Houseboats on Cowichan Bay, Vancouver Island, British Columbia (Rich Reid/Getty)

Grizzly bear with cub on Vancouver Island, British Columbia (iStockphoto/Thinsktock)

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Lacy rates Vancouver Island
Many people mistake Vancouver Island for Victoria, because, after all, it is nearest to Victoria. It's a quaint little place with plenty of culture to explore. My biggest advice about visiting the island is to get out and enjoy the outdoors. Hike out to the Cape Scott Lighthouse, or take a whale watching tour. Climb into a kayak or take a trail around Strathcona Provincial Park. In the summer, try your hand at surfing on Long Beach. There are also several wineries that make for excellent vineyard tours and tastings. Whatever you do here, don't stay cooped up in your hotel room.
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