Park Guides: Stotan Falls

We had heard about Stotan Falls near Courtenay a few years ago. People who have been here before say it’s a perfect place to swim and explore so we were already motivated to find this spot, but then a promotional video in September 2017 from the Matador Network (check it out on Youtube HERE) made us even more googley-eyed and excited to check it out! Fast-forward to this summer and our friend posted pictures of it on Facebook and we knew it was finally time to just go!

Stotan Falls has been a bit of a secret for many years, though locals know it and love it as a great summer spot to cool down and relax. Continue reading “Park Guides: Stotan Falls”

Park Guide: Sandy Island Marine Park

looking back at Denman from Sandy Island

Having grown up on Vancouver Island, I’m fortunate that this island and its surroundings have always provided the backdrop to my camping experiences, hiking trips, and island adventures.  Of course, as I got older and started exploring on my own, I found my favourites and, over the years, I’ve apparently developed a bit of a routine that helps make sure I visit these places as often as I can.  One such place is Hornby Island.  It’s my happy place and I’d be there every weekend if I could!

the view at the bottom of the stairs on the way to Sandy Island

My trips to Hornby usually consist of:

  • drive from Nanaimo to Buckley Bay
  • catch the ferry to Denman (always using my BC Ferry Experience Card)
  • drive as fast as I can across Denman
  • catch the ferry to Hornby
  • have an amazing time on Hornby

In all the years I’ve been going to Hornby Island, I’ve spent zero time on Denman Island and have always kinda wondered what I’d find there if I ever stayed longer than it takes to catch the ferry.

Continue reading “Park Guide: Sandy Island Marine Park”

Top 10 List: Best Donuts on Vancouver Island

It’s Top 10 Tuesday and we’ve got a “treat” for you this week!  We’ve listed the best places to get a donut (or do you spell it doughnut?!) around the island!

I have some pretty “sweet” childhood memories spinning in brown chairs and snacking on the famous-when-I-younger walnut crunches and Robin’s Eggs donuts when my Dad and I would visit at Robin’s Donuts at the old Harewood Mall in Nanaimo. When we came up with the idea for this post, I realized that donuts were a pretty important part of my childhood and I’ve always felt like they were just the best treat.

  1. Billy G’s Donuts, Coombs, BC
  2. Bigfoot Donuts, Courtenay, BC
  3. Empire Donuts, Victoria, BC
  4. Yonni’s Doughnuts, Victoria, BC
  5. Rhino Tofino, Tofino, BC
  6. The Donut Shop, Port Alberni, BC
  7. Cumberland Village Bakery, Cumberland, BC
  8. Mad Dawg Donuts, Nanaimo, BC
  9. Perks Donuts, Campbell River, BC
  10. Columbia Bakery, Nanaimo, BC

Growing up, my Dad worked shift work and would often leave me a donut for breakfast when he got home from night shift.  We both love this memory and, fast forward to today, he was thrilled to help me research this post! In our research, we discovered we are clearly not the only ones who love donuts… All the donut shops on our list often sell out quickly (trust me, I had to go back a few times to complete my research) so be sure to go grab a donut early!  To learn more about why this is our Top 10 List, read on below!

Continue reading “Top 10 List: Best Donuts on Vancouver Island”

Park Guide: Little Huson Regional Park

On a recent adventure to Vancouver Island North, we set out to visit a few places we had never been to before.  We had a laundry list of potential places that all sounded amazing and came recommended by friends.  Little Huson Caves Regional Park was at the top of the list so we made sure to carve out the time to stop here… And it was one of the highlights of our visit!

Little Huson Caves (a.k.a Little Huson Caves Regional Park or Little Hustan Park or Little Huson Park) is about 9km off Highway 19.  You take the turn towards Zeballos, but you’ll see and follow signs to the park almost immediately after turning off the highway.  It’s well signed and the road is decent.  You cross two bridges and see some amazing scenery along the way.  We took a risk going on a tire with a temporary plug, so I was feeling the stress as the driver, but the passengers were happy enough and luckily we made it without incident!

Continue reading “Park Guide: Little Huson Regional Park”

Try This: Go Glamping on Hornby!

This year, I seem to have inadvertently taken on a mission to find and stay in the most unique places we have on the island.  Earlier this year, I made a long-time dream come true and finally stayed at Free Spirit Spheres in Qualicum.  The whole experience there was relaxing but exciting at the same time and incredibly unique.  During my stay here, I couldn’t stop smiling and, since then, I think I’ve told just about everyone I know to go stay here!  (For more about that experience, click here)

Staying at Free Spirit Spheres got me wondering about other unique accommodations in and around the island, hence the inadvertent mission.  Our little piece of paradise never ceases to surprise me with the amazing and incredible things we can do and see right here in our own backyard.  I’ve since discovered there are plenty of fun and unique places to go check out, like the yurts at Wya Point in Ucluelet and a cob cottage on Mayne Island but what caught my eye immediately were the newly opened glamping tents at Fossil Beach Farms on Hornby Island.  I saw this awesome little clip in my newsfeed one day and immediately emailed to book a stay!

Golden hour from Lanta tent ❤️ #wherefarmmeetssea

A post shared by Fossil Beach Farm (@fossilbeachfarm) on

Continue reading “Try This: Go Glamping on Hornby!”

Top 10 List: Best Places to Brunch around the Island

It’s Top 10 Tuesday and this week we’ve got our list of Fav Places to Brunch in the spotlight!  To me, brunching is synonymous with a Sunday sleep-in, getting ready leisurely, going for a drive to one of these places, enjoying a delicious meal, and then continuing the adventure somewhere/somehow.  Doesn’t that just sound like Heaven?!

barborsa.com

Brunching is one of my most favourite things to do so this was a hard list to keep to just 10 places but here it is!  Our Top 10 Places to Brunch around the Island 🙂

  1. Riso, Lantzville, BC
  2. Blue Fox Cafe, Victoria, BC
  3. Gabriel’s, Nanaimo, BC
  4. The Hen & Hog, Courtenay, BC
  5. Middle Beach Lodge, Tofino, BC
  6. Mom’s Cafe, Sooke, BC
  7. The Roost Vineyard Bistro , Saanich, BC
  8. Smoke N Water, Nanoose, BC
  9. Swale Rock Cafe, Port Alberni, BC
  10. The Killer Whale Cafe, Telegraph Cove, BC

The Island is great for it’s brunching options, from the Mom & Pop style kitchens to the upscale resorts to specialty buffets and I admit this list is nowhere close to complete.  But what I can say is that I always have a good time at these places and have eaten very delicious food.  I highly recommend you go check them out if you haven’t already! Continue reading below for more information and a little about why these places made our list.

Continue reading “Top 10 List: Best Places to Brunch around the Island”