Beaches and Swimming
Qualicum Bay has a nice clean, quiet beach area. Accessed from Sunny Beach Road, it is protected from traffic noise by a tract of private land. If you follow the water to the left, during lower tides you'll find lovely sandy areas, and relatively warm water, comfortable for swimming. The beach is an excellent choice for a leisurely stroll, and is covered with a variety of natural treasures just waiting for the beachcomber in each one of us.
Qualicum Beach is a quaint, upscale town about 15 minutes from Qualicum Bay Resort. It's also the site of a very popular public beach. If you like to park and gaze at the beautiful view from the comfort of your vehicle, or if you prefer to stroll along a paved seawall, then this is a great location. As the tide recedes, the ocean reveals a beautiful stretch of glistening sand, sparkling in the high summer sun. This is one of the best places to see and be seen. Parking can be a problem on hot summer days, so plan to arrive early. And any time of the year, plan to enjoy!
Parksville Beach is roughly 25 minutes from Qualicum Bay and is the area's second-largest public beach. Located in the middle of the city of Parksville, it boasts beautiful soft white sand, and has a playground for the little ones. Although it's a popular choice for locals and visitors alike, there's usually adequate parking conveniently available.
Rathtrevor Beach is big and beautiful. Perhaps your plans for the perfect sandcastle require several hundred square feet. Or maybe you'd like enough room for all those extra-large beach towels. Well, this place can accommodate them if they're all the size of tennis courts! Sand, sand, sand, almost as far as the eye can see. It's approximately a 30-minute drive to the beach, and if the tide is out, you can walk barefoot in the sand for another 30 minutes before you finally dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean. While there's usually plenty of parking, it can be quite a distance from the beach. So be sure to bring someone strong with you, someone to carry the picnic cooler and all its refreshing contents.
Spider Lake has clean, warm water and is ideal for family swimming. There's a Provincial Park beach, and a full-time park warden is on duty during daylight hours. This picturesque location is also perfect for canoeing. Parking is free.
Horne Lake is located just beyond Spider Lake, and also offers a Provincial Park beach. Please keep in mind that paid parking is enforced at this park.
Cameron Lake is located on the Port Alberni Highway, between Little Qualicum Falls and Cathedral Grove. This lovely little mountain lake is considered bottomless, so keep your eyes peeled and who knows, you may discover a Loch Ness monster of your very own.