Alert Bay Travel Guide: Top 10 Things to Do in Alert Bay, BC

Welcome to Alert Bay, a small village located on Cormorant Island in British Columbia, Canada. This picturesque island community is rich in Indigenous culture and history, and is home to the ‘Namgis First Nation, one of the most prominent Indigenous groups in British Columbia. With a population of just over 400 people, Alert Bay is a unique and off-the-beaten-path destination for travelers looking to immerse themselves in Indigenous culture, witness traditional ceremonies, and explore the natural beauty of the region.

Nomadic Samuel feeling inspired to take photos at Alert Bay.

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to visit for the first time with my wife Audrey (better known as That Backpacker) and my father-in-law Daniel. It’s one of many destinations (on this particular trip), that I never visited when I lived on Vancouver Island. Well, better late than never. I found this place to be a fascinating day trip and a great excuse to get on a scenic BC ferry.

The village offers visitors a wide range of activities and attractions, including whale watching tours, hiking trails, and the U’mista Cultural Centre, which showcases the vibrant history and traditions of the ‘Namgis people. Whether you’re interested in exploring the outdoors, learning about Indigenous culture, or simply enjoying the laid-back island lifestyle, Alert Bay has something for everyone.

So gather your roady worthy essentials and come experience the beauty and culture of Alert Bay, a truly one-of-a-kind destination that will leave you with lasting memories and a deep appreciation for Indigenous culture and traditions.

Alert Bay Travel Guide: Things to do visiting the Village of Alert Bay, British Columbia, Canada including seeing the totem poles

Alert Bay City Guide: A Brief History Of Alert Bay, BC

Alert Bay is a small village located on Cormorant Island, just off the coast of British Columbia, Canada. The island itself has a rich and fascinating history, with the ‘Namgis First Nation calling it home for over 6,000 years. The location of the island made it an important center for trade and commerce between Indigenous groups along the coast, and this continued until the arrival of European explorers and traders in the late 18th century.

Despite the changes that came with the arrival of these newcomers, the ‘Namgis people continued to maintain their traditions and way of life. However, the arrival of Christian missionaries and government officials in the late 19th century had a significant impact on the community and their traditions.

In the early 20th century, the Hudson’s Bay Company established a trading post on the island, and the community began to grow and develop rapidly. Fishing and logging became important industries in the region, and the community became known for its vibrant and colorful totem poles, which were created by local carvers and became an important symbol of the community’s Indigenous culture.

Nomadic Samuel taking photos of the totem poles in Alert Bay, BC, Canada

Challenges And Resiliency

Despite the challenges and changes that Alert Bay has faced over the years, it has remained a strong and resilient community that is proud of its history and traditions. The ‘Namgis people continue to play an important role in the community, and visitors to Alert Bay have the opportunity to learn about their history and culture at the U’mista Cultural Centre, which showcases the vibrant history and traditions of the ‘Namgis people.

In addition to learning about the Indigenous culture and history of the region, visitors to Alert Bay can also enjoy a wide range of activities and attractions, including hiking trails, whale watching tours, and a variety of cultural events throughout the year. The village itself is small and picturesque, with charming streets and buildings that are reminiscent of its early history as a trading post.

Alert Bay is a unique and fascinating destination that is well worth a visit for anyone interested in Indigenous culture and history, as well as for those who simply enjoy exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations. The community’s resilience and pride in its heritage is truly inspiring, and visitors are sure to leave with a deep appreciation for the culture and traditions of the ‘Namgis people.

Our travel video from Alert Bay on Samuel and Audrey YouTube Channel

Alert Bay Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in British Columbia

Alert Bay is a small village located on Cormorant Island in British Columbia, Canada. It has a rich history and cultural significance to the Indigenous peoples of the region. Visitors to Alert Bay can experience the local culture and natural beauty of the area through a variety of attractions and activities.

One of the top attractions in Alert Bay is the U’mista Cultural Centre. This museum houses an extensive collection of Indigenous artifacts and art, including ceremonial masks, carvings, and textiles. The centre also provides educational programs and hosts cultural events, such as dance performances and art exhibitions.

Another must-visit attraction is the Alert Bay Ecological Park. The park features beautiful trails through the forest, along the beach, and past a salmon spawning stream. Visitors can observe a variety of wildlife, including eagles, ravens, and black bears, as well as marine life, such as seals and whales.

For those interested in learning about local history, the Alert Bay Museum is a great place to start. The museum showcases the history of the village and the surrounding region, from the early days of settlement to the present. Exhibits include photographs, artifacts, and stories of the people and events that have shaped the area.

More Than Just Attractions

Alert Bay is also home to several historic sites, including the St. Michael’s Indian Residential School, which was in operation from 1929 to 1975. This site is now home to the ‘Namgis First Nation administration offices, and a small museum dedicated to the legacy of residential schools in Canada.

Art enthusiasts will appreciate the many galleries and studios in Alert Bay, showcasing the work of local artists and craftspeople. From jewelry and textiles to carvings and paintings, there is something for every taste.

When it comes to dining, Alert Bay offers a variety of options. Visitors can enjoy fresh seafood, locally sourced ingredients, and international cuisine. The Seine Boat Inn Restaurant is a popular choice, offering a cozy atmosphere and delicious seafood dishes.

In terms of accommodations, Alert Bay has a few options to choose from. Visitors can stay at the Alert Bay Lodge, which features comfortable rooms and stunning views of the bay. For a more unique experience, the Bayside Inn offers rustic cabins and a communal kitchen for guests to use.

Alert Bay is a wonderful destination for those looking to experience Indigenous culture, natural beauty, and rich history. With its many attractions and activities, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

U'mista Cultural Center as a top attraction to visit while traveling around Alert Bay, British Columbia, Canada

Top 10 Things To Do in Alert Bay, BC For Visitors

Alert Bay offers a plethora of activities for any visitor. Here’s a curated list of the top 10 things to do in Alert Bay that promise an unforgettable experience.

1. Visit the U’mista Cultural Centre

Immerse yourself in the profound history and culture of the ‘Namgis First Nation. The U’mista Cultural Centre is home to an incredible collection of Potlatch artifacts, offering insight into the customs, art, and resilience of the Indigenous people of the Pacific Northwest.

2. Explore the Ecological Park and Alert Bay Campground

For nature lovers, the Ecological Park is a must-visit. With its lush walking trails through ancient forests and marshlands, it’s a haven for bird watchers and those seeking tranquility. Nearby, the Alert Bay Campground provides scenic spots to pitch a tent or park an RV.

3. Take a Whale Watching Tour

The waters around Alert Bay are teeming with marine life. Join a whale watching tour to see orcas, humpback whales, and dolphins in their natural habitat, an experience that’s both thrilling and humbling.

4. Walk the Alert Bay Boardwalk

Stretch your legs on the Alert Bay Boardwalk, which offers picturesque views of the ocean, mountains, and wildlife. It’s the perfect way to soak in the island’s serene atmosphere and capture some stunning photographs.

5. Learn at the Namgis Traditional Burial Grounds

Respectfully visit the Namgis Traditional Burial Grounds. With its iconic totem poles, this sacred site offers a profound look into the spiritual practices and artistry of the Indigenous peoples of Alert Bay.

6. Enjoy Local Seafood

Indulge in the local cuisine, particularly the fresh seafood. Restaurants in Alert Bay serve up dishes that are as delicious as they are reflective of the island’s rich maritime heritage.

7. Kayak Around Cormorant Island

Rent a kayak and paddle around Cormorant Island for a unique perspective of Alert Bay and its surroundings. The calm waters are ideal for beginners and offer a peaceful way to connect with the area’s natural beauty.

8. Attend a Cultural Workshop

Participate in a cultural workshop or demonstration to learn more about Indigenous crafts, such as cedar weaving or traditional cooking. It’s a hands-on way to appreciate the art and skill that have been passed down through generations.

9. Visit the World’s Largest Totem Pole

No visit to Alert Bay is complete without seeing the world’s largest totem pole. Standing at an impressive height, this totem pole is a symbol of the community’s pride and a magnificent work of art to admire.

