Explore the beauty of BC by hopping on a ferry to Vancouver Island. Pack a bag, bring your friends and head over to the pristine Parksville.
Visiting the Island is the most idyllic weekend escape. Grab a coffee, sit on the upper deck and enjoy the views sailing from Horseshoe Bay to Departure Bay. It’s just over an hour-and-a-half ride and if you’re lucky enough, you may even spot a pod of orcas along the way.
Parksville is only a 30-minute drive away from the ferry terminal.
Why You Should Explore Parksville
Parksville is home to many luxurious accommodations including Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort and the Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort. Both resorts are located within walking distance of one another and will make for a magical stay. Sunrise Ridge is nestled above Craig Bay and overlooks the serene Strait of Georgia. It features stunning beachfront accommodations, a heated outdoor pool, hot tub and a communal campfire that will make you relive those Summer camp days.
You can also rent out mountain bikes and inflatable paddle boards to go adventuring with. Tigh-Na-Mara features a variety of accommodations, including spacious suites, luxury studios and rustic cottages. They have an impressive 192 handcrafted log guestrooms, 36 of which are ocean-view rooms. Go for a peaceful walk along the beach just steps from your front door.
There are a plethora of eats to indulge in around the Parksville area. Lefty’s Fresh Food is popular among the locals and for a good reason. Their menu is chalked full of delicious items like Thai Chicken Tacos, Rosemary Gorgonzola Pasta, Slow-Roasted Ribs and a selection of freshly-baked pies for dessert.
The Tigh-Na-Mara Resort also has the incredible Cedars Restaurant & Lounge which has an epic brunch menu of Avocado Toast, Breakfast Poutine, Red Velvet Pancakes and a Chicken Apple Sausage & Brie Frittata. Of course, they also have lots of tasty offerings for lunch and dinner as well.
You don’t have to travel very far to soak up the amenities of the lavish Grotto Spa. It’s part of the Tigh-Na-Mara Resort and is the most enchanting escape. Book yourself in for a classic spa treatment or just take advantage of the mineral pool. It was designed to emulate a natural stone grotto and is full of minerals to help detoxify your body and calm your mind. Further unwind with underwater music, a two-story waterfall and a cool-splash cascade.
They’re cute, they’re playful and everybody loves them. Visit the quaint Coombs Old Country Market that has goats on the roof (literally). You will find this gem just 10-minutes from Parksville. The market has everything you need from produce, baked goods, unique gifts and more; however, you’ll want to spend the majority of time outside checking out the adorable goats that are walking around on the grass roof.
One of the most popular spots for caving on Vancouver Island can be found at Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park. At just over 30-minutes from Parksville—this scenic drive will take you into lush forested area that proves once again why the west coast is the best coast. You can explore a variety of caves here and even get guided tours of Main and Riverbend Caves.
Your guide will teach you about the history and crystals seen along the way. What’s more, you can also choose to turn off your headlamp to experience what it’s like to be in complete darkness. Step it up a notch and do a guided Extreme Cave Rappel or Vertical Challenge. If you love adrenaline, this will surely get your heart racing.
All-in-all, if you’re looking for your next outdoor adventure in BC—Parksville may just be the perfect place to cross off your bucket list.
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