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Mid Island Saturday Tour

It's been a long wet winter and spring, so today is perfect outdoor walking weather. My companion and I decided that the Qualicum Beach Farmers Market would be our first stop. As we love all things fresh, we packed two coolers. One for our market finds and another for our stop at French Creek Seafood on the docks at French Creek.

A short and direct 45 minute run up Hwy 19 from Nanaimo, Qualicum Beach has something for everyone. Their well established Saturday Farmers Market provides us with fresh bread, organic cheese, fresh strawberries and fixins for a beach lunch.

The beach is just down the street from the market and there you can find stretches of grass and picnic tables where you can lay out your picnic or, yourself!

We enjoyed our picnic while people watching and enjoying the hijinks of feeding seals off the beach. Spring is herring spawn and the seals are eating their fill. It's not long before we tossed our shoes aside and walk barefoot through the gentle lapping waters of the Salish Sea. High above in a cedar snag sits a bald eagle surveying all there is to see.

Heading south towards Nanaimo on Hwy 19A, we made a stop at Milner Gardens. This 70 acre public garden is breathtaking and is steeped in rich history. Enjoy Afternoon Tea in the original home where Queen Elizabeth and her family once stayed. Again driving south on Hwy 19A, we drove to French Creek to see what was fresh off the boat. It happens to be salmon and spot prawn season! Feast ahead!. Once we hit Parksville, just a couple of minutes south of French Creek, we stopped at  Rathtrevor Beach Provincial Park for another beach stroll.  This day has reminded us why we live here.  We've filled our coolers fresh locally grown produce and seafood, have walked for miles on two different beaches and have met some great folks!  All in all, a great day!

  1. Start: Nanaimo BC
    The Harbour City is the starting point for many Island adventures.
  2. Qualicum Beach Farmers Market
    This Saturday market draws an eclectic mix of vendors!
  3. Qualicum Beach
    Services close at hand
  4. Milner Gardens & Woodlands
    Historic seaside gardens
  5. French Creek Seafood
    This market carries a variety of sustainably harvested fresh local seafood and fish. Drive past the marina, to the end of the pier and you'll find the private family owned market.
  6. End: Rathtrevor Beach
    The best family vacation in a spectacular natural setting.