Summer Season ~ Vancouver Island’s Sweetheart
Vancouver Island lives by its seasons; in the winter our little west-coast paradise snuggles in to wait out the seaside chill, and the arrival of summer brings with it the vibrant west coast energy our island is known for.
The summer months also usher in a flood of events and activities that draw visitors from across the globe, and it’s not difficult to see why. From the flurry of activity that warm weather brings, the mid-island region is host to a multitude of famous bucket-list worthy seasonal attractions. Now, at the precipice of summer, we eagerly await these longstanding social pillars that have helped put our sleepy seaside community on the map.
Goats on the Roof – A long-running island list-topper, a once quaint little side of the highway hamburger stand gained international glory with one whimsical slam-dunk – putting goats on a roof. Through the clever placement of a few farm animals, Coombs Old Country Market has become an attraction known worldwide, and over the decades has grown from a burger stand into an entire village that rivals Alice’s Wonderland. Filled with locally-owned artisan shops, gigantic fantastical statues, storybook architecture, house-made food and sweet treats, and more. One visit will reveal why Goats on the Roof in Coombs shows up in every piece of Vancouver Island travel literature ever penned.
Market Mayhem – The mid-island region is market-crazy; visitors are likely to find some type of market regardless of the season, but summer is market season. Every Tuesday night from May to September, Parksville’s downtown core is closed down to host its Summer by the Sea Market, featuring local artisans, farmers, downtown businesses, and more. The Mid-Island Public Market reigns on Friday evenings at the Parksville Museum, and Saturday mornings bring both the Errington and the Qualicum Beach Farmer’s Market. The market-loving locals don’t stop there. Between May and September a plethora of seasonal fresh food markets, produce stands, fish markets, roadside pop-ups, and more flood the area – filling hungry bellies with freshly caught fish, just-picked produce, and more. Summer visitors can live like island locals do and let the soil and the sea sate them.
Water Works – With the ocean on all sides, the sea is the undercurrent of island life. It feeds us, lulls us to sleep, laps at our feet on lazy days, and is the backdrop to so much of our celebration. Parksville Beach is action-packed all summer long with concerts, movie showings, food trucks, festivals, holiday celebrations, and of course, the world-renowned Sandcastle Competition. Parksville Beach isn’t the only beach on the block – head to Qualicum Beach for an array of activities, yoga classes, fireworks, and of course, the seasonal local favourite Tidal Taco Shack. Want a beach with less bustle? Sunrise has it. Our beautiful resort borders the breathtaking Rathtrevor Beach, which boasts a tide to suit everyone. High tide is perfect for swimming, paddleboarding, and snorkeling, while low tide reveals almost a mile of soft, supple sand – perfect for barefoot walks at sunset and sandcastle-building. The extremity of the tide keeps the water surprisingly warm, so beachgoers never have to worry about that first icy shock.
Hole in One – Grab your golf clubs, because the mid-island area is home to a multitude of picturesque, pro-level golf courses. Golf vacations run rampant in the region, with enthusiastic golfers spending entire getaways playing our world-renowned courses, only retiring in the evening to sample the delectable dinner offerings of each club. Head north to Qualicum Beach to play seaside at Eaglecrest Golf Club, enjoy the panoramic mountain views of Parksville’s Morningstar Golf Club, or head south to Nanoose for the best of both worlds at Fairwinds Golf Club. Arrowsmith Golf Club offers higher altitude views, and Pheasant Glen challenges players with an ever-changing terrain. If spending your summer vacation (hopefully) on the green, Sunrise Ridge can arrange the ultimate golfer’s getaway for your party. Just ask one of our Guest Services Agents upon booking and let us take care of all the details.
The explosion of activity ushered in by summer cannot be contained in one list, nor can it be experienced in one visit. With the arrival of warm weather, Vancouver Island comes to life; seasonal businesses reopen, summer activities start again, and our seasonally-driven cycle of living begins anew. If it sounds heavenly, that’s because it is.
Book your summer vacation now!