Vancouver Island Overview
A honeymoon on Vancouver Island puts you in touch with a sensational, gorgeous hybrid of untamed wilderness and pampered civilization. Part of the province of British Columbia, this large island sits just off of Canada’s west coast in the Pacific Ocean a few hours from the cities of Vancouver and Seattle. It’s a special destination allowing you to stay at a three-star hotel or resort while remote backcountry is literally right outside your doors. Within that mix is superb intrigue and excitement for lovers ofactivities as varied as deep-sea fishing or rainforest hikes, yet who also expect a romantic gourmet meal to wind down their day. Cities like Victoria, the thriving capital of British Columbia, are sprinkled here and there with restaurants and entertainment, but beyond the borders are countless natural spectacles, some out on their own, others within three provincial parks and the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve at Clayoquot Sound.
Whether you are exploring the dramatic coast or meandering through the beautiful heart of the island, dining becomes a showcase for excellent seafood and regional game such as duckand venison. The pace is a bit slower on Vancouver Island and the people love their cuisine as much as they do their environment, affording you a relaxed atmosphere to enjoy one another’s company over vintage British Columbian wines and local cheese fresh from an organic farm.
From the multitude of isles scattered about that frame the main island to Cowichan Valley in the interior, finding the perfect combination of adventure and relaxation in an intoxicating world of majestic scenery means simply stepping onto Vancouver Island and preparing to be swept away.
A honeymoon on Vancouver Island is all about the love of outdoors and wildlife. As the largest island in the Pacific Ocean east of New Zealand at nearly 300 miles long and 50 miles wide, Vancouver Island’s rainforests, rugged beaches, cities, farmlands and artistic communities offer breathtaking scenery and sophisticated culture to showcasea very unique way of life. From spas to kayaking, you can literally do it all here if nature is calling you.
- EXPLORE PACIFIC RIM NATIONAL PARK. A fantastic jumping off point for your honeymoon on Vancouver Island is to begin your adventure at Pacific Rim National Park. From camping, kayaking and birdwatching to hiking, horseback riding and even scuba diving, the park is outdoorsfun and wildlife at its very best. As one of the top attractions of the region, there is no shortage of things to see and do at whatever pace you set.
- PAMPER YOURSELF. Serenity in a beautiful environment comes even easier at Sante Spa Victoria. Your honeymoon can be anything you wish it to be, even the ultimate in relaxation! The treatments and therapeutic benefits of sea kelp, mineral baths and local natural ingredients rival, and possibly exceed, that of any you’ll find around the world.
- LET YOUR LOVE BLOOM IN THE GARDENS. A popular landmark in the region, the Butchart Gardens puts you among the many wonderful indigenous plant life. Vancouver Island and British Columbia are filled with floral treasures that can be easily observed with a good walk. Butchart Gardens is an excellent place to casually wander around and take it all in.
- ROMANCE ON THE WAVES. A cruise along the coast of Vancouver Island is as surprising as it is spectacular. From majestic wildlife like bald eagles, seals, bears and sea lions to breathtaking sunsets, a cruise can show you much of the area as well as delight you with gourmet meals, entertainment and education of the area.
- SEE WHALES. Whale watching tours are among the most popular activities to do on Vancouver Island. A tour never disappoints with orca sightings, dolphins and numerous other marine animals. If whale watching appeals to you, think about hiring a tour from one of the smaller companies. They often have faster boats and provide a more intimate and informational experience.
- EXPERIENCE THE COWICHAN VALLEY. This gorgeous fertile valley is called “the Warm Land” by the Cowichan people because of its seductively warm climate year round and numerous sunny days. The region, which is home to many farmlands, also lays claim to wineries, roadside farm stands and charming little towns.
- HEAD DOWNTOWN. As the Vancouver Island hub and capital city of British Columbia, Victoria has plenty to offer you on your honeymoon such as dining, culture, museums and entertainment. It is an easily walked burg by the sea, replete with restored 19th century buildings and beautiful gardens all set against impressive mountain and ocean views.
- TRY ISLAND HOPPING. Vancouver Island is surrounded by many smaller islands that each hold special beauty and mystique of their own. For example, Galiano Island is considered one of the most gorgeous areas around and is an excellent place for hiking and mountain biking within its miles of forest trails.
- DISCOVER LOCAL ARTS. Another island of note is Salt Spring Island, called Little Arts Town. An overwhelmingly large number of its residents are writers, musicians and other artisans with studios for you to peruse at your leisure. As well as studios and galleries, a trip to Salt Spring can be extended with many bed and breakfast inns and restaurants.
- VISIT CHINATOWN. Victoria’s Chinatown is the oldest in all of Canada, second only to San Francisco’s in the Northern Hemisphere. Here you’ll discover fun shops and vendors as well as a unique piece of history that make the location a draw to visitors from all over.
Tips and Advice
- GETTING AROUND: Renting a car is likely your best bet for getting here and there on Vancouver Island. At most locations you’ll find ferries to carry you across water if needed. Buses, trains and boats can get you to farther distances, while in towns and cities, taxis and buses are always on hand.
- CURRENCY: The Canadian Dollar.
- ELECTRICY: Canada uses the 110 volt system, which is the same as the United States.
HELPFUL HONEYMOON HINTS
- SUMMER FESTIVALS: The majority of festivals in Vancouver Island, like JazzFest International, take place in the warmer summer months. Many are quite popular and attract numerous visitors from far and wide making them an interesting addition to your honeymoon.
- VANCOUVER ISLAND TRAIN: Train transportation on the island is a wonderful way to see incredible sights as well as getting to the next location on your itinerary. They do stop at most major towns and attractions, but if you are going to rely on it to meet your schedule be sure to make reservations in the summer.
- CHOOSE YOUR SEASON: Winter on Vancouver Island is much different than the summer months when it comes to weather, meaning they’re far more “black and white” than seasons in areas further south. However, any time of the year presents excellent opportunities to explore, take part in sports activities or even just relax by getting away from it all. Going to Vancouver Island in the off-season (before July and after September) may be a good choice if fewer crowds and lower prices are considerations that matter to you.
- GET OUT AND PLAY ANY TIME: You may not realize that Vancouver Island, despite its northerly position, is surprisingly warm and balmy. The temperate climate means, among other things, that you can golf year-round in Victoria.