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 expressed as being “Canada’s Hawaii”.
The beaches truly are the main attraction of Parksville.
So let’s take a look at the two most popular beaches in the area: Parksville Community Park Beach and Rathtrevor Beach
Both beaches are fantastic places to wade or swim in the miles of shallow warm water, look for washed up shells, chase crabs, and build sand sculptures in the soft sand. But the possibilities are truly endless.
Parksville Community Park Beach
While both beaches bring out kite flying enthusiasts, each summer the Parksville Lions host an international kite festival on the beach at Parksville Community Park. It is a fun event loved by tourists and locals alike.
The Community Park beach is also host to a Sand Sculpting Competition every summer from mid-July until mid-August. It is a fabulous event, and one that we have been going to since moving to Vancouver Island. The event brings in thousands of people from all over the world.
There is a suggested donation of $3.00 per person to view the sand sculptures, but it is totally worth it!
Once you finish ogling the sand sculptures (and voting for your favourite one), head on over to the huge playground and water spray park, so the kids can burn off some steam. This wheel chair accessible play-park is a wonderland of swings, slides, climbing structures, water canons, and a small water slide (to name a few of the many activities available to young children).
The Community Park also has beach volleyball courts, an outdoor fitness gym, a skateboard park, great picnicking spots, and a waterfront boardwalk.
The Community Park and beach can be found at Corfield St N & Island Hwy E, Parksville.
Accommodations centred around or near the Community Park beach:
- Park Sands Beach Resort – a family friendly RV park & campground
- Surfside RV Resort – an oceanfront resort
- Paradise Sea Shell Motel & RV Park – right next door to a fantastic mini-golf fun park
- The Beach Club Resort – an upscale hotel located in the heart of Parksville
- VIP Motel – pet-friendly motel
- Quality Resort Bayside – an older hotel that offers beachfront accommodations
Rathtrevor Beach fronts many of Parksville’s resorts along Resort Drive, as well as Rathtrevor Provincial Park.
At low tide, Rathtrevor beach stretches nearly a kilometre out into the Strait of Georgia. This makes it the best beach for young children still learning how to swim, and the perfect location to build sand castles!
The most convenient public access to this desirable beach is through the Provincial Park, which is located at the east end of Parksville easily accessible from Highway 19.
Accommodations in and around Rathtrevor beach:
- Rathtrevor Provincial Park – this is a highly sought after campground. If you wish to camp here make sure to reserve early!
- Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort – an upscale oceanfront resort with a fantastic spa
- Beach Acres Resort – cozy oceanside and beachfront cottages
- Oceanside Village Resort – charming, well-appointed cottages located on the edge of Rathtrevor Beach
So, have I convinced you to visit the main attraction of Parksville yet?
If you are trying to think of a fabulous get-away for your family holiday, I highly recommend making a trip to Parksville. Just be sure to book early…with close to 100,000 visitors each summer, trying to find campsites or accommodations can be a bit tricky.
I will see you on the beach!