Castles to Visit in Canada

There’s just something about a castles beauty, history and mystery that is ever-alluring. People travel all over the world (mainly Europe) to view their magnificent architecture. However, did you know that there are castles to visit in Canada too? Many of the castles and castle-like buildings across Canada were either constructed as hotels for railway companies […]

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Best Indoor Activities in Victoria

When the weather starts to turn a little dreary, locals and tourists alike tend to want to stay indoors. If you are visiting or live in and around Victoria, this family-friendly list of ideas is for you. Below you’ll find the best indoor activities in Victoria. Afternoon Tea at the Empress For over a century, […]

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Stroller Friendly Trails in Nanaimo

It’s been quite a while since we’ve required the use of a stroller in this house. However, getting out of the house when my kids were young was an absolute must. And trail walking was something I really enjoyed. Plus, enquiries about stroller friendly trails is a frequent request from our readers. And I aim […]

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A Driftwood Creations Treasure Hunt

I have said it many times before, but it’s worth saying again…we have incredible talent here on Vancouver Island. This is most definitely the case when it comes to the large driftwood creations you can spot scattered around. You’ll find them on beaches, hidden in the forest, in a few local businesses, or standing on […]

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Oceanside Route Vancouver Island Road Trip

The Old Island Highway, also known as the Oceanside Route, runs parallel to the Island’s shores and features fantastic views of the Salish Sea. This scenic route crosses through the communities of Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Lighthouse Country, Royston, Courtenay / Comox, Black Creek, and Campbell River. Although it’s a much slower way to travel from […]

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Top Outdoor Family Activities in Victoria

Will you be visiting Victoria, BC this year? Find out where to go and what to do, especially if you have kids in tow! Use this article as a guide to finding the best outdoor family activities in Victoria. (For indoor attractions, read this article: Best Indoor Activities in Victoria) Outdoor Activities Near Victoria’s Inner […]

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Free Things to do in Nanaimo this Summer

The glorious thing about living on Vancouver Island is that summer brings on a plethora of activities and events that one can partake in. And the best part is many of these activities are FREE! The following list will showcase all the great things Nanaimo has to offer that are completely free for you to […]

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A Taste of Nanaimo Food & Drink Tour

A tour with Vancouver Island Expeditions allows you the time to really get to know the owners or dedicated employees of the businesses you are visiting. It’s the type of tour where you feel completely relaxed to just sit back and enjoy the ride. Central Vancouver Island has been my home base for just over […]

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A Tour of 40 Knots Winery

Named for the gale force winds that often strike the coast of Vancouver Island, 40 Knots Winery is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to offering their customers delicious natural wines. When thinking of wineries on Vancouver Island, our thoughts typically lead us to the Cowichan Valley – a place well known […]

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Taste of Victoria Food Tour

To celebrate a milestone anniversary, my husband and I overnighted in Victoria. While there, we packed in as much fun stuff as we could handle. The Victoria food tour experience with A Taste of Victoria is most definitely a top highlight of our mini-getaway. Tour Experience Not only do you sample delicious food, but you […]

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Bonnell Creek Falls in Nanoose Bay

Bonnell Creek Falls is a glorious little hike located in Nanoose Bay. To access this hidden gem, however, you need a bit of bravery and some sturdy legs. While most hikes on Vancouver Island offer glorious scenery before even getting to the destination, this particular trail is a bit disappointing in that regard. However, the […]

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Central Vancouver Island Birthday Party Locations Part 2

After writing the original list of Central Vancouver Island Birthday Party Locations, several readers felt we missed some great locations. The first list includes locations I have personally had experience with. So while I was aware that there are plenty of other options out there, I haven’t yet had the opportunity to use them for hosting my […]

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Best Birthday Party Locations on Vancouver Island

My daughter’s birthday is early September, so I can typically rely on the weather being nice enough to host a backyard party. My son’s birthday, however, is at the end of April. Due to his being smack-dab in the middle of Spring, there is a really good chance it will be raining. This is why […]

