Darby's Destinations Luxury Travel - Italy

A Guide to Vancouver and Vancouver Island

Should you visit Vancouver or Vancouver Island? Why not both?

May 27, 2022

With ferries connecting bustling Vancouver with the wilderness of Vancouver Island in less than two hours, these two destinations can be visited as part of the same trip. While it is possible to take a day trip to Vancouver Island, you may feel pressed for time. Splitting your vacation across the two is the perfect solution.


Vancouver is the most ethnically diverse city in Canada. You can explore historic and modern art at the Vancouver Art Gallery, where special attention is paid to the achievements of First Nations artists. On the other hand, the UBC Museum of Anthropology displays preeminent First Nations artworks, sculptures, and artifacts.

Victoria, the capital of Vancouver Island, is not without its share of museums and galleries. The Royal BC Museum explores natural and human history through its three permanent galleries: Natural History, Becoming BC, and the First Peoples Gallery.

Food and Drink

The coastal environment of Vancouver Island lends itself to an eclectic mix of red and white wines. Most of the wineries are located in the Cowichan Valley which is convenient from both Victoria and Nanaimo. Vineyards and wineries welcome guests to sample the varieties and tour the grounds.

Owing to the diversity of Vancouver, the city is a melting point of cuisines from all around the world. Besides creative renditions of poutine, you will find salmon, West Coast oysters, and bannock bread across the menus. Sushi is a specialty in the city.

Great Outdoors

Vancouver Island is known for its remarkable nature but the journey starts in the city of Vancouver. 15 minutes from the downtown, the Capilano Suspension Bridge totters 70 meters above the forest floor and offers panoramic views over the Capilano River Regional Park.

Meanwhile, views from the summit of Grouse Mountain are yours after either a moderate hike or a scenic ride on the gondola. Not forgetting the lush Stanley Park, a waterfront recreation area offering beaches, walking and cycling trails, Indigenous monuments, and landscaped gardens.

The Inland Island Highway connects the outdoor destinations of Vancouver Island. At the northernmost tip, the remote Cape Scott Provincial Park offers hiking trails amongst ancient woodlands and pristine beaches. Sooke Potholes Provincial Park contains a unique rock formation as a result of the last Ice Age and is accessible via a series of pleasant hikes.

The Wild Pacific Trail, south of surf capital Tofino, is a family-friendly hike along craggy bluffs with sweeping coastal views that culminate at Amphitrite Point Lighthouse.


Vancouver and Vancouver Island both provide incredible opportunities for whale watching. Tours run between March and October when the marine mammals migrate. Whales that you have a high percentage of spotting include orcas, humpback, minke, and gray whales. Not forgetting dolphins and seabirds!

Vancouver Island provides habitat to black bears, cougars, wolves, elk, and countless bird species so always keep your eyes alert while exploring. Do also remember to visit the Victoria Butterfly Gardens while on Vancouver Island.

Are you ready to explore the sights of Vancouver and Vancouver Island? Contact me and we will start making preparations.

Ready to embark on your own journey to the extraordinary?