BLACKBALL FERRY batemancentre.org 250·940·3630 F RE E FO R C HILD RE N U N D E R THE AGE O F 6 Also visit our shop of finely-crafted giftware

ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca • 15


SOUTH ISLAND

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Welcome to the amazing world of insects and arachnids! Discover more than 50 fascinating species of LIVE giant tropical insects and arachnids, including Canada’s largest Leafcutter Ant Farm. The knowledgeable “Bug Ambassadors” will reveal the exotic secrets of this hidden kingdom and provide interactive and hands-on fun for the more adventurous. Imagine holding a tickling 400-leg millipede that stretches the length of your forearm!

16 Naval and Military Museum - CFB Esquimalt 17 Panorama Recreation Centre

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10 Hatley Park Castle and Museum 11 Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre 12 Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre 13 Mineral World

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7 Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites 8 Horticulture Centre of the Pacific Mill Bay Recreation Centre 9 Gordon Head

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PLACES OF INTEREST

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Victoria Bug Zoo

“One of Victoria’s Best Value Accommodations” Our family-owned business takes pride in offering:

✦ Quiet location minutes from Inner Harbour

& attractions ✦ Impeccably clean rooms with in-room coffee ✦ Kitchen suites ✦ FREE wireless internet available ✦ AAA special value rates ✦ FREE parking

136 Gorge Road East, Victoria, B.C. V9A 1L4 Telephone: 250-388-4302 Fax: 250-383-4399 Website: www.robinhoodmotel.com Email: info@robinhoodmotel.com Present this ad for 10% OFF our regular rates 16 • ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca

CONT. FROM PAGE 14

areas and a seasonal petting zoo. Victoria’s Upper Harbour is a busy, scenic precinct featuring attractions such as the historic Point Ellice House, Gorge Waterway and access to the Galloping Goose Trail. Victoria is a hub of arts and culture, boasting fine art galleries displaying the work of both local and international artists. As for entertainment, Victoria has it all – theatre, dance, opera, symphony and an incredible line-up of exciting annual festivals. For details on what’s coming up, see the Calendar of Events on page 52.

Oak Bay

The beautiful neighbourhood of Oak Bay is just minutes from downtown and well worth a day or two to explore. Retaining

much of its original flavour of traditional homes and gardens mixed with exciting modern galleries, boutiques and eateries, the community enjoys an extensive waterfront and is a favourite for walking, biking, paddling and other outdoor adventures. Find Tudor-style buildings, resplendent gardens and a diversity of shops and dining options, mainly clustered in the Oak Bay Village. Other highlights include the Oak Bay Marina, Willows Beach, Anderson Hill Park, Cattle Point and Uplands Park. Cyclists will enjoy the Seaside Touring Route, leading from the downtown’s Inner Harbour, past Beacon Hill Park, along the waterfront, into Oak Bay, and beyond to Uplands and the adjacent residential community of Saanich.

CONT. ON PAGE 17


Sidney BIA Ad - Vancouver Island Visitor 2014 UTH ISLAND Size: 4.675” (w) x 4.475” (h) • Rev 1 • MarchS O 18/14 CONT. FROM PAGE 16

Esquimalt

Just over the Johnson Street Bridge from downtown Victoria is the historic community of Esquimalt and Canadian Forces Base Esquimalt, the second-largest naval base and dockyard in Canada. Drive or enjoy a leisurely waterfront stroll along the West Song Walkway to enjoy highlights such as the waterside Saxe Point and McAulay parks, scenic walking paths, historic military sites, base tours and the CFB Esquimalt Naval & Military Museum.

Come get your share.

For information about Victoria and neighbouring communities, call 250-953-2033, see www. tourismvictoria.com or visit the Visitor Centre at the Inner Harbour at 812 Wharf St. West Shore

About 15 minutes’ drive from downtown Victoria, or a pleasant bike ride out the Galloping Goose Trail from downtown, find the growing West Shore region of farmland, beaches, marinas, lakes, parks and wilderness areas surrounding several vibrant and growing urban centres. Comprising the communities of View Royal, Colwood,

Unique shops, a variety of hotels, restaurants, attractions and outdoor adventure await you in the charming town of Sidney, just 30 minutes from downtown Victoria. As the gateway to Vancouver Island, Sidney is located just 5 minutes from the Victoria Airport and the ferries from Vancouver and Washington State.

distinctlysidney.ca

CONT. ON PAGE 18

Bedford Regency Hotel Victoria’s Downtown Boutique Hotel Telephone: (250) 384-6835 Fax: (250) 386-8930 Located in the heart of the business and shopping district, while just a 5 min walk to Victoria’s Inner Harbor. The Bedford embodies old world charm and understated elegance. Each of our guest rooms features captivating décor, HDTV and complimentary wireless internet. • Complimentary coffee & tea • Pub and Café located on site Reservations: Toll free 1-800-665-6500 E-mail: frontdesk@bedfordregency.com

THE STRATHCONA HOTEL 8 SPOTS ONE BLOCK

WESTCOAST DINING · FAMILY DINING · DANCING · CONCERTS · COCKTAILS · ROOFTOP BEACH VOLLEYBALL · SPORTS BAR · ROOFTOP PATIO · HILLBILLY BAR · CENTRAL ACCOMMODATIONS · DOWNTOWN VICTORIA 919 DOUGLAS STREET VICTORIA, BC · WWW.STRATHCONAHOTEL.COM · 250.383.7137

Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites 250-478-5849 parkscanada.gc.ca/fortroddhill A century-old coast artillery fort and the oldest lighthouse on Canada’s west coast—two national historic sites, to explore and discover. Stay a little longer; spend an overnight in one of our oTENTiks. Fall asleep to nature’s little sounds and be taken back to a time 50 years ago when soldiers’ families inhabited Fort Rodd Hill during their summer camp-out. Plan your visit to catch one of the special events. Only 15 minutes west of downtown Victoria.

ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca • 17


SOUTH ISLAND Willows Beach, Oak Bay

AdmIrAl Inn

“ The ambience of

a quaint B&B with the amenities of a boutique hotel

Convenient Inner Harbour location, adjacent to U.S. Ferries, shops, attractions, restaurants and night life. Bikes, complimentary continental breakfast, computer access, laundry facilities, kitchen units, pet friendly.

AdmIrAl Inn - 257 Belleville St.

Phone/Fax: 250-388-6267 Toll Free: 1-888-823-6472 www.admiral.bc.ca admiral@admiral.bc.ca

JENNIFER BLYTH PHOTO

CONT. FROM PAGE 17

Langford, the Highlands and Metchosin, outdoor activities include kayaking, hiking, cycling, fishing, boating and beachcombing at such natural treasures as Goldstream Provincial Park, Gowlland Todd Provincial Park, Witty’s Lagoon and Matheson Lake. Cyclists and hikers can explore via “the Goose,” which winds through diverse landscapes to the site of a former gold mining town north of Sooke. Attractions include several celebrated golf courses, WildPlay Element Park, Fort

Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites, and Hatley Park and Gardens at Royal Roads University. After the day’s adventures, relax at one of the West Shore’s many excellent restaurants or artisan pubs. Not surprisingly, the region has also attracted numerous artists, and many welcome visitors year-round to their working studios – discover their creativity during a leisurely drive along rural roads or check out some of the many events on the busy arts calendar. CONT. ON PAGE 19

ESCAPE TO VICTORIA... a fun beachfront getaway for the whole family

Call now or go to our web site – www.weirsbeachrvresort.com

FOR SEASONAL SPECIALS Affordable AAA/CAA three diamond elegance in the heart of downtown Victoria, The Chateau Victoria Hotel & Suites is only steps away from Victoria’s most popular attractions.

Toll Free 1-866-478-6888 5191 William Head Road Victoria BC Canada www.weirsbeachrvresort.com 18 • ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca


SOUTH ISLAND CONT. FROM PAGE 18

For details, call the WestShore Chamber of Commerce at 250-478-1130 or see www.westshore.bc.ca The West Shore Visitor Centre is at 2830 Aldwynd Rd. Sooke and Beyond

A little farther west along Highway 14, the community of Sooke is known for its vibrant community, friendly hospitality, outdoor adventure and talented artists and artisans. Kayaking, cycling, fishing and hiking are popular here and a highly recommended way to experience the spectacular West Coast scenery. Don’t miss the Sooke Region Museum, Adrena Line Zipline Tours for a fast-paced trip through the West Coast forest, Whiffin Spit Park, Sooke Potholes Provincial Park, one of the South Island’s most popular summer swimming areas, and East Sooke Park, a stunning coastal park with hiking trails for every skill level. Beyond Sooke, the landscape grows even wilder, with lush coastal rainforest and dazzling beaches, such as French Beach, Mystic Beach and Botanical Beach – home to amazing rock formations and rich tidal pools. The 47km Juan de Fuca Marine Trail traces the shoreline from China Beach to Botanical Beach and is divided into sec-

tions, allowing hikers to choose a portion of the trail as a day trip or to tackle the whole route over about three days.

Whiffin Spit, Sooke

For information about the Sooke Region, call 250-642-6351 or 1-866-888-4748. The Visitor Centre is located at the Sooke Region Museum at 2070 Phillips Rd. South Cowichan

The spectacular Malahat Drive, the section of Highway 1 between Goldstream Provincial Park and the Cowichan region, offers breathtaking views of Finlayson Arm, the Saanich Peninsula and the Gulf Islands. Watch for the turnoff for the viewing area at the summit which offers northbound drivers the opportunity to stop safely. Continue north to Mill Bay, a pleasant waterside community with a full-service marina. Across the highway is the turnoff for Shawnigan Lake, a cosy lakeside community popular for watersports, and Cobble Hill, with lovely shops and picturesque farms. This gorgeous area is famous for its vineyards and produces some of the finest wines and ciders on Vancouver Island. Many of the facilities offer sampling, tours, picnic areas and wine shops. Agriculture tours are CONT. ON PAGE 21

JENNIFER BLYTH PHOTO

WATERFRONT ACCOMMODATION WATERFRONTLONG ACCOMMODATION WE WELCOME TERM STAYS WE WELCOME LONG TERM STAYS

Wild ly West C oast

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WATERFRONT ACCOMMODATION WE WELCOME LONG TERM STAYS

Come stay with us at the

Come stay us at the Cedarwood Inn and Suites. Cedarwood Inn with and Suites. located the ocean ocean just We’re We’re located ononthe just 20 minutes from downtown Victoria. 20 minutes from downtown Victoria. Weekly & Monthly Rates Available. Weekly & Monthly Rates Available.

Experience our 28-room luxury boutique hotel that has been bestowed with awards both for its accommodations and dining.

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reservations 250-656-5551 toll free 1-877-656-5551 fax 250-656-1551

Come stay with us at the Cedarwood Inn and Suites. We’re located on the ThE CEDARWOOD INN ocean & SUITESjust 9522 Lochside Drive, Sidney, BC V8L 1N8 20 minutes from downtown Victoria. THE CEDARWOOD INN & SUITES n reservations 250-656-5551 toll free 1-877-656-5551 fax 250-656-1551

www.thecedarwood.ca 9522 Lochside Drive, Sidney, BC V8L 1N8

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ISLAND VISITOR 2014 www.islandvisitor.ca • 19 www.thecedarwood.ca Weekly & Monthly Rates Available. info@thecedarwood.ca


THE

Old Attic

Unique Finds at Fantastic Prices!

