Activity Guide

Things to Do

Beautiful sandy beaches, stunning views of mountains and the serene blue ocean explains why Qualicum Beach has been one of the west coast’s premier getaway destinations for nearly a century now.

Sleep in late or rise with the morning sun, filling the hours between beachfront strolls, fireside naps and delicious fare is a breeze in a small region packed with big attractions. Explore huge trees and deep caverns or set out on a tour of quirky studio galleries.

Qualicum Beach
has it all!

  • Swimming
  • Boating
  • Strolling and beachcombing
  • Hiking
  • Mountain biking
  • Caving
  • Horseback riding
  • Golfing
  • Garden tours
  • Boutique shopping
  • Artist studio tours
  • Farmers Markets
  • Seasonal festivals and much more!

Activity Resources

Activities

Call us “the best bloomin’ Town on Vancouver Island”! Colourful planters and a profusion of hanging baskets adorn the Village. Spring through Fall, Qualicum Beach gardeners are busy creating their own individual works of art. Here, the gardens are so numerous and the gardeners so passionate that it was an easy decision for us to enter the Communities in Bloom competition. And it isn’t just gardens! The judges look at landscaped and turf areas, heritage conservation, urban forestry, environmental effort and community involvement. We have proven ourselves winners in every category, so come judge for yourself!

The Old School House
Victorian charm, modern creativity… this 80-year old school house-turned-art-centre in the heart of Qualicum Beach showcases, year-round, the visual arts of painting, sculpture, carving and pottery, as well as music. Hands-on workshops, studio tours of artists-in-residence, and a well-stocked gift shop are all part of the TOSH experience. 122 Fern Road West.

Phone: 250-752-8133 Fax: 250-752-2600 Web: www.theoldschoolhouse.org

The Village Theatre – E.C.H.O Players
In celebration of its fiftieth anniversary in the year 2000, the Village Theatre acquired a new face in the style of theatres in the ’50s and ’60s. The Theatre is owned and operated by ECHO Players, providing opportunities for the development of theatrical talents in a professional theatre environment, winning many theatrical awards over the years. The Theatre presents a series of live dramas, comedies and musicals, and often hosts regional drama festivals and concerts.

Box office telephone: 250-752-3522 Web: www.echoplayers.ca

Bard To Broadway
Summer Theatre – Island Style. Most days throughout the summer, visitors and residents will be treated to quality live theatre in the Village Theatre, Qualicum Beach, BC. Bard to Broadway is a repertory company offering two shows throughout the summer season. The 2016 season runs early July through to mid August with performances at 7:30 pm each evening. Most Sunday afternoons feature a matinee at 2 pm. The 2016 line up includes one musical – You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and two comedies – The Ladies Man and Vanya & Sonya & Masha & Spike. Our Schedule and tickets will be available at www.b2btheatre.com in May 2016. Education series offered during the summer will also be posted on our website. Please note: Our Box Office is closed during the off season. Please visit our website during our spring/summer season for more information.

Box Office Phone: 250-752-4470 Web: www.b2btheatre.com

Coombs Village
The Coombs Old Country Market, open mid-March through September, is well-known for the family of goats which nimbly graze on its grass roof. Adjacent to it, visitors enjoy the wide range of small gift and craft shops, many of which are open year round. The village is dotted with several heritage buildings and now includes a mini golf and small amusement park. July is the time for “Old West” activities: a fiddle jamboree, bluegrass festival and rodeo. Located approximately 10 minutes west of Qualicum Beach on the Alberni Highway.

The North Island Wildlife Recovery Association
The NIWRA is a haven for a wide variety of injured, ill and orphaned wildlife ranging from songbirds to eagles, raccoons to deer. Sick and injured wildlife receive professional veterinary medical care while they are rehabilitated for their eventual release back into the wild. Orphaned wildlife must be taught the survival skills of how to obtain food and to fear predators before they can be released. Besides working directly with wildlife, the NIWRA actively promotes public education and offers a popular Wildlife Adoption Program. Tours of the centre can be arranged by phoning 250-248-8534. Located approximately 20 minutes from Qualicum Beach on Leffler Road in Errington. Ask locally for more explicit directions!

Web: www.northislandwildliferecoverycentre.org

Lighthouse Country
Only 15 minutes north of Qualicum Beach along Highway 19A, the Scenic Oceanside Route, is Lighthouse Country and the friendly communities of Qualicum Bay, Bowser and Deep Bay. Here you will find plenty of opportunities to fish, kayak, canoe, sail, hike, beachcomb, golf and cave. You can catch your own salmon, dig your own clams or wait on the Deep Bay dock for the commercial fishing boats to return with the day’s catch. This is the spot for watchable wildlife, whether it’s an eagle on the wing, deer grazing in the woods, or seals and sea lions playing off-shore. Beachfront motels, fishing resorts, cottages, bed and breakfasts, tenting and RV campgrounds, restaurants and other visitor services complement the area’s natural attractions.

