Parksville & Qualicum Beach
Glorious Beaches, Resort Lifestyle, Unique Attractions
From Nanaimo, with its beautiful harbourfront, through Nanoose Bay and all the way to Lighthouse Country just north of Qualicum Beach, this stretch of coastal beauty has been captivating vacationers for over a century. Miles of golden-sand beaches lure paddlers and dreamers, boaters ply the waves on sailboats and yachts, lush green parks invite walkers and hikers, restaurant patios serve just-caught seafood, and resorts with decadent spas and water views provide the ideal escape from the stresses of modern life.
In the summer, this is a very popular destination, especially with events like the Quality Foods Canadian Open Sand Sculpting Competition drawing crowds of admirers who come to see the intricate creations made by sand-sculpting artists from around the world.
But Central Island’s beaches are as appealing in the cooler months as they are in the heat of July and August. In fact, many vacationers prefer to be here when the summer crowds subside and the beaches are more conducive to quiet contemplation and peaceful strolls.
On land, most of the region is included in the Mount Arrowsmith Biosphere Reserve, recognized with a UNESCO designation for its unique microclimate and ecosystem of Douglas fir and giant red cedar. For jaw-dropping views of the Strait of Georgia, explore the alpine trails leading to Mount Arrowsmith, Cokely, and Moriarity.
As for the golf, it has been a favourite pastime in the Central Island since 1913. One of the key reasons for the popularity of the Nanaimo, Parksville & Qualicum Beach area is the quality and variety of the golf courses, which you can experience in combination with spas, resorts, and beaches with our Nanaimo, Parksville and Qualicum Beach Golf Packages.
The Oceanside area includes two communities Parksville, located just a half hour north of Nanaimo, and Qualicum Beach a half hour further north of Parksville.
Parksville is a well-established resort community on the east side of the Island, famous for its long sandy beach. Ebbing tides can expose up to 19 km of shore, leaving large shallow pools in the sand, perfect digging spots for young castle builders. The ocean water in this area warms to a comfortable swimming temperature in the summer.
Informally considered the twin city with neighbouring Parksville, Qualicum Beach has a character unto its own. It’s small town charm, natural beauty, climate and prime location between Mount Arrowsmith and the Straight of Georgia make it a popular tourist spot.
And the gateway to the Oceanside area is: