Qualicum Beach

Qualicum Beach Wander Guide

Plan Your Perfect Getaway
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Just 50 kilometers (40-minute drive) north of Nanaimo lies the beautiful Town of Qualicum Beach. It is a quieter and less well-known version of Parkville. This wander guide will take you through what to see, what to do, and where to stay!

Fun activities in Qualicum Beach

What to see in Qualicum Beach?

The Town of Qualicum Beach offers a blend of activities for adventurers. Below are some of our favorite things to see - a perfect stop on your way to Tofino or Campbell River!

Jubilee Park: Beach Front Park in Qualicum Beach

Duh! Who visits a town named Qualicum Beach without visiting the beach? Qualicum Beach is best known for its pristine sandy beaches with a view of Strait of Georgia and beautiful mountains in the distance.

Jubilee Park is on the main beach front and stretches along Island Highway 19A. It spans between Memorial Avenue and Bay Street. The park has off-street parking, electrical charge stations, beachfront picnic tables, washroom facilities, and an ice cream shop! The visitors' information centre is also conveniently in the park for your needs.

Psst. If you're looking for a more secluded beach, check out Columbia Beach from Seacrest Park. You know it's secluded when even Google Maps doesn't officially list it!

Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park

Qualicum Beach is more than just beaches, it is also a great destination for  waterfalls. Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park is a short drive from the main beach and features impressive waterfalls. Both upper and lower falls can be easily explored on a loop trail. You can visit for the day or camp overnight!

Hike Nile Creek Waterfall

In store for another waterfall? Nile Creek is located north of Qualicum Beach and offers an easy/moderate hike to a series of waterfalls and swimming holes. This is definitely a less trafficked waterfall to give you a quieter nature experience. Check out our review on Google Maps.

Salmon Run at the Little Qualicum River Fish Hatchery

See the incredible sight of salmon returning - the salmon run - at Little Qulicum River Fish Hatchery. Each fall, salmon can be seen swimming up the Little Qualicum river and spawning in the channels. Check Fisheries and Oceans Canada's website for more details.

Explore Little Qualicum River Trestle

Have a taste for adventure? So do we! Take a stroll (carefully) on the Little Qualicum River Trestle situated downstream of Little Qualicum River Fish Hatchery! If heights are not your thing, the river underneath the trestle is a great swimming hole. See our post on the Little Qualicum Trestle here.

Spelunking in Horne Lake Caves

It isn't every day that you get to go exploring caves! Horne Lake Caves Provincial Park offers both guided and self guided cave tours. Or maybe you are are a bit claustrophobic, that is OK too - there is a beautiful park around the caves that you can explore.

What to do in Qualicum Beach?

Qualicum Beach has events and attractions year-round. Here are a few highlights of what you can do when you visit!

Love Shack Libations: Qualicum Beach Local Brewery

Check out Qualicum Beach's local nano-brewery, Love Shack Libations, for some delicious award wining beers. They are only open Wednesdays and Saturdays, so plan accordingly! In town for more? Wander over to Mount Arrowsmith Brewing Company and Bespoke Spirit House in Parksville.

Coffee Roasters in Qualicum Beach

Swing by French Press, an award winning specialty coffee roaster, for your morning cup of joe! You can find them in the heart of Qualicum Beach. For other nearby specialty coffee roaster, check out the following:

Golfing in Qualicum Beach

Qualicum Beach offers some of the best golfing on Vancouver Island. There are a handful of golf courses in and around Qualicum beach.  Read more about all the golf courses.

Shellfish Harvesting in Qualicum Beach

A perfect day at the beach with a delicious harvest for dinner is the best kind of vacation. Clamming, oyster picking, and/or shellfish harvesting is a lot fun, especially with kids, but be sure you know the rules! Shellfish harvesting in closed areas is both dangerous and illegal. Qualicum Beach is located in Tidal Area 14-4 and only has a few open harvest locations. Below are few key things to know:

Hope the above resources are helpful and that you aren't scared away! Just remember, when in doubt, don't harvest. For more information on shellfish safety, check out BC Centre for Disease Control's article.

Father's Day in Qualicum Beach (June)

Plan the perfect Father's Day outing in Qualicum Beach. Every year, the Seaside Cruizer Car Club organizes a Show 'n Shine event that attracts over 400 spectacular cars to cruise through town. It's so amazing that even Oprah Winfrey knows about it and has recommended it as one of the 10 best thing to do on Father's Day!

Quality Foods Sandcastle Competition (July/ August)

If you visit in the summer, be sure to check out the annual Sandcastle Competition held by Quality Foods. The competition and exhibition is attended by sculptors from around the world. It is an official qualifying event for the World Championship of Sand Sculpting. Be ready to be amazed!

Qualicum Beach Farmer's Market (Saturdays)

Check out the local Farmer's Market on Saturdays from 8:30am-12pm year-round located at 644 Veterans Way. Shop and buy locally for healthy, package-free foods!  

Where to stay in Qualicum Beach?

Qualicum beach is a popular tourist location, especially in the summer months. There is a variety of places to stay,  from campgrounds to spheres hanging in the forest!


There are three provincial park campgrounds nearby: Englishman River Falls, Little Qualicum Falls, and Rathtrevor Beach.  These will book up quickly in the summer so be sure to reserve in advance. There is also a large selection of private sites to choose from, see them here.

Ocean Front Accommodations

Fun and Unique Accommodations

How to get to Qualicum Beach?

Qualicum Beach by Car

By car, Qualicum Beach is about 40 minutes from Naniamo via Highway 19, or 2 hours from Victoria via Highway 1 and 19.

Qualicum Beach by Public Transit

Public transit can be a bit tricky on Vancouver island, but Qualicum Beach is serviced by BC Transit buses from Nanimo! If you're in Victoria, you will have to resort to an Island Link Bus or a rental car.

For more information, check out BC Transit, Island Link Bus, and BC Ferry

Maps of Qualicum Beach

Want a tourist map of Qualicum Beach and central Vancouver Island? Check out these Maps!

Other Relevant Resources

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