Located off North America’s western coast just north of Seattle, Vancouver Island, British Columbia features majestic mountains, dense forests, breathtaking parks, wild coastlines, and rustic beaches dotted with small villages and towns. The beautiful island is a popular weekend getaway for travelers to the city of Vancouver. The mild coastal climate experienced on the island draws visitors from around the world year round. So what are the things you should plan to see and do during your vacation here?

Step into the Peaceful Natural Setting at Butchart Gardens

Set in an old quarry near Victoria, Butchart Gardens is not only a major highlight on the island but one of the world’s best gardens, too. The fabulous garden receives almost one million people every year. The beautifully laid out grounds provide visitors with a year round opportunity enjoy varied displays in the different seasons of the year. Visitors enjoy entertainment and fireworks among other festivities and activities. Come here and relax in a peaceful natural setting with beautiful flowers, well-maintained pathways, and trees. 

Explore the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Located near the town of Tofino, the Pacific Rim National Park reserve consists of over five hundred square kilometers of temperate rainforests and rugged coastlines. If you’re a nature lover, the park is a must-visit attraction on Vancouver Island. Covering a lush stretch of coast with spectacular beaches, the park is known for beautiful sunsets and endless surfing opportunities. Be sure to spend some time at the incredible, long sandy beaches a few kilometers southeast of Tofino. There’s no better way to explore the reserve than getting to the 47-mile West Coast Trail. 

Royal BC Museum

You wouldn’t want to leave before you exploring the world-class exhibits at British Columbia’s finest museum- the Royal BC Museum. The collections at the museum include the First Nations Collection, Royalty in British Columbia, and the Fredrick Dally Collection. Founded in 1886, the Royal BC Museum is a natural and human history museum focusing almost exclusively on British Columbia. 

Cathedral Grove

The biggest trees at the Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park are between 600 and 800 years old. It’s even more surprising that the trees are 29 ft. in circumference and 250 ft. in height. The Cathedral Grove is a wonder you must see. Travelers from around the world visit the impressive site every year. 

Craigdarroch Castle

Built in 1887, the Craigdarroch Castle is a National Historic Site and a popular attraction on Vancouver Island. The beautifully restored mansion has thirty nine rooms over its four floors, which feature intricate woodwork and incredible stained-glass windows. Everyone who comes here seems to always fall in love with the “fabulous Victorian-era furnishings. The 200,000-square-foot castle is open every day from 10 am to 4.30 pm. 

Mount Washington Alpine Ski Resort

Mount Washington on Vancouver Island offers a pristine environment for travelers to experience their next Nordic or Alpine adventure. The hill allows visitors to enjoy a wide array of ski runs and a terrain park with an elevation of more than five hundred meters. Many have named it the island’s premier ski resort. Other activities you can enjoy here include tubing, cross country skiing, tobogganing, hiking, and snowshoeing.