Friday, May 28, 2010

Parksville, Vancouver Island - British Columbia

During the winter, adventurous locals and tourists alike flock to BC's hills and valleys for skiing, snowboarding, and dog sledding, During the summer, escape to the great outdoors for rock-climbing or white-water rafting.

Looking for family-friendly fun in British Columbia? Water activities abound, including whale watching, kayaking, fishing, and scuba diving. Or stick on dry land at one of BC's renowned golf courses.

Sheltered on the east coast of Vancouver Island, Parksville lays claim to long stretches of sandy, white beaches, hot summer days, and incredible scenery. Each August, the city is host the annual Parksville Beach Festival. The weeklong event caters to families, but will be enjoyed by all. The highlight of the festival is the sandcastle building competition, which features professional teams from around the world. The public is invited to watch the teams create their amazing sand structures and vote on their favorite. Build a castle of your own, have your face painted, or simply stroll down the beach collecting sand dollars.

Explore the beauty of Englishman River Falls Park, only 12 km (7.5 mi.) west of Parksville. The park was named after a First Nation's legend that told of natives discovering the remains of a white man beside the river over 100 years ago. Hike the scenic trails that wind through the park, up stairs and across bridges over rushing streams. Pack a picnic and settle beside the magnificent waterfalls for a relaxing afternoon before you trek out of the park again.

Parksville sits 147 km (92 mi.) north of Victoria on Highway 19. Commercial bus routes service the area, while commercial airlines fly into Nanaimo, 37 km (23 mi.) south of Parksville. BC Ferries depart from Tsawwassen and Horseshoe ferry terminals in Vancouver, and dock in Nanaimo Avg. July Temp: 23.5ºC (74ºF)

Hotels recommended by Frontier Canada: Tigh-na-mara Resort and the new Beach Club.

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