10. Relax at a Local Café

Finally, take a moment to relax at one of Alert Bay’s cozy cafes. Enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and maybe even strike up a conversation with the locals. It’s a lovely way to wind down and reflect on your adventures on the island.

Alert Bay Shipyards LTD building we noticed while visiting the island

What To Eat and Drink at Restaurants in Alert Bay, Cormorant Island

Here are some of the best places to eat and drink in Alert Bay:

  1. Bayside Grill:

    Bayside Grill offers a unique dining experience that combines the best of local seafood with traditional and international flavors. The restaurant is praised for its diverse menu, including standout dishes like butter chicken, tandoori halibut, and sirloin steak. Visitors appreciate the cozy atmosphere and the personal touch that comes with every dish served.

  2. Gordie’s Restaurant & Lounge:

    Gordie’s Restaurant & Lounge in Alert Bay offers a picturesque dining experience with views that sweep across the bay. Making it a memorable spot for both locals and visitors. The establishment prides itself on serving a range of dishes, with the salmon burger and zucchini sticks standing out for their freshness and flavor. Reviews highlight the friendly service and cozy ambiance. From delicious meals to a welcoming atmosphere, Gordie’s Restaurant & Lounge encapsulates the spirit of Alert Bay.

  3. Duchess Bannock and Dessert:

    Duchess Bannock and Dessert in Alert Bay is not just a place to eat. It’s an experience that envelops you in warmth, laughter, and mouth-watering flavors. Visitors can’t help but rave about the delectable food. In particular the bannock, which comes in both sweet and savory variations. Whether it’s a hard-boiled egg wrapped in bannock, a bacon grilled cheese, or the heavenly fried bannock with sweet berries and whipped cream, the menu delights with its creativity and homage to traditional tastes. The atmosphere is praised for its welcoming and homely vibe, making every diner feel like a part of the Alert Bay community.

  4. The Orca Inn Hotel Pub and Restaurant:

    The Orca Inn Hotel Pub and Restaurant in Alert Bay is celebrated for its amazing local seafood, great service, and the cozy ambiance. Plus it has an upstairs pub featuring live music and a vast selection of amazing cocktails.  The restaurant’s diverse menu  includes dishes ranging from duck confit and caprese salad to Thai wraps. Whether you’re in for a meal, a drink, or both, the Orca Inn promises top-notch food and service, making it easily the best dining option in Alert Bay.

Alert Bay has a decent range of dining options for such a small place. With its focus on fresh, local ingredients and seafood, visitors are sure to enjoy the unique flavors of this small village on Cormorant Island.

Alert Bay highest totem pole in British Columbia, Canada

Tours For Visitors To Alert Bay, Canada

For visitors looking to explore this unique destination, there are several tours that offer deep dives into the island’s heritage, wildlife, and landscapes. Here’s a comprehensive list of tours for those planning a visit to Alert Bay.

1. Cultural and Historical Walking Tours

Explore the vibrant history and culture of Alert Bay through guided walking tours that take visitors through the island’s key historical sites, including the world-renowned U’mista Cultural Centre. These tours offer insights into the traditions and history of the Kwakwaka’wakw people, showcasing totem poles, traditional Big Houses, and the Potlatch Collection of masks.

2. Ecological and Wildlife Tours

Given its location amidst the rich ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest, Alert Bay is a prime spot for ecological and wildlife tours. Operators offer boat tours around the island and into the Johnstone Strait, where visitors can spot orcas, humpback whales, dolphins, and sea lions in their natural habitat. Birdwatching tours are also popular, with opportunities to see bald eagles, herons, and a variety of seabirds.

3. Kayaking Adventures

For the more adventurous, kayaking tours provide an up-close experience with Alert Bay’s marine environment. Paddle through serene waters, exploring hidden coves and the lush coastline, with the chance to encounter marine wildlife along the way. Tours cater to all skill levels, from beginners to experienced kayakers, and offer a unique perspective on the island’s natural beauty.

4. Guided Hiking Tours

Discover the natural beauty of Alert Bay and its surroundings on guided hiking tours. Trails range from easy walks through lush rainforests to more challenging hikes leading to breathtaking viewpoints overlooking the ocean and neighboring islands. Guides share insights into the local flora and fauna, making for an educational as well as invigorating experience.

