We lived on Vancouver Island from 2010-2014 while going to school at UVic. While we live in the lower mainland now, we still try to visit the Island as often as we can. Victoria offers a lot of family-friendly activities and events, and the surrounding Island is beautiful. The more I see, the more I want to explore!
Here are the places we’ve had a chance to visit so far…
Great Family Hikes around Vancouver Island
- East Sooke Park offers beautiful beaches and a lovely oceanside hike.
- Mount Work
- Sombrio Beach is one of the best beaches on the Island and part of the Juan de Fuca trail.
- Goldstream Park offers numerous trails, waterfalls, and more.
- Mount Finlayson is a tough, 2-3 hour hike with a great view at the top.
- Mount Douglas can be either hiked up or driven up and offers nice views of the area.
- Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary is an easy hike around a lake with lots of birdwatching.
- Goldstream Train Tunnel Trestle Trail is a short trail to a scenic railway bridge.
- Salmon Run at Goldstream is worth the trip in the fall to learn more about the salmon life cycle.
- Kinsol Trestle Hike is a short, easy hike to a huge, out-of-use railway bridge (with picnic areas nearby).
- Morden Collieries Trail (near Nanaimo)
- Tex Lyon Regional Trail (near Port Hardy)
Favourite Tourist Spots in Victoria
- Miniature World
- Royal BC Museum
- The Maritime Museum of BC
- Pacific Undersea Gardens (now closed)
- Victoria Bug Zoo
- Beacon Hill Park
- Craigdarroch Castle
- Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre is a small, kid-friendly aquariam.
- Victoria Butterfly Gardens is perfect for a cold, rainy day—have a mini tropical getaway!
- Butchart Gardens offers stunning gardens.
Up the Island:
Can’t make it to the Island this summer? Plan a Virtual Field Trip around Vancouver Island!
Beaches on Vancouver Island
- Smuggler’s Cove (in Victoria)
- Mystic Beach
- Sombrio Beach (near Port Renfrew)
- Rathtrevor Beach (near Parksville)
- Hornby Island
Camping and More
- Tofino, BC
- Pacific Marine Circle Route
- Rondalyn Resort near Nanaimo, BC
- Hornby Island
- Port Hardy (north Island)
A Hop, Skip and a Jump Away
Other Vancouver Island Blogs
These are a few other bloggers who live on the Island and blog about life here (among other things). I love meeting local bloggers, so if you’re also a Vancouver Island blogger, email me and I’ll add you to this list!