Introducing Vancouver Island
The largest populated landmass off the North American coast – it’s 450km long and 100km wide – Vancouver Island is laced with colorful, often quirky settlements, many founded on logging or fishing and featuring the word ‘Port’ in their name. Despite the general distaste among residents for the ‘far too busy’ mainland – a distaste that often comes from people who have never actually left the island – the locals are usually a friendly and welcoming bunch, proud of their region and its distinct differences. If you want to make a good impression, don’t refer to the place as ‘Victoria Island, ’ an oft-repeated mistake that usually provokes involuntary eye-rolls and an almost imperceptible downgrading of your welcome.
While Victoria itself – the history-wrapped BC capital that’s stuffed with attractions – is the first port of call for many, it should never be the only place you visit here. Food and wine fans will enjoy weaving through the verdant Comox Valley farm region; outdoor activity enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the surf-loving Tofino & around; and those who fancy remote forested beaches far from the madding crowds should make straight for the North Vancouver Island region, an undiscovered gem that’s among the most rewarding wilderness areas in BC.
For an introduction to the island, contact Tourism Vancouver Island (250-754-3500, 888-655-3843; www.vancouverisland.travel) for listings and resources.
Last updated: Aug 27, 2009
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