5. Historical Boat Tours

Explore the waters around Alert Bay on a historical boat tour, learning about the island’s past as a fishing and canning hub, its role in the Indigenous resistance and revival, and its natural history. These tours often include visits to nearby historic sites accessible only by water, such as abandoned settlements and ancient First Nations village sites.

Alert Bay attractions worth visiting

Alert Bay Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels

Alert Bay offers a range of accommodations for visitors, from cozy bed and breakfasts to rustic cabins and waterfront resorts. Here is a guide to some of the top places to stay in Alert Bay:

  1. Cliff Haven on the Bay:

    Cliff Haven on the Bay is a quaint, rustic cottage perched on a cliff, offering a cozy one-bedroom space complete with a fully-equipped kitchen, a living room, and a deck that presents breathtaking views of the bay and the majestic mountains of Vancouver Island. Enhanced by modern amenities such as Starlink Wi-Fi, complimentary parking, and optional housekeeping services, the cottage ensures a comfortable stay, with rollaway cots available for those in need of extra sleeping arrangements.

  2. Seine Boat Inn:

    Seine Boat Inn offers a picturesque stay in the heart of the vibrant Alert Bay community. With its prime location mere steps from the ferry dock, local shops, and eateries, the inn provides guests with unparalleled views of the ocean, thanks to its unique construction directly over the beach. Its name pays homage to the fishermen and women and their vessels—Purse Seiners, Gill Netters, and Long Liners—that have been the lifeblood of this authentic village. Originally built in the 1940s as a Dry Goods Store, the building underwent a heartfelt transformation in the early 21st century, with wood being the centerpiece of its architectural revival. Every room at the inn offers a unique charm, equipped with modern comforts such as free WiFi, satellite flat-screen TV, and kitchen amenities to ensure a cozy stay.

  3. The Nimpkish Hotel:

    The Nimpkish Hotel is a piece of history with stories woven into its fabric. Perched by the water, it offers a serene retreat with a deck that stretches over the shoreline, providing incredible views. Guests are treated to what locals fondly refer to as ‘the movie’—a never-ending display of scenic beauty from the hotel’s deck, sunroom, and balconies. With nine luxurious rooms, the hotel invites guests to relax, unplug, and rejuvenate in comfort. Mornings begin with a delightful, complimentary continental breakfast, setting the tone for a peaceful day. Hosts Pemba and William, with rich backgrounds in the hotel and food industry, extend a warm welcome to guests, offering exceptional hospitality

No matter where you choose to stay in Alert Bay, you’ll be surrounded by natural beauty and friendly locals. Book your accommodations early, especially during the summer months, to ensure the best selection and availability.

Visit Sointula as a day trip from Alert Bay as part of your British Columbia adventures

Day Trips From Alert Bay, Cormorant Island

Exploring Alert Bay offers a captivating glimpse into the rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Yet, the adventure doesn’t have to end there. The surrounding areas of Vancouver Island and the British Columbia coast provide a plethora of day trip options, each offering its unique allure. Here’s a guide to day trips from Alert Bay that promise to enrich your travel experience with adventure, wildlife, and cultural immersion.

1. Telegraph Cove

Just a short drive and ferry ride away, Telegraph Cove is a picturesque village known for its stilted buildings and as a premier spot for whale watching. Embark on a guided boat tour to witness orcas, humpback whales, and a plethora of marine life in their natural habitat. The Whale Interpretive Centre provides fascinating insights into local marine biodiversity.

2. Port McNeill

A gateway to outdoor adventures, Port McNeill is the perfect day trip for those looking to explore more of Vancouver Island’s wilderness. From here, visitors can join wildlife tours, fishing expeditions, or set out on kayaking adventures to explore the island’s rugged coastline. The town itself offers a glimpse into the logging history of the island.

3. Cape Scott Provincial Park

For the intrepid explorer, a trip to Cape Scott Provincial Park is a must. Although it requires an early start, the park’s untouched beaches, ancient rainforests, and hiking trails offer a true wilderness experience. The Cape Scott Trail and the North Coast Trail provide challenging yet rewarding hikes through this pristine environment.

