Last Updated on August 9, 2023

Vancouver Island has consistently been named one of the most beautiful islands to visit, and after my trip to Qualicum Beach, I can understand why. Qualicum Beach is a charming town located on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. It’s known for its natural beauty, mild climate due to proximity to the Pacific Ocean, and relaxed atmosphere.

Without knowing the location personally prior to my trip, it was hard to select the right accommodations, but I quickly realized that the hotel I chose for my stay was perfectly placed. The Qualicum Beach Inn is located directly across the road from the beach.

Every morning when the tide was out, I went for a long walk spending at least an hour journey down the beach and another hour strolling back. The sand was soft and, much to my delight, the water was warm and clear. I was able to view small fish, clams, large groups of sand dollars and one morning, I even saw a jellyfish.

It was an incredibly relaxing experience.

Golfing in Qualicum Beach

Of course my vacation wasn’t all about the beach. Golfing was part and Qualicum Beach boasts four golf courses. The Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Course was one block from the hotel making it an easy walk for my first round.

If Qualicum’s four local courses aren’t enough for you, there are another 10 courses located within 20 miles of the village.

I was lucky enough to get a tee time at Morningstar, home to the BC Men’s Amateur Tournament. If you play, watch out for hole 14. It’s a pretty par three that can make or break your round.

Hiking Opportunities Abound

Little Qualicum Falls
Little Qualicum Falls ©Michelle Fedosoff

Hiking is a passion of mine and I look for hiking and walking trails wherever I travel. Qualicum Beach did not disappoint. Within the village, I found three trails.

Dollywood Trail is a paved path taking you through a forest and it’s flat and accessible-friendly.

Heritage Forest is another beautiful forest walk with interpretational signs located throughout. The size of many trees here is impressive.

My favorite trail, however, was the Community Park trail system. This is also a forested trail with picturesque scenery. It takes about an hour to walk the path that is also an off-leash area. All the dogs I came across were very well behaved. I guess they’re used to the hiking!

If you’re looking for something more challenging, a ten-minute drive takes you to Little Qualicum Falls. If you choose to hike here, I recommend going as soon as the parking gates open at 8:00 am. The day I of my visit, the parking lot was waiting room only by 11:00 am.

Despite the crowds, I was still able to find some personal space for viewing the falls and taking in the lovely views. 

If you are looking for even more adventures in the area, Horn Lake caves are a 30-minute drive from the village. 

About the Village

With a population of fewer than 10,000 people, I was expecting a sleepy town, but that was far from the reality. The village core was bustling with a well-stocked grocery store, liquor store, shops, coffee shops, art gallery, boutiques and restaurants.

I used the grocery store to stock up on fresh fruit and breakfast snacks, but between beach walks, nature hikes, and golfing, I enjoyed eating and drinking my way around town. 

Favorite Places to Eat in Qualicum Beach

Fern + Cedar Brewing Company has a fabulous collection of craft beers, and I loved their IPA. The Adirondack chairs were comfortable and a great place to rest after one of my forest hikes.

The Knockananna Grill is a popular food truck that’s located on the beach from Friday through Monday only. The Knockaberry burger with jalapenos, raspberry habanero jam, and spicy mayo was so delicious. Eating at their beachside tables adds the perfect view for dinner. 

The cuisine at Qualicum Beach Café was amazing. The focaccia bread served with house-made parmesan butter was out of this world. The seafood salad was fresh with a light dressing that didn’t overwhelm the crab and shrimp. If you’re a dessert fan, don’t pass up on their sticky toffee pudding. It’s a must!

Sunset views

Sunset at Qualicum Beach
Sunset at Qualicum Beach ©Michelle Fedosoff

Staying just across from the beach allowed me the opportunity to view the magnificent sunset each evening; watching the sky turn from blue to yellow to bright orange and finally to black was the perfect way to end each amazing day.

Qualicum Beach was supposed to be a place to get away and relax, which I certainly did, but it ended up stealing a piece of my heart and soul, and I’m already planning a return trip.  

Author

  • Michelle Fedosoff

    Michelle Fedosoff is a traveler, writer, photographer, wife, and mother. She has visite 13 countries and is always looking to find unique things to do. From counting turtle eggs in Mexico to looking for tigers in India, eating Haggis in Scotland and pig snout in Spain, drinking Chai tea from street vendors in India, to black sesame hot chocolate in Canada, she is willing to try almost anything once.