Shopping by the Sea Shore

 In Blog

The Oceanside area is primarily a summertime tourist wonderland; come May, our sleepy seaside town wakes up and throws open its doors for visitors who flock from far and wide. Central Vancouver Island has more seasonal businesses than almost anywhere else in Canada, but we also have a healthy population of locals and a faithful influx of snowbirds each year, and as the wintertime population grows, so do the shopping options.

Right in the middle of downtown Parksville is Craig Street, infamous for its summertime Craig Street Market every Tuesday night. But Craig Street is bustling even in the off-season, its’ array of shops and stops are consistently busy all year long.

The Pacific Brimm is one of the more popular places to stop for a coffee and a bite. Open early, it’s been a cult favourite around these parts for years, whipping up homemade treats and caffeinated drinks to give you the kick start you need.

Right next door is Mercedes Lane, a ladies boutique boasting higher-end clothing and accessories, as well as unique and kitschy home décor. Grab a coffee before you head in though, because there’s a lot to browse through!

For shoppers looking for something a little different, Shades of Green is just a stone’s throw away, but its offerings are worlds apart. Shades of Green retails sustainable alternatives for the mind, body, and home. They specialize in local, ethically made products, natural fibers and fair trade clothing for the entire family, toxin-free cleansers, and more. This retail therapy is good for the soul.

Head further down Craig Street and you’ll arrive at Soak Essentials, a gorgeous little boutique selling trendy bohemian clothing and jewelry, whimsical home décor and artwork, as well as house-made soaps and body products. Soak also offers soap-making classes for groups and events.

Around the corner on Morrison Avenue is a window-shopper’s delight! Shops like Wilde and Sparrow, R Cubed, and Kit and Kaboodle offer an array of ladies fashions; clothing, jewelry, accessories, fragrance, and more. There’s something downright irresistible for everyone!

For all of the art aficionados out there, Morrison Avenue is also home to Monk Art Gallery, whose owner Monk often sets up her easel on the sidewalk to paint, and is known to encourage onlookers to add their own brush strokes and signatures to her canvas.

Nearer the outskirts of Parksville sits Robert Held Art Glass Studio, where shoppers can watch the art of glass blowing live, or sign up for and participate in glass blowing classes to create one of a kind works of art. If glass blowing isn’t your cup of tea, the studio is packed with professional pieces, available for purchase.

Downtown Parksville is small and compact, and filled with unique, locally-owned shops offering a wide variety of goods. Park just about anywhere in the downtown core and walk in any direction, and you’ll find a cluster of whimsical retail spots in no time at all!

Even if all you’re looking for are ingredients for tonight’s dinner, little off-the-wall places like Naked Naturals and Eat Fresh Urban Market offer a range of local meats, produce, and other products to guarantee a dinner that’s to die for.

The best part? Just across the street from the downtown core is Parksville’s famed community beach. After you’ve had your fill of the shops, head down to the beach and watch the waves break against the shore. It’s island living at its finest.