Campbell River is situated on the east coast of Vancouver Island and is renowned for being the "Salmon Capital of the world". The town has little to appeal to the average tourist, but is heaven for Hikers, Kayakers, Fishers and Naturists. Here you will find a slow, quiet island lifestyle and beautiful scenery.
Campbell River Airport (IATA: YBL) is located at the southwest edge of town off the Jubilee Parkway (exit 161 from the Inland Island Highway / Hwy 19). It is served by Air Canada, Central Mountain Air and Pacific Coastal Airlines, primarily with connections to Vancouver.
Car rentals are available from the Arrivals area (Budget and National). The Campbell River Airport Shuttle (+1 250-914-1010) can take you into town.
You can get to Campbell River by several bus routes too. Island Coach Lines (Laidlaw) serves Victoria to Port Hardy, and points in between, including Campbell River. Connect to Island Coach Lines from Vancouver aboard Greyhound or Pacific Coach Lines.
Travelling north from Nanaimo, there are two options: the Island Highway (Hwy 19A), which is the scenic old road with the beautiful ocean views, or the Inland Island Highway (Hwy 19), which is the faster expressway. The drive on the old Island Highway takes approximately 2 hours (153 km / 95 mi) from Nanaimo or 3.5 hours (264 km / 165 mi) from Victoria. The Inland Highway can reduce that time, potentially by up to an hour when driving from Victoria.
Campbell River does run a limited service local bus route, but a car would be an ideal form of transport to allow you to take advantage of the environment.
Campbell River hosts a busy arts and culture scene with museums that cover local history.
- Discovery Passage Aquarium, 705 Island Hwy, ☎ +1 250 914-5500. mid-May to Sept 10AM-5PM. Small aquarium that showcases local marine species. There are also touch tanks if you want to get hands-on with things like starfish. $6 (adult), $4 (student and senior).
- Maritime Heritage Centre, 621 Island Hwy, ☎ +1 250 286-3161. M-F 9AM-5PM (note - the exhibits are only open 10AM-4PM). Facility that showcases the restored fishing boat, BCP45, a wooden seiner that plied its trade for roughly seventy years in the Campbell River area and was featured on the $5 Canadian bill in the 1970s and 80s. There are also a number of collections on exhibit, including model ships, outboard motors and ship wheels, and activity centre where you can try your hand at tying knots. $3.50 (child 6-18), $5 (senior), $7 (adult).
- The Museum at Campbell River, 470 Island Highway, ☎ +1 250 287-3103. Mid-May to Sept: 10AM-5PM; Oct to mid-May: Tu-Su noon-5PM. Museum that focuses on the history and stories of Campbell River and the surrounding area. Galleries and exhibits include First Nations and the impact of European exploration and colonization, pioneer life, logging, the salmon fishing industry, local sport fishing and the Tyee Club, restored ships and equipment, and a native plant garden. There is also a theatre with footage of events in Campbell River’s past. $5 (child 6-18), $7 (senior), $8 (adult); guided tours are an additional $4.
- Whale watching
- Grizzly Bear Tour
- Campbell River Whale Watching and Adventure Tours.
- Aboriginal Journeys.
- Elk Falls Provincial Park, Hwy 28 (head west on Hwy 28 for 5-6 km; turn onto Brewster Lake Rd to access the day-use area for the falls). Situated just outside of Campbell River, this park has wonderful trails for hikers and bikers. The main attraction is the falls, which are surrounded by old growth trees and are 80 ft high. There is a suspension bridge and viewing platform that provide a great view of the falls. The bridge and viewing area are about a 1 km walk from the day-use area parking lot and the last section involves a number of stairs. There is also a popular campground with over 100 spaces. Day use is free.
- Guided salmon fishing is also a very popular thing to do.
- Wei Wai Kum House Of Treasures Ltd, 1370 Island Highway (Located next to Moxie's Restaurant in the Discovery Harbour Shopping Centre), ☎ +1 250-286-1440. This gallery features Northwest Coast First Nations art. Located next to Moxie's Restaurant in the Discovery Harbour Shopping Centre.
