A Local's View of Parksville: Brittany, Tourism Student
Find out what a day in the life of a Parksville local entails.
Surrounded by breathtaking nature, Parksville is located on the coast of Vancouver Island and overlooks the Strait of Georgia.
Sandy beaches span for miles along the vast, cobalt blue ocean. With its luminous snowy summit, magnificent Mount Arrowsmith towers above the community. Neighbouring provincial parks are alive with rich forests and gushing waterfalls. You name it, Parksville has it.
Life’s a beach
My entire life has been about the beach. I have lived in Parksville since I was four years old. As kids, we spent every summer at the beach, building sandcastles, splashing in the ocean and hunting for tiny crabs during low tide. When temperatures soared, my family and I hung out at Englishman River in Top Bridge Regional Park. When I was eight years old, I plunged off the ledge into the chilly river for the first time. Eleven years later, I still jump off the same ledge. A dip in the crisp, clear river is an awesome way to cool off on a hot day.
As a student in the Tourism and Recreation Management Program at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, I am keen to promote Parksville and the surrounding area. Parksville offers a wealth of outdoor activities, including hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, windsurfing and birdwatching. With six golf courses in the area, this region is a wonderland for golf enthusiasts.
Numerous provincial parks offer an abundance of walking trails. The trails and boardwalk in Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park lead you through awe-inspiring, old-growth forest and along the stunning ocean. Macmillan Provincial Park is home to giant Douglas Firs, some of which are 800 years old. Englishman River Provincial Park and Little Qualicum Falls Provincial Park boast spectacular waterfalls.
In the summer, you can often find me at the beach. When the ocean is calm and glassy, I rent a stand-up paddle board at Parksville Community Beach and head out on the water. Gliding on the glistening ocean is an awesome stress-buster and lots of fun. Kayaks, canoes and windsurf boards are also available at the community beach. Located on the edge of town, Rathtrevor Beach stretches for five kilometres along the sky blue ocean. Tidal pools are dotted with starfish, crabs and sand dollars. Less busy than the city beach, Rathtrevor Beach is a relaxing and beautiful place to spend the day.
With a population of about 12,000 people, Parksville has a laid-back, friendly vibe. Everyone greets you with a smile. Pacific Brimm Coffee & Tea Co. reflects this neighbourly feel. Located downtown Parksville, this cozy coffee shop has a warm and inviting atmosphere. It is a favourite among locals and you’ll find residents visiting with friends or savouring solo time with a coffee and the newspaper. Buzzing with activity seven days a week, Pacific Brimm serves everything from freshly-baked pastries and tasty, hot breakfasts (burritos, omelettes, buttermilk pancakes and more) to home-made soups and sandwiches. The owners (who happen to be my family) are great people.
Tucked away from big cities and surrounded by abundant nature, Parksville is a quiet enclave that allows you to unwind and rejuvenate. Regardless of the season, you’ll always find locals walking on the boardwalk along the ocean. We never get tired of the beach.