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Overview

The largest island off North America's West Coast, 350 miles long, is ringed with smaller islands, and a landscape that includes some of the best salmon fishing on the planet, thick forests in the north, protected beaches in the south, and thundering surf in the west. Other than its capital city, Victoria, the island is a collection of villages and small towns, many rich with traditional First Nations culture and opportunities for hiking, kayaking, scuba diving and whale watching. The island's mild climate allows for golf year-round. Logging and tourism are the island's lifeblood. Take the 90-minute ferry from Vancouver for a day-trip, or ...

The largest island off North America's West Coast, 350 miles long, is ringed with smaller islands, and a landscape that includes some of the best salmon fishing on the planet, thick forests in the north, protected beaches in the south, and thundering surf in the west. Other than its capital city, Victoria, the island is a collection of villages and small towns, many rich with traditional First Nations culture and opportunities for hiking, kayaking, scuba diving and whale watching. The island's mild climate allows for golf year-round. Logging and tourism are the island's lifeblood. Take the 90-minute ferry from Vancouver for a day-trip, or longer. Restaurants and lodging tend to be homey and basic, except for a few remote but plush wilderness resorts accessible only by boat or floatplane.

Evelyn Kanter
About the Expert

Evelyn Kanter is a contributor to Fodor's NYC and Fodor's Canada, editor of the Michelin Green Guide Switzerland, and author of Great Destinations: The Hudson Valley.

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Evelyn Kanter for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: A large island in British Columbia, off Canada's Pacific Coast
  • Language: English, French
  • Currency: Canadian Dollar
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Warm Pacific currents give Vancouver Island the mildest climate in Canada. Temperatures rarely dip below 32 degrees in winter or above 80 in summer.