Located directly across the Strait of Juan de Fuca from the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, is rich in diversity. At the southern tip of the island is the city of Victoria that is steeped in British heritage, so evidenced by the horse-drawn carriages and the architecture in the central city. Not to be missed is the elegant Empress Hotel with High Tea in the afternoon. Just on the outskirts of Victoria is the world famous Butchart Garden, known for its expansive and colorful floral displays. Even motorcyclists "stop to smell the roses," occasionally, and these "roses" are highly recommended. The western shore, along the Pacific Ocean, is rugged and sparsely populated, in strong contrast to Victoria. The ride over the backbone of the island to the western shore town of Tofino is well worth the trip, even though the weather on the west side often lacks much sunshine. Compare this to the eastern shore, which is protected from the moist Pacific air by the mountains along the island interior and has a much milder climate. In fact, the mainland coast directly east of Vancouver Island is called the "Sunshine Coast" and offers a wonderful array of ferry crossings, great coastal rides and small fishing villages. Take the ferry to Powell River and travel Hwy 101 from Lund to West Vancouver. The northern part of Vancouver Island is teaming with wildlife, ranging from the magnificent Orcas or Killer Whales to Bald Eagles and, of course, plenty of wild salmon. Port Hardy at the extreme northern end of the island has a ferry port with departures for Prince Rupert through the "Inside Passage."
Thomas R. Powell & Associates
Last updated on 02/19/2012.