If you decide to visit Vancouver Island, or decide you want to explore it a bit more, I have some Great suggestions that you won’t want to miss out on!
I grew up in a small retirement town called Qualicum Beach. When I leave Victoria to visit QB there are always a few stops along the way. When leaving ‘Vic’ and driving up island if you have time you want to make a pit stop along the Malahat to enjoy the breathtaking views the island has to offer. If driving through Chemainus you will notice that it is a cute, little town decorated by 39 very beautifully done murals representing the Stz’uminus First Nation. If you have not been, these are amazing!
When you get up around the Parksville/Qualicum/Coombs area you definitely want to check out “The Coombs Goat Market. It’s where the iconic “Goats on the Roof,” reside.
Coombs is a GREAT place to explore for a couple of hours. They have an intricate market with lots of specialty goodies, and plenty of unique boutique stores to shop around in. Before you leave don’t forget to enjoy an ice cream cone! Those cones are a total Island tradition 😛
Parksville is known for its Amazing Beach! It’s a beautiful beach that has amazing sand to build sand castles and plenty of sand dollars to collect and admire. Parksville beach is also home to the annual “Sand Sculpting competition”.
Local people of the community compete to see who can sculpt the most outrageous sculptures out of sand, and who will get the bragging rights of winning 1st Place!
The sculptures are left up for a good month so that tourists have a chance to see them and admire some Island art. Parksville may be on the small and quiet side, but it still has a couple of fun things to offer such as the “Paradise Mini Golf & Fun Park!” It boasts a world renowned double sided 18-hole golf course, which includes the infamous ‘Old Lady’s Shoe” and ‘Abandoned Pirate Ship’.
I remember growing up and Having many fond memories at this mini golf course. One year I even had my birthday party here! After a round of golf there is a 90’s style arcade to go and spend an hour trying your luck to win as many ‘tickets’ as possible & hopefully walk away with some sweet loot!
If that wasn’t enough there are also the Water Bumper Boats to help cool off in the summer heat! My kids and I have done them before and my kiddo’s sure thought it was Amusing to soak mom and not get in trouble 😉 😉
Finally, I like to end my visit with a game or two of bowling at the local bowling Alley ‘Sunset Lanes.’ It’s reasonably priced and a ton of Fun! This was another common place to celebrate a birthday when I was growing up. Now it’s a fun place to make memoires with my kids. It’s a very family friendly, wheelchair accessible 5 pin bowling alley. It has bumpers for kids & the best part is they also offer COSMIC bowling! How FUN! Kids Bowl for FREE UNTIL AUG 31st if you are looking for some low-cost summer fun!
If you’re passing by on the HWY headed anywhere up island be sure to take a pit stop in Parksville it may be little but it will definitely be worth the time!