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Parksville and Qualicum Beach are small neighbouring cities in Central Vancouver Island in British Columbia. It's a popular vacation area in summer with a number of provincial parks, warm beaches, family fun parks and Qualicum Beach's cute downtown.

Understand[edit]

Service sector and resource processing jobs make up the largest part of the Parksville economy. The three largest types of occupations in Parksville are the service industry; the construction industry; and the business, financial, and administration industries. These are the largest sectors of the city's economy largely due to the summer tourism industry, and a large influx of retirees moving into the area. There is also a fair amount of fishing and forestry in the surrounding areas of Parksville. There is an industrial park in the south-east section of the city, which includes many small tradesman shops.

History[edit]

The Spanish were the first Europeans to explore the area in 1791. In Spanish maps, the Englishman River is called "Rio de Grullas," (River of Cranes, i.e. herons) while French Creek is named "Punta de Leonardo."

The first European settler in the Parksville area was John Hirst, who pre-empted 120 hectares (300 acres) of land on both sides of the Englishman River in 1873. The River, as it was known, remained an outpost until the turn of the century when a road was built from Nanaimo.

A post office followed in 1877, with mail distributed from the cabin of Nelson Parks (to which Parksville owes its namesake). At that time, logging was a major industry and the extension of the Esquimalt and Nanaimo (E & N) Railway in 1901, to McBride Junction spurred Parksville’s growth and the beginning of a tourism boom, mainly Vancouver Islanders who travelled to Parksville to enjoy the beaches. Motels, stores, resorts and campgrounds soon followed.

Get in[edit]

Map of Parksville-Qualicum Beach

By car[edit]

Parksville-Qualicum Beach is located just off of the Island Highway (Highway 19), about 30 minutes north of Nanaimo. Exits 46 and 51 connect with Parksville and Exit 60 provides access to Qualicum Beach. The nearest ferry terminal with connections to Vancouver and the Lower Mainland is in Nanaimo.

By bus[edit]

  • The 1 Parksville Bus Depot at 540 East Island Hwy, +1 250-248-5332, is served by Tofino Bus, which provides a daily connection to Nanaimo (including the ferry terminal), Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino. Service is up to three times a day during the summer and once or twice daily in winter. Adult fares range from $10 (to Coombs) to $40 (Tofino).
  • BC Transit. Route 91 Intercity provides service from Nanaimo M-F 15 times a day, and Sa 12 times. $2.50 cash fare, children 5 and under free.

By train[edit]

Via Rail passenger rail service to Parksville ended in 2011.

Get around[edit]

BC Transit Route 88 provides service around Parksville, while Route 98 provides service around Qualicum Beach. $2.50 cash fare.

See[edit]

  • 1 Little Qualicum Cheeseworks & MooBerry Winery (Morningstar Farm), 403 Lowrys Rd, Parksville, +1 250 954-3931. 9AM-5PM daily. Small working farm that produces and sells about 12 varieties of cheese. There’s a gift shop with samples so you can try before you buy. It also includes a tasting counter for the MooBerry Winery associated with the farm that makes blackberry wine. Visitors are free to walk around most of the buildings, take a look at the animals (cows, horses, rabbits, a donkey), watch the cows get milked, relax at the cafe or take a walk on the trail (about 30 minutes) that provides views of Mt. Arrowsmith. Free.

Do[edit]