4. Quadra Island

Accessible via a short ferry ride from Campbell River, Quadra Island offers a serene escape with beautiful landscapes, First Nations cultural sites, and outdoor activities. Explore the island’s hiking trails, visit the Nuyumbalees Cultural Centre to learn about local Indigenous history, or enjoy a peaceful day kayaking around the island’s sheltered bays.

5. Mount Cain

For those visiting in the winter months, a day trip to Mount Cain offers a unique skiing experience. Known for its community-run ski hill, Mount Cain provides uncrowded slopes, challenging terrain, and a friendly, laid-back atmosphere. It’s a local secret for powder enthusiasts.

6. Sayward Valley

Explore the Sayward Valley for a day immersed in Vancouver Island’s stunning natural beauty. The area offers hiking trails through dense forests and along riverbanks, with opportunities to spot local wildlife. Don’t miss the Kusam Klimb trail, a challenging hike with rewarding views at the summit.

7. Campbell River

Known as the “Salmon Capital of the World,” Campbell River is a haven for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts. Take a guided fishing charter to catch the big one, visit the Elk Falls Provincial Park for stunning waterfalls and suspension bridge views, or learn about local history at the Museum at Campbell River.

8. Broughton Archipelago

Embark on a boat or kayak tour from Port McNeill to explore the Broughton Archipelago, British Columbia’s largest marine park. This cluster of islands offers unparalleled opportunities to observe wildlife, including whales, dolphins, and sea otters, in a spectacular setting. Paddling through these waters, you’ll find peace and adventure in equal measure.

9. Strathcona Provincial Park

British Columbia’s oldest provincial park, Strathcona offers rugged mountain landscapes, serene lakes, and breathtaking waterfalls. It’s an outdoor paradise for hikers, climbers, and nature lovers. Trails range from easy walks to challenging alpine hikes, such as the climb to the Golden Hinde, Vancouver Island’s highest peak.

10. Comox Valley

The Comox Valley, with its rich agricultural land, offers a taste of local produce, artisanal products, and culinary delights. Visit the farmers’ markets, explore the local vineyards and breweries, or enjoy the scenic beauty of the area through its network of hiking and biking trails.

Transportation to Alert Bay is from Vancouver Island by BC Ferries

Village Of Alert Bay Transportation Guide

Navigating to and around Alert Bay requires some planning due to its location. However, the journey is part of the adventure, offering stunning views and a chance to slow down and appreciate the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Here’s a comprehensive transportation guide to help you explore Alert Bay and its surroundings.

Getting to Alert Bay

By Air

  • Charter Flights: For those looking for a quick and scenic route, charter flights are available from Vancouver and other major cities in British Columbia to Port Hardy. From Port Hardy, you can take a road trip to Port McNeill and then a ferry to Alert Bay.
  • Seaplanes: Seaplane services offer flights from Vancouver to nearby locations such as Port McNeill. This option provides breathtaking aerial views of the British Columbia coastline.

Alert Bay Ferry Schedule

By Road and Ferry

  • Driving to Port McNeill: The most common route to Alert Bay is via Port McNeill. Drive to Port McNeill by taking Island Highway (BC-19 N) from Nanaimo or Victoria. The drive from Nanaimo to Port McNeill takes approximately 3.5 hours.
  • Ferry from Port McNeill to Alert Bay: BC Ferries operates the route from Port McNeill to Alert Bay. The ferry ride offers stunning views of the Broughton Archipelago and takes about 35 minutes. Check the BC Ferries website for the latest schedule and fare information.

Getting Around Alert Bay

On Foot

  • Alert Bay is relatively small, making it perfect for exploring on foot. Walking around the island allows you to take in the sights at your own pace, including the totem poles, cultural centers, and local shops.


  • Biking is a great way to explore Alert Bay and the surrounding areas. The island’s roads are bike-friendly, and cycling offers a quick and enjoyable method to move around. Bike rentals are available on the island.

Taxi Services

  • For longer distances or when carrying heavy items, local taxi services are available. They can be especially useful for transportation to and from the ferry terminal if you’re traveling with luggage.


