Discover waterfront stays and outdoor adventures in this unique city on Vancouver Island

Adventure in Alberni Valley

Looking to make a spring getaway to Vancouver Island at a destination that’s a little on the undiscovered side? Head straight to the heart of Vancouver Island in the Alberni Valley with a trip to Port Alberni.

Located one hour inland from Nanaimo along the Alberni Inlet, the mid-Island city is the best starting point for island adventures, as it is within easy reach to hiking trails, lakes, waterfalls and more outside experiences at every turn, making the Alberni Valley a perfect vacation spot for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers.

Plus, the region is full of many unique accommodation options to help you find the prime base for your explorations.

Stay like a seafarer

Get swept away at Swept Away Inn and book a floating stay aboard the MV Songhee. Once a U.S. Navy minesweeper, the restored vintage 1944 tugboat that has been converted into a fully licensed floating bed and breakfast, with a restaurant that serves the finest Moroccan-French cuisine in Port Alberni.

Swept Away Inn is located in the Centennial Pier next to the Alberni Harbour Quay, making it an ultra convenient base for your exploration of the nearby shops, cafes and restaurants.

Go on hiking trails with unforgettable viewpoints

No matter which direction you’re heading along the Alberni Highway, or Highway 4, you’re guaranteed to find a hiking trail that will take you to incredible viewpoints and literal heights.

When heading east on Highway 4, you will immediately spot some trailheads to choose your own hiking adventure. First things first; park your vehicle in the parking lot across from Coombs Country Candy, where you can pick up some sweet and savoury treats, such as artisan chocolates and gourmet popcorn, for sustenance during your hike.

At just under four kilometres, the Alberni Valley Lookout Trail is an out and back hiking trail that takes approximately one to two hours to complete. After an elevation gain of 130 metres, you will reach a stunning viewpoint that opens you up to sweeping panoramic views of the inlet, Port Alberni and the surrounding mountains.

The Stokes Creek Falls Trail is an easy waterfall hike that can be completed in 30 minutes to an hour, with a trail that meanders through the woods and culminates in a climb up a steep hill to get to the wooden bridge in front of the gushing waterfalls.

If you’re craving more adventure, continue onwards along Highway 4 for camping at Loon Lake and more challenging trailheads toward Mount Arrowsmith. Even further along, you will find Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park, where you can hike to see some of the oldest and tallest trees in Canada.

Enjoy a lakeside retreat at Sproat Lake

Located west of Highway 4, towards the Pacific Rim, is Sproat Lake, one of Vancouver Island’s best spots for fishing, swimming, windsurfing and many other activities on its clear and warm freshwater lake.

For those planning to stay at Sproat Lake, the picturesque Sproat Lake Landing Resort and Lodge offers luxury accommodations that offer cottage country charm along the shore. The resort has an adventure centre for lake activities, and lake tours aboard the Drinkwater IV Tugboat are available for guests.

Spending quality time with your special someone? Rent this cute and charming cabin for two, located right on Sproat Lake, through VRBO. This quaint and fully equipped cottage features a private deck with beautiful views overlooking the water. After a day of kayaking or relaxing, end your day with a dip in the soaker tub under the starlit sky.

Plan your trip to Port Alberni and the Alberni Valley at www.albernivalleytourism.com.

This article is written by or on behalf of the sponsoring client and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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