Visiting Vancouver Island
Plan your winter or spring visit to Vancouver Island and check out a wide range of excellent attractions, premier events and festivals, and a wealth of welcoming cities and towns. In December, some fun holiday festivals will delight you and in the spring don't mess vibrant adventures in cities like Nanaimo and Campbell River.
Vancouver Island, you’ll discover soon enough, is loaded with exciting things to see and do. During any winter visit to Vancouver Island, some skiing should be in order. Just outside of Courtenay you’ll find the Mountain Washington Alpine Ski Area.
Complete with night skiing, Mount Washington also features snowshoeing, snow tubing, and several terrain parks. The winter ski season at Mount Washington kicks off in December and typically goes until mid-March.
Make sure you include a stay in Tofino to your tour of Vancouver Island. Charming and found just outside the Pacific Rim National Park, Tofino will yield fun for the whole group this winter and spring. Don't miss the Annual Clayoquot Oyster Festival held each November.
Any visit to Vancouver Island should most certainly include an extended stay in Victoria. You’ll find can’t-miss attractions like Fort Rodd Hill, Inner Harbour, and the very unique Victoria Bug Zoo.
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Top Things to Do
Explore the Island
Vancouver Island is an outdoor lover’s playground, with kayaking, fishing, golfing, hiking, and skiing in the winter. Rent a car and tour this beautiful 280-mile long island and discover the natural beauty of the region. A short drive to Goose Spit is a must.
Take in the views of the glistening ocean and spectacular mountain landscape in one amazing place.
Victoria Inner Harbour
The Victoria Inner Harbour is one of the most beautiful harbours in the world. Located just steps from the historic downtown area, the harbour is open to recreational vessels and small cruise ships.
During the summer months, visitors can enjoy a variety of concerts and fun festivals, including the Victoria Harbour Festival that takes place over Labour Day weekend.
Vancouver Island Wineries
With its mild regional temperatures, Vancouver Island has the ideal climate for producing quality grapes. Wine makers in the area are best known for creating about 100 different varieties, identifying Pinot Gris, Auxerrois, and Ortega as the most popular.
Most of the wineries can be found in the Cowichan Valley or on the Saanich Peninsula, with the exception Chateau Wolf Estates and Millstone Estate in Nanaimo and Mooberry in Parksville.
Spectacular Island Gardens to Visit
The Vancouver Island Region of BC has some of the most spectacular gardens and green spaces in the entire country. Carve out some time to visit popular destinations, like Butchart Gardens in Brentwood Bay, ranked one of the top tourist sites in Victoria.
Other well know gardens on Vancouver Island include Milner Gardens and Tofino Botanical Gardens.
Play Championship Golf
Tee it up on some of the region’s top golf courses carved out of the natural landscape of Vancouver Island. Located along 250 km, the Vancouver Island Golf Trail is made up of 13 golf courses with stunning ocean views, indigenous wildlife, and plenty of fine golf.
From Cowichan Golf Course in the wine country region to the Crown Isle Resort in the North, Vancouver Island offers some of the best golf in British Columbia.
Hit the Slopes on Vancouver Island
Enjoy access to some of the best skiing and snowboarding in North America when you visit Vancouver Island. Explore Mount Washington Alpine Resort, the largest facility on the Island best known for Nordic and cross-country skiing.
If you’re looking for some snowboarding action, JumpCamp is Vancouver Island's premier snowboard camp where all ages can learn to shred a steep chute or take on some new tricks.
Year-Round Festivals and Events
Vancouver Island celebrates many fun festivals, events, carnivals, and outdoor competitions that take place all year-round. When planning a visit to the island, make sure to time your trip with events that coincide with your interests.
Some of the most popular events include the Pacific Rim Whale Festival from mid-March to early April, Jazz Fest International in June, and the Victoria Classic Boat Festival in September.