West Coast visitors have so many options when it comes to exploring Vancouver Island's beautiful lakes, rivers and the ocean. From finding treasured sand dollars on the beach to epic kiteboarding, there is a little something for visitors of all ages.
For those who have dreamed of witnessing a killer whale breaching out of the water, sea lions sunning on the rocks or pods of orcas swimming the Pacific Ocean shoreline, Nanaimo is the place to come. Nanaimo waters are home to transient orca, humpback whales, sea lions, harbour seals, porpoises, eagles, and more. Tours are available seven days a week.
Parksville Beach is known as Canada's riviera, with light sandy beaches stretching out for kilometres at low tide. The pockets of salt water left behind are perfect for finding seashells of every kind, fossils, sea glass and many other treasures. When the tide comes in, consider renting a kayak or paddle board to explore all Parksville Beach has to offer.
From beginner to experienced, we've found every surfer's paradise. Ucluelet, located near Tofino, is 25 km of pristine, sandy beached shoreline and offers some of the West Coast's best surfing. Here surfing is not only a summer activity - the ocean stays at around 10°c all year around. This is another great family activity, with lessons being offered for all ages.
For the more adventurous, kiteboarding is something you are going to want to check out. Nitinat Lake is surrounded by ruggedly lush forest and home to one of the most consistent thermal-generated winds in BC, attracting kiteboarders and windsurfers from around the world. The windy season runs from May to September.