Top Things to Do Near Vancouver Island - Scenic Campbell River

Coming to Vancouver for the first time and also wanting to experience the beauty of Vancouver Island? Or have you been to Victoria many times but not sure of all the other things to do on Vancouver Island? Breezy summer nights with the ocean right next to you is the perfect example of a perfect summer getaway from the city.Thinking about visiting Vancouver Island and wondering how to spend a nice summer or spring weekend getaway on the Island? Vancouver Island is one of the great weekend escapes away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and it is here that you will find serenity and tranquility at your fingertips. The weather on Vancouver Island is usually not too hot or cold, making it an ideal location for a getaway. Campbell River in particular is known as the “Salmon Capital of the world”, a tradition that has been carried out and continued after the European settlers began setting on the West Coast.

Brief History

Salmon has always been a source of spiritual and religious significance for the Aboriginal people who lived on the Island, however it was not until the 1890s when the popularity of the fishing village became an industrial and commercial art. Europeans reached the region in 1792 with both the Spanish and English charting ships to explore the area. Historically this area was a popular area for fisherman and loggers during the founding days of Campbell River and during the occupation of the Aboriginal people, salmon was always a treasured food and symbolic of the coexistence between nature, the ecosystem and people.

Sample Itinerary & Things to Do

If your heading from Vancouver, drive to the ferry terminal at Tsawwassen Ferries, with the departure gate to Nanaimo. Vancouver Island has many different cities to explore such as Gibsons, Victoria and others, but the area around Campbell river is most scenic for scenery and natural wildlife.Hop on the BC Ferry towards Nanaimo and shop the Tsawwassen Pier before landing on the island, where you can drive to Coombs, a popular attraction with goats on the top and fresh produce and restaurants. If you haven’t been on BC Ferries, the Ferry ride offers a spectacular view of the Strait of Georgia on a sunny day.

1. Combs

Combs is a friendly small community on Vancouver Island situated approximately 10km west of Parksville. There are shops with flowers lining the streets during the summer, concentrated along the narrow street. Since 1971, the famous goats have been on the roof, entertaining guests through its environmentally friendly design. Come here for your instagram picture of the day, or just simply enjoy the small town fell of tradition and fresh produce.

2. Painters Lodge on Campbell River: I have always been attracted to hotels and places that have a sense of background and story about the origins. I believe a place shouldn't be renowned if it doesn't live up to its ideals. One of the reasons I choose Painters Lodge to be my accommodation is its history and commitment to that piece of history that continues bringing visitors back.

Painters Lodge : The Painters Lodge was established from a need for a more permanent accommodation for fisherman, and today is the prosperous resort it is today that still concentrates on that fishing profession. Roderick Haig- Brown immigrated from England to Canada and was a highly renowned writer and speech writer focused on the fishing profession. Known as an acclaimed citizen of Campbell River, he was a pioneering force that sought to preserve the tranquility of the fish and the environment in Campbell River. A highly recommended hotel is the Painter’s Lodge near Campbell River, offering oceanfront views of the river, providing close glimpses of history. Be sure to walk out to the harbour front and marina where you can get a glimpse of the river. The restaurant as well offers spectacular views of Campbell River and the vicinity.

Fishing Excursion:

The lodge also offers fishing excursions and it is here that you can get a fishing licence and bring home fresh salmon from the river. Your guide will be a experienced guide who will tell you stories about the lodge and life on the Campbell River, and I remember mine very clearly, told by a local man who lived by the land and ocean. The guide will help you catch your fish by focusing on reeling in the handle, so don’t worry. Don’t be scared as you look at the historic fishes that have been caught at this destination, from the famous giant Pacific salmon to the Pink Chinook, varying from 20 pounds to over 60 pounds, as some of the great salmon caught have won awards. There are various fishing excursions to pick from, including 3 or 4 hours, depending on your preference and whether or not you feel seasick.

Hiking Excursion:

The hotel also occurs an optional hiking excursion that must be experienced if you ever come to the West Coast and in particular, Vancouver Island, as it is here some of the most natural and expansive hiking trails known to man are located, stretching miles and miles from all the way from the base of the Pacific Ocean. It is popular during hiking trails to witness bears, as especially during the summer season they are active and feed on the berries that are native to the Vancouver Island region.

The wildlife and Nature - Vancouver Island has many natural wildlife including deer that will run past you at the hotel. Along Campbell River, you might also notice bald eagles and especially as you take your trip fishing, be sure to watch out for seals, whales, sea lions and other friends as they watch your journey across the ocean. If you have never been to the West Coast and seen wildlife up close, then this excursion is definitely for you, not only for the fishing , but for the majestic view of the wildlife in their nature habitat. If you happen to travel to experience this particular excursion near Campbell River, be sure to revel in the seal lions on the rocks as you fish for sockeye salmon, and the curious looks they give you as you journey closer.

Deer behind tree

Chelsea Reviews : 4/5

I’ve always realized that I have taken granted the beauty of the West Coast every time I travel somewhere; there is no place on earth like the West Coast, especially the serenity of Vancouver Island and its inhabitants, from the sea lions to the ocean to the rivers. Life is sweep anew every season, drawing you back after every journey.I went on the trip during the Canada Day long weekend a couple years ago, and I loved the peaceful and serene vibe that the atmosphere contains. Campbell River is a lovely city for a getaway away from the hustle and bustle of the city landscape and offers down to earth excursions and relaxation.

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