View from Qualicum Beach
  • Parksville Beach Festival, on the beach. 3 weeks in August. Annual sand sculpture contest and festivities.
  • 1 Paradise Mini Golf and Fun Park, 375 Island Hwy W, Parksville, +1 250-248-6237, toll-free: +1-866-325-1874. Open early-Mar to mid-Oct. Summer hours: 9:30AM-10PM; spring and fall hours: 10AM-7/8PM. Popular family attraction with two attractive mini golf courses, bumper boats and a giant shoe that can't be missed from the highway. There's also a concession stand and gift shop. $8.75/$6.50 (adult/child) for one course, $11.60/$8.60 for both courses. Bumper boats are $6.75/$5.90 for five minutes, additional rides are $3.75 each. $15.75/$12.75 for both courses and one ride on the bumper boats.
  • 2 Parksville Community Park & Beach, Island Hwy & Cornfield St N (access is from Cornfield St N). Large park with access to Parksville Beach and the 0.5-km boardwalk. Close to the beach is a kids playground and waterpark, as well as a skatepark. There are also sports fields and tennis courts.
  • 3 Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, Island Hwy (19A) & Resort Drive, +1 250 474-1336. Very popular park and beach. The sandy beach stretches for 2 km and the water is quite shallow so it tends to be warmer. There’s also hiking in the forest, campsites and the Rathtrevor Beach Nature House that has information displays, snacks, gift shop and special events during the summer. Day use is free. Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park (Q1473911) on Wikidata Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park on Wikipedia
  • 4 Qualicum Beach, Island Hwy West (stretches from Crescent Rd to Memorial Ave (Hwy 4)). A long stretch of sand that is popular for walking, swimming, skimboarding, kayaking and stand-up paddle boards. A paved walking path beside the beach for much of its length provides some nice views. There are several free parking areas along the side of the Island Highway. Qualicum Beach (Q22634610) on Wikidata

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

  • 1 Bistro 694, 694 Memorial Avenue, Qualicum Beach, +1 250-752-0301. Th-Su 4-9PM.
  • 2 Black Goose Inn, 1051 Resort Drive, Parksville, +1 250-586-1001. Su-Th noon-8PM, F Sa noon-9PM. Traditional British cuisine with 'Order at the Bar' service.
  • 3 Bread and Honey Food Company, #4 162 Harrison Avenue, Parksville, +1 250-586-1021. M-F 8AM-4PM, Sa 10AM-2PM.
  • 4 British Bobby Restaurant, 1209 Island Highway E, Parksville, +1 250-954-3232. British; fish & chips.
  • 5 Chameleons, #3 220 Island Hwy W, +1 250-586-5500.
  • 6 Giovanni's Ristorante, #4 180 West 2nd Ave, Qualicum Beach, +1 250-752-6693, .
  • 7 Kalvas The Log House Restaurant, 180 Moilliet Street, Parksville, +1 250-248-6933, . Fresh seafood and premium steaks.
  • 8 Lefty’s Fresh Food Restaurants, 101-280 East Island Hwy, Parksville (next to the Thrifty Foods), +1 250 954-3886. Su-Th 8AM-8PM, F Sa 8AM-9PM. Local chain (two locations) that does breakfast, lunch and dinner. Breakfast options include pancakes, toast, granola and a variety of egg dishes. Lunch covers sandwiches, salads, burgers and pizza. Dinner options include pizza and a variety of meat, fish and pasta dishes. Portion sizes are good and both locations have small patios. $10-20 for breakfast and lunch, $15-25 for dinner.
  • 9 Qualicum Beach, 710 Memorial Ave (corner of Fern Rd & Memorial Ave), +1 250 752-7530. Su-Th 8AM-8PM, F Sa 8AM-9PM.
  • 10 Shady Rest Pub & Restaurant, 3109 Island Hwy W, Qualicum Beach, +1 250 752-9111. 11AM-9PM daily (restaurant), pub open until 11PM M-Sa and 10 PM Su. On the beach with a wrap-around patio. Sandwiches, burgers and pizza, with some fish, seafood and steak/rib options, too. Brunch is served on weekends from 11AM-2PM. $10-25.
  • 11 French Press Coffee Roasters, 692 Primrose St, Qualicum Beach, +1 250-594-4477. M-Sa 8AM-4PM, Su 9AM-2PM. Coffee shop with sandwiches, all day breakfast and baked goods. Food is good quality and the breakfasts are particularly good value. Baked goods are freshly made in-house. Breakfast $7, sandwiches $11.50, teas and coffee $2.60-$5.