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Best Tobogganing Hills – Mid Island

Grab those toques and mitts, pack up some hot chocolate, and get ready to fly down some hillsides! We are listing the best tobogganing hills found on the Mid-Island. Getting lots of snow on Vancouver Island is an anomaly unless heading up into the mountains. However, each winter we do get just enough to enjoy […]

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Best Indoor Activities – Nanaimo

When the weather outside is frightful (I’ve got you humming now don’t I), and your kids are less than delightful…don’t fret. There are still many places you can go to keep them occupied! Find out where by reading this extensive list. Please note: this particular list is Nanaimo based. Best Indoor Activities for Kids Romper […]

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Fun Friend Meet-Ups on Vancouver Island

While researching ideas for the Creative Classes article, I discovered some really fun activities that would be perfect for a small group of friends. If you are looking to keep your circle connected, try one of these fun friend meet-ups. Not only will your bond grow stronger, but you will create some fantastic lasting memories too! Fun […]

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Creative Classes to Take on Vancouver Island

A new year brings new ideas, and maybe perhaps a few new resolutions. This year I want to get out to as many local businesses as I can and really dive into what they offer their clientele. And I can’t think of a better (or more fun) way of doing that than attending a few […]

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Stamp River Park in Port Alberni

Stamp River Park, located in Port Alberni, is beautiful at any time of year, but especially so in the Fall. Stamp River Park Highlights The park is home to a cascading waterfall and a popular salmon spawning river. In fact, the annual run of spawning salmon is one of the park’s main attractions. The Salmon congregate […]

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10 Places to Spot a Ghost on Vancouver Island

With Halloween coming up soon, I thought it would be fun to round up the most alleged haunted places on Vancouver Island. The following list was gathered from research on well-known sites that people generally accept to be haunted. The post is merely for entertainment use, and my intentions are neither to prove, nor disprove, the existence […]

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Natural Wonders of Gabriola Island

With its fantastic beaches, parks, ocean views and incredible sunsets, Gabriola Island has much to offer. Gabriola is the northernmost Island of the Southern Gulf Islands and located approximately 5 km east of Nanaimo. A 20-25 minute BC Ferry ride gets you from the Nanaimo harbour to Gabriola (Descanso Bay). Ferries run almost hourly, starting […]

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Descanso Bay Regional Park on Gabriola

For rustic camping in a beautiful setting, head to Descanso Bay Regional Park on Gabriola Island. The park has 32 camping sites and can accommodate trucks and trailers, motorhomes and tents.  All of the sites are forested and quite private, and several even have ocean views! Located only 1.5 km from the ferry terminal, and 2 […]

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An Epic Vancouver Island North Road Trip

Are you looking for a great Vancouver Island road trip idea? Explore the road less travelled and head towards the scenic and culturally rich towns of Vancouver Island North. Known locally as the Island Highway, Highway 19 is the main thoroughfare that connects the communities of Vancouver Island North with Nanaimo, plus many towns in […]

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Best Swimming Locations on Vancouver Island

When temperatures start to soar, tourists and locals alike seek out the best places to cool off. Whether you prefer fresh water frolicks or salty ocean waves, Vancouver Island has some amazing swimming locations. While many of the following spots have already been mentioned in a recently published article entitled, “Best Sandy Beaches“, there are […]

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Best Sandy Beaches on Vancouver Island’s East Coast

Are you looking for surf, sand and sun? Not everyone can afford to head to the tropics. Luckily for us, Vancouver Island has its own set of beautiful vast sandy beaches (and they are far less busy than the tropical destinations south of the border). This particular post will look at the best sandy beaches […]

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Easy Trails in Oceanside (stroller friendly too!)

