The City of Parksville is part of the Oceanside Community, which includes Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Nanoose Bay, Errington and Coombs. Each area of Oceanside offers unique and exciting year-round attractions for the whole family to explore. Please visit the provided websites below for additional information, admission costs and hours of operation for local attractions.
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the wide variety of recreational activities available in the Parksville and Oceanside area. Tee off at one of six local golf courses, open year-round in this mild temperate climate. Experience natural beauty up close as you stroll or cycle along one of the area’s many ocean, forest and mountain trails. Or try something completely new and go caving at nearby Horne Lake Caves, voted “Best Natural Outdoor Site in BC” by Attractions Canada.
Making plans for activities that match your vacation are simple with the wide variety of local attractions. With romantic gardens to explore, mini golf challenges for the whole family or a unique tour through a local cheese farm, try something fun or new that creates lasting vacation memories. Please note some attractions are seasonal – call ahead for their hours of operation.
Milner Gardens and Woodland
Spread over 60 beautiful acres beside the ocean, Milner Gardens has been a popular local attraction for residents and visitors to the Oceanside area for generations. Visit the beautiful gardens and walk through the forested trails with old growth Douglas firs and cedars. Make sure to leave time to enjoy Milner’s afternoon tea in the Camilla Tea Room, located in the drawing room of the historic Milner House.
Paradise Adventure Mini Golf and Bumper Boats
Paradise Mini Golf is an exciting adventure, with two ¼ scale 18 hole courses featuring cascading waterfalls, a full rigged pirate ship, treasure cave, watermill, lighthouse, a Victorian mansion and more. Paradise’s bumper boats are sure to help cool everyone off on a hot day with their 10 boats featuring water cannons.
Bard to Broadway Theatre
An annual summer theatre event for almost a decade, Bard to Broadway has become a popular theatrical choice on Vancouver Island with its exciting line up of classical and modern plays. Skilled regional actors and new talent work in harmony to give excellent performances that keep audiences cheering for more.
Little Qualicum Cheese Works
This working farm invites visitors to take a self-guided tour around the property, viewing the cow herd and other animals of the farm. The cheese store offers an impressive variety of local cheeses with exceptional flavour. Sample them all before choosing your favourites to take home.
Tiger Lily Farm
Bring the kids and explore life on a farm in nearby Errington. Children are encouraged to get to know the farm animals and even help out at feeding time. Admission includes one pony ride per child, so saddle up for a memorable ride. Tiger Lily Farm also offers guided trail rides through the beautiful forests of the area and riders will enjoy learning more about this fascinating ecosystem from their educated guide.
World Parrot Refuge
This unique attraction is a refuge for previously owned parrots who need a safe and secure home. The World Parrot Refuge is an educational facility that cares for over 700 parrots and teaches the public about these fascinating and colourful birds.
North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre
This non-profit association rescues injured birds and animals, helping to heal, rehabilitate and, when possible, release them back into the wild. The centre features a public viewing area, Museum of Nature and Wildlife Learning Centre, the largest eagle flight cage of its kind in Canada and on-site resident educational birds who live at the centre and take part in live presentations.
Indoor skating and swimming in Oceanside is a pleasure for the entire family with these two well-maintained facilities. Oceanside Place in Parksville features two NHL regulation sized rinks and a children’s ‘skating pond’.
Ravensong Aquatic Centre
Ravensong Aquatic Centre in Qualicum Beach features a 25 metre short course Olympic pool, a children’s leisure pool, large whirlpool, a Nordic dry sauna and Finnish steam room.
There are opportunities galore in and around the Parksville Qualicum Beach region. Maybe you’d like to take a day-trip to the Alberni Valley for some geo-caching or to ride on an authentic, restored steam train.The entertainment value in this area of Vancouver Island can’t be beat! Below are a list of ideas – please note some activities are seasonal.
Chances Gaming & Entertainment
Feel like having some fun? Want to play bingo? Perhaps try your luck at a slot machine? Maybe a little Keno or a lottery game you’ve never played before? Or do you just need a bite to eat? What are the chances you can find one place where you’ll be able to do any or all of these things and more? You’ve found one! It’s called Chances. Games available at Chances locations include paper-based and electronic bingo, a full range of lottery products and a selection of other gaming options, such as slot machines, off-track betting or electronic gaming that varies from location to location.
Alberni Valley Adventures Association
Eco-outdoor-adventure related tourism operators which offer world class hiking opportunities, kayaking, mountain biking, wildlife viewing, bird watching, scuba diving,gliding, geo-caching, dragon boating, canoeing, horseback riding, river tubing, bouldering, radical-running, mountain climbing, water skiing, knee boarding, scuba diving, kite boarding, windsurfing and the newest adventure; zip-lining.
Alberni Pacific Steam Railway & Tours
Steam Powered Adventure: Climb aboard the Alberni Pacific Railway, as you start your Steam Powered Adventure, and travel by train to the McLean Sawmill – Canada’s only operating steam sawmill. Built in 1926, and operated for nearly 40 years. Costumed guides, stage show, sawmill demonstrations, and a beautiful forest setting provide young and old an authentic and unique snapshot of a time long ago, when British Columbia’s forest industry was the envy of the world. The track winds through the City of Port Alberni and then the surrounding forests for 35 minutes each way.
WildPlay Element Parks
Nestled in spectacular natural settings, WildPlay Element Parks outdoor activities entertain and challenge guests both young and old. Climbing from tree-to-tree brings out the monkey at heart – while leaping off a 150’ foot bungy bridge and zipping through the sky at up to 100km/hour thrills even the bravest adventure-seekers. Let us take the “bored” out of boardroom. WildPlay’s elements are the perfect addition for any team-building program!
