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British Columbia: The Islands
Vancouver Island

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Where to stay
 and what to do on

Vancouver Island

VISITOR INFORMATION

ACCOMMODATIONS

ATTRACTIONS

Vancouver Island Sea Kayaking Areas
Barkley Sound
Clayoquot Sound
Gulf Islands
Johnstone Strait
Nootka Sound


Communities of Vancouver Island
Campbell River
Chemainus
Cobble Hill
Comox
Courtenay
Deep Bay
Duncan
Nanaimo
Nanoose Bay
Parksville
Qualicum Beach
Sidney
Sooke
Tofino
Ucluelet
Victoria

The Gulf Islands
Gabriola Island
Galiano Island
Hornby Island
Pender Island
Salt Spring Island

Vancouver Island

Queen Charlotte Islands


Vancouver Island, located at the southernmost corner of British Columbia, is the largest island on North America's west coast. The island is 286 miles (480 km) long and stretches from the northern tip of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State to Queen Charlotte Sound.

But the island's true claim to fame is its provincial capital, Victoria, British Columbia's second largest city. Known for its Old World ambiance, Victoria is referred to as B.C.'s "most English city." With one of the largest collection of 19th century heritage buildings in the country, Victoria characterizes a world that has all but been lost to the teeming metropolis of today.

Even though Vancouver Island is the most populated island in the province, it is still largely rural, commanded by sweeping vistas of forests and rolling pastureland. Most of the population is clustered in small cities along the scenic east coast of the island. The First Nations villages of Tofino and Ucluelet, on the island's west coast, are best known for the Pacific Rim Whale Festival that takes place annually in March. At the northern tip of the island, small communities such as Port McNeill offer a glimpse of the art and traditions of remote First Nations communities.

Travelers can reach the island from several mainland ports in Canada and the United States. For information about ferry schedules and locations, please see our link to BC Ferries. For information about traveling from Anacortes, Washington to Victoria, please check out our link to Washington State Ferries.


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Moon British ColumbiaMoon British Columbia by Andrew Hempstead. Every Moon guidebook includes recommendations for must-see sights and many regional, area, and city-centered maps. Complete with guidance on whale-watching near Telegraph Cove, hiking the Stanley Glacier Trail, and camping near Mount Robson, Moon British Columbia gives travelers the tools they need to create a more personal and memorable experience.  Order now...

British Columbia Wine CountryBritish Columbia Wine Country by John Schreiner, Author and Kevin Miller, Photographer. Through a blend of color photography and stories of the personalities behind the bottles, the book presents a rare opportunity to meet the remarkable people who have established British Columbia's best wineries and vineyards. Chapters focus on wine regions in the Okanagan Valley, the Lower Mainland, the Gulf Islands and Vancouver Island, inviting readers to enjoy picturesque landscapes, portraits of leading winemakers and a detailed description of the province's wine industry. Order now...

Frommer's British Columbia & the Canadian RockiesFrommer's British Columbia & the Canadian Rockies by Bill Rae, Author and Donald Olson, Contributor. This brand-new edition to the Frommer series takes travelers through all the highlights, including all the best eco-adventures: whale watching by kayak, sailing a ketch into the worlds only grizzly bear reserve, and hiking in misty, primordial old-growth forests and along wilderness beaches. Order now...

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Revised: April 15, 2014.