Just 37km north of Nanaimo, Parksville is the perfect oceanside retreat to relax, rejuvenate and reconnect. With something for everyone, this region offers family-friendly activities, outdoor adventure, and luxurious spa getaways. Year-round events bring the locals together, all under the watchful eyes of the resident and migrating bird population.
1Haida Gold Ocean Adventures
Encounter shorebirds, whales, dolphins, and seals during a variety of themed adventures, from fishing to sunset sightseeing.
Book Now: https://haidagold.ca/rates-ocean-adventures/
2Englishman River Estuary
An important habitat to the Pacific Brant Sea Goose, this estuary offers a short walking trail and a chance to see some of the 250 bird species living here.
1Adventuress Sea Kayaking
Enjoy the beauty of Vancouver Island with an emphasis on environmentally friendly kayaking. Adventuress offers a variety of day trips, multi-day adventures, and group tours.
Book Now: https://adventuress.ca/contact-us/
1Pacific Brimm Cafe
Grab some breakfast or lunch at this cozy cafe just steps away from the Parksville Community Park beach.
1Realm Food Co.
A community food hub working with local farmers to create a vibrant and diverse menu, with gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options.
2Lefty’s Pizza Fresh
Delicious pizza made fresh to order with house-made dough and sauces. Get one of their signature pizzas or create your own.
1Black Goose Inn
Grab a pint on the patio to pair with pub classics in this English styled restaurant on the grounds of the Beach Acres Resort.
2Bayside Restaurant & Lounge
Exquisite oceanfront dining with a West Coast-inspired seasonal menu paired with Vancouver Island craft beer and local wines.
3Pacific Prime Restaurant at The Beach Club Resort
Enjoy fine dining with local seafood and amazing views, or sit on the oceanfront patio for a more relaxed experience.
1Sea & Summit Bookshop
Parksville’s newest bookstore, owned and operated by local husband and wife adventure couple Kristie and Kevin.
1Parksville Visitor Centre
1The Beach Club Resort
A luxury hotel with a seaside pool and hot tub, spa, thoughtful amenities, and easy access to the beach.
Book Now: https://beachclubbc.reztrip.com/classic/en/searches/6126ca59ed3e89139f524ef8/hotels/BCR/calendar?action=show&controller=landings
Birding Along the Beach
Continue your exploration of Parksville, then head further north up the road to the charming seaside town of Qualicum Beach. The name is a Straits Salish word meaning “where the dog salmon run”.
1French Creek Estuary & Breakwater
A popular area for shorebirds, stick to the west side of the marina to explore the creek and estuary or head to the east side to explore the breakwater for more birding opportunities.
A beautiful wetland located ten minutes from Qualicum Beach. Home to many species of owls, early migrant swallows, and migrant shorebirds. It’s also the largest water bird brood marsh on this part of Vancouver Island.
2Seaside Park Faye Smith Rosenblatt Memorial Pavilion
This interpretive pavilion honours Faye Smith, a longtime wild-salmon advocate dedicated to protecting salmon habitats from Englishman River to Little Qualicum watersheds. Take in the panoramic view, and learn about the intertidal ecology, wild salmon, and a myriad of bird species.
1North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre
With a mission to care for injured, ill and orphaned wildlife, this world-class rehabilitation centre is home to more than 60 non-releasable birds and animals and features the largest eagle flight enclosure in Canada where recovering eagles regain condition and build muscles before being released back into the wild. Open daily for public viewing.
1French Press Coffee Roasters
This award-winning cafe roasts all their coffee in-house, but don’t forget to load up on their delicious selection of baked goods too.
1Little Qualicum Cheeseworks
The name says little, but this renowned stop produces some of the west coast’s finest artisan cheeses – perfect snacks while wandering the trails.
2Lefty’s Fresh Food
A “Left Coast” inspired eatery doing fresh breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
3Tidal Taco Shack
Enjoy tacos or burritos at this super popular beachside taco stand.
Stop here for a cozy atmosphere and delicious, creative burgers.
Casual fine dining with great seafood options and a curated wine selection.
3Old Country Market
Stop by this Coombs landmark to refuel at one of the many eateries while watching the famous goats on the roof.
4The Camellia Tea Room at Milner Gardens & Woodland
Take a break for some afternoon tea, served with freshly baked scones and jelly, inside the historic Milner House.
1Mulberry Bush Book Store
A staple of the community, you’ll find a large selection of books and gifts in this independent bookstore.
1Qualicum Beach Visitor Centre
1Deep Bay Spit
Located along Deep Bay Dr., this sheltered bay offers chances to see ducks, loons, grebes, and more. It’s also a common habitat for waterfowl in the winter.
1Qualicum Beach Inn
Stylish and elegant rooms just steps away from the sandy beaches of the Strait of Georgia.
Book Now: https://www.onressystems.com/reservations/?property=qualicum-beach-inn