• Antique & Vintage • Retro & Modern • Old & New Furniture • Trench Art & Jewellery • Collectables & Tools • Inuit & Whale Bone Carvings • Consignment & Estate Sales • Cottage Paints & Much More…

7925 East Saanich Rd., Saanichton Village 778-426-1660 Wednesday – Sundays 10am – 5pm www.theoldattic.ca facebook.com/theoldattic

@TheOldAttic


SOUTH ISLAND CONT. FROM PAGE 19

also growing in the Cowichan Region, where farm markets and tours attract more and more visitors. The 93-year-old Kinsol Trestle, northwest of Shawnigan Lake on the Trans Canada Trail, is now open for walking, cycling or horseback riding. At 44 metres high, and 187 metres long, it is one of the largest wooden trestles in the world. The views of the Koksilah River are rivalled only by the views of the trestle itself. Back on Highway 1, a bit farther north and off the highway, Cowichan Bay is perched over a natural deep-sea harbour. Many of the buildings in this charming village – including a unique maritime museum – extend over the water and are supported by pilings. Along the waterfront, find a variety of gift shops and restaurants. The village has also made a name for itself internationally with its designation as the first Cittaslow town in North America (“Cittaslow,” or Slow City, is part of the Slow Food movement).

For information, call the South Cowichan Chamber of Commerce, 250-743-3566. The Visitor Centre is located in the Mill Bay Centre at #118-2720 Mill Bay Rd.

Duncan/Cowichan

Duncan is the commercial centre of the Cowichan Region and a hub of First Nations art and culture. “The City of Totems” boasts some 80 totem poles, including 40 in the quaint downtown area, where you can view the totems while exploring the many unique shops and eateries. Pick up a totem tour map at the Visitor Centre or enjoy a free guided tour in the summer. The Quw’utsun’ Cultural and Conference Centre is among the region’s most impressive attractions and offers insight into the culture of the area’s First People. The BC Forest Discovery Centre is another highlight, with its 40-hectare park with hiking trails, forestry displays and a steam train. The Pacific Northwest Raptors Educational Centre is dedicated to the conservation of birds of prey and features interesting displays and demonstrations. Bird-watchers will also love the Somenos Marsh Conservation Area, home to more than 200 species. Great places to explore from Duncan include the oceanside villages of Maple Bay and Genoa Bay; and Crofton, a forestry town with hiking trails, fishing and a BC Ferries terminal where you can board a ferry to Salt Spring Island.

Downtown Duncan JENNIFER BLYTH PHOTO

For details, call the Duncan-Cowichan Chamber of Commerce at 250-7464636 or 1-888-303-3337; the Visitor Centre is at 2896 Drinkwater Rd, by the BC Forest Discovery Centre. CONT. ON PAGE 22

ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca • 21


SOUTH ISLAND

WING’S RESTAURANT

EAT IN, TAKE OUT or DELIVERY DAILY LUNCH and DINNER BUFFET Whippletree Junction, Cowichan Valley

Business hours from 11:00am -10:00pm

CONT. FROM PAGE 21

90 Gorge Rd. West, Victoria, B.C.

Lake Cowichan

250-385-5564

About 20 minutes west of Duncan along Highway 18, find Lake Cowichan, a picturesque community popular with summer swimmers, boaters, campers and outdoor enthusiasts. Visitors will love the friendly village atmosphere, while finding all the amenities they need to enjoy their stay, including shopping, dining, accommodations and camping, along with a recreation centre and museum. The Lake Cowichan region

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GORGE WATERWAY

Best Western Cowichan Valley Inn 6474 Trans Canada Highway Duncan, BC V9L 6C6 Tel: 250-748-2722 Fax: 250-748-2207 Toll Free Reservations: 1-800-927-6199 EMAIL: info@cowichanvallyinn.com cowichanvalleyinn.com

The Best Full Service Hotel in the Valley • FAST complimentary internet with a Wi-Fi router in each room for excellent multiple device access • Choices Restaurant • CV Station Pub Bar & Grill • 100% Non-Smoking Hotel • Exercise Room • Serta Presidential Suite Pillow Top Beds • 32 inch Hi-Definition TV’s in Each Room • Mini Fridges in Every Guest Room • Banquet & Meeting Rooms • Group Rates • Next To Cowichan Commons Mall • Close to Vineyards, Golfing and Attractions Enjoy our warm, friendly service, great food & excellent accommodations! Each Best Western is independently owned and operated

22 • ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca

also includes the communities of Youbou, Caycuse, Honeymoon Bay and Mesachie Lake.

For details visit the Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce at 125C Shouth Shore Rd, Lake Cowichan, call 250-749-3244 or online at www.cowichanlake.ca Chemainus

One of the most visited towns on Vancouver Island, Chemainus is renowned for the many professionally painted murals and sculptures beautifully depicting its history and culture. More recently, the Festival of Murals adopted the art of Emily Carr as its second theme, honouring one of the country’s most famous female painters. The town’s picturesque streets are lined with dozens of small shops, galleries and restaurants, anchored by the Chemainus Theatre, a star attraction featuring live, yearround plays and musicals. This high-spirited community also boasts a great line-up of family events, especially between May and September, plus golfing, cycling and the Chemainus Valley Museum. Stop by the Chemainus branch of Coastal Community Credit Union and pick up your “Chemainus Dollars” to use in town or take away for a souvenir.

For information, call the Chemainus Visitor Centre at 250-246-3944 or visit in downtown’s Waterwheel Park. Ladysmith

Historic Ladysmith, once a shipping port for coal, is now a lovely little seaside town that has earned provincial and national awards for its downtown revitalization project and beautiful gardens. Head outdoors for fishing, kayaking, golfing, hiking and cycling, relax in Transfer CONT. ON PAGE 24


COMMUNITY IN FOCUS

MARCH 2014

13

OCEAN COTTAGES AT SOOKEPOINT OFFER BREATHTAKING VIEWS

COMMUNITY IN FOCUS 13 OCEAN COTTAGES AT SOOKEPOINT OFFER BREATHTAKING VIEWS Ocean Cottages at SookePoint like Luxury Yachts MARCH 2014

ADVERTORIAL FEATURE

from $499,000 to $799,000 and furnished “yacht suites” from $499,000 to $799,000 from $239,000. from $799,000 andThornton says a and $499,000 furnishedto“yacht suites” Property is like none other number of buyers ordered furnished ‘yacht suites’ fromsayshave from $239,000. Thornton a on Vancouver Island cottages with one or two extra Property is like none other number of buyers have $249,000. Thornton says aordered number suites fororrental income purpose on Vancouver Island with ordered one two extra from $499,000 to $799,000 ofcottages buyers have custom that Landus has just secured suites forand rental purposes, and furnished “yacht suites” cottages with oneincome or two extra and that Landus hasa justfinancing secured for preookePoint is a burgeondevelopment from $239,000. Thornton says suites for rental income, and that Property is like other ookePoint burgeondevelopment financing for prenumber of buyers have ordered ookePoint isisnone aaburgeoning ing “ocean cottage” resort sales, which have been strongest pre-sales beenbeen strongest on Island ingVancouver “ocean cottage” cottages with one which orhave twohave extra sales, strongest ‘ocean cottage resort’resort on community on the extreme along Orca Alley, Moonlight Bay suites for rental purposes, community on the extreme alongincome OrcaAlley, Alley, MoonlightBay Bay along Orca Moonlight the southwest outhwest tipsouthwest of Canada, just tip of Canada, Sunset Shores. and that Landus has and just secured tip of Canada, just andSunset Sunset Shores. and Shores. 43 kilometres37 downtown km south and of Victoria, with stone accents, ookePoint isfrom a west burgeondevelopmentDesigned financingDesigned for pre43from kilometres downtown with stone accents, Designed with stone-accents, ingalong “ocean cottage” sales, whichrugged have been strongest Victoria. Situated the sunset rugged shake on the sunset edge of aresort huge Victoria. Situated along the sunset shake siding and siding openingand opening andthe opening community on the extreme along Orcashake Alley,siding Moonlight Bay edge of a wilderness 3500-acre wilderness dge of a 3500-acre walls of glass, cottages at cottages at walls of glass, the waterfront wilderness park with southwest tip of Canada, just and Sunset Shores. walls of glass, the cottages at park, 50 kilometres of paths SookePoint enhance the rugged park, with 50 kilometres of paths SookePoint enhance the rugged kmwith of paths and the renowned 4350 kilometres from downtown Designed with stone accents, SookePoint enhance the and the10-kilometre renowned 10-kilometre Pacific coastline and fit rugged perfectly nd the renowned coastline and fit perfectly Victoria. Situated along the sunset 10-kilometre Coast Trail. rugged shake siding Pacific and opening Coast Trail, ocean cottages overwithcan active lifestyle. Pacifi and comeThey fully of acottages 3500-acre wilderness Coast Trail,edge ocean overwalls of glass, thecoastline cottages at active with an lifestyle. They With 2,850 feet of private look crashing rollers and offer come with a choice of interiors furnished with everything, even of interiors park, with 50 kilometres of paths SookePoint enhance the rugged ook crashing rollers and offer come with a choice shoreline facing three different views of the open Pacific Ocean. and tasteful furnishings, and and the renowned 10-kilometre Pacific coastline and fit perfectly champagne glasses. Owners have iews of theCoast open Pacific Ocean. andThey tasteful furnishings, and SookePoint, unlike most propowners have the potential for directions, these unique ocean Trail, ocean cottages overwith an active lifestyle. the potential forwhen resort rental SookePoint, unlike most propowners have the for erties, has 2,850 lineal feet of they arepotential not look crashing rollers and offer come with arental choiceincome of interiors cottages along ‘Canada’s South income when they’re not resi- they are not private peninsula shoreline facing infurnishings, residence. Unique forinawhen resort rties, has 2,850 feet of rental income views ofc’lineal the open Pacific Ocean. and tasteful and Pacifi have panoramic seascape dence, while unique zoning allows three different directions, offerproperty, allows full- for a resort SookePoint, unlike most propowners have the potential foralso private peninsula shoreline facing inzoning residence. Unique views, from sunrise over the ingdirections, ahas choice of lineal sunrise, and time residency, owners erties, 2,850 feetsouth of wilderwhen they areallowing not full-time residency so zoning owners can hree different offerproperty, also allows fullSookePoint takes whale watching to new levels SookePoint sunsets are simply sensationalrental income ness park to sunsets that burn private peninsula shoreline facinginto sunset views. in residence. Unique for a resort to secure low homeowner-rate get the lowest homeowner-rate ng a choicethree ofMichael sunrise, south and residency, allowing owners different directions, offer- SookePoint property, zoning alsotime allows fullThornton, president of mortgages. takes whale watching todents newand levels SookePoint sunsets are simply sensational the open ocean. mortgages. allowing cottages on solid rock guests willwhat be able to deep intothe theSalish SalishSea Seathat thattime itisis residency, unset views. to secure homeowner-rate ing a choice of sunrise, south andsays allowing owners Landus Development Group, rock three times closer, waves the film ‘Blackfish,’ I love far into it “SookePoint is likelow nowhere SookePoint takes whale watching to new levels SookePoint sunsets are simply sensational Michael Thornton, president of “SookePoint is like nowhere sunset views. three closer, crash and as hear 4 hours away. on to secure low homeowner-rate Michael Thornton, president of know mortgages. that even his team didn’t crash times as near as 16waves feet below mostwhales about coming all this is that the onthe theleading leadingedge edgeof ofdynamic dynamic else,” Thornton said, noting Landus Development Group, says Michael Thornton, president ofrock else”, Thornton said, how visibly rich the diversity of three we have truly exceptional near as 16some feet below and we have theviewers “Having deeply moved itsitssouthern location and willbeen be captivated, weather, southern location andus Development Group, says times closer, waves there’s a reason the noting residences film ‘Blackfish,’ what I while love weather, far into the Salish Seamortgages. that it is “SookePoint is like nowhere Landus Development Group, says rock three times closer, waves the film ‘Blackfish,’ what I love far into the Salish Sea that it is “SookePoint is like nowhere that even his team didn’t know sea lifedidn’t was until it was able crash to front-row On and many most thethe whales swim free,” Thornton andon proximity to theedge snow-capped are called ocean cottages. “When there’s a reason they’re called hat even his team know assome near asasexperiences. 16 feet below truly exceptional front-row by film ‘Blackfi I the love proximity the snow-capped about all thissh’, iswhat that thetoleading of dynamic else,” Thornton said, noting that even his team didn’t know crash as near 16 feet below and most about all this is that the on the leading edge of dynamic else,” Thornton said, noting spend alldiversity day thediversity finishedofwe show occasions we’re able look down viewers said.is will how visibly richinthe seahaveexperiences. Olympic Mountain Rangecreates creyou’recottages. sitting in“When your ocean cot- residences ocean you’re ow visiblyhow rich the of some truly exceptional be captivated, its southern location On manytooccasions most that the viewers will bewhile Mountain Range there’s a reason the visibly rich the diversity of we have some truly exceptional viewers will be captivated, while weather,Olympic itsweather, southern location there’s a reason the residences cottage. and recognize individual orcas, Those who love the water and ates a rain-shadow, with average tage you feel like you’re on a lifelife was, until they were able your cottage, you ea life wassea until it was able toable front-row experiences. On many whales swim free,” Thornton and toless thethan snow-capped was until it was to to areocean called ocean cottages. “When front-row experiences. many we’re able to look On down and thethe captivated, while the whales swim aannual rain-shadow, with average annual whales swim free,” Thornton and proximity to proximity the snow-capped are called snug oceanincottages. “When “There is such vigorous intereven when they’re submerged.” wildlife can kayak, dive, snorkel, precipitation a yacht. You’re so close you only spend day finished show spend allall day in in thethe finished show occasions we’reable able to to look down Mountain Range creyou’re sitting in your ocean cotcan only see thefront ocean in front pend all day in the finished show occasions we’re look down said. Olympic Mountain Range creyou’re sitting inYou your ocean cotrecognize individual orcas, even said. free!”, Thornton said.or just sitOlympicprecipitation less than ajust third ofkiloaction between the sea and the He adds that a video of sail, boat, fish, hike third of Port Renfrew 60 view water in of you. and recognize individual orcas, Those who love the water and ates a rain-shadow, with average with tage you feel like you’re onyou a feel cottage. ofreally your prow-shaped soit.” ottage. cottage. and recognize individual Those who love the water and ates a rain-shadow, tage like you’re on a when they’re Those who love the water and Port Renfrew justthan 60 kilometres upaverage peninsula’s ancient, volcanic whales issubmerged.” postedorcas, on the watch assortment metres up the coast. must seeonly it to deck, believe “There is such vigorous intereventhe when they’re submerged.” wildlifeback can and kayak, dive,an snorkel, annual precipitation lessnorthwest a yacht. 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You interaction between the seathat andHethe ction between the sea and volcanic the adds video sail, fish, hike or just sit third Port just 60 kiloview front peninsula’s ancient, whales isaposted onofthecottage right below the show is on fiseals, sh,boat, hike or just relax and watch an upstorm “Yet youofcan see suchsuggested incredback and watch an assortment metres the northwest coast. really mustluxury see ityacht.” to believe it.” in attracts a huge variety of magnifithe U.S.-based Center for Whale and marine life, many of which in jest that we name part of our is open 12 to 4 that it has created an the whales SookePoint website. on Thethe viewhumpbacks, dolphins, see such SookePoint is at 1000 Silver the peninsula’s ancient, volcanic peninsula’sforeshore ancient, volcanic is posted SookePoint ismust at p.m. 1000 Silver back and watch an assortment metres upincredible the itnorthwest coast.cottage really see it p.m. to believe it.” the SookePoint.com website. 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OCEAN COTTAGES AT SOOKEPOINT OFFER BREATHTAKING VIEWS