Web: www.lighthousecountry.ca

Recreation

The Qualicum Beach area offers many opportunities to enjoy some of the world’s most spectactular marine and forest environments.

Hike an alpine trail up to the Mount Arrowsmith lookout.
Follow gentle paths among 850 year old Douglas Firs at Cathedral Grove.
Walk through old growth forests alongside cascading waterfalls at both Englishman River Falls and Little Qualicum Falls parks!

For the more adventurous…
~ Explore crystalline formations at Horne Lake Caves.
~ Ride horseback through tall timber and mountain streams.
~ Or catch your own salmon or trout dinner with a local fishing guide!

Qualicum Beach is a hub of recreational activities for visitors of all activity levels. For more information and a guide to our many area parks, click on the Town of Qualicum Beach Recreation and Parks Guide.

Birding
The Oceanside area is the center of a region rich in bird life. Stretching from Little Qualicum River Estuary to Nanoose Bay, Oceanside has been designated an Important Bird Area. The Nanoose Naturalists Club is offering an on line bird list for the Oceanside area that documents 200+ bird species with exceptional photographs by local photographers, links to sound recordings from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, monthly abundance charts and records stating where and when the birds were observed. The Arrowsmith Naturalists Club has published a comprehensive Seasonal Bird Checklist for the Oceanside area which is available at the Qualicum Beach Visitor Centre.

Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park
The Park presents a wide variety of activities both above and below ground. Two caves are open to the public for self-exploring (you must bring at least two sources of light), but the guided tour programs with their focus on conservation of the cave environment and techniques for cave travel are very popular. Good footwear and warm clothing are a must since these caves have been left in their natural state. Other programs offer instruction in climbing and rappelling in a wild cave environment. Canoe and water safety instruction and mountain biking round out the adventure experience. All programs available mid-June through Labour Day. Self-guided cave tours possible year-round, weather permitting. Located approximately 15 minutes north of Qualicum Beach on Scenic Highway 19A, the Oceanside Route or on the Inland Highway 19 to the Horne Lake exit, and then approximately 30 minutes west on rough gravel road.

Phone: 250-248-7829 | Web: www.hornelake.com

Golf

Qualicum Beach’s natural attributes of sand and water also come into play in the great game of golf! No fewer than 5 golf courses offer year-round challenge during our warm, sunny summers and usually mild winters. The golf here is as beautiful as our beach! For links to the best courses in our area, check out:

Hiking/Biking

We are fortunate to have some of the best hiking and biking trails anywhere located here in the Qualicum Beach region. Check out our library of videos showing our favourite spots here.

Water Activities

Favourite water activites at the beach in Qualicum Beach include:

Paddle Boarding – Paddle Boarding has sky rocketed in popularity over the past few years due to less technical demand compared to other water sports and also due to the ability to enjoy the surrounding area while completing the activity. Paddle boarding requires a long, wide board in which an individual stands and then paddles to their destination – this is an activity that will help put you at ease here in Qualicum Beach. Check out paddle board rentals here.

Kayaking  Kayaking is a great way for visitors and locals to visit the areas around Qualicum Beach and also take in the spectacular sunsets! It is best to go kayaking when the water is flat to prevent being brought back into shore as well as preventing fatigue. Kayaking is a great way to explore the outdoors. Check out kayak rentals here: (link to business directories)

Beach Days – Qualicum Beach has stunning beaches, and to celebrate our well known beaches, our community comes together each year on Beach Day – July 15, 2018 this year. Beach Day is a special day in Qualicum Beach that has many vendors, non-profit organizations, sports activities, swimming activities and more. The Beach Day celebration is located along Highway 19A at the Qualicum Beach Waterfront. Be sure to stop by the Qualicum Beach Visitors Centre at 2711 Island Highway West for more information.

Skim boarding – Skim boarding is an activity that can be enjoyed by all, as it just requires a skim board and a flat section of sand with about an inch to two inches of water. Skim boarders throw the board across the flat section of sand and water, jump on to the board and then allow the momentum of the jump to carry them across the water. Be sure to try out this fun activity here in Qualicum Beach!

Shopping & Services

From gifts to groceries, farmers markets and business services, our little town has something for everyone. Check out our local merchants here.

Qualicum Beach Trails

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