Vancouver Island is known for its mild climate, gorgeous landscapes, and thriving arts community. This slice of paradise is located on the west coast of Canada and offers a variety of different activities, shops, restaurants, and natural attractions. Keep reading for all of my favorite stops on the drive from Nanaimo to Tofino and why you`ll love them too.
Little Qualicum Falls
This gorgeous destination on Vancouver Island includes a couple of impressive waterfalls cascading down a rocky gorge. The falls, lake swimming, shaded riverside trails and picnic facilities make Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park a popular family recreation destination and an excellent place to stop for breakfast.
This crystal clear lake is a great place to stop for a swim. The surrounding forest is largely undeveloped making it a serene and scenic stop. The old, now abandoned, Port Alberni railway line runs along the North shore including a gorgeous old railway trestle bridge. It`s also a great place to fish for Brown Trout which were introduced into the lake in the 1930’s.
Cathedral Grove is the rare and endangered remnant of an ancient Douglas fir ecosystem on Vancouver Island. Some of the largest trees are around 800 years old and measure 250 feet tall with a circumference of nearly 30 feet. The mystical grove was named because of the remarkable “cathedral like” appearance of the trees.
Hole in The Wall
This stunning, straight out of a magazine landmark once served as a shortcut for a water reservoir which supplied Port Alberni. It`s about a 1 kilometre easy walk from the highway and the natural beauty makes it a must see on your way from Nanaimo to Tofino.
Wild Pacific Trail
Before arriving in Tofino, you have the option to make a slight detour and visit the smaller and sleepier town of Ucluelet. DO IT! The Wild Pacific Trail is a path that follows the Pacific Ocean coastline in Ucluelet and offers endless phenomenal views. The Brown’s Beach section is about 8.8 kilometres long. You can choose to do the whole thing or just a section before continuing on with your drive. The Wild Pacific Trail stands out as a huge highlight not only on Vancouver Island, but of our entire road trip through Western Canada.
The Rainforest Hiking Trail
The Rainforest Hiking Trail is an easy and beautiful stroll along a well maintained boardwalk on the west side of the island. Perfect for a quick pit stop or an afternoon walk, the 731 stairs will leave you in awe of the massive trees and the lush Canadian forest.
This small and stunning district on the West shore of Vancouver Island is your final destination! Famous for the year round surfing, gorgeous coastlines, and out of this world fish tacos; you will quickly fall in love with this little slice of paradise.