Qualicum Beach is located 48 km northwest of Nanaimo on the east coast of Vancouver Island. Bordering the Strait of Georgia, this beautiful beach has plenty of parking along the Oceanside Route (Hwy 19A) with a promenade, changing rooms, picnic tables and restaurants. The Qualicum Beach railway station is open from late May to September and is located on Beach Road.
The name “Qualicum” comes from a native Salish word meaning “where the dog salmon run” and it is a good place for fishing and clam digging. The seemingly endless golden sandy beach has shallow waters and is backed by undulating countryside in an area known for its arts, crafts and English gardens.
Local activities include horse riding on the sand, windsurfing and kayaking. There are equipment rentals and lessons if required. Launch your kayak or canoe into the Little Qualicum River Estuary from the beach and explore the nearly Wildlife Preserve and Qualicum National Wildlife Area. Fishing (shore fishing and charters) is popular and the Fall Salmon Run attracts many anglers to the area from October onwards. You can visit the nearby hatchery and see the salmon climbing the fish ladder.
Qualicum Beach is a delightful seaside community favoured by artisans, carvers and glass blowers. The nearby Power House Museum is fascinating and includes tales of Georgia Strait shipwrecks. Other big attractions are the annual Ocean Mile Swim and the Qualicum Beach Fire and Ice Street Festival attracting over 6,000 visitors. It includes a Chilli Cook Off (representing Fire) and ice carving competitions along with live music and food stalls.
The nearby marsh is a habitat for ducks, Black Brant Geese and marsh-loving birds while the Heritage Forest of Qualicum Beach has a stand of Douglas Firs that are over 300 years old.
- Good fishing
- Kite surfing
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