- Biking Routes: Back Roads Bike Touring
- Biking North: From Nanaimo
- Biking South: From Courtenay
- via Comox Valley Airport
- via Harbour Air
- via Helijet
- via Iskwew Air
Just 37km north of Nanaimo, Parksville is the perfect oceanside retreat to relax, rejuvenate and reconnect. With something for everyone, this region offers family-friendly activities, outdoor adventure, and luxurious spa getaways. Year-round events bring the locals together, all under the watchful eyes of the resident and migrating bird population.
1Haida Gold Ocean Adventures3521 Dolphin DrBook Now
Encounter shorebirds, whales, dolphins, and seals during a variety of themed adventures, from fishing to sunset sightseeing.
2Englishman River EstuaryEntry at the end of Shelly Road
An important habitat to the Pacific Brant Sea Goose, this estuary offers a short walking trail and a chance to see some of the 250 bird species living here.
3Adventuress Sea KayakingFlexible drop-off pointsBook Now
Enjoy the beauty of Vancouver Island with an emphasis on environmentally friendly kayaking. Adventuress offers a variety of day trips, multi-day adventures, and group tours.
4Pacific Brimm Cafe123 Craig St
Grab some breakfast or lunch at this cozy cafe just steps away from the Parksville Community Park beach.
5Realm Food Co.180 Craig St #2
A community food hub working with local farmers to create a vibrant and diverse menu, with gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options.
6Lefty’s Pizza Fresh101-280 East, Island Hwy E
Delicious pizza made fresh to order with house-made dough and sauces. Get one of their signature pizzas or create your own.
7Black Goose Inn1051 Resort Dr
Grab a pint on the patio to pair with pub classics in this English styled restaurant on the grounds of the Beach Acres Resort.
8Bayside Restaurant & Lounge240 Dogwood St
Exquisite oceanfront dining with a West Coast-inspired seasonal menu paired with Vancouver Island craft beer and local wines.
9Pacific Prime Restaurant at The Beach Club Resort181 Beachside Dr
Enjoy fine dining with local seafood and amazing views, or sit on the oceanfront patio for a more relaxed experience.
10Sea & Summit Bookshop102 280 E Island Hwy
Parksville’s newest bookstore, owned and operated by local husband and wife adventure couple Kristie and Kevin.
11Parksville Visitor Centre1275 Island Hwy East
12The Beach Club Resort181 Beachside DrBook Now
A luxury hotel with a seaside pool and hot tub, spa, thoughtful amenities, and easy access to the beach.
Birding Along the Beach
Continue your exploration of Parksville, then head further north up the road to the charming seaside town of Qualicum Beach. The name is a Straits Salish word meaning “where the dog salmon run”.
13French Creek Estuary & Breakwater1055 Lee Rd, Parksville, BC V9P 2E1
A popular area for shorebirds, stick to the west side of the marina to explore the creek and estuary or head to the east side to explore the breakwater for more birding opportunities.
14Hamilton MarshHilliers Rd S, Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 2H9
A beautiful wetland located ten minutes from Qualicum Beach. Home to many species of owls, early migrant swallows, and migrant shorebirds. It’s also the largest water bird brood marsh on this part of Vancouver Island.
15Seaside Park Faye Smith Rosenblatt Memorial PavilionOff the Island Highway
This interpretive pavilion honours Faye Smith, a longtime wild-salmon advocate dedicated to protecting salmon habitats from Englishman River to Little Qualicum watersheds. Take in the panoramic view, and learn about the intertidal ecology, wild salmon, and a myriad of bird species.
16North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre1240 Leffler Rd
With a mission to care for injured, ill and orphaned wildlife, this world-class rehabilitation centre is home to more than 60 non-releasable birds and animals and features the largest eagle flight enclosure in Canada where recovering eagles regain condition and build muscles before being released back into the wild. Open daily for public viewing.
17French Press Coffee Roasters692 Primrose St
This award-winning cafe roasts all their coffee in-house, but don’t forget to load up on their delicious selection of baked goods too.
18Little Qualicum Cheeseworks403 Lowrys Rd
The name says little, but this renowned stop produces some of the west coast’s finest artisan cheeses – perfect snacks while wandering the trails.
19Lefty’s Fresh Food710 Memorial Ave
A “Left Coast” inspired eatery doing fresh breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
20Tidal Taco Shack6001 Island Hwy W
Enjoy tacos or burritos at this super popular beachside taco stand.
21Q Burger109 W 2nd Ave
Stop here for a cozy atmosphere and delicious, creative burgers.
22Bistro 694694 Memorial Ave
Casual fine dining with great seafood options and a curated wine selection.
23Old Country Market2326 Alberni Hwy
Stop by this Coombs landmark to refuel at one of the many eateries while watching the famous goats on the roof.
24The Camellia Tea Room at Milner Gardens & Woodland2179 Island Hwy W
Take a break for some afternoon tea, served with freshly baked scones and jelly, inside the historic Milner House.
25Mulberry Bush Book Store130 W 2nd Ave #130
A staple of the community, you’ll find a large selection of books and gifts in this independent bookstore.
26Qualicum Beach Visitor Centre2711 Island Hwy West
28Qualicum Beach Inn2690 Island Hwy WBook Now
Stylish and elegant rooms just steps away from the sandy beaches of the Strait of Georgia.
Haida Gold Ocean AdventuresHaida Gold Ocean Adventures, Fairwinds Marina, Dolphin Drive, Nanoose Bay, BC, Canada
Bayside Restaurant & Lounge
Pacific Prime Restaurant at The Beach Club Resort181 Beachside Dr, Parksville, BC V9P 0B1, Canada
Sea & Summit Bookshop
Parksville Visitor Centre
The Beach Club Resort181 Beachside Dr, Parksville, BC V9P 0B1, Canada
Seaside Park Faye Smith Rosenblatt Memorial Pavilion9G5J+CW Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, Canada
North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre1240 Leffler Rd, Errington, BC V0R 1V0, Canada
French Press Coffee Roasters
The Camellia Tea Room at Milner Gardens & Woodland
Mulberry Bush Book Store
Qualicum Beach Visitor Centre2711 Island Hwy W, Qualicum Beach, BC V9K 2C4, Canada
The Central Vancouver Island Bird Trail