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Family Vacation in July?

Canadian Rockies...
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Family Vacation in July?

We're a family of 4, our kids will be 3 and 9 months when we plan to travel in July. I think we'll have about a week. We would just like to hang out and spend some time together, maybe at the beach, or going for easy walks together. I have NO idea where to go on the island. We've talked about the gulf islands, not sure if they are appropriate for young kids? Perhaps Tofino? We're thinking of renting a cabin or even camping, and we're having a hard time pinpointing where to go. Early in our trip planning process, I would really appreciate some thoughts as to age appropriate destinations & activities!

Canada
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for Vancouver Island
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1. Re: Family Vacation in July?

Parksville and Qualicum areas are great for small children. Lot's of beach and close to Coombs, Cathedral Grove and other places to visit as short trips.

See www.vrbo.com for vacation rentals by owner and www.hellobc.com and www.vancouverisland.travel for location information.

Vancouver, B.C.
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2. Re: Family Vacation in July?

Parksville area is great for young kids, they'll love the beach!

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Family Vacation in July?

The Gulf Islands are lovely, but very, very quiet. We found that eating options with small children were limited and there isn't all that much to do, and with young children you just need a good playground or a small attraction to make your life a bit easier.

Parksville/Qualicum Beach is definitely the destination of choice for families from the mainland who are looking for an easy beach vacation with young children. The big advantage is that the water on the east side of the island is calm and safe, whereas the ocean on the wild west side of the island at Tofino is unpredictable and somewhat dangerous, so you need to constantly watch your children.

There is a fantastic public playground in Parksville at the public park, probably one of the best I've ever seen, and you are reasonably close to several worthwhile attractions for those days when you really just need someone or something else to entertain your kids for a couple of hours.

And to clinch the deal, the weather on the east side of the island tends to be better. The bad weather rolls in off the ocean and then gets dumped on the west coast and the mountains that run down the middle of Vancouver Island, leaving the east side in what they call a "rain shadow" zone.

Holland
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4. Re: Family Vacation in July?

If you like to camp you should for sure consider Parksville/ Qualicam Beach.

Rathtrevor Provincial Park Campground is close-by, this is a very nice campground for kids, it is on the beach, however we only liked that part of beach for walking around, not for swimming. Beach at Parksville is great for kids to swim, also waterpark over there is fantastic for young kids.

Make sure to make reservations as this campground is really popular!

Great plus is that you are quiet centrally located and are able to do sightseeings from there.

Have fun !

Canadian Rockies...
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5. Re: Family Vacation in July?

Thank-you for the suggestions, I would have never thought of Parksville, it looks great. We're looking at a little resort called Beach Acres. Good price, looks quaint, and we certainly don't want anything fancy.

Any recs on good attractions? Besides beaches, is the steam train in Port Alberni worth a visit?

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Family Vacation in July?

Parksville is great for young kids. Remember to bring water shoes as there are lots of bitty crabs that can pinch and some floaties or rubber rafts -- the water is very calm.

Tiger Lily Farm http://www.tigerlilyfarm.ca/ is another good attraction near Parksville.

There is also a fun mini-golf course--Riptide Lagoon-- in the area.

We stayed at Beach Acres our first trip to Parksville. It's really nice.

We're going back this year but camping in Rathtrevor.

Have a great time.

BC
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7. Re: Family Vacation in July?

If you stay in Parksville, a fun side trip is Coombs (my fave as a kid). Not sure if they still have the goats on the roof, but if so, its a big hit with little kids!

http://www.oldcountrymarket.com/

Gibsons, Canada
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8. Re: Family Vacation in July?

The Sunshine Coast is a fabulous place for a family vacation like yours. Small town character with plenty of beaches and easy hiking trails. Rent a cottage on the beach or in the forest. Spend a day one one of many lakes or walk the beach in Roberts Creek or Davis Bay. Quiet, relaxed quality family time. Enjoy the ferry experience for half the price and half the time. There is a festival of some sort in one of the towns almost every weekend in summer. www.sunshinecoastcanada.com or www.bbsunshinecoast.com

vancouver, b.c.
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9. Re: Family Vacation in July?

My kids loved going to Coombs when they were little,(to see the goats on the roof!) they also really liked Butterfly world. 2 other provincial parks that I believe have campgrounds are Little Qualicum falls and Cathedral Grove and are not too far from Parksville. We didn't camp at either but went for the day. Just google for info on all of these places.

Vancouver, Canada
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10. Re: Family Vacation in July?

A friend of mine (who is in the business of tourism attractions and would know) said that the Port Alberni Steam train was pretty good.