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Beach

Where to next on Vancouver Island: Parksville Beach Community Park Beach

•  Easy
•  Parksville
Time:
1hr+
Length:
1km

Activity:

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playground
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Accessibility:

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All ages elderly Icon
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#1 Family Beach on Vancouver Island - Parksville Beach

When it comes to sandy beaches, Parksville stands out as the most family-friendly spot on Vancouver Island. With its warm waters and amenities, Parksville Beach is the top beach holiday destination for young families seeking a perfect beach getaway and an unforgettable vacation.

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Parksville Beach Community Park Beach Photos:

A bright summer day at Parksville Beach with clear blue skies and gentle waves lapping the shore. The beach is filled with people enjoying the warm weather, and the distant shoreline is lined with trees and activity.

Situated along the east coast of central Vancouver Island, in the oceanside community of Parksville, this kilometre-long beach features a 445-meter boardwalk and paved walking trails. These paths run along the beachfront and are designed to be wheelchair and stroller-friendly.

The shallow water offers some of the warmest swimming on Canada’s west coast. During low tide, nearly a kilometre of warm, white sand becomes visible as the ocean retreats creating ample space for beachgoers to enjoy, with plenty of warm sand perfect for lounging and playing along the water’s edge.

 

Parksville Community Park Features

  • Sand beach
  • Boardwalk
  • Food trucks
  • Play park with splash park
  • Treed picnic areas
  • Summer festival that lasts for over five weeks
  • Sports fields including a skate park, basketball and beach volleyball

Parksville Beach

At high tide, the shoreline is scattered with driftwood and pebbles. However, as the tide recedes, it quickly reveals almost a full kilometre of sandy beach. You can check the tide schedules on this page.

A wooden boardwalk and a paved trail stretch along the shore, providing easy access for everyone and offering a pleasant way to enjoy the beach. Venture off the boardwalk into the sandy area, and be sure to bring your beach gear. Set up your camping chair in the shallow water, dip your feet into the warm sea, and gaze out at the Salish Sea while the kids build sandcastles and hunt for sand dollars.

Tips: It is alive if a sand dollar is black or dark purple. It is no longer living if it is beige, tan, or grey. Please avoid removing sand dollars or any other marine life from the beaches.

A tranquil scene of shallow water at Parksville Beach with reflections of the sky and distant shore. A few people are seen walking and playing in the water, with trees and mountains in the background.

Amenities

Renovated washrooms next to the playground with running water and flush toilets. Food trucks are set up throughout the summer months. 

Parking

The main parking lot is located next to the curling club as you enter the park. Additional parking is available further up the road, but these spots fill up quickly. On busy days, a large gravel parking lot behind the curling rink can accommodate many vehicles.

Getting Here

The city of Parksville is located on the East Coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The closest airport and BC ferry are in Nanaimo, 30 minutes south of Highway 19. 

Parksville BC – Google Map directions

Tips and Suggestions

Beach Time: Experience the full beach with the most exposed sand during low tide, but the beach is wonderful to visit at any time of day.

Weekends and Summer:  Parksville Beach is one of the most popular spots on Vancouver Island during a hot weekend, so arrive early to enjoy a full day at the beach.

Parking: Parking fills up fast, but there is a large gravel lot behind the curling rink, with room for trailers and motor homes during the slower times.

Helpful links:
Tide Information
Beach Fest
More Beaches
Beach Gear

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are dogs allowed?
The park and beach are dog-friendly, furry friends must stay on a leash.
Dogs are not permitted on beaches during the Black Brant Geese migration period in spring.

Are there restaurants along the beach?
In the summer, you can find food trucks and ice cream vendors.

Show More
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For the Kids

This beach is considered one of the best on Vancouver Island for many reasons, but the abundance of fun activities for kids makes it a top summer spot for families in Western Canada.

  • Shallow water & Sand for the kids to play in
  • Re-designed play park
  • Spray Park
  • Ice cream and food trucks
  • Skateboard park

 

Playground at Parksville Beach: A vibrant playground at Parksville Beach featuring a large octopus-shaped climbing structure on a colorful rubberized surface. The background shows various play equipment, including slides and climbing frames, with children playing and trees surrounding the area.

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"It's a beautiful park where you can easily spend the day with or without the kids!! And the view is spectacular." Drew

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200 metres from Parksville Beach and each unit is fitted with a fully...

Beachfest - Parksville Beach Festival

This 5.5-week-long family-oriented festival, known locally as Beachfest, runs from mid-July to the third week of August. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities, including the Sand Sculpting Competition & Exhibition, which kicks off the festival and showcases incredible sand sculptures from master sculptors around the world. The exhibition continues for the full duration of the event.

Sand Sculpting Competition & Exhibition

This isn’t your typical bucket-and-spade sandcastles. The Parksville Beach Festival’s Sand Sculpting Competition attracts master sculptors from around the globe. These artists have three days to create their masterpieces. The competition kicks off with a “pound up” on the first day, where sculptors build and fill their forms before starting the intricate carving process.

Visitors can watch the live sculpting, with judging on the final day. The sculptures remain on display for the 5-week event, allowing visitors ample time to admire the works and vote for their favourite to win the People’s Choice Award. This exhibition is open daily, with a suggested donation of $5 supporting local non-profits.

Buskers

Throughout Beachfest, you can enjoy live music performed by city buskers from around Vancouver Island. These performances take place at the beachfront gazebo, adjacent to the sand sculpting exhibition, from 11 AM to 1 PM and 2 PM to 4 PM.

