Cities and Towns on Vancouver Island
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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.
Best selection of books on the Northwest.
Moon Vancouver & Victoria: Including Whistler (Moon Handbooks) by Carolyn B. Heller. Discover the best places to visit and explore with expert advice and recommended itineraries from this seasoned author and traveler. Maps and photos are included in this guide. Order now...
Moon British Columbia: Including the Alaska Highway, 10th Edition (Moon Handbooks) by Andrew Hempstead. Find the best places to eat, where to go skiing and snowboarding, how to get around along with much more through the unique trip ideas recommended by the author. Order now...
Frommer's Far & Wide: A Weekly Guide to Canada's Best Travel Experiences by Andrew Hempstead, Pamela Cuthbert, Lucas Aykroyd and Helena Katz. Written by a team of local authors this book has maps of trips along with information about the culture and history, nature, festivals and events, restaurants, adventure and even the quirky Canada. Order now...
Discover Canada (Full Color Country Travel Guide) by Lonely Planet. This book is the ideal guide for planning your trip with all the must see sights and must do experiences through images, insider tips, tailored itineraries and east to navigate content. Full colored maps for the country, regions and cities are also included. Order now...
Lonely Planet British Columbia & the Canadian Rockies, 6th Edition (Regional Travel Guide) by John Lee. This book helps trip planning with features including insider tips, itineraries, cultural insights, pull-out of Vancouver, information on transportation options and contact information for local businesses. Order now...
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