S SS S

Where Victoria meets the Wild West Coast

OWN, RENT, EARN INCOME Cottages only 5 meters from the Ocean!!! Ocean Cottages from $499K to $799K+ Furnished Yacht Suites from $249K SookePoint.com 250.642.0350

SookePoint SookePoint

OCEAN COTTAGES

~ Exceptional Full-time Living - Amazing Vacation Rentals ~ SookePoint

TROPHY FISHING

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YACHT DECK VIEWS

A+ STORM WATCHING

Victoria 37 km; Ferries 63.6 km; International Airport 59.7 km; Nanaimo 124 km This is not an offereing for sale, which can only be made by Disclosure Statement. E&OE


SOUTH ISLAND

Adventure Awaits Downtown Ladysmith

Summer Camps For All Ages Jump into the adventure and let friendship fill each day. Experience a world of discovery, over 75 activities, all with an amazing staff from across Canada and around the world.

LIFE LIKE NO OTHER!

www.qwanoes.ca • 1-889-997-9266 Located on Vancouver Island, Canada

CONT. FROM PAGE 22

Beach Park – great for kids and adults alike – or stroll the Ladysmith Heritage Walk. Take in the Ladysmith Museum on First Avenue, with its historical displays of the town’s development, including business, industry and social history, or stop by the Visitor Centre for a brochure to lead you on two self-guided heritage tours. Be sure to stop by the Ladysmith Maritime Society’s new marine visitor centre, and in the summer, enjoy the society’s re-

laxing two-hour boat tours of the harbour. This picturesque community is blessed with numerous artists and artisans, or discover a bounty of treasures at one of the unique boutiques or antique shops. Visiting in December? Don’t miss the town’s amazing display of Christmas lights illuminating the streets and houses.

Visit the Ladysmith online at www. ladysmithcofc.com. Find the Ladysmith Visitor Centre at 33 Roberts St. or call 250-245-2112.

Country Maples RV Resort 160 sites

The place to be…

Country Maples RV Resort is located on Vancouver Island, right on the Chemainus River with the Ocean nearby. The resort is a an excellent vacation spot for everyone.

For Reservations Call 250-246-2078 Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay is idyllically nestled in the heart of Cowichan Valley, situated between Victoria and Nanaimo. 250-715-1000 ✦ www.oceanfrontcowichanbay.com 24 • ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca

Holiday Trails

living the dream...

RV Resorts

www.htr.ca


GULF ISLANDS

Gulf Islands’ #1 Getaway

Salt Spring’s Saturday Market WWW.JOHNCAMERON.CA PHOTO/COURTESY SALT SPRING CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Discover the Gulf Islands

G

et away from it all without having to go too far? Welcome to the Gulf Islands. A picturesque collection of unique communities in the Strait of Georgia, between Vancouver Island and the BC Mainland, the Gulf Islands are easily accessible via BC Ferries or private boat. Home to stunning scenery – providing inspiration to numerous artists and artisans – and fertile lands ideal for thriving farms and award-winning wineries, the Gulf Islands are among the most popular getaways for locals, and for good reason. From sea to sky, long sandy beaches to mountain tops where the views go on forever, the Southern Gulf Islands are a terrific day-trip destination from Vancouver Island. With so much to explore, extend your visit with a night or two at a picture-perfect B&B or inn and start the adventure! Salt Spring, just a 35-minute BC Ferry ride from the Swartz Bay terminal, is a paradise renowned for its relaxed lifestyle, idyllic beauty, art galleries, studios, wineries and gift shops. Don’t miss the huge Saturday outdoor market where Salt Spring’s accomplished artisans and farmers display their fine products. Enjoy a walk around the town of Ganges, with its many interesting shops and eateries, then enjoy a bike ride or leisurely drive around the Island to soak in the scenery. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the hiking trails at Ruckle Provincial Park while paddlers can choose from both fresh and salt-water excursions. Nearby the smaller islands of Pender,

Mayne, Saturna and Galiano are all served by ferry, but popular destinations for local boaters as well. While the populations of these islands are quite small – much larger during the summer and on weekends! – find all the amenities needed for an afternoon escape or longer getaway, with accommodations ranging from provincial park camping to luxurious resorts. Throughout the Islands, find beaches good for hours of relaxing, swimming or beachcombing, trails for biking and hiking, birdwatching, paddling and more, not to mention local and regional parks and the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. A little farther north, enjoy a short, 20-minute ferry ride from Nanaimo to Gabriola Island, popular with kayakers, campers, cyclists and explorers who come to discover the ancient petroglyphs and remarkable sandstone formations at the Malaspina Galleries. Denman and Hornby Islands are located off-shore of the Comox Valley and are popular with artists and vacationers, while visitors to Texada Island can enjoy the short trip from Powell River or hop aboard a KD Air flight from the Vancouver South Terminal. Popular events on the islands include farmers’ markets, the Hornby Island Festival in August, July’s Texada Fly-in, Saturna’s Canada Day Lamb Barbecue, the Galiano Wine Festival, Salt Spring’s Fall Fair and the Salt Spring Apple Festival, both in September.

This small luxury hotel, spa and restaurant, part of Relais & Chateaux is one of 1000 Places to See Before You Die and on National Geographic’s 2009 Stay List. Explore Salt Spring’s natural beauty, warmth and creativity of its people - go on a Gourmet, Art or Whale Watching Safari, or try the Crab Catch!

160 Upper Ganges Rd, Salt Spring Island

1-800-661-9255

www.hastingshouse.com

Escape & Experience The Galiano Inn

• Madrona del Mar Spa

• “eat@galianoinn” Restaurant

Oceanfront Rooms • Award Winning Dining • Acclaimed Spa • Summer Wood-Fired Pizza • Dock • Smart Cars • Lounge

o c e a n f r o n t i n n r e s ta u r a n t & s pa 1-877-530-3939 • 134 Madrona Drive, Galiano island • www.galianoinn.com

ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca • 25


CENTRAL ISLAND

Come explore the

central island F

rom thrilling family-friendly events to world-class spas perfect for a little West Coast-inspired rejuvenation, endless stretches of pristine beaches to sky-high mountains begging to be explored, the Central Island offers virtually endless opportunities to build the vacation of your dreams.

Nanaimo

“The Harbour City” is renowned for its excellent shopping, dining and vibrant arts and cultural scene complemented by numerous outdoor opportunities. And with its mild Pacific climate and an interesting history as a coal mining centre, captured in its heritage destinations, Nanaimo is an excellent year-round vacation destination. BC’s third oldest city, historically Nanaimo was the homeland of the Coast Salish, who called themselves “Snuneymuxw,” which roughly translates as “gathering place.” Later, European settlers pronounced the name “Nanaimo.” When the Hudson’s Bay Company discovered rich coal deposits in the mid-1800s, the city of Nanaimo Nanaimo’s Bastion

26 • ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca

Nanaimo’s harbour PHOTOS COURTESY TOURISM NANAIMO

was born. Delve into its past at the more than 150-year-old Bastion and at the Nanaimo Museum, where highlights include First Nations displays, a replica coal mine and bathtub race exhibit plus cannon firing ceremonies downtown at noon from the May long-weekend through Labour Day. With more artists per capita than most other regions in Canada, explore Nanaimo’s arts and culture in the galleries and arts studios, on stage at the Port Theatre and at the city’s music venues, and take in its excellent shopping districts, including the Old City Quarter, arts district, waterfront shops and a variety of north-end shopping centres. New this year is the Cedar Yellow Point Artisan Trail, just south of the city and loaded with galleries, crafts and culinary stops. Foodies will love the tasty delights at the region’s farms, farmers’ markets and specialty producers, sipping and sampling at Millstone Estate Winery, taking in October’s Bite of Nanaimo and popular Wine Festival, or satisfying their sweet tooth on the Nanaimo Bar Trail. Learn more at the Visitor Centre or tourismnanaimo.com Crave the great outdoors? The Harbour City boasts more than 200 parks and trails perfect for walking, swimming, cycling, birdwatching and boating, plus some of the best mountain biking in BC. Hikers will enjoy Neck Point, Biggs Park, Westwood Lake Park and Newcastle Island Provincial Marine Park. Paddlers can launch from both fresh and saltwater locations and boaters will be impressed by the top-notch marina facilities. Don’t miss the CONT. ON PAGE 27


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opportunity to kayak or boat to Canada’s only floating pub and enjoy the view back to the city. Regularly scheduled harbour cruises and foot-passenger ferry service to Newcastle Island are available through the spring and summer seasons. A short BC Ferries trip across to Gabriola Island makes for another enjoyable daytrip. Fancy a turn around the links? From family mini-golf to Canadian Tour professional facilities Nanaimo boasts a dizzying array of 20 courses within an hour’s drive. Diving is yet another specialty, thanks to clear waters, abundant marine life and intriguing sites. In fact, Nanaimo’s wrecks and reefs include three sunken ships that make Nanaimo’s one of the largest upright

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Visit the Nanaimo Visitor Centre, 2450 Northfield Rd (the Northfield exit from Highway 19) or the summer-only location at the Bastion 95 Front St. Call 250-7511556 or see TourismNanaimo.com

250.753.2373 #8 Pirates Lane, Nanaimo

Parksville Qualicum Beach – Oceanside

From a relaxing couple’s escape to sunny summer weeks the whole family will love, the Parksville Qualicum Beach region – Canada’s beach playground – offers something for everyone. Stretching along Highway 19A and

CONT. ON PAGE 28

Relaxing on one of Parksville’s long, sandy beaches

Enjoy a 10 minute harbour cruise aboard the Protection Island ferry from downtown Nanaimo or arrive and dock at the pub in your own vessel.

