Located on Canada’s extreme West Coast, Vancouver Island is known for its picturesque, boat-lined Inner Harbour. You can enjoy English-style gardens, browse quaint shops lining the Old City and explore mountains, lakes and a rugged coastline.
Things to do in Vancouver Island
Start your holiday in Vancouver Island at Butchart Gardens, a National Historic Site featuring one of the world’s best gardens. Set in an old quarry, its peaceful Sunken Garden, Rose Garden and Italian and Mediterranean gardens are filled with impressive seasonal foliage.
Next, head to the beautiful Victoria Harbour to see the waterfront filled with ferries, seaplanes and water taxis. Playing host to festivals, markets and concerts, the Inner Harbour is also the perfect spot for high tea at the historic Empress Hotel. Hop in a boat for a whale-watching excursion, where it’s possible to observe humpback whales, dolphins and seals.
Learn about the province’s history at the Royal BC Museum, which has featured collections, including Royalty in BC, Frederick Dally Collection and First Nations Collection. Take a break from sightseeing at MacMillan Provincial Park, where you’ll be surrounded by 800-year-old trees up to nine meters in circumference.
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, known for its rugged coast, temperate rainforests and 100 small islands and inlets offering big waves for surfers. Pack your boots and traverse the West Coast Trail, a 75-kilometer-long trek known for its coastal scenery.
Getting around Vancouver Island
Vancouver Island is 107 kilometers south-west from downtown Vancouver. You can make the four-hour journey by car or bus, then take a 1.5-hour ferry. On the island, the easiest way to get around is by car.