We are always on the look-out for unique trails that our entire family can enjoy. Which often means walking trails that are relatively flat, have visual interest, and in general, kid-friendly. As we live in Nanoose Bay, our go-to is the Oceanside area. The following is a list of our favourite easy, kid-friendly trails in […]

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Visiting the Victoria Bug Zoo

I have an irrational fear of bugs. There are far too many incidences where I have literally been ‘trapped’ in a room because a large bug or spider was near the exit route. I literally become paralyzed with fear until (A) someone comes and rescues me, or (B) the bug moves out-of-the-way. So as you […]

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Best Things To Do With Kids in Parksville

Known locally as Oceanside, the areas of Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Errington, and Coombs (plus a few other smaller centres) have many inexpensive places to visit that provide great family fun.  Whether you are looking for ways to keep your kids occupied during Spring Break, or are reading this in preparation for summer planning, the following […]

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Juan de Fuca Park Gems

Juan de Fuca Provincial Park is located on the west coast of southern Vancouver Island. The area offers incredible scenic views, great hiking opportunities, spectacular marine and wildlife viewing, and a roaring surf along the rugged coastline. If experiencing a more wild side of Vancouver Island is something you are interested in, exploring Juan de Fuca […]

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Discover the Best of Sooke

Sooke is a district municipality situated on the southern tip of Vancouver Island and considered the westernmost community of the Greater Victoria region. It offers visitors and residents alike an authentic west coast experience with its rugged rainforests and unspoiled beaches. A Bit of History For hundreds of years, the T’Sou-ke First Nation was a […]

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Pedder Bay RV Resort and Marina

The Pedder Bay RV Resort & Marina offers the seclusion one is looking for while camping, yet with the amenities and conveniences one desires. Surrounded by forest and ocean, and located in the wilds of Metchosin, you feel like you are out in the middle of nowhere, but in reality, only 30 km’s from the […]

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Hidden Waterfalls Between Parksville and Courtenay

Vancouver Island is blessed with an abundance of waterfalls. So many, in fact, I happen to hear about another one almost weekly. While I hope to eventually write about them all, this post will showcase the hidden waterfalls between Parksville and Courtenay. This means the following article will not highlight the more commons ones, such […]

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48 Hours in Nanaimo – Day 2

Continuing on with our 48 Hours in Nanaimo, here are all the great things to do on Day 2. If for some reason you happened to have stumbled upon this article first, please head back to 48 Hours in Nanaimo – Day 1 48 Hours in Nanaimo – DAY TWO There are plenty of options […]

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48 Hours in Nanaimo – Things Not to Miss – Day 1

The #1 goal of Vancouver Island View is to get locals out exploring their own backyard. So whenever I am writing an article, I always have my fellow neighbours in mind. However, it’s not lost on me that this site has great appeal to tourists visiting our beautiful Island too. And at the moment we […]

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A Hike to the Dark Side

Hiking the Dark Side has been on my list of places to go for quite some time. The kids even waited in anticipation, if only for the lure of its name (they figured it must have something to do with Star Wars). This past weekend we finally had a chance to get down to South […]

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Natural Wonders of Oceanside

“Oceanside” is a local term for the vast area between Nanoose Bay in the south to Deep Bay in the north. It also includes the area leading up to Cathedral Grove to the west.  There are 12 small communities within the Oceanside area, with the most well-known being Parksville, Coombs and Qualicum Beach. The area […]

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The Magnificient Rosewall Creek Falls

I’ve been on a bit of a waterfall hunt lately, which is thankfully easy to do on Vancouver Island. We are definitely blessed with a lot of beauties here. So many, in fact, that writing about them will have to be broken down into regions. Which is exactly what I plan on doing…soon. But this […]

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Cormorant Island – Where the Past and Present Collide

Located on a small island off the northeast coast of Vancouver Island, you will find Alert Bay. It’s a busy working coastal town that proudly celebrates its First Nations and Pioneer heritage. The History The Alert Bay Accord Alert Bay, the destination point of Cormorant Island, is North Vancouver Island’s oldest municipality. It is shared […]