CRAVEN PHOTO COURTESY PARKSVILLEQUALICUMBEACH.COM

Featuring seasonal menus with something for everyone, live local music entertainment, sailboat nights and one of the greatest views anywhere.

Open year around from 11:30 a.m. until the last ferry runs. See our web site for current menus, promotions & ferry schedules. Nanaimo • Vancouver Island • BC

315 Rosehill Street, Nanaimo BC

dockrocks1@telus.net

1-866-925-2009 ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca • 27


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1000 Resort Drive - Parksville, BC Adjacent to Rathtrevor Park

250-248-8290 www.riptidelagoon.com

comprising the diverse communities of Parksville, Qualicum Beach, French Creek, Nanoose Bay, Arrowsmith Coombs Country and Lighthouse Country, collectively known as Oceanside, discover miles of sandy beaches, spectacular mountain and ocean views, lush parks and numerous attractions. It’s little surprise this vacation playground is home to numerous annual events, fine dining, quaint shops, marinas, first-class accommodations and of course, great golf, not to mention a variety of

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© Island Publishers Ltd. 2014

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beach-front accommodations. With one of Canada’s highest concentrations of artists, gallery and studio browsing is a favourite pastime, while for outdoor enthusiasts, activities include fishing, diving, kayaking, mountain biking, boating, caving, horseback riding and windsurfing. Bird-watching is also big in Parksville Qualicum Beach, where more than 250 bird species live year-round or visit during spring migration. Parksville, with a population of more than 11,000, is the region’s largest comCONT. ON PAGE 29

Stay in Vancouver Island’s fastest growing vacation and resort area. Beautiful, well appointed cottages within easy access to exceptional year-round recreation

info@oceansidevillageresort.com In Parksville’s Resort Area 1-877-248-8961 1080 Resort Drive www.osvr.ca

28 • ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca


CENTRAL ISLAND CONT. FROM PAGE 28

munity. With Canada’s mildest year-round climate, incredible beaches, some of the country’s top spa destinations, golf courses and beautiful parks have established the beachfront resort town as an ideal spot for romantic getaways and family vacations. Nearby, Englishman River Falls Provincial Park draws hikers, anglers and picnickers, while Top Bridge Regional Park is a haven for mountain bikers. About 10 minutes north of Parksville is the charming town of Qualicum Beach, a pedestrian-friendly gardener’s paradise that’s home to the beautiful Milner Gardens, plus more than 50 quaint boutiques, galleries, antique stores, cozy cafés and stunning panoramic views of the Strait of Georgia. Be sure to take in a summer sunset with the accompanying breathtaking vistas, and visit the fascinating palaeontology displays and other exhibits at the Qualicum Beach Museum. Arrowsmith Coombs Country offers even more sightseeing and activity options. The Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve is a unique micro-climate and ecosystem that has received UNESCO designation. Not-tomiss attractions include the Orchid Garden with more than 800 living orchids for your enjoyment at Butterfly World and Gardens, CONT. ON PAGE 30

Cathedral Grove

PHOTO COURTESY PARKSVILLEQUALICUMBEACH.COM

Reconnect... with nature, family, friends, colleagues, yourself

For every purpose, we’re the perfect destination getaway

The only thing missing is you!

great getaway packages - call for details 1155 Resort Drive, Parksville, BC

1-800-663-7373 or 250-248-2072

TIGH-NA-MARA.COM ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca • 29


CENTRAL ISLAND CONT. FROM PAGE 29

the World Parrot Refuge, North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre, Tiger Lily Farms, Little Qualicum Cheeseworks & MooBerry Winery (complete with farm tours) and the Old Country Market where you can watch the antics of the goats grazing on the market’s grass roof before you explore the eclectic market and neighbouring shops. Pick up a picnic lunch and stroll the pretty paths of Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park. Just beyond don’t miss the majestic Cathedral Grove with centuriesold trees, and the peaceful splendour of Cameron Lake. Just north, Lighthouse Country is a picturesque coastal area with marinas, restaurants, art studios, shops, the most amazing scallops from Qualicum Bay Scallops and caving at Horne Lake Caves. Also check out the Deep Bay Field Station Centre for Shellfish Research, sitting like a giant open clam on the shores of Deep Bay.

Call the Qualicum Beach Visitor Centre at 250-752-9532 or stop by at 2711 West Island Hwy. Call the Parksville Visitor Centre at 250-248-3613 or visit 3km south of Parksville at 1275 East Island Hwy.

Alberni Pacific Steam Railway, Port Alberni

Port Alberni West of Parksville off Highway 4, Port Alberni is a world-renowned sport fishing destination teeming with both natural and historical attractions. Crowned the Ultimate Fishing Town by the World Fishing Network in 2010, Port Alberni is located at the tip of a long saltwater channel called the Alberni Inlet and is the heart of Vancouver Island’s awe-inspiring Pacific Rim region. Fishing charters operate year-round and saltwater rewards include halibut, cod and salmon. For freshwater anglers, productive streams abound with cutthroat, rainbow and steelhead trout.

PHOTO COURTESY ALBERNI HERITAGE NETWORK

Other activities include everything from kite-boarding, windsurfing and diving to golfing, kayaking and wildlife viewing. While outdoor opportunities abound here, a highlight of a Valley visit is its excellent network of heritage attractions. At the Alberni Valley Museum, discover fascinating exhibits on pioneer history, folk art and First Nations culture, while at the Rollins Arts Centre and Gardens, works by local artists and summertime tea on the terrace are featured. Alberni Harbour Quay is a colourful collection of waterfront shops, galleries and eateries where you’ll CONT. ON PAGE 31

OCEAN TRAILS RESORT PARKSVILLE

Go barefoot on the sandy shores of Beach Acres Resort. Enjoy Parksville’s famous Rathtrevor Park with it’s gentle surf and endless warm, sandy beach. Our guests return year after year for the perfect family vacation, reunions and quiet getaways. • All units have 2 bdrms, a full kitchen and fireplace to give you all the comforts of home. • Year round, indoor heated pool, hot tub and sauna • Badminton, Volleyball and Basketball Courts • 3 Tennis Courts • Kids’ Playground 1051 Resort Drive, Parksville, BC 1.800.663.7309 • 250.248.3424 email: reservations@beachacresresort.com

www.BeachAcresResort.com

30 • ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca

YOUR ALL SEASON DESTINATION Our family friendly resort located on the bluff above Rathtrevor Beach, offering all the comforts of home. Modern and bright, 1, 2 and 3 bedroom condos. All include fully equipped kitchens; cozy fireplaces; cable TV/DVD; in-suite washer/dryers; WiFi and local calling. On the grounds we offer: outdoor hot tub; seasonal pool; playground; and BBQ recreation area. Ask our friendly staff about specials/discounts. Make us your relaxation destination.

Tel: 1.888.248.6212

1135 Resort Drive, PARKSVILLE, BC www.ocean-trails.com


CENTRAL ISLAND CONT. FROM PAGE 30

also find the Maritime Discovery Centre, the clock tower, with its panoramic views of the Alberni Inlet, and the boarding area for the MV Frances Barkley, a passenger and freight vessel offering scenic journeys to Bamfield and Ucluelet. Other historic highlights of the summer season include 35-minute scenic Steam Train excursion from the Port Alberni Railway Station near the harbour to the McLean Mill National Historic Site. At the McLean Mill, enjoy the sights, sounds and smells of an operating steam sawmill or steam donkey, explore original camp buildings and tap your toes to the Tin Pants Theatre. Near Port Alberni, Sproat Lake Provincial Park draws recreation enthusiasts and anglers. It’s also home base for the Martin Mars Flying Tankers, the world’s largest water-bomber aircraft used for fighting forest fires. Other nearby spots to visit include the Robertson Creek Fish Hatchery, the J.V. Cline Bird Sanctuary, and Paper Mill Dam and Rogers Creek parks.

For information on Port Alberni, call 250-724-6535. The Visitor Centre is located at 2533 Port Alberni Hwy. CONT. ON PAGE 33

Best Beach Front Location in Parksville!

Our family friendly resort features attractive fully appointed Studio, 1 & 2 bedroom vacation homes. All with stunning panoramic mountain & ocean views right from your private balcony or patio. Our 2 bedroom townhouses are just steps to the sand (full kitchen, 2 bathrooms, fireplace, in-suite laundry & BBQ). Up on the Ridge open plan Studios & 1 Bedroom Condos are ideal for smaller families & couples (kitchen/kitchenette, some with fireplaces, patio/balcony).

Amenities: free WiFi, BBQ’s, fire pits, tennis court, children’s playground, walking trails, shopping, attractions & golf nearby. LONG TERM RATES & GREAT SPECIALS.

Madrona Beach Resort 1145 Resort Drive, Parksville, B.C. V9P 3E3 Toll Free 1-800-663-7302 or 250-248-5503 www.madrona-resort.com

Rates from $179

Studio suite

Stay RESORT fEaTuRES • World famous Parksville Beach & Boardwalk • Beachfront indoor pool and hot tub • fitness centre • Stonewater Spa • Pacific Prime Steak and Chop Restaurant • Meeting & event spaces

|

beachside

With stunning Parksville Beach at your doorstep and exceptional views of nearby islands and distant mountains, this is your destination of choice for an incomparable Vancouver Island vacation experience. Enjoy an abundance of recreational choices including six local golf courses, hiking, walking and cycling trails, water sports, skiing at Mt. Washington and much more.

Call 1.888.760.2008 or visit BeachClubBC.com or bellstar.ca ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca • 31


32 • ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca


Alberni Valley... CENTRAL ISLAND

Whether you are looking for a quick lunch spot or Immerse yourself in the rugged beauty want to explore for a few days, the Alberni Valley of the West Coast with a visit to the tiny outpost of Bamfield. With a permanent offers historic sights, natural wonders, and slices of population of about 500, Bamfield attracts coastal life around every bend. thousands of visitors – for some it’s the beCONT. FROM PAGE 31

Bamfield

ginning or end of their six-day West Coast Trail trek, while for others it’s the perfect jumping off point for ocean adventures. A picturesque community where the main street is a waterway served by water taxi, Bamfield offers thrilling year-round fishing adventures, kayaking, scuba diving and whale watching. Check out the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre, a stellar facility offering public tours during the summer, and visit the galleries and studios of acclaimed local artists inspired by their surroundings. Scenic hiking spots include trails to Brady’s Beach, Cape Beale, Pachena Lighthouse, Keeha Beach and Tapaltos Beach. Need more ideas? Inquire in town for local favourites. Although accessible by gravel-surfaced road from both the Port Alberni and Lake Cowichan areas, Bamfield is most easily reached by floatplane or the MV Frances Barkley from Port Alberni. Local resorts offer vacation packages with accommodation, meals and guided adventures, plus fish care and packaging.

