Allow me to dispel a misconception.
The city of Vancouver, British Columbia is actually NOT on Vancouver Island. Weird, huh? Yeah, I think so too. No, the city of Vancouver is actually on mainland B.C., just to the east of Vancouver Island. It’s about a six-hour drive from the southern point of Victoria up to the northern Port Hardy and Winter Harbour. With an endless array of stops in between.
Take note: the main road runs up the eastern side of the island. There is no road going straight up the west coast side, so if you want to travel to, say Tofino, you will have to drive up the 19A road on the east side, then cut straight through the middle of the island to Tofino. Similarly, to get to any of the tiny towns on the west side, it’s a bit of a hassle – they are only accessible by boat or by going up the east side, then cutting through the island’s winding roads to get to the remote northern roads.
The climate is mild year-round, and it’s a delight to drive from town to town, just to explore. Thriving artistic communities abound, so there is never a shortage of art galleries to peruse, and interesting people to bump into.
The Cowichan Valley region is ripe with vineyards and farming communities that embrace the farm-to-table phenomenon. As you venture north of the island, the quiet life will engulf you as you meander through the wilderness, peppered by tiny coastal towns ready to greet new visitors.
The whole of Vancouver Island has way too much to cover in a single post. So allow me to whet your whistle with some eye candy:
The main ferry landing with so many things to do just steps from the harbor! Experience authentic English High Tea in the Empress Hotel, shop the quaint outdoor mall, visit the Royal BC Museum and stroll the waterfront, just for starters!
just outside of Victoria
Elk Falls Suspension Bridge
West Coast Trail and Pacific Rim National Park Reserve
A 70km trail traversing the southwest coast of the island – a backpackers delight!
Hot Springs Cove
Where you can surf, whale watch, hike, beach comb, and camp at Mackenzie Beach.
The Northernmost point on the island – very remote!