Parksville is a playground for outdoor lovers, offering sea kayaking, whale watching and mountain biking. There's also rich First Nations history and provincial parks nearby, along with sandy beaches, Douglas fir forests and glacier-fed waterfalls.
Things to do in Parksville
Englishman River Falls Provincial Park is a scenic recreation spot set amid lush old-growth evergreen forests. Trails lead to a pair of waterfalls cascading into a narrow rock canyon. Pack a picnic and enjoy the shady day-use area or cool off in the crystal-clear pool at the foot of the lower falls.
Parksville is a fantastic jumping point for sea kayak expeditions, with day trips offering a unique chance to paddle in the Salish Sea. Watch for Pacific harbour seals, California sea lions, dolphins and even orcas.
Swim and sunbathe at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, which has shallow water and a two-kilometre stretch of sand. For information on the local ecosystem, don't miss the interpretive displays on show at the Rathtrevor Beach Nature House.
Set on a 28-hectare seaside block, the Milner Gardens and Woodland is famous for its Rhododendrons. You can stroll around flower-filled gardens, explore woodland trails and admire sweeping views of the Strait of Georgia. After touring the property, enjoy high tea in the historic homestead, which one hosted the Queen of England.
Getting around Parksville
The Parksville city centre is easy to get around on foot. Local buses run throughout Parksville, as well as surrounding areas. A rental car is the best way to explore Vancouver Island. Parksville is a 30-minute drive north of the Nanaimo ferry terminal and just over two hours from Victoria.