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Consider Vancouver Island!
One of my favorite summer destinations in the Pacific Northwest is Vancouver Island. We first visited this large island about fourteen years ago when our daughter was very little.
We were new to the region, and I was spending a fair amount of time doing research and talking to tourism representatives in British Columbia. Back then, everyone told me that Vancouver was great, but many of my contacts gave me a wink and a nod and urged me to visit Vancouver Island, too. They urged me to go in the summer and bring the kids. Those tips were true insider information. I am so glad that I listened!
When we first visited Vancouver Island, I picked Parksville as our destination. The guidebooks touted the large safe sandy beaches and a quiet atmosphere…Hmmm. That sounded perfect for a family with a toddler. Initially, we stayed at a fabulous beachfront resort known as Beach Acres. Located right on the water and next door to Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, this family friendly low key resort was perfect for us! We spent many many hours combing the massive beach at low tide and exploring park. Over the years, my children grew to love this place. They built sand castles on the amazing beach. They plucked oysters from the beds and examined them in hand. They rode their bikes through Rathtrevor. Every August, they looked forward to the local apples and berries, which we would purchase at a nearby farmstand.
We eventually shifted away from renting those cabins and started hauling our travel trailer up to Parksville. One summer we camped in tents in Rathtrevor. Other summers, we reserved and enjoyed a lovely RV site at the luxurious SurfSide RV Resort. In recent years, we have been heading over to Ucluelet, which is a much longer drive because it is located on the other side of the island. This region is home to the spectacular Pacific Rim National Park. Every summer since 1998, we have fished for salmon and carted that salmon home. (Yes, my family has fished with the same fabulous captain since 1998!)
So, if you are considering a trip to British Columbia, be sure to consider Vancouver Island. It’s a fabulous island with lots to see and do…or not!
Photo by Melissa A. Trainer
–Melissa A. Trainer