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Scupltures made for the sand sculpture contest of the Parksville Beach Festival

Parksville[edit]

  • 1 Arbutus Grove Motel, 1182 East Island Highway, Parksville, +1 250-248-6422, toll-free: +1-888-667-7250. Old-style roadside motel that has been renovated. All rooms come with microwaves and fridges, high speed internet and LCD TVs, and some rooms have full kitchens. Reviewers indicate the rooms are a bit small but the motel is excellent value for what you get. $85-105 (high season), $60-95 at other times.
  • 2 Bayside Oceanfront Resort, 240 Dogwood Street, Parksville, +1 250-248-8333, toll-free: +1-800-663-4232, . Located right on the beachfront in pretty grounds with fantastic views across the ocean. Choose from standard or oceanfront rooms, or an executive suite, all of which are spacious and comfortable with private balconies and large windows. The resort has an indoor pool and hot tub as well as a large fitness room and squash courts.
  • 3 Beach Acres Resort, 25-1051 Resort Dr, Parksville, +1 250 248-3424, toll-free: +1-800-663-7309. Check-in: 11AM, check-out: 4PM. Beautiful ocean front resort next to famous Rathtrevor Park and a mile of warm sandy beach. Accommodations are 2 bedroom cottages or townhomes and duplex cottages 50 feet from the beach. All accommodations have full kitchens, fireplaces and ground level access. Plenty of parking and space for the children to room. 7 golf courses nearby. $112-375.
  • 4 Beach Club Resort, 181 Beachside Dr, Parksville (close to Parksville Beach), +1 250 248-8999, toll-free: +1-888-760-2008. $269 and up during the summer.
  • 5 Madrona Beach Resort, 1145 Resort Drive, Parksville, +1 250-248-5503, toll-free: +1-800-663-7302, . All oceanviews on Rathtrevor Beach. Large beach front 2 bedroom 2 bathroom townhouse units with full kitchen, in-suite laundry, fireplace, walk-out patio and bbq. $179-375 (high season), $79-235 at other times.
  • 6 Ocean Sands Resort, 1165 Resort Drive, Parksville, +1 250-954-0662, toll-free: +1-877-733-5969. Situated on 4 acres of oceanfront property overlooking Rathtrevor Beach. The resort consists of one and two bedroom oceanfront or poolside condominium units. Each unit has a fully equipped kitchen, gas fireplace and large balcony either overlooking the ocean or pool. $199-399 (high season), $89-209 at other times.
  • 7 Ocean Trails Resort, 1135 Resort Drive, Parksville, +1 250-248-3636, toll-free: +1-888-248-6212, . Bright, modern, one, two and three bedroom vacation condominiums with fully equipped kitchen, in-suite laundry, fireplace, and private deck. The facility offers a year round hot-tub, seasonal outdoor pool, tennis, pickleball, volleyball, group BBQ and recreation area, basketball and many treed and grassy areas to sit and enjoy your stay. The property is pet free and non-smoking. $250-425 (high season), $160-225 at other times.
  • 8 Paradise Sea Shell Motel, 411 Island Highway West, Parksville, +1 250-248-6171, toll-free: +1-877-337-3529, . Motel is situated adjacent to Paradise Adventure Mini-Golf and Paradise RV Park. Suites and modified kitchens (small fridge, microwave, sink & counter area) are available at reasonable rates.
  • 9 Sunrise Ridge Waterfront Resort, 1175 Resort Dr, Parksville, +1 250-248-4674, toll-free: +1 877-977-8669, fax: +1 250-947-2507, . Check-in: 4PM, check-out: 10AM. Spread out in a studio, spacious 1, 2, or 3 bedroom suite, or waterfront villa. Rooms $119-139, Suites $179-439.
  • 10 Tigh-Na-Mara Seaside Spa Resort and Conference Centre, 1155 Resort Drive, Parksville, +1 250-248-2072, toll-free: +1-800-663-7373, . Spaced amongst 22 forested and oceanview acres of West Coast forest, the 192 accommodation units all offer immediate access to private outdoor space and are connected exclusively by open-air corridors, stairs and ramps. Access to 3 km of sandy beach, local trails or in the comfort of your unit.

Qualicum Beach[edit]

Connect[edit]

Go next[edit]

Routes through Parksville Qualicum Beach
TofinoCoombs  W BC-4.svg E  END
Campbell RiverLighthouse Country  N BC-19.svg S  NanaimoVancouver / Victoria via BC-1 (TCH).svg



This city travel guide to Parksville-Qualicum Beach is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.
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Qualicum Beach
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Parksville, British Columbia