Parksville / Qualicum Beach / Coombs

Central Vancouver Island’s Oceanside Towns

Boasting amazing parks, beautiful sandy beaches, spectacular golf courses, and plenty of boutique shops, Vancouver Island’s Oceanside towns of Parksville, Qualicum Beach and Coombs are definitely worth a visit.

To start your Oceanside adventure, from Port Alberni head down the Alberni Highway (BC-4)  towards Nanaimo/Campbell River approximately 35 minutes (or 33km).

  • To visit the quaint community of Coombs turn right onto BC-4A for approximately 2.1km.
  • If you wish to continue to Parksville keep travelling down BC-4A for another 9km.
  • To visit Qualicum Beach, instead of turning onto BC-4A, continue on the Alberni Highway (BC-4) for another 5.4km.

View from the street in downtown Qualicum Beach

Qualicum Beach

Feel like you’ve gone back in time as you explore this quaint community, known for its long sandy beach, golf courses, and afternoon tea in the Milner Gardens.

Take a stroll along the beach and stop for lunch at Qualicum Beach Cafe. Book a tee time at Qualicum Beach Memorial Golf Club and enjoy a leisurely round of golf on this seaside course while taking in views of Mt. Arrowsmith, the Coastal Mountain Range, and the Georgia Strait. Finish your day walking the paths of an old-growth Douglas Fir forest and Rhododendron Gardens or enjoy high tea at Vancouver Island University’s Milner Gardens.

Learn more about what Qualicum Beach has to offer at the Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism site.


Beach Lovers can’t miss this Island Favourite. Known for having lovely warm waters and fresh sea air, its long stretches of sandy beach rival even those found in much more tropical locations. Start your trip at the ever popular Parksville Community Park. Centrally located this beautiful park boasts stunning views of Parksville Bay and is home to many community events and festivals as well as recreational facilities. If shopping is on your list, you’re in luck as Parksville is home to many boutique shops like Wilde & Sparrow or Soak Lifestyle. Be sure to check the Parksville Downtown website for a complete guide to shopping in Downtown Parksville. Finally for the art lover, Parksville is home to the amazing McMillan Arts Centre (the MAC). The centre has ongoing art exhibitions and musical concerts where visitors are most welcome.

Learn more about what Parksville has to offer at the Parksville Qualicum Beach Tourism site.

Beach Path Community Park Parksville


Coombs is the gateway to the Alberni Valley, and a quirky stop on your way to or from the neighbouring communities. Stop and shop for unique treasures, enjoy an ice cream, or pick up a tasty picnic at the Coombs Country Market, and enjoy the unique tastes of this fun place. Watch out for the goats on the ROOF! ^^

Things to See and Do Around Coombs

Old Country Market

For many years we have travelled the world to find the most interesting imported gifts and souvenirs to bring back to Coombs. We carry a large selection of children’s toys, art supplies, ceramic dishes, cast iron accessories, home décor… there really is a little bit everything. Hand-blown Mexican glass? Nepalese prayer flags? Goats on the Roof bumper sticker? We have it all! Our stock is always changing, visit regularly to discover new treasures!

Location: 2326 Alberni Hwy, Coombs (map)
Contact: (250) 248-6272 | Website
Hours: Mon – Sun 9:00AM – 7:00PM

Cathedral Grove / MacMillan Provincial Park

MacMillan Provincial Park, also known as Cathedral Grove, greets visitors approaching the Alberni Valley from the east along Highway 4. Stop and appreciate the ancient Western Red Cedars and towering Douglas firs—some as old as 800 years—while strolling the shaded trails and boardwalks on either side of the highway.

Location: 452 Alberni Hwy (map)
Contact: (250) 474-1336 | Website

Butterfly World

See hundreds of beautiful butterflies while enjoying the tropical climate, listen to sweet songs of finches and say hello to Samson, the resident Tortoise.

Location: 1080 Winchester Rd, Coombs (map)
Contact: (250) 248-7026 | Website
Hours: Mon – Sun 10:00AM – 4:00PM

Dutch Store

“A little piece of Holland”
Located in the heart of Coombs you will find all things Dutch here from wooden shoes to Heemskerk Sjoelbak (Shuffleboard).

Location: 2268 Alberni Hwy, Coombs (map)
Contact: (250) 954-2336 | Website
Hours: Mon – Sat 9:00AM – 5:00PM, Sun 10:00AM – 5:00PM

Coombs Emporium

Located next to the Old Country Market, the Coombs Emporium is a unique and quirky gallery of stone and wood carvings.

Location: 2300 Alberni Hwy, Coombs (map)
Contact: (250) 248-5895
Hours: Mon – Sun 9:00AM – 6:00PM