Alberni Valley Museum

Vancouver Island

Don't be put off by the unassuming concrete exterior: this is one of Vancouver Island's best community museums. Studded with fascinating First Nations displays – plus an eclectic array of vintage exhibits ranging from bottle caps to dresses and old-school toys – it's worth an hour of anyone's time.

History buffs should also hop aboard the summertime Alberni Pacific Railway steam train (, likewise operated by the Alberni Valley Heritage Network, for a trundle to McLean Mill; it's a National Historic Site.