twofiveo's Vancouver Island tips & recommendations
1. Take the Ferry at Sunset
The most common way of getting to Vancouver Island from the mainland is via ferry. Check out our step-by-step section here to help you plan your trip.
Most locals who need to take the ferry regularly groan when faced with the journey because we're spoiled rotten by the beautiful scenery here on the west coast constantly surrounding us. But the truth is, this common commute for some is a spectacular cruise through the Gulf Islands of the Georgia Strat displaying breathtaking views of distant silhouetted mountains and calm currents.
Hands down the best time for this journey is on a clear day (the warmer the better) at sunset. Grab a seat on the upper deck, pop in some earphones and watch the sky light up.
2. Score a Free Scoop in Chemainus
Just over an hour north of Victoria is a little town called Chemainus famous for its murals depicting the local history and ultimately saving the town from economic collapse in the 1980's.
Baby Bear Ice Cream Shoppe in the heart of Chemainus, is probably the cutest Ice Cream place in existence. Enjoying an ice cream in their whimsical garden with bear carvings everywhere you look makes you feel as if you've been transported into a fairytale.
Last summer when I ordered a scoop of Moosetracks here the owner offered me my scoop for no charge if I could imitate the sound of a moose's mating call. This is apparently their policy for anyone ordering Moosetracks. He even let me watch a video of it first which to be honest didn't really make it much easier.
For anyone who doesn't know what Moosetracks is - Google it and start practicing your mating call.
fexcreative via Instagram
3. Take an easy stroll to the Harris Creek Sitka Spruce
If you're coming to the Island one thing on your to do list is probably see big trees. Well let me tell you that you're in the right place. The island is home to various Old Growth Forests with trees 1000+ years old. Even when they're in front of your eyes, their size is hard to fathom.
Some of these trees are harder to get to than others so if you're nervous about taking your car off-roading or you're short on time a great tree to check out is the Harris Creek Sitka Spruce. It is literally a 30 second walk through the surrounding forest just off the Pacific Marine Road between Lake Cowichan and Port Renfrew.
frank._ca via Instagram
4. Get yourself a cinnamon bun at this Ladysmith bakery
When passing through Ladysmith it is mandatory to stop at the Old Town Bakery. Why? Because this:
There may be a bit of a line as you walk in the door but don't worry, it won't take long and is definitely worth the wait. They have all kinds of decadent baked goods to feast your eyes on while you move through the line until BAM! A cabinet stuffed with trays full of different types of giant gooey cinnamon buns. I've got to say these buns are the star of the show but honestly everything I've tried here has been a 10/10.
The same owners run a bistro across the street where you can find more baked options catering to dietary requirements. They have dairy free, gluten free and vegan options available.
oldtownbakeryladysmith via Instagram
5. Go for a #floatsoak in Canada's only Hot Tub Boat
New to the Victoria harbour Est. 2019 are Canada's first and only Hot Tub Boats!
Grab your friends, jump in this self operated floating tub and spend 1.5 hours cruising around Victoria's waterways.
They have everything set up for you including a bluetooth speaker and waterproof case for your phone. Check out the harbour seals and if you're feeling brave take a refreshing plunge off the edge.