Golfing in Oceanside
The Oceanside area is a year-round destination for golfers, with six golf courses in close proximity. Learn more about Golfing on Vancouver Island at golfvancouverisland.com
Morningstar Championship Golf
Fairwinds Golf Club
Eaglecrest Golf Club
Pheasant Glen Golf Resort
Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Club
Arrowsmith Golf & Country Club
There are an eclectic variety of local markets in the Oceanside area, some open in summer and some open throughout the year. Offering visitors a chance to sample local produce, baking or that perfect artisan souvenir of your trip, Oceanside markets are a wonderful way to get to know this beautiful part of British Columbia.
Coombs Old Country Market
Located in the nearby town of Coombs on Alberni Highway 4, the Coombs Market is open year-round with a variety of unique shops to browse and many tasty dining choices. Visit the Old Country Market and see the famous ‘Goats on the Roof’ who dine on the grass covered roof of the market. Inside, discover a plethora of international imported food items, an extensive deli, fresh baking and desserts and, of course… ice cream! The on-site restaurant serves home cooking with indoor and outdoor seating.
The Errington Farmers Market
Featuring local artisans, crafts, baking and produce in a peaceful forest environment. Try one of their popular cinnamon buns as you browse the vendor tables or sit back and enjoy the live entertainment at the bandstand.
The Qualicum Beach Farmers Market
A wonderful way to begin a day of exploring Qualicum Beach, the Qualicum Beach Farmers Market features local artisans, crafts, baking and produce right in the heart of the town.
Parksville Food Forethought Farmers Market
The newest farmer’s market in the Oceanside area takes place on Sundays in summer months at the Coastal Credit Union in Parksville. Vendors feature fresh produce and support the 100 Mile Diet movement.
Summer by the Sea Market
Explore local artists and vendors while enjoying live entertainment at the Summer by the Sea Street Market on Craig Street. Taking place every Tuesday in July and August from 6 to 9 pm, the open air market features artisans and crafts, local produce and baking, all accompanied by musical entertainment.
Skiing, Biking & Caving
Get a rush on your next vacation with exciting nearby skiing, mountain biking and caving opportunities. Every age group and every fitness and skill level will love the natural beauty that accompanies these exciting local activities.
Horne Lake Provincial Park Caving
Featuring an incredible caving opportunity for first time cavers and expert spelunkers. Explore the underground wonders in self-guided and guided tours as you view unique crystal formations and ancient fossils.
Mount Washington Alpine Resort
Experience the year round excitement of this beautiful mountain. In winter, enjoy downhill skiing and snowboarding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing and snow tubing.
In summer, enjoy the Mile High Chairlift ride, access downhill mountain biking trails, discover scenic hiking trails, or try mini golf, disc golf and the bungee trampoline.
Parksville is home to a wide variety of mountain biking trails. Visit the recently completed Top Bridge Park, or test your skills on the Hammerfest competitive courses in the area. From amateur to professional, there are many trails to choose from.
Parks & Trails
Enjoy the great outdoors with the many walking, hiking and mountain biking trails in the area and the beautiful regional and provincial parks. Here are a few options to choose from:
Pacific Rainforest Adventure Tours Inc.
Discover rainforest’s, tidepools, alpine meadows, wildlife, local culture, artisans. and very special wine & cheese tours with expert naturalists guides who have been providing outstanding quality nature tours, wine tours & sightseeing tours on Vancouver Island since 1999. Tour and transportation arrangements for groups of 2 to 150.
Rathtrevor Provincial Park
Located at the southern edge of Parksville, this famous provincial parks offers beautiful ocean and forest trails to explore. The easy to navigate walking and cycling trails feature picturesque views, peaceful old growth forests and opportunities to view local and migratory birds and wildlife.
This majestic ecological wonder is located in MacMillan Provincial Park on the Alberni Highway 4, and features ancient Douglas firs and other old growth trees, many over 800 years old. Trails located on either side of the highway take visitors on a self-guided, easy to navigate walk through this incredible stand of forest, as education signage offers information about this delicate ecosystem and natural environment.
Little Qualicum Falls
Located 15 minutes west of Parksville on the Alberni Highway 4, Little Qualicum Falls is an incredible natural walking or hiking experience. Well maintained trails run up and down either side of the Little Qualicum River and feature stunning views of the upper and lower falls. The trail includes some stairs and occasional uneven ground, but is easily accessible for sure footed explorers of all ages.
Englishman River Regional Park
This picturesque park offers swimming, hiking and mountain biking. Enjoy an exciting hike or mountain bike excursion along the recently built Top Bridge suspension bridge and through the surrounding forested trails. Explore Englishman River Falls in Errington with incredible views of the falls and deep gorge.
Parksville Beach is a beautiful and unique area, with crystal clear salt water and the warmest ocean swimming in Canada at high tide. At low tide miles of warm flat sand and tide pools are revealed for walking, exploring the marine flora and fauna, picnicking and sun bathing. Nature enthusiasts will enjoy viewing the wide variety of local and migratory birds including Bald Eagles, Brant Geese and herons, as well as marine wildlife including seals, sea lions and the annual Strait of Georgia whale migration.
The beach is home to many festivals throughout the year including the annual Parkville Beach Festival, Canada Day festivities and fireworks display, the Canadian Open Sandcastle Festival, the Brant Wildlife Festival and Kidfest.