Thursday, February 23, 2012

10 Stops To Make Between Victoria and Parksville

I've been driving from Parksville to Victoria and back at least once a month for the past 12 years and I know the route like the back of my hand. Here are 10 of the many stops you can make to make this beautiful 2 hour drive even more enjoyable.

I usually bypass Nanaimo on my way down to Victoria. There's lots to see and do in this small city of 80,000 but that's an article all its own, but these attactions are all within a km or so off the highways

1) Nanaimo River Swimming Holes - South Nanaimo. This is a beautiful river for a quick swim to wash off the heat of the road. There are lots of public access points either east or west off the highway.

2) Wildplay Parks and Bungy Zone - South Nanaimo. This is a zipline, bungy and Monkido climbing park just off the highway. It's at 35 Nanaimo River Road, Vancouver Island, BC.

3) Transfer Beach - Ladysmith. This is a family oriented salt-water beach with a play area, concession and amphitheatre for live music.

4) Craig St. Brew Pub - Duncan Features hand-crafted beer and delicious food located at 450 Swift Street in the downtown core.

5) Pioneer House and Whippletree Junction - South of Duncan A number of specialty shops and restaurants set within 14 restored buildings from the early 1900s.

6) Forest Discovery Museum - Duncan - This is an interesting look into the history of the forest industry and its technology, just off the highway north of Duncan

7) Russell Farms - Mt. Sicker Road Chemainus - A farm market, full service deli and ice cream parlour.

8) Serious Coffee Mill Bay - I almost always stop here for a quick jolt before hitting the Malahat. Try the sausage roll and an Americano.

9) Malahat Lookouts - Stop and stretch your legs for a glorious view of the Saanich inlet. You have to turn left to cross the highway if heading south to Victoria.

10) Goldstream Park - take a stroll through this old-growth temperate rainforest and marvel at the eagles and yearly salmon run in mid to late October till early December. Gorgeous year round.

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