The Ultimate Vancouver Island Road Trip: Day-by-Day Guide


There's no place in the world like Vancouver Island, and you owe it to yourself to visit. The best way to take in the area is with a Vancouver Island road trip.

Not sure what to do or how to plan it? Read on to discover all that you need to know to plan it all out, whether it's a north Vancouver Island road trip or a jaunt around the whole island.

Planning Your Vancouver Island Road Trip

A Vancouver Island road trip is a wonderful chance to explore a unique locale in British Columbia, but to guarantee the best possible time, it's good to sit down and plan things out first. How long will your road trip be? How will you get there? Where can you camp your RV? When is the best time to visit? It's time to answer some of these questions!

How Long Will Your Road Trip Be?

Ask yourself, how much time do you want to devote to your Vancouver Island road trip? Usually, around five to seven days for an introductory visit is a good start. Some enthusiasts will actually insist that you need at least two weeks to take it all in!

While the amount of time you spend there is up to you, this guide will stick to a five-day Vancouver Island itinerary that you can follow or build off of!

How To Get To Vancouver Island

There are no bridges to Vancouver Island, so if traveling by RV, you'll have to take a ferry to get there. You can take a ferry to Vancouver Island from a few points within British Columbia, or if you prefer, you can even take a ferry to Vancouver Island from Port Angeles, Washington. During the busy season (May through September), you'll want to reserve a spot on a ferry as early as possible to guarantee space onboard for you and your RV.

When is the Best Time for a Vancouver Island Road Trip?

Honestly, there is never really a "bad" time for a Vancouver Island road trip, so it really depends on a few things, but mostly: Why are you going there?

Spring is obviously the best (and only) time to see cherry blossoms in full bloom in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia.

Summer brings with it the best weather, and the most camping options –– but also, the most tourists (just like you!).

Fall is calmer, perfect for checking out harvest festivals and wineries.

Winter is also a nice time to visit Vancouver Island, where you can enjoy winter sports and encounter the fewest tourists.

Vancouver Island Road Trip Itinerary

What follows is an example of a brief five-day road trip itinerary around Vancouver Island. Add on or remove items as you see fit!

Day 1: You'll hop on the ferry, which should bring you right into Victoria. Spend a full day here, with highlights including the Royal British Columbia Museum, Victoria Butterfly Gardens, and Victoria Public Market.

Day 2: Head north as early as you can, because it will take you a few hours to get to Pacific Rim National Park Preserve. Once there, you can enjoy ocean sights and the beaches, go hiking, or learn about the First Peoples of the area.

Day 3: Head out over to Port Renfrew, a hiker's paradise. Along the way, check out Big Lonely Doug, a 70-meter (230-foot) tall Douglas fir tree. For an incredibly bucolic time, check out Avatar Grove, a huge forest near Port Renfrew.

Day 4: You're heading back up north today to see Elk Falls Provincial Park, with the stunning 25-meter (82-foot) waterfall for which it is named. After taking in the falls and suspension bridge, hike the park's 6-km (3.7-mile) trails.

Day 5: Your north Vancouver Island road trip comes to an end. Drive up Highway 19 (the North Island Route) to Port Hardy, where you can spend the day on the trails, on the beach, or exploring the forests.

RV Camping on Vancouver Island

You'll need to find a place to park your rig each night of your visit to Vancouver Island, and you have a wide range of choices. Here are a few to check out for your road trip.

Living Forest Oceanside Campground & RV Park

With 53 acres of ocean, forest, and river guests can enjoy, Living Forest RV park offers an incredible chance to experience all that makes Vancouver Island special in one setting.

Capacity: 206 RV sites

More Information: Living Forest Oceanside Campground & RV Park

Fort Victoria RV Park

Family-owned and operated since 1961, Fort Victoria RV park is a great home away from home (with full hookups!) during your Vancouver Island road trip.

Capacity: 160 RV sites

More Information: Fort Victoria RV Park

Seal Bay RV Park

Open year-round, Seal Bay RV Park has 20 acres of camping delights. Every space has full hookups, a picnic table, and fire pit, and there are also coin-operated showers and laundry facilities available.

Capacity: 140 RV sites

More Information: Seal Bay RV Park

Go On a Vancouver Island Road Trip With Cruise America

You know how to get there, some of what you can see, and where to stay. What's left? Ah, yes: The RV! You're in need of an RV rental, and Cruise America has plenty to choose from. You can make the most of your Vancouver Island itinerary with a Cruise America RV, so get in touch now!