We’re heading on a virtual tour of Parksville, British Columbia!

This summer we invite you to travel Canada with us. We are finding great destinations away from the bright lights of Toronto, and everything you already know about the big cities of Vancouver, Ottawa and Montreal, and focusing on the smaller towns in Canada that bring their own unique charm to those lucky enough to explore there. And we’re doing it from the comfort of our armchairs at home.

Recently we looked at Miramichi, New Brunswick. Today, we’re heading to the opposite side of the country to look at Parksville, British Columbia.

Canada is rich in natural wonders and the region of Vancouver Island off the coast of Vancouver is no exception. There really isn’t a bad time of year to visit – the winter is mild, bookended with the rainy seasons of fall and spring, and the summer is bustling with tourism.

Parksville, British Columbia is a beach community mid-island that offers  resort-style living to its residents, and plenty of resort amenities to its visitors. Here are some of the best things to do in Parksville.

Travelling Canada – Parksville British Columbia

Travelling Canada - Parksville, British Columbia

Parksville Beach

You really shouldn’t visit an island and not spend as much time as you can at the beach. Parksville Beach is a jewel on Vancouver Island – large, expansive with an enormous playground and waterpark. The best time to visit is when the tide is out; the kids will love exploring for crabs and other sea life that nestle into the small puddles left behind. Visit between July 15 and August 21 and see amazing sandcastle sculptures at the Quality Foods Canadiana Open Sand Sculpting Competition. Learn more.

Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park

If you want to experience some of the best camping Canada has to offer, book a few nights at Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park. You’ll have to book early though; this campsite books up quickly, and is usually full all summer long. For those who don’t love to go rustic, just down the road from this beautiful park with day use, you’ll find many resorts. Learn more.

Coombs Old Country Market

This market is loved by locals and tourists alike. Affectionately known as “Goats on the Roof” because it literally has grazing goats on the roof, it has grown over the years to be an amazing shopping hub. The market itself has a large selection of specialty foods – from the best hot sauce to an incredible selection of cheese. You’ll also find wooden toys and kitchen tools galore. Try the store-made tortilla chips, or sit in the cafe for a cinnamon bun.  On our last visit the ice cream was a hit!  Learn more.

There’s more of course in Parksville, British Columbia, including Cathedral Grove a short drive away (not to be missed!), a majestic old growth forest and Milner Gardens, a quaint way to spend the day in a flower lover’s paradise. And of course … mini putt and bumper boats because any resort town needs this!