5 Amazing Things To Do On Vancouver Island with Family

Boat on the water to represent one of many things to do on Vancouver Island

Table of Contents

Vancouver Island, BC, has a rich cultural heritage, diverse ecosystems, delicious food, and beautiful sights to see. The island seamlessly combines natural beauty with modern amenities. You can visit historic streets and cafes but also enjoy picturesque nature trails and untamed beaches. This island in British Columbia is home to popular destinations like Nanaimo, Victoria, Tofino, Duncan, Port Alberni, Courtenay, and more. Below, you’ll find five amazing things to do on Vancouver Island with family. Consider this your Vancouver Island visitor guide.

1. Check out the Nanaimo Bar trail

The city of Nanaimo, BC, is known for its delectable dessert—the Nanaimo bar. This is a classic treat with the perfect ratio of coconut-graham crust, creamy custard, and silky chocolate. There are traditional iterations of the dessert and also innovative twists made from local ingredients. The Nanaimo Bar Trail celebrates the creativity and craftsmanship that bakers and chefs bring to the table.

When following the trail, you’ll find local shops offering the official Nanaimo bar recipe from Joyce Hardcastle. Or you can find specialty bars with maple bacon, dulce de leche, and peanut butter crunch, as well as ice cream and cheesecake versions of the dessert. The official trail guide is available on the City of Nanaimo’s website. You won’t regret enjoying these delicious treats and sharing them with the whole family. It’s one of many fun things to see and do in Vancouver Island for foodies and families alike.

2. Take a day trip to Saysutshun (Newcastle Island)

Boat on the water to represent one of many things to do on Vancouver Island

If you want to spend some time looking at beautiful landscapes and rich cultural history, Saysutshun Island offers a unique travel experience for visitors of all ages. Take a ferry to the Island and enjoy the peaceful ambiance which is considered one of the best things to do on Vancouver Island BC. It has breathtaking views of the Coastal Mountains and the Salish Sea. The island has had a special place in the hearts of the Snuneymuxw people.

It’s a great destination for families to enjoy kayaking around the Island or swimming at one of the many sandy beaches. Hiking trails and tide pools are a great way to explore the beauty of Saysutshun with the kids. There are also Snuneymuxw village sites, sandstone quarries, and coal mine sites.

3. Go fishing

Silhouette of family fishing on a small boat to represent things to do on Vancouver Island

One of the highlights of fishing on Vancouver Island is the opportunity to see a variety of marine life and fish species, such as salmon, halibut, and cod. It’s a prime destination for those who love to fish because of the Island’s temperate climate and scenic beauty. This makes it a peaceful place to enjoy a fishing adventure with your loved ones.

You can also find a fishing charter to guide you to the best locations. For example, Nanaimo has fishing and crabbing charters that assist you with navigating British Columbia’s coastal waters and wildlife. Land a prize fish with the help of a local guide and catch fresh seafood to bring ashore for a feast. There are plenty of three-, four-, six-, and eight-hour fishing charters available to you once you arrive. This is one of the many things to do on Vancouver Island Canada if you enjoy fishing with your family.

4. Visit the Vancouver Island Military Museum

Apart from the turquoise waters and the beautiful shoreline, one of the many things to do in Vancouver Island BC is visit the Vancouver Island Military Museum. The museum displays artifacts from Canada’s navy, army, and air force. This can include items such as uniforms, medals, memorabilia, and models. No visit to the city is complete without seeing this gem in the heart of Downtown Nanaimo. It’s also a great option to enjoy a rainy day.

The museum has been in operation for more than a quarter century and has assembled an impressive collection of memorabilia. Exhibits at the museum span from the War of 1812 through to Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan. It’s the perfect destination for a family of history buffs. From time to time, the museum also hosts special events. The museum is located in Downtown Nanaimo’s waterfront, making it an excellent stop when hanging around the boardwalk.

5. Take a whale watching tour

Orca pod to represent things to do on Vancouver Island

Enjoy a sunny day in the summer months by taking a whale watching tour from Nanaimo. Tours on the east side of Vancouver Island are calm, and there are many tours focusing on orcas. Whale sightings are frequent, and it’s also a great way to see harbour seals and sea lions.

Boats typically maintain a 100-meter distance from the whale pods and stay out of their path. Many of these tours support whale conservation, and it’s an excellent chance to witness local wildlife. If you’re interested in seeing marine animals in their natural habitat, there are also tours that allow you to swim with harbour seals. Swimming with seals is one of many cool things to do on Vancouver Island. Anyone over 10 years of age can participate and visit a colony of seals.

Travelling To Vancouver Island with Hullo

There are many activities for families visiting the island on vacation, including surfing, hiking, backpacking, dining, shopping, picnicking, and visiting historical sites. Now that you’re aware of the many things to do on Vancouver Island, you can start planning your travel. Say hullo to our fast-ferry service for convenient travel between Downtown Vancouver, BC, and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, BC. From exploring forests and mountains to spending days on pristine beaches, there are many ways to soak in the vibrant local culture.

Hullo’s ferry services are the ideal transportation choice so that you can seamlessly navigate between the mainland and the island in just 70 minutes. We have a friendly crew ready to maximize your time and enjoyment throughout your travels. You can reserve your seating, enjoy entertainment in a comfortable seat, and admire panoramic views of Vancouver Island from inside the vessel.

If you’re ready to embark on a memorable and enriching experience with your family, you can book your ferry to Vancouver Island with Hullo today. Check out our sailing schedule and find the best times that work for your itinerary. You can check out our FAQs for more information about your reservation. Happy travels!