  • If you prefer driving, keep in mind that while the island can be explored by car, much of Alert Bay’s charm is in its smaller details that are best experienced at a slower pace. Parking is available throughout the island, and the ferry from Port McNeill accommodates vehicles.

Tips for Visitors

  • Plan Ahead: Especially during peak season or for specific events, it’s wise to check ferry schedules and book accommodations in advance.
  • Ferry Travel: If you’re taking the ferry as a walk-on passenger, arriving at the terminal early can ensure a smooth boarding process. For those driving onto the ferry, reservations are recommended during busy times.
  • Explore Locally: Once on the island, take the opportunity to explore beyond the main attractions. Alert Bay’s residents are known for their hospitality and often share stories and tips that can enrich your visit.

Visit Port McNeil after spending time in Alert Bay

Where To Visit After Your Trip To Alert Bay?

Here’s a curated list of destinations to consider for your next adventure after departing from Alert Bay, each offering its unique allure.

1. Victoria

British Columbia’s capital, Victoria, boasts a charming blend of colonial architecture, lush gardens, and maritime history. Explore the iconic Butchart Gardens, wander the bustling Inner Harbour, and visit the Royal BC Museum for a glimpse into the region’s past. Victoria’s vibrant culinary scene and quaint shops make it a perfect next stop.

2. Tofino

Nestled on Vancouver Island’s west coast, Tofino is a haven for surfers, nature lovers, and anyone looking to escape into the wilderness. Its rugged beaches, temperate rainforests, and hot springs offer a tranquil retreat. Don’t miss the opportunity to go whale watching or storm watching, depending on the season.

3. Vancouver

A cosmopolitan city set against a backdrop of mountains and sea, Vancouver offers diverse attractions. From the bustling markets of Granville Island to the serene beauty of Stanley Park, and the vibrant neighborhoods of Gastown and Yaletown, Vancouver has something for everyone.

4. Whistler

Famous for its world-class ski resorts, Whistler is a year-round destination with much to offer beyond the slopes. Summer brings gorgeous hiking trails, mountain biking, and vibrant village life. The Peak 2 Peak Gondola ride provides breathtaking views of the mountains and valleys.

5. The Okanagan Valley

Wine enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike will love the Okanagan Valley. Known for its sunny climate, stunning lakes, and prolific wineries, the region offers tastings, water sports, and beautiful trails for hiking and cycling.

6. The Sunshine Coast

Accessible only by ferry or air, the Sunshine Coast is a picturesque stretch of coastline dotted with quaint towns, artisan studios, and serene beaches. It’s an ideal spot for kayaking, hiking, and exploring the unique culture of the coastal communities.

7. Nelson

Nestled in the Selkirk Mountains, Nelson boasts a vibrant arts scene, historic architecture, and a laid-back lifestyle. Explore its charming downtown, filled with heritage buildings, cozy cafes, and local art galleries. Outdoor activities abound in the surrounding Kootenay Lake and mountains.

8. Prince Rupert

Located on the northwest coast, Prince Rupert is a gateway to the Great Bear Rainforest and the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary. The city’s maritime heritage is on full display at the Museum of Northern British Columbia, and nearby, the rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest is accessible via boat tours and hiking trails.

9. Salt Spring Island

The largest of the Southern Gulf Islands, Salt Spring Island is known for its artisanal food, organic farms, and vibrant arts community. The Saturday market in Ganges is a must-visit for handcrafted goods and local produce. The island’s natural beauty can be explored through its numerous parks and trails.

10. Kamloops

Situated at the confluence of the North and South Thompson rivers, Kamloops is known for its diverse landscapes, ranging from semi-arid valleys to lush forests. It’s a hotspot for outdoor activities, including golfing, mountain biking, and fishing. The city also hosts a variety of cultural events and festivals.

11. Gold River

Nestled in the heart of Vancouver Island, Gold River acts as a gateway to Strathcona Provincial Park and the historical Nootka Sound. It’s a paradise for anglers, hikers, and history buffs interested in the early interactions between European explorers and Indigenous peoples. The Upana Caves provide an underground adventure for spelunkers of all levels.

