PARKSVILLE, VANCOUVER ISLAND BC
The start of the scenic Oceanside Route (exit #46) is about 20 minutes north of Nanaimo. Here you'll be entering a unique geographical and temperate zone, which has more in common with the Californian coast than the Canadian north. Stretching close to eight kms (five miles) from Rathtrevor Beach north past the mouth of Englishman River and around Parksville Bay, the shimmering blue of the ocean and sky, combined with the endless expanse of sand have produced a year-round Canadian Riviera. Home to the Canadian Open Sand Sculpture Competition and a month long beach festival, Parksville has it all when it comes to summer fun, or a year-round escape destination.
The centrally-located Community Park, which separates the shopping area of town from the water, is home to the Lions' Venture Playground and Waterpark. There's also a curling rink, skateboard park, beach volleyball courts, tennis courts, BMX track and picnic areas. Miles of wide open sand flats are revealed at every low tide, inviting swimmers into the warm water pools, and providing beachcombers with hours of activity.
Right across from the park, a varied mix of shops, cafes, grocery and specialty stores make up the central shopping district At the south end of town, a visit to the Craig Heritage Park will help you learn about the early pioneers. A range of residences close to Parksville's downtown and the beaches will fit all budgets.