You can ride on a 1929 steam-powered train through the rainforest. Visit friendly coastal wineries. Long Beach, Pacific Rim National Park Or relax with inlet views and waterfront restaurants. Come discover this authentic coastal town.PIRJO RAITS PHOTO Bamfield businesses are pleased to answer visitors’ questions or, during July and August, stop by the Visitor Centres, on the east side in Centennial Park or on the west side of the Bamfield Boardwalk. Or, visit www.bamfieldchamber.com Ucluelet Located on the edge of spectacular Barkley Sound and bordered by ocean on three sides, the village of Ucluelet is the ideal spot for watching the ships and fishing vessels, marine wildlife and the ever-changing scenery of the open Pacific. Offering a wealth of year-round activities, Ucluelet is an outdoor enthusiast’s

dream. Ucluelet’s fishing guides and charters are there to get you on the water, while kayaking opportunities range from the inner harbour’s calm waters to the challenging Broken Group Islands. Trading paddles for peddles, cyclists explore the roadways and designated pathways, while hikers’ opportunities include the scenic Wild Pacific Trail. Take to the trees for a ziplining adventure or join the local experts in a West Coast wildlife tour. Winter stormwatching is another popular pastime and many accommodation properties offer special packages for the visitors from around the world who come to watch Mother Nature unleash her wrath on the

CONT. ON PAGE 34

Getting another chance....

NIWRC is a park like setting nestled in the district of Errington on Vancouver Island where our wildlife patients are cared for. Visitors will see eagles, owls, black bear and much more. “It’s truly a Wildlife Experience for the Whole Family”. Viewing open daily March 10th thru December 19th

North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre

1240 Leffler Road, Errington, BC 250-248-8534 www.niwra.org

Blue Bird Motel • Clean and very good prices • Air condition • Free internet • Very close to Lady ROSE • Complimentary Coffee • Special rates for Seniors • Most rooms have full kitchen facilities 3755 3rd ave Port Alberni B.C V9Y4E9 bluebirdmotel@shaw.ca

Phone 250 723 1153

FRANCES BARKLEY FRANCES BARKLEY Cruise spectacular BarkleyBarkley Sound Sound on theon Cruise spectacular Frances Barkley. There are year-round sailings the Frances Barkley. There are yearto Bamfield, and June-September sailings for round sailings to Bamfield, and JuneUcluelet and the Broken Group. You can also rent September sailings for Ucluelet and the kayaks, book a stay at our scenic Sechart Lodge Broken Group. You can also rent kayaks, in Barkley Sound, or make a reservation for our a stay at ourconnector scenic Sechart convenientbook Sechart-based water Lodge taxi. in Barkley Sound, or make a reservation Visit our website for full schedule details.

Web: www.ladyrosemarine.com

Web: www.ladyrosemarine.com ladyrosemarine@telus.net ladyrosemarine@telus.net Tel: 250-723-8313 (all year) Tel: (all year) Toll250-723-8313 Free: 1-800-663-7192 Toll Free: for our convenient Sechart-based con(April -1-800-663-7192 September) (April - September) nector water taxi. Visit our website for full schedule details.

www.albernivalleytourism.com ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca • 33


CENTRAL ISLAND

Kayaking the Broken Islands

CONT. FROM PAGE 33

rocky shorelines. In early spring, the Pacific Rim’s largest summer guests return: the grey whales. Once nearly extinct, some 20,000 of these amazing mammals migrate along the Island’s west coast. Visible from Ucluelet’s shores in March and April and celebrated with the Pacific Rim Whale Festival, these whales and many other species of marine life can also be viewed on boat tours through summer and into fall. In addition to accommodations ranging from quaint B&Bs to the luxurious oceanfront resorts, Ucluelet features a good choice of restaurants, shops and galleries. Returning to the harbour, the Ucluelet Aquarium provides a fascinating look at marine eco-systems.

The Whale Centre 1-888-474-2288

Clayoquot Sound Eco Tours Since ‘83

Whale - Bird - Bear Watching Hot Springs Tour & Soak

tofinowhalecentre.com 411 Campbell St. TOFINO

250-725-2132

34 • ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca

Call Ucluelet Chamber of Commerce at 250-726-4641 or visit the Visitor Centre at 2791 Pacific Rim Hwy, 250-726-4600 Tofino

Just past the far end of Long Beach, overlooking Clayoquot Sound, Tofino has flourished as a tourism destination in the heart of some of the world’s most pristine wilderness. To help to protect this spectacular region, Tofino was designated BC’s first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Outdoor activities include whale-watching, fishing, kayaking, diving and surfing, plus guided bear-watching tours. Hikers enjoy the many trails in the Long Beach area and surrounding the townsite, and the renowned Ahousat Wildside Heritage Trail, an 11km hike on Flores Island. Tofino is a flurry of activity during the Pacific Rim Whale Festival in March and early April when some 20,000 grey whales migrate through these waters. Unique Tofino attractions include the Whale Centre Museum, with marine artifacts and whale skeletons, and Hot Springs Cove. Tofino is also Canada’s surfing capital, offering yearround opportunities to catch a wave and fine surf schools to get you started. Despite its popularity, Tofino has maintained its peaceful, rustic ambience, with quaint shops, adventure supply stores, art

galleries and cafés blending easily with world-class resorts and fine dining establishments. Accommodations range from hike-in campsites to resort hotels with luxury spas.

Call the Tourism Tofino Visitor Centre at 250-725-3414 or stop by 1426 Pacific Rim Hwy; see www.tourismtofino.com Pacific Rim National Park Reserve Featuring Long Beach, the Broken Group Islands and the West Coast Trail, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve is a nationally significant coastal environment offering visitors a variety of experiences. The most easily accessible section is Long Beach, a 22km stretch of sandy beach and sand dunes between Ucluelet and Tofino. A popular surf spot, Long Beach also offers several hiking trails that meander through headlands and woodlands and a marine interpretive centre that explores the region’s natural history. Find day-use areas, a campground, summer family programs and access for visitors with physical challenges. Experienced kayakers delight in exploring the Broken Group Islands, a series of islands and islets in Barkley Sound that can only be reached by boat with some campsites for kayakers. Please note: these waters can be rough and only experienced kayakers should consider excursions here without guides. Find tour information from local Visitor Centres and accommodation and adventure operators. The West Coast Trail is a 75km hiking trail between Bamfield and Port Renfrew that takes six to eight days to complete. Although walk-in spots are available each day, reservations are recommended from mid-June to mid-September.

For details on the West Coast Trail, check with local Visitor Centres, the park office or call 1-800-HELLO BC. For details on Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, call 250-726-7721 or visit www.pc.gc.ca/pacificrim


NORTH ISLAND Campbell River Fishing Pier

Out and about on the

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rom sea to sky and everywhere in between, West Coast adventure awaits around every turn here on northern Vancouver Island. Add to that a thriving arts community inspired by the majestic landscape, the celebrated traditions of ancient First Nations and engaging communities pleased to play host to visitors from around the world, and the North Island offers a picture-perfect vacation destination.

Comox Valley

Nestled between the Beaufort Mountains and the Strait of Georgia, the Comox Valley’s unique geography features stunning mountain peaks, alpine meadows, rivers and lakes, lush forests and fertile farms. A mild year-round climate provides an exceptional location for hiking, boating, fishing, swimming, mountain biking and diving. Stunning scenery, top-notch amenities and a huge variety of activities come together in one of the Island’s most popular vacation destinations. Mount Washington Alpine Resort is a hot spot for skiers and snowboarders in the winter and hikers and mountain bikers in warmer weather. Ride the chairlifts for panoramic summer views of the Comox Glacier and the Strait of Georgia or hike into the

PHOTO COURTESY CAMPBELL RIVER TOURISM

spectacular 250,445-hectare wilderness of Strathcona Provincial Park. Down the mountain, golfers tee off on six year-round courses, while paddlers venture out in canoes and kayaks. Diving, boating and fishing add to the list of marine activities. The Valley also boasts some of the most varied mountain biking trails on Vancouver Island, with cross-country, downhill and lift-accessed riding. An incredible diversity of farm-fresh products is represented in the ever-growing culinary and agritourism . Stop in at the year-round farmer’s market or buy direct from the producers, savouring the flavours of artisan cheeses, Fanny Bay oysters, local wines and beer, plus an array of fruits and veggies. Visit one of the culinary festivals centred around shellfish, wine, beer and food or savour the bounty showcased at area restaurants serving locally grown and produced foods. Also home to a thriving arts community, the Comox Valley hosts several amazing summer festivals celebrating both the performing arts and the work of local artists and artisans. Explore the region’s rich local history at the Courtenay and District Museum and Palaeontology Centre, and with the Comox Valley Heritage Experience, a 16-stop self-guided driving tour, plus four

Heritage Walks in Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland. From booming coal mining towns, rural farms and bustling harbours, the Heritage Experience offers a glimpse into the rich social, cultural, natural and industrial history of the Valley. Pick up tour brochures at local Visitor Centres or download copies from www.discovercomoxvalley.com Between activities, catch your breath with a peek into the area’s unique communities. Courtenay is the commercial centre and a hub for arts and culture with downtown art galleries and studios, boutiques, theatres and restaurants. Cumberland celebrates its history as a former coal-mining town – learn about its fascinating past at the Cumberland Museum and Archives. Nearby is Comox Lake, a crystal clear, glacier-fed paradise perfect for swimming, boating and fishing, with a full-service campground, picnic area, boat ramp and hiking trails. Excellent marina facilities and a quaint downtown make Comox a popular destination where attractions include the Comox Air Force Museum and Heritage Airpark and the historic Filberg Lodge and Park, where annual events include the August long weekend’s Filberg Festival, one of BC’s finest arts, crafts and entertainment celebrations.

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particularly saltwater fishing which earned the city its reputation as “The Salmon Capital of the World.” Campbell River has since added to that reputation with exceptional scuba diving, golfing, kayaking, hiking, rafting and more. Walk on the wild side with whale- and marine wildlife-watching tours, bear viewing, bird watching, diving charters to search for giant Pacific octopus and even snorkelling with salmon. Highlighting this extensive marine heritage will be the new Discovery Passage Aquarium at the Discovery Fishing Pier, a 185-metre-

We offer friendly, personalized service and daily non-stop flights to and from Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver with endless possibilities beyond. Leave your worries at home.

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Get off the beaten track with a visit to Denman and Hornby Islands, just offshore and accessible via BC Ferry from Buckley Bay, south of Courtenay. Favourite escapes for hiking, cycling, diving, swimming and kayaking, don’t miss Hornby Island’s Tribune Bay, where the summer sun heat’s the shallow waters to the perfect temperature for swimming. You’ll also find a wealth of local art studios and galleries, and quaint villages for exploring. Just north of Courtenay, the Merville/Black Creek area promises plenty of family fun, with minigolf, petting farms, go-karting and horseback riding, plus one of the region’s best beaches.

