British Columbia, The Islands Travel Region
Vancouver Island

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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