Vancouver Island is studded with colorful, quirky communities, many founded on logging or fishing and featuring the word 'Port' in their names.
Locals are a friendly bunch, proud of their region and its distinct differences. The island is the largest populated landmass between western North America and New Zealand – around 500km long and 100km wide – and hosts a broad range of attractions, experiences and activities that feel many miles from the bustle of mainland Vancouver.
While the history-wrapped BC capital Victoria is the arrival point for many, it shouldn't be the only place you visit here. (And, to make a good impression, don't mistakenly refer to the place as 'Victoria Island.') Food and wine fans will love the Cowichan Valley farm region; outdoor-activity enthusiasts shouldn't miss the surf-loving, wild West Coast radiating from Tofino; and visitors venturing north will find an uncrowded region of independent communities fringed by rugged wilderness.
These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Vancouver Island.
Whether it’s a guided tour of a historic landmark, private tasting of local delicacies, or an off-road adventure — explore the best experiences in Vancouver Island.