5 Must-Try Summer Activities on Vancouver Island

Dreaming of Summer adventures? Dive into our guide featuring 5 must-try activities on Vancouver Island! Unforgettable experiences await!

Vancouver Island is a haven of natural beauty and cultural delights! Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a foodie, or a culture enthusiast, our home island off the coast of British Columbia has something special for everyone. Here are five must-try activities to make the most of your summer vacation on Vancouver Island, including two from the region we live in:

1. Hiking In Pacific Rim National Reserve

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Hike To Hot Springs Cove With The Whole Family

Start your adventure with a hike through Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, located on the rugged west coast of the island. This park is famous for its lush rainforests, pristine beaches, and dramatic coastal vistas. One of our favourites is the Hot Springs Cove hiking trail that you can only access by boat or the easier Rainforest Trail, where you can immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the temperate rainforest. 

2. Whale Watching On Vancouver Island

Mark Malleson, Whales, Whale Watching.
Mark Malleson

Head to Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, for an unforgettable whale-watching experience. During the summer months, the waters around Victoria come alive with orcas, humpback whales, and other marine wildlife. Book a tour with a reputable operator to get up close to these majestic creatures in their natural habitat. If you think you would enjoy a more remote Vancouver Island experience on a road less travelled then head up North to Port Hardy for whale watching. They are both wonderful destinations for a whale watching adventure. Each with their own unique experiences.

3. Wine Tasting In Cowichan Valley

For a more relaxed day, explore the picturesque Cowichan Valley, known as the “Napa of the North.” This region boasts numerous wineries and vineyards set amidst stunning landscapes. Spend an afternoon sampling award-winning wines, paired with local cheeses and gourmet cuisine, while soaking in the valley’s serene ambiance.

4. Kayaking In The Gulf Islands

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Discover the Gulf Islands by kayak for a tranquil and intimate exploration of this archipelago’s beauty. Paddle through calm waters surrounded by lush forests, rocky shorelines, and abundant marine life. Keep an eye out for seals, eagles, and maybe even playful dolphins as you navigate between the islands.

5. Enjoying A Show At Chemainus Theatre

Chemainus Theatre

No Summer visit to Vancouver Island is complete without experiencing the renowned Chemainus Theatre. Nestled in the charming town of Chemainus, this theatre is famous for its professional productions of plays and musicals. Enjoy a delightful evening immersed in live entertainment, ranging from classic dramas to contemporary comedies. We highly recommend making it a dinner theatre experience and plan on dining in the theatre’s very own Playbill Dinning Room. Chemainus Theatre Festival is year-round and their Summer show is one of the best! See what’s playing this Summer at the Chemainus Theatre

Practical Tips:

  • Booking in Advance: Summer is peak tourist season on Vancouver Island, so it’s advisable to book accommodations, tours, and theatre tickets in advance.
  • Local Cuisine: Don’t forget to savour the island’s culinary delights, including fresh seafood, locally sourced produce, and artisanal cheeses.
  • Respect Nature: When exploring the island, always respect the environment and follow leave-no-trace principles to preserve its natural beauty for future visitors.

Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply relaxation in stunning surroundings, Vancouver Island promises an unforgettable Summer getaway. Plan your itinerary around these popular Summer time Vancouver Island activities and prepare to be enchanted by all that this island paradise has to offer.