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Japanfan
03-08-2012, 10:39 AM
Don't think anyone else has mentioned this yet: stop off at Cathedral Grove (http://www.vancouverisland.com/parks/?id=286) on the way to or from the Long Beach area. You can do a quick 20 minute stop just to ooh and ah at the trees, or stay a bit longer for a hike. Even for someone like me who's lived among big trees all her life, it's amazing.


It's a truly magical place in that it gives you a sense of how forests might be if humans had left them completely alone or lived with them in harmony.

I was last there a few years ago and parts of it were closed off, probably due to the wind damage JasperBoy mentioned.



While you're in the Courtenay/Comox area, try to get in some sea kayaking. It's one of the best areas for it because it's so sheltered -- tons of places have rentals and/or lessons.


Love kayaking!!


Another thing I've done once but would like to do again: Horne Lake Caves (http://www.vancouverisland.com/ParksAndTrails/Parks/details/?ID=283).


Did that and loved it - though forgo the tour that involved rapelling.



And for something completely different: Little Qualicum Cheeseworks (http://www.cheeseworks.ca/), between Qualicum Beach and Parksville (just off the Old Island Highway). The shop is on a working farm, and they also have a fruit winery going there too. Tons of samples!

When you've got cheese, you're got choice. :)

We'd make great travel companions, Artemis.

pat c
03-08-2012, 01:37 PM
If you're going through Parksville, stop at The Old Country Market. It's a collection of little shops, but the grocery store is fun because of the the goats. It had great fruit when we were there.
http://www.venturevancouver.com/goats-on-the-roof-old-country-market-coombs-bc

Artemis@BC
03-08-2012, 09:20 PM
... We'd make great travel companions, Artemis.

:)

Artemis@BC
03-08-2012, 09:23 PM
If you're going through Parksville, stop at The Old Country Market. It's a collection of little shops, but the grocery store is fun because of the the goats. It had great fruit when we were there.
http://www.venturevancouver.com/goats-on-the-roof-old-country-market-coombs-bc

Coombs is great -- just don't try to go there on a summer weekend. Total madhouse.

I keep hoping they'll install a web goatcam. :D

flyingsit
03-08-2012, 10:43 PM
I second the vote for Tofino, and for Long Beach Lodge. We stayed there for a few nights last September and it was amazing. If you go there and want to do a whale-watch or the like, Jamie's Whaling Station is a great company. We did a half-day bear watching trip and loved it.

JasperBoy
03-08-2012, 11:16 PM
Looking back at your first message, deedeelocks, I see that you are travelling on a budget and interested in hostels.
I am sorry to say that Pacific Sands and Long Beach Lodge are pricey. Here is a hostel that is $99 a night and in a terrific location. http://www.tbgf.org/ecolodge/index.php
I have never stayed there, but know the Botanical Gardens well. An ecofreaks delight!

deedeelocks
03-09-2012, 04:30 PM
thanks! In Tofino we'll probably go for this hostel though:
http://www.tofinohostel.com/

We just need a bed, perhaps a shower somewhere... and it has a kitchen so we can cook our own cheap meals :D

Artemis@BC
03-09-2012, 05:10 PM
^ Too bad you can't replicate my "budget" stay ... at Long Beach Lodge. It was a couple of years ago during the playoffs, and they ran a promotion where, every time a Canuck scored a goal, you could enter to win a chance to get a night at the lodge for the dollar amount corresponding to the jersey number of the player who scored. Well, long story short, we got one night for $6 (thanks to Sami Salo), and another for $33 (thanks to Henrik Sedin). Amazing deal! The Lodge is really spectacular, and I wouldn't have been able to afford it otherwise.

But really, the whole Tofino/Ucluelet/Long Beach area is spectacular no matter where you stay. I'm sure you'll love it.