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Malcolm Island is a Place of Harmony

Malcolm Island is a place where Orca’s go to rub up against the smooth pebbled beach, and where humans go to create lasting memories. Situated off the northeast shore of Vancouver Island, you will find this hidden gem. While relatively small in size (24 km long and 3 km wide at its narrowest point) and […]

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The Cowichan Valley Flavour Trail – The Ultimate Foodie Road Trip on Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island has much to offer. There are beaches to explore, trails to hike, lakes to swim, waterfalls and massive trees to gawk at, and plenty of scenic drives to partake in. But why not experience our beautiful island a different way? As you drive through that countryside or pass by that city you can be […]

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Coombs, More than just Goats on the Roof

Coombs is synonymously known as “Goats on the Roof”. More than a million visitors arrive each year to see the goats who live on the roof of the Old Country Market. While some of these visitors stop only to marvel at the permanent four-legged tenants, others stay to immerse themselves in the many unique galleries, […]

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Exploring the Picturesque Village of Telegraph Cove

Telegraph Cove is a postcard ready boardwalk community nestled at the northern end of Johnstone Strait. From its preserved historic multicoloured buildings on stilts to the picture perfect ocean views, Telegraph Cove remains an iconic eco-tourism destination on Vancouver Island. While twenty permanent residents call Telegraph Cove home, approximately 120,000 visitors flock to this destination each […]

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Where to Stay in Ucluelet – Our Top Recommendations

The West Coast of Vancouver Island has a certain vibe unto its own. Tofino is known to be more of a yuppy touristy town, with a hippie flair, while Ucluelet is the hardworking, rugged-edged counterpoint. Both have equal appeal, and an added level of luxury peppered in. Which means no matter where you go on the West […]

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Review of the Top Accommodations in Tofino

  Even though the towns of Tofino and Ucluelet have remained small and relatively untouched by urbanization, the Pacific Rim offers some fantastic top-notch resorts. While a few of them cost a fair penny to stay the night, if you can swing it they are definitely splurge-worthy. While we haven’t been able to check them […]

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Off-Leash Dog Parks and Trails on Vancouver Island

Dog owners love to watch their canine friends run free, which is why off-leash dog parks, trails, and beaches are becoming increasingly popular. Vancouver Island has a great many of these leash-free parks. So many, in fact, for the purpose of this article I narrowed my research to just the Mid-Vancouver Island area. Please utilize […]

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Cumberland Potholes

We are always looking for new places to hike, especially to areas that have a reputation of being pretty spectacular. This is most definitely the case with the Cumberland Potholes. Otherwise known as Perseverance Potholes (because they are located on Perseverance Creek), images of this magical area have been gracing my Facebook feed for quite […]

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Little Huson Caves Regional Park

  The northern half of Vancouver Island is rich with natural caves and limestone features. In fact there are over 1000 known caves, with speculation of just as many waiting to be discovered. Little Huson Caves, located within the Regional District of Mount Waddington, offers us a small, yet spectacular, taste of the karst topography […]

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Strathcona Park – All You Need To Know

If you are looking for a place to truly unwind, and get a way from it all, Strathcona Park is the destination for you. Due to its distance from the main highway, as well as its rugged exterior, Strathcona Park is one part of Vancouver Island that is often overlooked. But I assure you, it […]

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North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre

Tucked in the small farming community of Errington, you will find a world-class wildlife recovery centre. Since 1986 this eight acre rehabilitation facility has cared for ill, injured or orphaned cougars, bears, wolves, and birds. Along with the care of these creatures, the centre takes great pride in providing the public with extensive education programs. If […]

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Must Sees on a Southern BC Road Trip

There is a lot to see in beautiful BC, and a road trip is the best way to make sure you take in as much as you can. One of my favourite drives across British Columbia is the meandering Crowsnest Highway (Highway 3), which extends from Hope all the way through to Alberta. While the […]

