I had wanted to travel to Vancouver Island for such a long time, inspired by tales of its majestic beauty, but it was always too deep into winter or we’ve been too far away each time we’ve been in the States to include it in our travels. But we finally made the easy trip from the mainland down to Victoria, Vancouver’s capital and I wanted to share some of the experiences we had and why it’s such a great place to travel with kids.
Vancouver Island boasts an incredible array of diverse experiences; rainforests, mountains, beaches, lakes and crystal clear rivers a plenty, with a whole host of activities for families and adventurers alike, from Whale watching to kayaking, city living and cycling, this East-Coast island might just have it all, and we couldn’t wait to arrive.
Traveling from the North we took the Pacific Coastline bus from Vancouver airport down to the ferry terminal, caught the 90 minute scenic ferry through Active Pass (I spent most of the time trying to spot whales!) and then drove down to Victoria. Really much simpler than I had worried about when trying to find out how we’d go about it. There’s some great information online to get you started. It’s well worth the effort when you get there.
One of the highlights of our stay in Victoria was a trip to Beacon Hill Park, downtown. The park is huge (200 acres), and there’s so much to see and do there, so allow plenty of time to view the entire park which will keep you occupied for a whole day. There’s a children’s farm with fascinating peacocks wondering around, alpacas, pigs, ponies and a petting area with goats and sheep too which the children loved.
Out of downtown Victoria there are a few lakes which you can picnic around, a great children’s park and of course lots of walking to be done. We arrived by a lake just as a wedding was ending which looked very romantic. We were so fortunate with the weather being about 22 degrees, a welcomed relief following our stay in snowy Banff. We blissfully strolled around under the trees soaking up the warmth and feeling so grateful to be there.
There are many day trips you can do from Victoria, whale watching and Butchart Gardens being the most popular, but you can easily spend your days wondering around, taking in the scenery. Walking around Fisherman’s wharf looking at the floating homes and the hundred year old breakwater, or visiting the museums or miniature world, or simply whiling away the warm afternoons on the lawn of the stunning parliament building. It is so family friendly and offers such a diverse range of activities.
We really only scraped the surface as we were so short on time, but there is so much waiting for you on Vancouver Island. I love Canada for it’s happy and safe vibe and Vancouver Island was no exception to this. I’d really recommend taking a trip if you can to the mildest part of Canada and enjoy the laid back vibe of the city by the sea. I can’t wait to go back to explore more of Canada as a family of four, there really is so much to see and do for families and I’ll look forward to taking you with us on our next adventure!