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Sep. 23, 2017 9:23AM PST
Welcome to Vancouver Island, British Columbia, the largest North American island in the Pacific. 280 miles (450 km) in length, Vancouver Island is the center for "island hopping" to the many smaller islands scattered along her coast. It is also the departure point for nautical exploration of BC's rugged fjords.
Of course, Vancouver Island is also the location of British Columbia's capital city, Victoria. Famous for it's comfortable lifestyle and old world charm, Victoria welcomes visitors from around the globe. Made up of the city of Victoria and the municipalities of Oak Bay, Saanich, View Royal and Esquimalt, Greater Victoria boasts a population of almost 290,000, making it the island's largest metropolitan area.
Victoria is also known as Canada's 'Best Blooming City'! Springtime finds streets lined with blossoming trees, and during the summer, baskets brimming with flowers are hung on the city's 19th century style street lamps. Each February, while the rest of the country is still shivering through winter, local gardeners and flower enthusiasts join the 'flower count' to tally the blossoms all over town. Four million blooms is not an unusual total.
Idyllic in landscape, rustic in character, the neighboring Gulf Islands bask in a mild climate and pastoral tranquility. Almost 200 islands of all shapes and sizes lie tucked against the southeastern shore of Vancouver Island with only the invisible international boundary dividing them from the San Juan Islands in US waters.
A journey "up island" will bring you to friendly cities, colourful fishing villages, long sandy beaches, rivers, lakes and even jagged peaks. Pacific Rim National Park, Strathcona Provincial Park, The West Coast Trail and Long Beach have become legendary among naturalists and outdoor enthusiasts. Communities like Tofino, Ucluelet, Bamfield and Port Renfrew are centers for West Coast adventures, while Port Alberni, Campbell River, Port Hardy and Port McNeil are consider some of the finest sportfishing destinations in the world.
Nanaimo, known as the Harbour City, is Vancouver Island's second largest city.
For the outdoor enthusiast, the area in and around Nanaimo offers hiking trails,
a nature centre, bird sanctuary and picnic and swimming sites plus great fishing
opportunities. Nanaimo is 26 km (16 mi.) north of Ladysmith or 110 km (68 mi.)
north of Victoria on Highway 1.
Cities in this Region:Bedwell Harbour
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