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A Nanaimo to Tofino Road Trip

Over one million people visit the West Coast of Vancouver Island each year. It makes me wonder how many of those tourists take the time to stop and see the sights during their travels. Perhaps they are unaware that there are a variety of things to see and do along the way! This road trip […]

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Tiger Lily Farm

Enjoy a hands-on experience at Tiger Lily Farm in Errington. If your children love animals, this is the place to be! There is so much to see and do while at this family-owned and operated hobby farm that hours just slip away. The Barnyard Your children will love getting up close and personal with the animals. […]

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BC Forest Discovery Centre

  Take a look at the unique history of logging in British Columbia at the BC Forest Discovery Centre in Duncan. Stretching across 100 acres, this museum showcases over 5000 forestry related artifacts, as well as trains.  There are heritage buildings to explore, huge logging machines to view, and outdoor and indoor exhibits. The Train A favourite […]

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Hidden Gems of Vancouver Island

I’ve been on a mission to discover the hidden gems of Vancouver Island. Due to the fact I live in the area of Parksville, I limited my search (this time around) to a broad circumference around my location. I have put together the following list to showcase some of the truly unique finds in the […]

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Hot Springs Cove – Tofino

To celebrate our 17th wedding anniversary, we knocked off one of my Vancouver Island bucket list destinations and explored Hot Springs Cove. Located in Maquinna Marine Provincial Park, Hot Springs Cove is approximately 30 km northwest of Tofino, and accessible only by water or air.  The spring water bubbles up from deep in the earth and […]

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Unleash your Wild Side at WildPlay

  Do you enjoy facing your fears? How does taking a 150-foot plunge towards the Nanaimo river sound? Or how about traversing obstacles at 60-feet off the ground? I am most definitely NOT an adrenaline junky, but I have done both of the above, plus a few more crazy adventures while at the Nanaimo WildPlay […]

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Top 10 Nanaimo Walks

Walking and hiking around Nanaimo is popular among visitors and residents alike, and there are so many great locations to do so. This article will focus on the more leisurely trails, rather than strenuous hikes (I’ll save that for another post). The following walks are great for a shorter stroll and perfect for taking the […]

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Little Qualicum Falls

  If you are looking for a nice easy hike with spectacular scenery while in the Parksville area, Little Qualicum Falls is for you! Little Qualicum Falls is a provincial park located on central Vancouver Island. It encompasses the southern shore of Cameron Lake. There is 6 km of walking trails throughout the park, leaving from […]

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6 Simple Steps to Enjoying a Romantic Getaway on Vancouver Island

Almost everyone agrees that being near the ocean brings on a certain amount of romance. Which is why Vancouver Island is bursting with ideas for a romantic getaway. There are just so many places to make those magical sunset strolls happen. According to Amazon, Victoria is rated the #1 most romantic city in Canada for the […]

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Caving at Horne Lake

Did you know that Vancouver Island has the highest concentration of caves in North America? With more than 1000 caves recorded, we have more explored limestone caves here than in all other Canadian provinces combined! In fact, 4% of the Island’s surface area is composed of karst landscapes. No wonder Vancouver Island is sometimes referred […]

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Exploring the Pacific Rim

Top things to see while exploring the Pacific Rim Vancouver Island is a huge tourist destination, with the West Coast being the number one draw. When combined, Tofino and Ucluelet attract over 1 million travelers each year. While the summer months are the most popular, any time of year is spectacular for exploring the Pacific Rim. Summer […]

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A Road Trip from Victoria to Nanaimo

Road trips are a great way to explore Vancouver Island, mainly because there is so much to see along the way. Although travelling from Victoria to Nanaimo is a relatively short journey (1.5 – 2 hours), if you drive straight through you are missing out on some spectacular sights along the way. This is why […]