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long fishing pier complete with equipment rentals, fabulous views. Also nearby is the Maritime Centre, home to the BCP45 historic seine boat featured on the Canadian $5 bill in the 1970s and ‘80s. This bustling city of about 33,000 people offers visitors a wide range of accommodation and dining opportunities. Downtown, near the waterfront, explore the shops, art galleries, theatres and the 4km Rotary Beach Seawalk. The Museum at Campbell River boasts some of the largest and most dramatic masks ever carved and a captivating First Nations presentation called Treasures of Siwidi, along with numerous exhibits exploring the region’s fishing and forestry past. Haig Brown House, the former home of nature conservationist Roderick Haig Brown, is an interesting historical stop featuring displays, seminars and courses, and which operates as a bed & breakfast in the summer. Elk Falls Provincial Park is a 10-minute drive from downtown featuring stunning waterfalls and forested trails around the Campbell River. The Quinsam Hatchery is popular with nature enthusiasts, especially in summer and early fall when the salmon return to spawn. Campbell River also CONT. ON PAGE 37


NORTH ISLAND CONT. FROM PAGE 36

Call the Campbell River Visitor Centre at 250-286-6901 or 1-877-286-5705 or visit at 1235 Shoppers Row. To Port Hardy

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Gold River, Nootka Sound & Tahsis West of Campbell River, through the wilderness of Strathcona Provincial Park, sits the village of Gold River and stunning Nootka Sound. Revered by sports fishers, Gold River has also earned attention for the astonishing beauty of Nootka Sound, “the birthplace of BC” because it was here Captain Cook first landed in 1778. Pristine waters welcome kayakers and divers while hikers and walkers can enjoy everything from 20-minute forest walks to the threeday Nootka Trail. Caving is another growing activity. From Gold River, the scenic 64km “Treeto-Sea Drive” takes just over an hour to reach the Village of Tahsis in the heart of Nootka Sound. Along this well-maintained gravel road, visitors can stop to explore the Upana Caves, photograph spectacular scenery at several viewpoints, visit the Conuma River Salmon Enhancement Facility, see the Three Sisters Waterfalls, picnic and swim at Malaspina Lake and visit the President’s Tree. Tahsis is ideal for outdoor activities

JENNIFER BLYTH PHOTO

serves as an excellent base for exploring Strathcona Provincial Park, accessed 59km west on Highway 28. Find freshwater lakes for paddlers and anglers, excellent hiking, camping and stunning scenery. Take a 10-minute BC Ferry trip from downtown Campbell River to Quadra Island, another prime destination for saltwater fishing, kayaking, hiking and diving. One more ferry trip – about 45-minutes – from Quadra Island leads to tiny, quiet Cortes Island, with a lovely landscape of orchards, lagoons and beaches. Filberg Lodge, Comox

such as fishing, hiking, camping, wildlife viewing, diving and kayaking. Families will enjoy Tahsis Days on the third weekend of July. Amenities include lodging, a marina, fuel, grocery store, liquor outlet, pub and dining options. The Tahsis Heritage Museum and Tourist Centre welcome visitors from July 1 to Labour Day. Museum tours may be arranged during the off-season. The Uchuck III is a working passenger and freight vessel offering scenic tours of the region. Explore the Nootka Sound wilderness, hike the beaches at West Bay

Park or charter a fishing trip, or try your hand at fishing for steelhead or salmon. For something a little more adventurous, fly by floatplane to surf the big waves at remote beaches or relax in a natural spa.

For details about Gold River call 250-283-2202 or see www.villageofgoldriver.ca. For the Village of Tahsis, visit www.villageoftahsis.com or call 250-934-6344. CONT. ON PAGE 38

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NORTH ISLAND CONT. FROM PAGE 37

Sayward, Nimpkish Valley & Zeballos Continuing north from Campbell River along Highway 19, stop by the Seymour Narrows Lookout, a viewpoint and hiking trail overlooking Ripple Rock, a submerged mountain that caused dozens of shipwrecks before it was blasted apart in 1958 with the world’s largest man-made, non-nuclear explosion. At Sayward, see a building surrounded in 2,700m of steel logging cable, the Iron Man Totem and the Dalrymple Nature Trail, a 23km looped trail up Mt. H’Kusam. Try canoeing, boating, camping and fishing off the pier at the Kelsey Bay wharf on Johnstone Strait, tee off at the nine-hole, par 3 golf course on the river and book a marine adventure. The beautiful Nimpkish Valley offers a challenging hiking trail at Mount Cain – a family skiing destination in winter – boating at Lake Klaklakama, picnicing at Hoomak Lake and, 22km off the highway, renowned fishing at Vernon Lake. Just south of Nimpkish Lake is the road to Zeballos, a quiet logging community that once bustled with gold mining activity. Enjoy a self-guided walking tour of the historic buildings and Zeballos Heritage Museum,

where tales of the gold rush and the resulting boomtown are told with pictures and artifacts. Enjoy fishing, diving, boating, hiking, caving, rock climbing and kayaking and visit the Zeballos River estuary, designated a Wetland Reserve.

For Sayward details call 250-282-3821 or 250-282-0018. Find Visitor Centres at the junction of Sayward Road and Highway 19 and the Sayward Futures Office on Kelsey Bay Wharf. For Zeballos details, call 250-761-4070 (July and August) or 250-761-4229 (September to June). Telegraph Cove, Port McNeill, Sointula & Alert Bay Founded in 1912 as a one-room telegraph station and later briefly home to a fish saltery and small sawmill, today Telegraph Cove has been re-discovered as an acclaimed fishing and adventure destination, calling kayakers, divers, fishers, boaters and bird, bear and whale-watchers. Most of the picture-perfect community’s buildings are perched over the water on pilings. Wander the boardwalks to watch the fishing vessels, yachts and whale watching boats enter the cove. Rent a kayak for your own adventures, or book a whale or wildlife-watching

excursion. Several accommodation options are available, along with dining, supplies and various adventure packages. Overlooking beautiful Broughton Strait and bordered on three sides by lush, dense forest, friendly Port McNeill is the hub of the North Island logging industry and an ideal base for North Island adventures. Enjoy interesting and informative displays at the Port McNeill Museum or stroll the lovely 1.5-hectare Shephard’s Garden. Fishing is superb here, as freshwater streams abound with trout and steelhead and offshore waters are famous for salmon, halibut, cod and snapper. Try a heli-fishing trip to the remote wilderness or a wildlifewatching excursion by land or by boat – another of Port McNeill’s most popular activities, along with kayaking, golfing, diving, caving, wind surfing, cultural tours and forestry tours. Daily BC Ferries service to the nearby island communities of Alert Bay and Sointula offers a favourite daytrip. Take a 25-minute ferry ride from Port McNeill to Malcolm Island and the historic community of Sointula, founded a century ago by Finnish settlers. The community has retained much of its Finnish flavour and the CONT. ON PAGE 39

A Western Store and So Much More River adventures from ages 5 to 95

Easyriver floats or exciting whitewater thrills! Raft and Snorkel with Salmon in the Campbell River

MEN’S & LADIES WESTERN & CASUAL CLOTHING

Souvenirs • Moccasins • Native Carvings • Artifacts • Belts & Buckles • Hats & Caps • T-shirts, Sweat Shirts & Hoodies PHONE / FAX 250-286-3554 920 Island Hwy., Campbell River - “Historic Pier Street” 38 • ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca

250.287.4800 1.877.923.7238

1630 Island Highway Campbell River BC V9W 2E5 www.destinyriver.com

Vancouver Island’s Premier River Adventure Company


NORTH ISLAND

Whale watching, Campbell River PHOTO COURTESY CAMPBELL RIVER TOURISM

CONT. FROM PAGE 38

museum, housed in the Old School, is the best place to explore Sointula’s past. For an artist’s perspective, visit local art studios and galleries, or take the natural approach with Sointula’s natural amenities including Lions Harbour, a popular boating stop, and the beaches and shoreline on the north end of the island, particularly in Bere Point Regional Park where the Beautiful Bay Trail begins and follows the ocean for 5km. Keep an eye out – Orcas can often be seen rubbing between July and September. The 3.5km Mateoja Heritage Trail offers

a scenic hike, while the mudflats at Rough Bay are favoured by bird watchers. A variety of accommodations are available. From Port McNeill, visit Alert Bay on Cormorant Island, rich with First Nations culture and tradition. Visit the renowned U’mista Cultural Centre, with its a remarkable display of the repatriated Potlatch Collection and exhibits exploring the fascinating traditions of the Kwakwaka’wakw, the Alert Bay Library-Museum, with a variety of artifacts and photographs. The ‘Namgis Burial Grounds, easily viewed from the

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1-800-246-0093 250-949-6541 northcoasttrailshuttle.com email: info@capescottwatertaxi.ca

Village of

Gold River www.goldriver.ca

Boat ramp, marina, kayak launch, showers, laundry, fish cleaning station, convenience store, incredible sunsets and daily whalewatching tours. 250.956.4117 • 888.956.2552 Alder Bay Resort Box 1090 Port McNeil, BC V0N 2R0

roadside as entry to the site is not permitted, is another must-see historic site, along with the world’s tallest totem pole. The traditional Big House can be viewed from the outside only, unless you’re visiting during July and August when the T’sasała Cultural group dances on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Bird watchers will delight in the Ecological Park. Walking trails surround a “drowned” cedar forest while others lead throughout the Island; the community’s sportfishing is top-notch and its proximity to Robson Bight Ecological Reserve makes Alert Bay an excellent departure point for whale-watching.

Find Telegraph Cove and Port McNeill details at 250-956-3131 or at the Visitor Centre in the Port McNeill museum. For Sointula details, call 250-973-2001 or visit www.sointulainfo.ca Call the Alert Bay Visitor Centre 250-974-5024 or email info@alertbay.ca Port Alice & Port Hardy

In the recreation haven of Port Alice, both fresh and saltwater activities, including fishing, diving, kayaking and boating, abound in this little town on the shores CONT. ON PAGE 40

Watch Cruise Ships at your Front Door, River Estuary at Your Back Door • • • • • • • • • •

www.alderbayresort.com

Visitor Centre Open Weekends ~ May 6 - July 1, 2014 Open Daily ~ July 1 to Labour Day)

Tel: 250-283-2418 Off Season Phone: 250-283-2202

Corporation of the Village of Gold River

Tel:

Gold River Visitor Centre www.villageofgoldriver.com

Full Service Boat Launch (10 Min. Walk) Licensed Restaurant Washrooms c/w showers Laundromat Cable TV Fire Pits Wireless Internet 5 Minutes from Town We would be happy to arrange your Fishing Charter/Whale Watching/ Grizzly Tours for you

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ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca • 39


NORTH ISLAND

Port Hardy Live the Adventure! Experience the 7 Wonders of Port Hardy VISITOR INFO CENTRE 7250 Market St. Port Hardy

1-866-427-3901

Wilderness Hiking & Parks Kayaking - Nakwakto Rapids Killer Whale Watching Salt & Freshwater Fishing Grizzly Bear Viewing - Diving www.visitporthardy.com

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VANCOUVER ISLAND

ers. In town, the museum explores both European and First Nations history while the Quatse Salmon Stewardship Centre, open mid-May through September, is dedicated to salmon conservation, enhancement and education on Northern Vancouver Island. Fort Rupert, where the region’s First People settled thousands of years ago, is now the site of a village of First Nations artists called the Copper Maker Gallery. The rugged coastal wilderness of Cape Scott Park west of Port Hardy features 40km of stunning coastline. A 27km trek will take experienced overnight hikers to Cape Scott Lighthouse, or, for a gentler adventure, try the 2.5km hike to San Josef Bay, or the new Fort Rupert Trail, a 3.7km easy walk runJENNIFER BLYTH PHOTO ning from Storey’s Beach to the Bear Cove Highway, just steps away from the Hardy CONT. FROM PAGE 39 Bay Estuary. For a day or overnight trip, of the Neroutsos Inlet. Natural attractions visit Coal Harbour, Winter Harbour and include Beaver Lake, a lovely spot to relax, picnic and swim, and O’Connor Lake, where Holberg. Coal Harbour, 20 minutes from Port Hardy, has a history in whaling, coal you can catch a dinner of fresh trout; the mining and copper mining and is now a picnic site has a boat launch and the lake is good choice for canoeing and fishing. Holideal for swimming. Marble River Park has forest campsites bordered by a rushing river berg is known for beautiful Ronning Gardens and the Shoe Tree, a cedar snag covknown for steelhead fishing. Victoria Lake ered in shoes, and is also the starting point and Alice Lake are also popular for swimfor adventures in Cape Scott Park. Winter ming, boating and fishing and paddlers can visit both with just a short portage between. Harbour, 40 minutes from Holberg, is a tiny settlement with a boardwalk waterfront and Continuing north, discover Port Hardy, great fishing charters. Port Hardy is also the first occupied about 8,000 years ago. Eurodeparture point for two of BC Ferries’ most pean settlers began arriving in 1904 and, in scenic cruises: Inside Passage to Prince Ru1916, a trail was established between Port pert and Discovery Coast Passage to Bella Hardy and Coal Harbour. Now a bustling Coola. Please note: accommodation books community of 5,000, modern Port Hardy is renowned for year-round adventures, includ- quickly when sailings are scheduled; make arrangements before arriving. ing guided hiking, kayaking and caving tours. Fishing is always popular and operaFor Port Alice details, call 250-284tors provide everything from rentals to fly-in 3391. Call the Port Hardy and District fishing camps, while the prolific marine life, Chamber of Commerce at 250-949-7622 water clarity and tidal action also attract div- or visit 7250 Market St.

