Lonely Planet Names Vancouver Island In Its Best Places To Visit In 2022 & We'll Show You Why
This has to be on your bucket list!
Vancouver Island has been ranked among the best places to visit in 2022, according to Lonely Planet's latest guide.
The book aims to give people ideas of where to travel in a post-pandemic world and Vancouver Island was featured in a list of the top regions to travel to next year.
My wife and I travelled to Vancouver Island as part of a three-week road trip around B.C. and Alberta, and we've also picked up some recommendations from friends for our next visit, so here are eight reasons why you should visit Vancouver Island.
Tofino Is Surfer's Paradise
I'm as good at surfing as I am skiing (not very) so my wife booked a 3-hour half-day lesson in Tofino. There are loads of operators offering lessons for all abilities.
Many of them use Chesterman Beach, which has pretty consistent waves to suit all needs, and a huge beach area where you can watch your family and friends fall off and get a face full of saltwater.
The Marine Life
Wherever you go on Vancouver Island, there are a ton of tour operators who can safely take you out onto the water to get up close to orcas, humpback whales, seals and more.
We went with Eagle Wing Tours in Victoria and one of their tour guides has a huge camera to take some seriously good pictures from the boat. A lot of the tour guides speak to each other so they can take you to the best spots for seeing marine life.
Friends of ours drove up to Telegraph Cove on the northeast of Vancouver Island and spoke about how much wildlife they saw on a kayaking tour. It's a 5-hour drive from the Greater Victoria area but you're fully in the wilderness.
Huge Old Growth Tree Forests
The size of the old-growth trees is actually mind-boggling. At 6-foot-5 I have a pretty big wingspan, but it doesn't get me close to wrapping my arms around these 1,000-year-old natural wonders.
Some of the well-known old-growth tree rainforest areas include Port Renfrew, Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park and the 58-kilometre North Coast trail from Shushartie Bay to Nissen Bight.
It's Seafood Heaven
As a huge seafood fan, I was blown away (by the wind and the food). So many restaurants have "catch of the day" specials and it all tastes so fresh.
We were staying in one of the float homes at Fisherman's Wharf in Victoria, so it made sense to try out some of the takeout food from the vendors at the wharf. They even have oyster happy hours if that's your thing.
Head into downtown Victoria for the same city vibes but at a calmer pace of life.
Getting Away From The Hustle & Bustle
Vancouver Island is special because it's a whole new world away from one that many of us live in the city. We stayed at Middle Beach Lodge in Tofino for our rest and relaxation time of the trip.
With daily happy hour specials, a huge terrace and outdoor seating, you can read a book, listen to a podcast and enjoy the panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.
The only thing we found was that Tofino was A LOT colder than everywhere else. It has its own little microclimate, so pack extra layers.
When you're on vacation, it's OK to treat yourself, right? Nanaimo bars are the definition of indulgence and a quintessential Canadian sweet delicacy.
Use your drive from Victoria to Tofino as an opportunity to stop off in Nanaimo for lunch and a Nanaimo bar. There wasn't too much else to do in Nanaimo but for a break from driving and a sugar rush, it's worth it.
Explore Clayoquot Sound
Hidden away to the north of Tofino is Clayoquot Sound and its resident seals. You can take a kayak tour — or a boat ride for the less energetic types — to witness sea lions, seals, bears and a range of birds and other wildlife.
The area is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, which means the area and its animals are protected. There are dozens of little islands and one of the last surviving areas of temperate rainforests.
Before you get going, check out our Responsible Travel Guide so you can be informed, be safe, be smart, and most of all, be respectful on your adventure.
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