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Cowichan River Tubing

If you haven’t yet experienced Cowichan River tubing, I highly recommend it. Floating down a lazy river with a drink in hand is the absolute perfect way to spend a hot summer afternoon, for both families and/or groups of adults. The first time we decided to tube down the Cowichan River we had absolutely no idea what to […]

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A Salt Spring Island Getaway

Experiencing the Best of Salt Spring Island When coming from the Mainland, people often comment on how much more calm life is on Vancouver Island. It also seems the more islands you hop the more relaxed you feel. Even though out of all the Gulf Island it is the most frequented, as well as the most populous, you will […]

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Why you should visit Chemainus

Chemainus is a beautiful little sea-side town on the east side of Vancouver Island and well known for its outdoor gallery of murals. If you have never visited this quaint and quiet town, then you are in for a real treat! The first time the kids and I ventured to Chemainus was purely due to a google search. We […]

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Crystal Cove Beach Resort Review

    I  prefer camping in a more “up-kept” environment. A place where the grounds are taken care of, bugs don’t tend to linger, and there is enough to do that it doesn’t really feel much like “camping” (I am not a ‘sit around the campfire and do nothing but drink’ kind of gal). Oh, […]

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Pacific Northwest Raptors Centre in Duncan

  If you are anywhere near the Cowichan area, I highly recommend taking a trip to see the Pacific Northwest Raptors Centre in Duncan. It’s an awesome experience for anyone evenly remotely interested in birds of prey, and absolutely fantastic for kids. We have been there a few times now, and always thoroughly enjoy ourselves.   The Centre A […]

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The Best of Yellow Point

  Did you know that Yellow Point, a small community located between Cedar and Ladysmith has some of the best kayaking spots in Nanaimo? I love being out on the ocean, especially while kayaking. There is just something so soothing about being able to hear nothing but seagulls flying overhead and the crashing of waves […]

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Mini-Golf Attractions in Parksville

Parksville is home to world-renowned beaches, warm ocean waters, cute little shops, and…mini-golf! There are two mini-golf attractions in Parksville: Paradise Fun Park and Riptide Lagoon. We can attest that both places are well worth a visit. Paradise Fun Park According to their website Paradise Fun Park is ‘world class’. World class or not, Paradise Fun Park really […]

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Exploring Beacon Hill Park

  I am always amazed when you can visit a city you have been to numerous times and still find something to see and do you have never experienced before. This was the case when we decided to explore Beacon Hill Park in Victoria for the very first time. How we missed seeing this beautiful […]

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The Historic Kinsol Trestle

A few months ago we sat down and created a wish list of all the things we would like to see and do on Vancouver Island this Spring and Summer. At more than 20 places the list turned out to be quite extensive. While I doubt we will be able to tick off every last request, […]

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The Best Spot to View Sea Lions on Vancouver Island

UPDATE (December 2019) The Sea Lions have moved on from the location mentioned below. There is a rumour that they may be still in their pack and now located across from the French Creek Marina. Once I get confirmation about this, I will officially rewrite this article with the new information. While reading a local […]

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Spending Christmas at Mount Washington

We wanted to do something different for Christmas. Create a new experience. Most of all we wanted snow! So in thinking about all of our wishes, we decided that spending the holidays at a ski hill was going to be our best bet. And Mount Washington seemed liked the ideal place to make all of this […]

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The Spectacular Butchart Gardens

For as long as I can remember I have always had a love for Victoria. I have very fond memories of taking the ferry over to explore the many fabulous touristy attractions the beautiful city offers. A few of my favorites being ‘Miniature World’, and the ‘Wax Museum’ – which sadly is no longer. There are just […]

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The Main Attraction of Parksville

I can’t say enough great things about Parksville. The citizens (a combination of retirees and young families) are super friendly, the weather is typically warmer and drier than any other place on Vancouver Island (which consequently makes the ocean a lot warmer too), and it has fabulous beaches! So fabulous, in fact, Parksville has been […]

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