With the end of summer rapidly approaching, it's time to see how many activities you've checked off your summer bucket list. You've gone to the night market, been up to Whistler already, and you're all set for the PNE. What about that vacation you wanted though? The impromptu summer getaway that you were so stoked for?
You've always imagined a sandy beach getaway to Hawaii, but there's only one problem. You can't get the time off work, and you spent all your savings on mimosas and brunch.
Well no worries! Lucky for you, you live in Beautiful British Columbia. There are tons and tons of beaches in your own backyard. How about a cheap, few day getaway to Vancouver Island? The island is lined with beaches, all dotted with amazing greenery and wildlife. We've found the best beaches and crafted the ultimate road trip - just for you!
The map is linked at the end of the article. 😉
Saratoga Beach // Merville
Saratoga Beach is the perfect stretch of sand on the sheltered east coast of Vancouver Island. Nearly 2 km long, the slow currents and warm water make it perfect for a relaxing swim.
Kye Bay // Comox
Kye Bay is a fantastic spot for warm water to soak in. With many individual tidal pools, the water is warmest as the tide rises and begins to meet the soft, sun-baked sand.
Qualicum Beach // Qualicum
Qualicum beach has a vast, sandy shoreline when the tide is low. It's typically a very quiet and less occupied beach, featuring amazing views of the surrounding islands.
Parksville Beach // Parksville
Located less than 10 minutes away from Qualicum Beach, Parksville Beach is one of the most popular choices on the central island. It's famous for its beach volleyball and an annual, world-class sandcastle competition.
Rathtrevor Beach // Parksville
Rathtrevor Beach is home to nearly a kilometre of shoreline, 5 km of surrounding trails, and beautiful ocean sunsets. It's the third major beach in the Parksville area, only minutes away from Parksville and Qualicum Beach.
China Beach // Port Renfrew
China Beach has to be hunted out, due to a 15 to 20 minute hike through a scenic forest route. The reward however is a beautiful, secluded beach, as well as a waterfall to discover on the western end of the beach.
Mystic Beach // Port Renfrew
Hidden in the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, Mystic Beach is a MUST visit. It features soft sand, a famous rope swing, and amazing surroundings, but be warned - it's a 2 km hike to reach the reward.
Florencia Bay // Tofino
Ah Tofino. A world renowned getaway and mecca for surfers, Florencia Bay (nicknamed 'Flo' by the locals) is no exception. The beach is particularly popular for surfing, paddleboarding and a spectacular backdrop of cliffs.
Wickaninnish Beach // Ucluelet
The southern half of Long Beach, Wickaninnish Beach boasts a shoreline that one can spend forever walking down. It's often a much quieter beach as well, though not a safe place to swim - strong currents and cold water do make it a safety hazard.
Long Beach // Tofino
The longest beach on the west coast of Vancouver island, Long Beach is the perfect panoramic view of sea and sky. It's also fantastic for hiking, as the trek down to Incinerator Rock provides a more private, secluded spot.
Mackenzie Beach // Tofino
With more soft sand and shelter from the open ocean, the calm waters make Mackenzie Beach perfect for paddleboarding or just lounging around. Mackenzie is often a more quiet beach, although parking can be limited!
Pachena Bay // Bamfield
Pachena Bay is a much more secluded and quieter beach, than many others on Vancouver Island. Also an entrance point to the West Coast Trail, it's a fantastic - and private- pit stop.
Cadboro Bay // Saanich
Located just minutes away from the University of Victoria, Cadboro Bay is famous for it's legendary "Cadborsoaurus" sea serpent. Nicknamed "Caddy", the giant sea monster resides on the West Coast.
Chesterman Beach // Tofino
Chesterman Beach is a famous surf spot and was named one of the world's top 50 beaches several years ago. The extensive beach is also an amazing spot for sunset or moonlit walks.
To see the entire road trip, click here!