Need a vacation after the vacation season? You wouldn’t be alone as many look forward to a relaxing fall after the hectic pace of summer.
In fact more and more leisure travellers are planning quick getaways on a whim and many of them simply want to get away and relax and unplug. Where to go though? Somewhere close to home, accessible. A place far enough away that feels different, but not so far to require a lot of planning or an airline ticket. Parksville-Qualicum Beach is worth considering.
On this calm eastern Vancouver Island shoreline, you’ll find 18 kilometres of sandy beaches to stroll, and when the tide is out it’s a kilometre wide. This geological anomaly provides shallow waters and the warmest you’ll find this side of Mexico. Early explorers spoke of its beauty, warm summers and amazing vistas as early as 1864.
Accolades are numerous, and most recently it was rated Canada’s Best Beach by Western Living Magazine, the No. 3 Beach in Canada by TripAdvisor, and Canada’s Best Family Friendly Beach Destination by Better Homes and Gardens Magazine. To this day it remains a unique and special destination for boaters and beach goers, with the country’s mildest climate, and the island’s lowest annual rainfall, it’s often referred to as “Canada’s Riviera”.
Perhaps the best time to take a short excursion is the fall. The days are warm with salty ocean breezes, while the nights are crisp and clear, and the summer crowds have slowed. This “everlasting summer,” can stretch well into October.
Stand Up Paddling (SUP’ing) is the fastest-growing water activity in the world. With endless amounts of sand and warm water, the shallow, flat-as-glass water of Parksville, Rathtrevor and Qualicum beaches are well-suited for paddlers. You don’t need to be a surfer to stand on water.
Close to Home
A quick two-hour drive from Victoria or short ferry ride from the Lower Mainland, lands you on the front door of some of eastern Vancouver Island’s best resorts, spas, marinas, year-round golf and parks ideal for relaxing. It’s replete with quiet scenic spots whether you’re hanging around the beach, walking, hiking, browsing an art gallery or taking in a special event. Or maybe you want to do nothing at all — unplug and just relax.
Fall Fab 5
1. Walk on Water: You’ll feel like your footsteps are treading across the sea, while perfecting the art of Stand Up Paddleboarding in the waters off Parksville Beach.
2. In the Pink: You can be bathed in the multi-hued glow of one of the area’s epic sunsets, or watching a salmon run on Nile Creek, but you’ll agree that pink is definitely a colour of fall in the region.
3. Milner Majesty. The woodlands and gardens summer blooms last long into fall when they start to morph into the fall spectacular, a transition celebrated with Fall Colour Days in October.
4. The Qualicum Calm: Before Little Qualicum River swells with winter rains, the fall offers a peaceful and serene calm as the river winds into Cameron Lake, itself wrapped with a blanket of fall colours.
5. Colour Kaleidoscope: The creams, beiges and corals of Horne Lake Caves are only matched above surface by the vibrant leaves and changing tree colours that surround “B.C.’s Best Natural Outdoor Site” (Attractions Canada).