There’s no better time than summer to visit one or a couple of BC’s many coastal towns, which boast some of the best beaches and wildlife in the country. So whether you’re looking for a dip in the ocean, a lake day, or want to do some beachside camping, here are 12 charming beach towns and cities to visit in BC this summer.

Tofino 

Known as the Surf Capital of Canada, Tofino has tons of accolades under its belt, and for very good reason. The beloved beach town boasts many extraordinary beaches, including Long Beach, Chesterman Beach, Tonquin Beach, and Mackenzie Beach – just to name a few.

Prefer to hit up a floating sauna? You’ve got options!

Osoyoos 

Known for its sunny lake days and delicious wine and craft cider, Osoyoos is truly a summer destination like no other. There are plenty of local wineries, family-owned farms, and outdoor attractions to visit – including cycling or golfing in Canada’s only desert!

Qualicum Beach 

Planning a trip to the famed Juan-de-Fuca trail? It’s absolutely worth it to stop through the quaint town of Qualicum Beach, which is known for its soft, sandy beaches and mountainside waterfalls.

Port Renfrew 

 

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Not only is Port Renfrew a stunning coastal town, but it’s surrounded by ancient rainforest on the Pacific Rim, earning it the title of the “tall tree capital of Canada.” With close access to Victoria, the town is a popular destination for hikers, surfers, and nature enthusiasts of all kinds.

Ucluelet 

Famous for its wild beaches, winter storms, and wildlife trails, Ucluelet is an adventurer’s dream. Visitors can explore the famed Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, Amphitrite Point Lighthouse, Halfmoon and Florencia Bays, or go on a number of wildlife tours.

Port Hardy

Sandy beaches, rugged trails, and ancient totem poles & petroglyphs are just some of the many reasons to visit Port Hardy. With a rich Indigenous history that dates back over 8,000 years ago, the small oceanfront town has plenty of unspoiled beaches and nature trails to explore. So whether you’re more into hiking or surfing, this is a great stop to add to your road trip map this summer.

Sechelt

Located along the scenic Sunshine Coast, Sechelt is the name of the shĂ­shálh (Sechelt) Nation, the town, a peninsula, and an inlet – which together, form one of the biggest adventure hubs in the province. With plenty of hiking, beach-going, rock climbing, and paddle-boarding opportunities – the only problem you’ll have is choosing what to do!

Looking for a great family-friendly destination? Porpoise Bay Park has an adventure playground between dips of sun-warmed waters.

Prince Rupert

Situated along BC’s northern coast, Prince Rupert is home to breathtaking wilderness inside the Great Bear Rainforest. And as it’s surrounded by water on all sides, there are plenty of opportunities for boating and paddling, as well as wildlife viewing. Here, visitors can easily spot orcas, starfish, mussels, crabs, and an array of fish.

Comox

With tons of local markets, museums, weekend festivals, and natural attractions to check out in Comox Valley, it can be hard to narrow down your itinerary. But the town of Comox alone is a great place to start, with a quaint downtown lined with boutique shops, cafes, and pubs, as well as outdoor destinations like Marina Park.

Galiano Island

It’s not a town or city, but we had to include Galiano Island for its amazing weekend getaway potential. Its “Mediterranean microclimate” means warm summer days, delicious local seafood and wine, and plenty of outdoor activities to take advantage of. Plus, it’s the closest of the Southern Gulf Islands to Vancouver, making your visit all the easier to plan!

Looking for the ideal island escape? Consider checking out Montague Harbour Marine Park, which has rich tidal lagoons and a captivating shoreline to explore.

Campbell River

Often described as “nature’s playground,” Campbell River is home to many wildlife tours, famous hikes, and stunning provincial parks – including the thundering Elk Falls and one of Canada’s largest salmon-rearing facilities.

Plus, there are daily flights offered from Vancouver to Campbell River, so getting there isn’t as much of an issue!

Ganges Village

Situated on Salt Spring Island is Ganges Village, a hotspot for boaters from across the Pacific Northwest. It also serves as the island’s business hub, with plenty of landmarks, local art, and food and drink options to explore. In particular, the Saturday morning Farmer’s Markets are a great way to meet local artists, farmers, and makers of all kinds.

And that’s a wrap on some stunning beach towns to visit in BC! If you’re looking to explore more of our beautiful province this summer, consider this list a solid place to start.

Happy adventuring!