12. Port Alice

Known as the “Gateway to the Wild West Coast,” Port Alice offers tranquility and spectacular natural beauty. It’s perfect for kayaking, bird watching, and exploring remote wilderness areas. The town’s friendly atmosphere and scenic setting make it an ideal stop for those seeking peace and quiet amidst nature.

13. Port Hardy

As the northernmost point on Vancouver Island accessible by road, Port Hardy is a launch point for adventures into the Cape Scott Provincial Park and the North Coast Trail. It’s also a hub for ferry travel to remote coastal communities and the Inside Passage, offering opportunities for wildlife viewing, including bears and whales.

14. Port McNeill

Port McNeill serves as a vital link to the Broughton Archipelago and the Great Bear Rainforest, offering eco-tours and fishing charters that highlight the area’s rich biodiversity. The town is deeply connected to the logging and fishing industries, providing insights into the resource-driven culture of the region.

15. Woss

This small community is a testament to Vancouver Island’s logging history, home to the last operating steam donkey in Canada. Woss offers access to outdoor activities in the Nimpkish Valley, including hiking, mountain biking, and exploring local lakes. It’s a snapshot of a bygone era blended with the wilderness of the island.

16. Parksville

Famous for its sandy beaches and warm ocean waters, Parksville is a family-friendly destination with a laid-back atmosphere. The annual sand sculpting competition draws artists worldwide, while nearby Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park offers camping and nature trails amidst stunning coastal scenery.

17. Comox Valley

The Comox Valley, encompassing Courtenay, Comox, and Cumberland, is a blend of agricultural richness, outdoor adventure, and cultural festivities. From skiing on Mount Washington to exploring the vibrant local food scene, the area offers a diverse array of activities. The annual BC Seafood Festival is a must-visit for culinary enthusiasts.

18. Campbell River

Dubbed the “Salmon Capital of the World,” Campbell River is a haven for anglers and outdoor enthusiasts. The city offers easy access to wilderness adventures, wildlife tours, and cultural experiences with the local First Nations communities. The nearby Elk Falls Provincial Park features suspension bridges and waterfall views.

19. Tahsis

Once a bustling mill town, Tahsis is now a tranquil retreat for those seeking outdoor adventures in a spectacular fjord setting. It’s a base for hiking the rugged Nootka Trail, caving, and kayaking. The village’s history and transition from industry to ecotourism add depth to its natural allure.

20. Parksville

Boasting one of the warmest climates in Canada, Parksville is renowned for its beautiful beaches, like Rathtrevor Beach, and community events such as the Parksville Beach Festival. The area is also a gateway to exploring the nearby islands and the stunning Cathedral Grove in MacMillan Provincial Park, home to ancient Douglas fir and red cedar trees.

Alert Bay Totem Pole Burial Site

Village Of Alert Bay Travel Guide: Final Thoughts

Alert Bay is a charming and unique destination that offers a wealth of cultural, historical, and natural attractions for travelers. From the vibrant First Nations culture to the stunning coastal scenery and abundant wildlife, there is something for everyone in this picturesque village.

I had a blast visiting on a day trip! I’d love to come back and spend a few nights to properly explore the island.

Whether you’re interested in exploring the local museums and galleries, hiking the beautiful trails, or simply relaxing on the beach, Alert Bay has plenty to offer. With its friendly locals, welcoming atmosphere, and beautiful surroundings, it is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits.

Alert Bay Shipyards LTD

Ode To Alert Bay

So if you’re planning a trip to Vancouver Island, be sure to add Alert Bay to your itinerary. You won’t be disappointed!

Amidst the gentle waves and salty air, Lies a village that’s both quaint and rare, With totem poles reaching high, And First Nations culture nearby.

Alert Bay is the place to be, For travelers seeking history, Museums, galleries, and art, A world of wonder from the start.

The beaches are pristine and serene, The trails are rugged and pristine, Wildlife abounds in every space, A nature lover’s perfect place.

So come and explore this island gem, And let your heart and soul take them, On a journey like no other, In Alert Bay, you’ll discover.

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