Nestled along Canada’s west coast (25-30 minutes by air from Vancouver), Vancouver Island is a haven of windswept coastlines, deserted beaches and lush, verdant forests. It’s really no exaggeration to say it’s a natural paradise, and with so much to see and do here it’s hard to know where to start.ear not, we’ve rounded up the top must-do’s, from forest to water to mountains, to help guide your next group trip.
Across Vancouver Island, the pristine temperate rainforest is littered with beautiful hiking trails that lead you under a canopy of centuries-old trees. In Tofino, these rainforest trails run alongside the Pacific Ocean, overlooking stunning beaches and isolated coves. While Sooke’s hiking trails wind past rocky cliffs, and scenic beaches, and pass through Strathcona Provincial Park - a beautiful mountain park and nature conservation area.
Situated on the edge of BC’s Pacific Coast means Vancouver Island’s beaches are perfect for surfing, swimming, and of course, taking some pretty epic Instagram shots. For the ultimate west coast vibe, spend some time and disconnect in the surf-loving, ultra chill surf town of Tofino.
If you’re looking for a group experience that will leave you and your friends at a loss for words, then you’re in luck because Vancouver Island offers some of the best whale watching in the world. Orcas, grey whales, humpbacks and minke whales are just some of what you can expect to spot out in the water, with tours operating along both the east and west coast of Vancouver Island.
Vancouver Island’s many rivers and ocean inlets are amazing to explore by canoe or kayak during autumn or spring. For a relaxing and scenic paddle, organise a day trip to the Ucluelet Harbour and book a 3 hour kayak tour. If seeking something a little more adventurous for your squad, why not go white water rafting down the Campbell River? Whether a group of beginners or seasoned thrill-seekers, there are options for everyone..
Located between the Pacific Ocean and the Strait of Georgia, snow conditions on Vancouver Island offer some of the world’s best winter scenery. Rent a cozy cabin and explore the island trails on a pair of snowshoes, or take in some slope-action and skip the Whistler crowds with a visit to Mount Washington Alpine Resort.
You can’t write about the ultimate group getaway in British Columbia without listing the Okanagan Valley as a must do. Soak up the sun, swim in freshwater lakes and tour around the stunning landscape while tasting some of Canada’s award-winning local wine.
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The Okanagan Valley is 400 kilometres inland from Vancouver (that just so happens to be a stunning road trip), has a glowing reputation for its incredible wines and sunny, hot climate in the summertime. With its crystal clear lakes, soaring mountains, and abundant vineyards and orchards, you can practically hear your Instagram account begging you to go.
To sample the very best BC wines, head anywhere from Lake Country in the north to Osoyoos in the south. There are almost 200 regional wineries that are best known for their Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris varieties – we recommend Sperling Vineyards, Mission Hill Winery, and Tantalus Vineyards. And because a glass of wine can’t go without a side of delicious cheese, make sure to stop at the region’s best local cheeseries. Poplar Grove Cheese’s Okanagan Double Cream Camembert is a must-taste!
So whether you and your squad are looking for an adventure packed with outdoor activities, or a cultural trip filled with amazing food and wine (or both!), BC definitely has an adventure for every squad.