Summer on Vancouver Island is generally warm, sunny and dry – perfect beach weather. This top 5 list is for beaches outside of Victoria that are perfect for summer relaxing and playing.
· Rathtrevor: This stretch of beach in Parksville is popular with tourists and locals alike, and big enough that there is room for everyone. At low tide the sandy beach stretches for miles. This is the site of one of the province’s most popular provincial parks, Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park, as well as home to numerous resorts. No dogs are allowed on the beach in the summer months, so don’t bring Fido.
· Chesterman Beach: Tofino and Long Beach on the west coast of the island have many beaches to choose from, but Chesterman is a favourite with the locals and for good reason. With two beach fronts it is easy to be protected from any wind and to choose what wave action to play in. Both sides are nice and sandy, and the large space where the two beaches join gives lots of room for play.
· Saratoga: Just north of popular Miracle Beach, Saratoga Beach is home to small resorts and RV campgrounds, as well as the popular Pacific Playgrounds Resort and Campground. Another sandy stretch, Saratoga has stunning views of the mainland coastal mountains and is great for a swim when the tide is coming in over the warm sand.
· San Josef Bay: At the top of the island in the Cape Scott Provincial Park, San Josef is a walk-in beach well worth the easy 40 minute walk on good trails. With an interesting forest environment through the trails leading down to the marshy tidal area of the San Josef River, the beach itself is a shock with its stretches of sand broken only by amazing rock formations. This is a remote area, so the beach is never busy (although locals from Port Hardy do like to come there on sunny days).
San Josef Bay
· China Beach: West of Sooke at the bottom of the island, China Beach is another one that requires a short hike to reach. It is well worth it though, with a long stretch of sandy beach, amazing views, and even a waterfall at one of the beach close to the day use trail. This is also the head of the Juan de Fuca multi-day hiking trail. There is a small campground at China Beach, separate from the day use area.
These are all sandy beaches great for summer fun. Do you have a summer favourite?
It’s a Coastal Lifestyle ... Live It!