Beach Festival Website

A broad view of Parksville Beach with a few people sitting on driftwood near the shore. In the distance, there are buildings and trees, with mountains visible on the horizon. The water is calm, reflecting the cloudy sky.

Things to do

Parksville Community Park offers activities that cater to all families, making it a prime destination for a fun and relaxing day out. Whether you’re in the mood for a leisurely stroll along the scenic boardwalk or a refreshing dip in the shallow waters.

It has various sports facilities, a playground and splash park for kids, and plenty of shaded areas perfect for a picnic. If you visit in July, don’t miss the vibrant Beachfest, featuring impressive sand sculptures and live music.

Here’s our list of things to do around Parksville Beach:

  • Walk the boardwalk and out to the point – find the legacy labyrinth
  • Set up a beach chair and everything you need for the beach in the shallow waters to keep your feet in the water
  • Grab some food from the main street or one of the food trucks along the beach and enjoy the shade in the treed area
  • Take part in one of the many sports facilities set up
  • Enjoy the playground and splash park for kids
  • Check out the festival when visiting in July and August

 

 

Enjoy a day filled with activities and scenic beauty at Parksville Beach, making it a perfect spot for families and individuals alike.

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Accommodations close to the beach

Beachclub Resort – Located right on the beach with easy oceanfront access and has an indoor pool – more…

Tides Inn – Located on West Island Highway,  features a garden, BBQ facilities and outdoor seating – more…

Bayside Resort -Beautiful views of Parksville beach, outdoor swimming pool with spa and wellness centre – more…

Sea Edge – Each room boasts a balcony with ocean views. A kitchenette with a dining area is featured in all rooms – more..

 

More Family-Friendly Places Around Parksville

Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park – Provincial Park Beach with expansive sand during low tide

Top Bridge – A fun, quick stop for the family

Animal Sanctuary – Rescued bears, birds and other animals in a family-friendly environment.

Englishman River Waterfall – Year-round waterfall and a forest hike

Coombs – Who doesn’t like to see goats on a roof

 

Helpful links

Parksville Tourism

Directions – Google Maps

Parksville Beach Festival

Vancouver Island Beaches

 

History

The Parksville area has been home to the Coast Salish people for countless generations. The Coast Salish consist of eighteen First Nations spread throughout the Salish Sea, each possessing unique cultures and languages.

Parksville got its name after the Englishman River Post Office changed its name to Parksville Post Office after the postmaster Nelson Parks.

Logging was a major industry in Parksville. In 1901, the arrival of the railway marked the beginning of a tourism boom. This new accessibility allowed many Vancouver Islanders to travel to Parksville and enjoy its stunning beaches. Parksville was incorporated as a village in 1945, became a town in 1978, and achieved city status in 1986.

In 1925, a group of residents purchased the land comprising the Community Park for $3,000. The funds were raised through community events such as barn dances and sports days. The original park was constructed primarily with volunteer labour and donated materials.

In 1985, the Parksville Lions Club took on the responsibility for the children’s playground and added the water spray park in 1991.

Throughout 2022-2024, the park saw a long list of additions and upgrades to the playground, washroom facility, sports fields and courts, outdoor theatre, and accessibility improvements.

Gear Tips For Vancouver Island

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When you’re gearing up for an outdoor adventure on Vancouver Island, the key is to dress in layers, no matter the season. The island’s weather can throw curveballs, with conditions varying significantly from the sheltered forests to the breezy coastlines.

For those cool winter escapades, your go-to should include quality rain gear, topped off with a cozy beanie or toque, and a pair of light gloves to keep the chill at bay.

Summer explorers, don’t be fooled by the warmer temps; that same waterproof shell that kept you dry in the winter will be your best friend against the cool ocean breezes.

Remember, the right clothing and gear can make or break your outdoor experience on Vancouver Island, ensuring you enjoy every moment, come rain or shine.

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FAQ:

Are dogs allowed?
The park and beach are dog-friendly, furry friends must stay on a leash.
Dogs are not permitted on beaches during the Black Brant Geese migration period in spring.

Are there restaurants along the beach?
In the summer, you can find food trucks and ice cream vendors.

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Original Author:

Modified: July 7, 2024
Last Visit: August 6, 2023
Best Western Northgate
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Located in Parksville, 200 metres from Parksville Beach, Coast Parksv...

Thank you for visiting – I hope you found the information you were looking for at VIBL (Vancouver Island Bucket List) please continue to discover all of the great places that makes Vancouver Island so great! 

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Pack Out:
We love Vancouver Island and want to keep the natural beauty. Please respect the places you visit and pack out what you pack in and leave the area better than when you arrived. We all know how much trash can spoil an experience and the environment, so please help us keep it clean!

Wildlife:
Vancouver Island is a land of natural beauty and abundant wildlife. Please be aware of your surroundings and take the usual precautions for personal and wildlife safety.
Black bears, cougars and even wolves are common on Vancouver Island for more on Wildlife Safety Click Here 

Tide and Seasonal Safety:
Changing seasons and tides can have a drastic effect on most locations on Vancouver Island. Please be cautious as the information in this post may vary depending on the time of year and weather. Make sure to check for current weather and tide information before you make your journey! Click here for the tides in your area. 

Be aware of ocean currents before swimming, paddle boarding or kayaking.

Land Acknowledgement:
We would like to acknowledge the land we appreciate daily within the 50 First Nations that make up the traditional territories of the Coast Salish, Nuu chah nulth, and Kwakiutl–the first peoples of Vancouver Island .

Disclaimer:
The information on this website should not be taken as accurate, complete or up-to-date. Please check and look into the information yourself. We do not assume any liabilities for the use of this information. It is unreasonable to rely solely upon the information from this website. 

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