Spring has Sprung by the Ocean
On Vancouver Island, the difference between winter and spring normally isn’t that drastic; the rain slows down, the clouds ease up, and the damp foliage shakes off its excess water weight and reaches up toward the sunny skies. This year, Vancouver Island experienced the arrival of warmer weather with fervour following a truly Canadian winter — the Oceanside area burst into spring from beneath drifts of snow, eager for the season of rejuvenation.
Like years past, Milner Gardens and Woodland is one of the first local attractions to usher in the warm weather. This botanical gem of Qualicum Beach is world renowned for their gardens, as well as for their quaint Victorian Tea House. The gardens boast seventy acres of old growth woodland overlooking the Strait of Georgia, where visitors can explore the winding paths through the lush gardens and ancient Douglas Firs. A post-walk visit to the Tea House for traditional English tea service is guaranteed to delight, but be sure to reserve a seating to avoid disappointment.
The flourishing flowers aren’t the only sign that spring has sprung on the west coast. The arrival of migrating Brant Geese each year signifies the beginning of spring break in Oceanside, and is celebrated by the annual Brant Wildlife Festival. Locals and visitors alike can enjoy the festival’s celebration of nature through a wide variety of events and activities that span the course of almost two months. From tours and exploration of the area and its wildlife to artistic exhibitions and more, this festival has something for everyone!
For those who would prefer to skip the estuary and rather explore the scenic route to the eighteenth hole, the mid-island region is home to multiple expansive, picturesque courses. Play a leisurely game overlooking the ocean at Eaglecrest Golf Club, hit the green a stone’s throw from Nanoose Harbour at Fairwinds, or enjoy a panoramic mountain backdrop at Arrowsmith Golf and Country Club. With these and more premier courses in and around the Parksville area, the most difficult part will be choosing which to play first.
If golf isn’t your game, skip the club rental and opt for a hard hat instead. Open to the public for both guided and self-guided tours, Horne Lake Caves offers a wildly unique view of Vancouver Island as most have never seen it. From underground waterfalls to impressive smatterings of stalagmites, it’s a world away from the rolling greens of the golf courses of the island above.
Not sure where to begin? Sunrise Ridge offers a variety of comprehensive, customizable packages to help you create your perfect spring escape. From our Par-Tee for Four to our Spelunk Right In Package, our resort offers a personalized Oceanside experience and the convenience of a luxury home base fully equipped with all of the comforts of home. The only thing you have to worry about is getting here.