What to do around Parksville BC. Our Van Isle Roadtrip Comes to an End.

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Traveling with an RV is one of the most exciting ways to explore new places. And if you're looking for a destination that offers stunning natural beauty, plenty of outdoor activities, and unique attractions, Parksville BC should be at the top of your list. After spending some time exploring Parksville and nearby Coombs, I can confidently say that this idyllic slice of Vancouver Island is a hidden gem.

First, let's start with Cathedral Grove, also known as McMillan Park. This old-growth forest is a must-visit destination that offers visitors the chance to see some of the largest trees in Canada. The western red cedars here are truly awe-inspiring, some of which are over 800 years old and stand over 76 meters tall. The park has two trails on either side of the highway, so make sure you explore both to experience the park fully. And don't forget to take a selfie with the famous Douglas Fir, the tallest tree in the park that stands over 800 years old, 76 meters tall, and nine meters wide.

From giant trees, it's time to head to the roof - goat's roof, that is. Coombs is a quaint village famous for its picturesque buildings and the herd of goats that call the roof of the Old Country Market their home. On a sunny day, you can spot them from the parking lot, but if you want to see them up close, walk past the patio of the cuckoo Italian trattoria. And as you're strolling around, don't forget to check out the unique shops, restaurants, and cafes.

After meeting the goat on the roof, it's time to hit the beach. Parksville Community Beach is one of Canada's best and warmest beaches, thanks to the hot sand that warms up the water at high tide. It's a great place to relax, have a picnic, swim, or play a game of beach volleyball. Just don't forget to check the tide tables before you visit to make sure you can take advantage of the expansive sandy beach.

As the sun starts its descent, it's time for some cheese and milk. A visit to Little Qualicum Cheese Works at Morningstar Farms is an adventure for all ages. This working dairy farm has a museum, farm animal fun, a scavenger hunt for kids, and a voluntary milking system with a cow spa. And while the cheese is top-notch, the real highlight is their fresh milk dispenser. Grab a glass jar from inside the store and fill it up with the freshest milk you'll ever taste. Trust me, it's worth it.

As our Vancouver Island trip comes to a close, we end up staying at Boondocker's Welcome just outside Nanaimo. Our hosts, Steve and Denise, were amazing, and we highly recommend checking out their YouTube channel Van Life Midlife Rocks. And while we're sad to leave, we're already planning our next adventure to explore more hidden gems like Parksville BC.

Traveling with an RV is an exciting way to experience adventure and freedom on the road. The thrill of exploring new places, meeting new people, and enjoying the scenery that you would not have encountered otherwise is nothing less than remarkable. If you are planning a road trip in Canada, Parksville in British Columbia should be on your list of must-visit destinations. Here are some great things to do around Parksville while traveling with an RV.

1. Explore Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park

Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, located in the heart of Parksville, is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. The park is known for its long sandy beaches, an abundance of wildlife, and towering Douglas fir trees. You can set up camp in the park’s RV campground and spend your days hiking, biking, or kayaking in the waters of Parksville Bay. The park is also popular amongst families with young children as it offers a large playground, picnic shelters, and ample space to play on the beach.

2. Take a Walk on the Parksville Boardwalk

The Parksville Boardwalk is a favorite amongst visitors and locals alike. The boardwalk runs parallel to the Parksville Bay, offering stunning views of the ocean. The walk is 1.6 km long and is perfect for anyone looking to stretch their legs and take in the beauty of the surroundings. Dogs are welcome on the boardwalk if they are leashed, making it a great option for pet owners.

3. Visit the Little Qualicum Cheeseworks

If you love cheese, make sure to stop by the Little Qualicum Cheeseworks, located just a short drive from Parksville. The cheeseworks offer visitors an opportunity to tour their facilities and learn about the cheese-making process. You can sample cheese, try their gelato and enjoy spectacular views while taking a break from the road. The cheeseworks are also known for their award-winning cheeses, including their signature Qualicum Spice cheese.

4. Walk amongst the Gardens at Milner Gardens

Another great attraction in the area is the Milner Gardens, located in Qualicum Bay. The gardens cover over 70 acres of land and are home to a vast array of plant species. The gardens are open to the public daily, and visitors can explore the lush gardens, take guided tours and visit the gift shop and tea room. The Milner Gardens are a tranquil spot that is perfect for anyone looking for some peace and relaxation.

5. Visit the Butterfly World and Gardens

If you love butterflies, the Butterfly World and Gardens in Coombs is a must-visit. The attraction boasts one of the largest butterfly exhibits in Canada, home to over 4,000 exotic butterflies. You can walk amongst the butterflies, learn about their lifecycle and habitat and enjoy strolls in their beautifully landscaped gardens. Visitors can also enjoy a coffee or snack at the on-site eatery.

6. Hike the Englishman River Falls Provincial Park

If you are looking for a great hiking adventure, head to the Englishman River Falls Provincial Park. The park is located just outside of Parksville and offers visitors a network of hiking trails through the forested park. The highlight of the park is undoubtedly the beautiful waterfall, cascading down 9 meters into the river below.


Traveling with an RV offers a unique way to explore the world around us. Parksville, BC, has a host of activities for anyone looking to embrace nature, enjoy outdoor activities, and indulge in local food and drink. From exploring Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park to taking a stroll on the Parksville boardwalk, the region is full of adventures. Visits to Little Qualicum Cheeseworks and Milner Gardens can also offer some great leisure time while the Englishman River Falls Provincial Park provides challenging hikes for the more active traveler. So, pack up your RV, start your engines, and set your sights on Parksville, BC, for an unforgettable road trip.

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