GRIZZLY

A historical gold mining village fast becoming a favourite destination for kayakers, sportsfishers and nature lovers who want to experience the wild west coast of Vancouver Island. Campsites, comfortable accommodation and several cafés welcome visitors.

BEARS OF KN I G HT I N L E T Grizzly bear tours depart daily from Telegraph Cove by covered water taxi with on-board washroom. Spring & Summer trips feature viewing from boat. In the fall, bears eat salmon. Telegraph Cove, BC 250-339-5320 Toll Free 1-888-643-9319

250-761-4229 ~ www.Zeballos.com 40 • ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca

www.grizzlycanada.com

TIDE RIP GRIZZLY ADVENTURES


Quadra & the Discovery Islands “We saw mountains upon mountains, upon mountains! ...Thank you for your huge country and your huge hospitality.” Over ten thousand years ago retreating glaciers carved out massive fjords revealing British Columbia’s highest mountains and an inland ocean filled with islands of every size and shape. The sheltered sea exploded with life, tremendous rainforests grew on the land, and the Xwemalhkwu, Klahoose, and Laichwiltach First Nations flourished here. The bounty of sea life evolved creating one of the world’s most biologically diverse marine environments and today we share the land and sea with countless tiny creatures and many large species including pacific salmon, eagles, sea lions, seals, orca and other whales, porpoise, deer, wolves, cougar, bears and myriad birds. Today’s people of the Discovery Islands welcome you to enjoy the natural wonders of this place we call home.

COAST MOUNTAIN EXPEDITIONS

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Enjoy the wild coast, salt wind and “island-time!” Our 25 years’ experience guarantees you safe & memorable adventures.

Discover affordable backcountry comfort at our truly-green kayakers’ inn near Quadra’s best sea kayaking!

• Wilderness expeditions • Marine park kayak daytrips • Kayak rentals & lessons www.CoastMountainExpeditions.com

• Friendly, oceanfront B&B • Guest kitchen & sauna • Parks, lakes & hiking trails www.Discovery-Islands-Lodge.com

For information and reservations phone 250.285.2823 or email: coastmtn@island.net ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca • 41


S U N S H I N E CO A S T

The Sunshine Coast JEREMY WILLIAMS PHOTO COURTESY TOURISM POWELL RIVER

Explore the Sunshine Coast

F

rom the world-renowned Kathaumixw choral festival to outdoor adventures second to none, visitors from around the globe are thrilled to discover the unique vacation destination that is Powell River and the Sunshine Coast. Located across the Strait of Georgia from Comox, the BC Mainland community is accessed from the Island by BC Ferries’ Comox terminal. Powell River, which celebrated its centennial in 2010, was founded as logging community and today is the largest town on the Coast and an excellent jumping off point for year-round recreation and cultural experiences. From here discover not only the many things this historic town has to offer, but also those of the picturesque communities along the Sunshine Coast, including Lund, Pender Harbour, Sechelt and Gibsons. Stroll the community to view landmark buildings like the Patricia Theatre and Dwight Hall as well as the nearby Catalyst paper mill. At the Powell River Historical Museum, you’ll find the funky collection of logging equipment and Sliammon First Nations art. Discover more of the region’s artistic talents with the Purple Banner Studio &

42 • ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca

Gallery Guide and the biennial five-day Kathaumixw in July, when the city plays host to more than a thousand choral singers from around the world! Festival season continues with the Lund Shellfish Festival, the annual Spot Prawn Festival, the Blackberry Festival and the Sunshine Music Festival. The Sunshine Coast is also a premier destination for hikers, paddlers divers, bikers and other outdoor adventurers who appreciate the four-season possibilities. Hiking and biking trails, tranquil lakes, several golf courses and numerous beaches combine to create endless outdoor possibilities. In fact, the addition of nine huts along the 180km Sunshine Coast Trail make it the longest hut-to-hut hiking trail in Canada. A gateway to Desolation Sound marine recreation, Lund is a picturesque fishing village connected by a waterfront boardwalk winding from the SunLund By-The-Sea campgrounds to the Historic Lund Hotel, offering craft shops and a harbourfront cafe along the way. Circa 1905, the Lund Hotel is the heart of the village with a popular pub, dining room, art gallery and well-stocked grocery store carrying everything from beach toys to fresh deli sandwiches. From the Lund Marina, visitors can catch the

water taxi to Savary Island, book a Desolation Sound boat tour, arrange an educational kayak tour of the wildlife sanctuary at Mitlenatch Island and more. Texada Island is BC’s largest Gulf Island and ferries leave from Powell River’s Westview ferry terminal for the 30-minute trip. KD Air also flies from Vancouver to the Gillies Bay Airport. The island has plenty to offer the outdoor enthusiast, including excellent hiking and mountain biking trails, more than 250 species for avid bird-watchers, and a 9-hole golf course, while history buffs will enjoy the two museums. Water recreation includes kayaking, skim-boarding, scuba diving, swimming, and exploring the newly protected karst caves near Davies Bay. Much smaller that Texada, Savary Island is a warm-water destination with stunning white sand beaches, with highly sensitive ecosystems ranging from sand cliffs to dune meadows and ancient forested dunes. While the island does have private holiday homes, there is no power and no public campsites or washrooms, though several cottage rentals, B&Bs and a private campsite are available. Daytrippers can be dropped off CONT. ON PAGE 44


ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca • 43


S U N S H I N E CO A S T

CONT. FROM PAGE 42

TAKE A TRIP TO THE

EXTRAORDINARY Your waterfront villa, dinner reservation and luxury spa appointment await.

and picked up at the public wharf, with many visitors arriving by water taxi or aboard chartered boats from Lund. The best way to get around is to cycle from beach-to-beach. Prime stops include South Beach, Duck Bay, Sutherland Beach and the Malaspina Promenade. The Coast Salish village of Sliammon, just north of Powell River, boasts a history dating back more than 2,000 years, and visitors can enjoy free interpretive hikes with a First Nations guide. The Sliammon Salmon Hatchery offers public tours of the hatchery. While in 1792 Captain George Vancouver named Desolation Sound for its remoteness, today its pristine isolation is one of its prime attractions among pleasure boaters and paddlers. Warm waters, wildlife and breathtaking scenery make this a must-experience destination. Grace Harbour, Prideaux Haven and Tenedo’s Bay are the three main destination anchorages among the many sheltered bays and inlets. Popular activities include scuba diving, saltwater and freshwater fishing, and walk-in wilderness camping. Water taxis, guided kayak tours, cruises and boat charters can be arranged from Lund and Okeover Inlet. Continuing to the southern coast toward Vancouver, other highlights include Gibson, named one of the most liveable communities in the world in 2009, Sechelt, “the cultural capital of the Sunshine Coast,” and Pender Harbour. A driving circle route is also possible as BC Ferries links the northern Sunshine Coast with its southern communities and Vancouver. Coming form the Lower Mainland, the Lower Sunshine Coast is a 40-minute ferry ride from BC Ferries’ Horseshoe Bay terminal in West Vancouver to the Langdale terminal just outside Gibsons.

Visit the Powell River Visitor Centre at 4760 Joyce Ave, call 604-4854701 or toll-free 1-877-817-8669, or see www.discoverpowellriver. com For details about the greater Sunshine Coast visit www. sunshinecoastcanada.com

12849 Lagoon Road, Madeira Park 866.902.3955 / paintedboat.com Follow us on twitter@paintedboat 44 • ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca

PAINTED BOAT

RESORT SPA & MARINA

Where Stories Unfold…

Find the Gibsons Visitor Centre at 417 Marine Drive or call 604-8862374 or toll-free 1-866-222-3806. The Sechelt Visitor Centre is at 5790 Teredo St. Call 604-885-1036 or toll-free 1-877-885-1036.


AT T R AC T I O N S

SOUTH ISLAND

Greater Victoria:

Kaatza Station Museum and Archives – community museum in Lake Cowichan, 125 South Shore Rd, 250-749-6142, www.kaatzamuseum.ca

Abkhazi Garden – heritage home and

garden near downtown Victoria, 1964 Fairfield Rd, 250-598-8096, blog.conservancy.bc.ca AdrenaLine – guided forest zipline tours, 5128C Sooke Rd, 250-642-1933 or 1-866-9479145, www.adrenalinezip.com Art Gallery of Greater Victoria – 1040 Moss Street, 250-384-4171, www.aggv.ca Bateman Centre – Discover the legacy of Canada’s premier nature artist in this stateof-the-art gallery on Victoria’s Inner Harbour, 470 Bellville St, 250-940-3630, www.batemancentre.org See ad page 15 BC Aviation Museum, 1910 Norseman Rd., near Victoria International Airport, 250-655-3300, www.bcam.net Bear Mountain Golf Course– 36 holes of world-class, Nicklaus-designed golf set amid a beautiful West Coast landscape and village, 250-391-7160, bearmountain.ca See ad page 3 Butchart Gardens – 55 acres of gorgeous gardens, 800 Benvenuto Ave, 250-652-5256, www.butchartgardens.com Butterfly Gardens – exotic butterflies flying free in an indoor tropical paradise, 1461 Benvenuto Ave, 250-652-3822, www.butterflygardens.com Capital Regional District Parks – nature outings and special events in Victoria-area parks, 250-478-3344, www.crd.bc.ca/parks

CFB Esquimalt Naval and Military Museum, at Naden in Esquimalt, off

Admirals Rd., 250-363-4312. www. navalandmilitarymuseum.org Craigdarroch Castle – built in the 1890s and furnished in Victorian-era splendour, 1050 Joan Cres (off Fort St), 250-592-5323, www.thecastle.ca Discover the Past – Ghostly Walks, Chinatown Walks and other historical walking tours, www.discoverthepast.com See ad page 13 Emily Carr House – the artist’s childhood home, 207 Government St, 250-383-5843, www.emilycarr.com

Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites – dating from the 1890s find artillery gun batteries, barracks, searchlight emplacements. Fisgard Lighthouse, built in 1860, was the first lighthouse on Canada’s West Coast. Special events; on-site accommodations available. Open daily. Located off Ocean Blvd, in Colwood. Fort Rodd Hill Rd, 250-478-5849, www.parkscanada.gc.ca/fortroddhill See ad page 17

Government House Gardens –

Quw’utsun’ Cultural and Conference Centre – 200 Cowichan Way, Duncan, 250-746-8119 or 1-877-746-8119, www.quwutsun.ca

CENTRAL ISLAND Nanaimo: Casino Nanimo – 620 Terminal Ave, 250-753-3033, www.casinonanaimo.com Nanaimo Aquatic Centre – wave pool, three slides, lazy river and more, 741 Third St, 250-756-5200, www.nanaimo.ca Nanaimo Museum & Bastion‚ 100 Museum Way, 250-753-1821, www.nanaimomuseum.ca nanaimoharbourferry.com

Hatley Park Castle and Museum –

forest, gardens and castle at Royal Roads University, 2005 Sooke Rd, 250-391-2666 or 1-866-241-0674, www.hatleypark.ca Maritime Museum of BC – 28 Bastion Sq, 250-385-4222, www.mmbc.bc.ca Mineral World and Scratch Patch – hunt for gemstones, pan for gold, view interpretive displays, 9808 Seaport Pl, 250655-4367, www.mineralworld.ca

National Geographic IMAX Theatre

– Find a rotating selection of IMAX and feature films, 675 Belleville St. (inside the museum), 250-953-IMAX, www. imaxvictoria.com Point Ellice House – historic 1867 home offering Victorian house tours, seasonal afternoon tea in the heritage garden, 2616 Pleasant St, 250-380-6506, www. pointellicehouse.ca Prince of Whales – whale watching with hourly departures from the lower Causeway, 812 Wharf St, 250-383-4884 or 1-888-383-4884, www.princeofwhales.com See ad Back Cover. Royal BC Museum – an outstanding museum of human and natural history; National Geographic IMAX Theatre is also on-site. This summer, take in We Call Them Vikings. 675 Belleville St, 250-356-7226 or 1-888-447-7977, www.royalbcmuseum.bc.ca

Saanich Historical Artifacts Society Heritage Acres – agricultural artifacts set on 29 acres, 7321 Lochside Dr, 250-652-5522, www.shas.ca

beautiful year-round public gardens, 1401 Rockland Ave, www.ltgov.bc.ca

Great Pacific Adventures – tours

and rentals, 950 Wharf St, 250-386-2277 or 1-877-733-6722, www. greatpacificadventures.com

Horticulture Centre of the Pacific – beautiful

demonstration gardens, 505 Quayle Rd, 250-479-6162, www.hcp.ca

Nanaimo Harbour Ferry & Cruises, 1-877-297-8526, www.

Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre –

the aquarium of the Salish Sea, 9811 Seaport Pl, Sidney, 250-665-7511, www. oceandiscovery.ca See ad page 21 St. Ann’s Academy – an exquisite historic treasure, 835 Humboldt St., 250953-8829, www.stannsacademy.com Sidney Museum – 2423 Beacon Ave, 250-655-6355, www.sidneymuseum.ca SpringTide Whale Tours – marine mammal and whale watching, 1119 Wharf St, 250-384-4444, 1-800-470-3474, www. victoriawhalewatching.com See ad page 2 Victoria Bug Zoo – discover more than 50 fascinating species of live giant tropical insects and arachnids; interactive and hands-on fun for the more adventurous. Unique giftshop. Open daily. 631 Courtney St, 384-BUGS (2847), www.bugzoo.com See ad page 16 View Royal Casino – 1708 Old Island Hwy, 250-391-0311, www. greatcanadiancasinos.com West Shore Family Fun Park – Minigolf, water park, playzone, bowling and more, 1089 Langford Pkwy, 250-391-1738, www.eagleridgecentre.com Wildplay Element Parks – Monkido aerial adventure park, 1767 Island Hwy, behind Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre, 250-590-7529 or 1-888-856-7275, www.wildplayparks.com

Cowichan Valley: BC Forest Discovery Centre – the past, present and future of forestry, 2892 Drinkwater Rd, Duncan, 250-715-1113, www.bcforestmuseum.com Chemainus Theatre – exceptional destination theatre, 9737 Chemainus Rd, 250-246-9820 or 1-800-565-7738, www. chemainustheatrefestival.ca Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre

– unique maritime museum along a pier, 1761 Cowichan Bay Rd., 250-746-4955, www.classicboats.org

Cowichan Valley Museum

Cowichan Valley Museum and Archives – in the old train station,

130 Canada Ave, Duncan, 250-746-6612, www.CowichanValleyMuseum.bc.ca

Yellow Point Cranberry Farm,

near Ladysmith; call ahead for hours, 4532 Yellow Point Rd, 250-245-5283, www.yellowpointcranberries.com WildPlay Element Parks – bungy jumping, Monkido aerial adventure park, King Swing, Canyon Zip and more, 35 Nanaimo River Rd, 250-716-7874 or 1-888-716-7374, www.wildplay.com

Port Alberni: Alberni Golf Club – 6449 Cherry Creek Rd, 250-723-5422, www.albernigolf.com Alberni Pacific Railway – catch the 1929 steam train at the station for 35-min ride to McLean Mill National Historic Site, mid-June to Sept, 3100 Kingsway, 250-7232118. www.alberniheritage.com Alberni Valley Museum, 4255 Wallace St, 250-723-2181, www.alberniheritage.com Clock Tower Gallery, Harbour Quay, 250-724-5999. Maritime Discovery Centre, Harbour Quay, 250-723-6164, www.alberniheritage.com McLean Mill National Historic Site – explore BC’s forest heritage at a 1925 mill, Canada’s last remaining steam-powered sawmill and Alberni Pacific Steam Railway, mid-June to Sept, 5633 Smith Rd, 250-7231376, www.alberniheritage.com Lady Rose Marine Service – scenic cruises on the Alberni Inlet from Port Alberni to Bamfield and Ucluelet aboard the MV Frances Barkley, 250-723-8313 or 800-663-7192, www.ladyrosemarine.com See ad page 33.

Oceanside: Bard to Broadway Theatre Society

– summer-long repertory theatre, downtown Qualicum Beach, 250-7524470, www.b2btheatre.com Butterfly World and Gardens – on Hwy 4A, Coombs, 250-248-7026, www.nature-world.com

CONT. ON PAGE 46

ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca • 45


AT T R AC T I O N S CONT. FROM PAGE 45

Cathedral Grove – in MacMillan

Provincial Park, on the road to Port Alberni, this is one of the most accessible stands of giant Douglas fir trees on Vancouver Island. Stroll through a network of trails under the shadow of towering ancient Douglas fir trees – some more than 800 years old. Englishman River Falls – 20 minutes from the Parksville/Qualicum Beach area, this park offers camping, hiking/walking/ biking trails, freshwater fishing, a summer swimming hole and spectacular photo opportunities.

Heritage Forest of Qualicum Beach

– 50-acre old growth forest, blocks from the town centre; parking and several trail access points available, www. qualicumbeach.net/heritage Horne Lake Caves & Spider Lake – family-oriented park featuring educational guided and self-guided tours into the park’s fascinating caves. Find a beautiful freshwater lake perfect for swimming and canoeing and a rock climbing amphitheatre. Great for rainy days too! 250-248-7829, 101 Horne Lk. Caves Rd. http://hornelake.com/ Little Qualicum Falls – just west of Parksville, this lovely park offers shaded riverside walking trails, playground, camping, and picnic facilities. Some of the trails are wheelchair accessible. Milner Gardens and Woodland – 60-acre old growth Douglas fir forest surrounding a 10-acre heritage seaside garden with rhododendrons, educational tours, afternoon tea through October, 2179 West Island Hwy, Qualicum, 250-7526153, www.milnergardens.org

Nature Mini Golf at Riverside Resort – 3506 West Isl. Hwy, Qualicum Beach,

250-752-9544 or 1-877-450-2211, www.myriversideresort.com

North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre – ill or injured wildlife get some

TLC before returning to the wild; public welcome mid-March to October, 1240 Leffler Rd, Errington, 250-248-8534, www.niwra.org See ad page 33 Paradise Fun Park – mini-golf, bumper boats and more, 375 W. Island Hwy, Parksville, 250-248-6612, www.paradisefunpark.net Qualicum Beach Museum – 587 Beach Rd, 250-752-5533, www.qbmuseum.net

Riptide Lagoon Adventure Golf –

Jamie’s Whaling Station – Whale and wildlife watching tours from Ucluelet, 1-877-726-7444, and Tofino, 1-800-6679913, jamies.com See ad page 32 Ocean Outfitters – whale & wildlife excursions, 368 Main Street, Tofino, 877906-2326, www.oceanoutfitters.bc.ca See ad page 34 The Whale Centre – whale and wildlife tours, Tofino, 250-725-2132 or 1-888-4742288, www.tofinowhalecentre.com See ad page 34.

NORTH ISLAND Comox Valley: Comox Airforce Museum – Canadian Forces Base Comox, Lazo, 250-339-8162, www.comoxairforcemuseum.ca Courtenay and District Museum and Paleontology Centre – 207 Fourth St.,

Courtenay, 250-334-0686, www.courtenaymuseum.ca

Crown Isle Golf Resort – 18-hole championship course, dining, luxury accommodations and more, 399 Clubhouse Dr, Courtenay, 1-888-338-8439 or 250-703-5000, www.crownisle.com Cumberland Museum and Archives

– 2680 Dunsmuir Ave, Cumberland, 250336-2445, www.cumberlandmuseum.ca Filberg Lodge and Park – heritage lodge and a lovely garden, 61 Filberg Rd, Comox, 250-339-2715, www.filberg.com

Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens –

6183 Whitaker Rd, Courtenay, 250-3386901, www.woodlandgardens.ca Seaview Game Farm – 1392 Seaview Rd – Black Creek, 250-337-5182, www.seaviewgamefarm.com

Campbell River: Aboriginal Journeys – whale watching and grizzly bear tours, Campbell River, 1-888-455-8101, www.aboriginaljourneys.com

Coast Mountain Expedition – sea

kayak expeditions in the Discovery Islands, near Campbell River, 250-285-2823, www.coastmountainexpeditions.com See ad page 41 Destiny River Adventures – guided river rafting tours from whitewater rafting to scenic river floats and snorkeling with salmon, 250-287-4800, www.destinyriver.com See ad page 38

Wildplay, Nanaimo Discovery Marine Safaris – whale watching and grizzly bear excursions, 1-866-501-6722, adventurewhalewatching.com Discovery Pier – landmark fishing pier ideal for strolls, 700-block Island Hwy., www.rivercorp.ca/visitor-centre/discoveryfishing-pier Haig Brown House – seminars and workshops on conservation writing and fly fishing, 2250 Campbell River Rd, 250-286-6646, www.haig-brown.bc.ca Maritime Heritage Centre – 621 Island Hwy, 250-286-3161, www.bcp45.org Museum at Campbell River – ancient First Nations culture and settlement history, extensive archives, special exhibits and year-round programs, 470 Island Hwy, 250-287-3103, www.crmuseum.ca

1000 Resort Dr, Parksville, 250-248-8290, www.riptidelagoon.com See ad page 28

cruises aboard the historic Uchuck III, 1-250-283-2515 or 1-877-824-8253, www.getwest.ca

Telegraph Cove: Stubbs Island Charters – whale watching cruises and specialty tours; reservations recommended, 250-928-3185 or 1-800-665-3066, www.stubbs-island.com Tide Rip Tours – Grizzly bear tours, 250-339-5320, 1-888-643-9319, www. grizzlycanada.com See ad page 40 Whale Interpretive Centre – marine mammal education centre, 250-928-3129 (mid-May to October), www.killerwhalecentre.org

U’mista Cultural Centre – First

Nations art and culture, 250-974-5403 or 1-800-690-8222, www.umista.ca

and working studios, 122 Fern Rd West, Qualicum Beach, 250-752-6133, www.theoldschoolhouse.org Tiger Lily Farm – farm activities and animals, 1692 Errington Rd, Errington, BC 250-248-2408, www.tigerlilyfarm.ca World Parrot Refuge – 2116 Alberni Hwy, Coombs, 250-248-5194, www.worldparrotrefuge.org

Port Hardy North Coast Trail Shuttle/ Cape Scott Water Taxi – Port Hardy,

West Coast: Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre –

46 • ISLAND VISITOR 2014 | www.islandvisitor.ca

Get West Adventures – Adventure

Alert Bay

The Old School House Arts Centre – three galleries, gift shop, art classes

Bamfield, 250-728-3301 ext.226, www.bms.bc.ca

Gold River

BC Aviation Museum, Sidney

250-949-6541 or 1-800-246-0093 www. capescottwatertaxi.ca See ad page 39. Port Hardy Museum – First Nations and settlement history, 7110 Market St, 250949-8143, www.porthardymuseum.com Starfish Charters – fishing tours, Port Hardy, 1-888-363-4741, www.starfishcharters.com


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