- Still Water Books & Art, Suite 120-1260 Shoppers Row (Between the public library and Photo Tech.), ☎ +1 250-850-3103.
- Ridgerider Mens Wear, 920 Island Hwy, ☎ +1 250-286-3554. Also sells Western apparel and gifts.
- Cheddar & Co Specialty Foods Ltd, 1090 Shoppers Row, ☎ +1 250-830-0244. A cheese shop that also sells gift baskets and specialty foods.
- Caitlin's Kitchen, 2116 e S Island Highway Willow Point (opposite wood carvings on the island highway), ☎ +1 250-926-0346. A relaxing cafe serving mostly breakfast and lunch
- Baan Thai Restaurant, 1090 Shoppers Row (Above Cheddar & Co.), ☎ +1 250-286-4850. Baan Thai is located downtown on Shopper's Row. It serves Thai cuisine and seems to be a local favorite.
- Koto Japanese Restaurant, 80 10 Avenue (Next door to HSBC), ☎ +1 250-286-1422. Japanese restaurant, popular with locals and travellers alike.
- Best Wok, 936 Alder Street, ☎ +1 250-287-2831. Chinese restaurant.
- San Marcos Steak House, 952 Shoppers Row, ☎ +1 250-287-7066.
- White Tower Restaurant, 1920 Island Highway, ☎ +1 250-287-2282. Steaks, pasta, pizza, Greek, Italian and Indian dishes.
- Driftwood Restaurant, 4329 South Island Hwy (close to Oyster Bay), ☎ +1 250-923-5505. 11:30AM-9PM. Chinese Smorgasboard, Western dishes also offered. Local favorite.
- Ideal Cafe has seven types of hashbrowns.
- Painters Lodge has an amazing array of local food.
- Paramount Music Hall, 1140 Ironwood Road (Next to Popsey's Log Cabin Restaurant), ☎ +1 250-287-8686. 10PM-2AM. Paramount Music Hall (formerly The Voodoo Lounge) is Campbell River's only nightclub. It features Top 40 music and occasionally live bands. There are daily drink specials. If you get hungry, there's a concession stand called Dat'saLottaPerogeys, right outside the bar selling perogies, hot dogs, and other munchies. Open Tuesday to Saturday and occasionally Sundays. Cover charge varies, but is usually $5.
- Royal Coachman Neighbourhood Pub, 84 Dogwood Street, ☎ +1 250-286-0231. Campbell River's only English style pub.
- The Willow's Neighbourhood Pub, 521 Rockland Road, ☎ +1 250 923-8311. 11:30AM-12:00AM. Great home made soups and pub food. Friendly atmosphere. Great prices
- Beaver Lodge Bed and Breakfast, 501 Trask Rd, toll-free: +1-888-286-1773. This home is on 5 acres at the entrance of the 1000 acre Beaver Lodge Forestry Park.
- Best Western Plus Austrian Chalet, 462 South Island Highway, ☎ +1 250-923-4231, fax: +1 250-923-2840. Ranked in the top twenty percent of all North American Best Western properties.
There are options to move on in every direction from Campbell River.
- Quadra Island — Quadra Island is a ten minute ferry ride from Campbell River. It has kayaking, hiking and First Nations culture and history.
- Outer Islands and Mainland Inlets — Take a water taxi or float plane into the outer Discovery Islands. There are fishing lodges, grizzly bears, salmon fishing or you can just relax enjoy the peacefulness.
- Strathcona Provincial Park — West on Hwy 28, the park is a great place for outdoor-minded travellers, with world-class hiking and camping. Recommended hikes include Flower Ridge Trail, Crest Mountain Trail, and the Elk River Trail.
- Gold River — Head west on Hwy 28 until it ends and you come to Gold River. It has caves and is the gateway to Nootka Sound on the west coast and the Yuquot National Historic Site.
|Routes through Campbell River|
|END ← Port Hardy ←||N S||→ Courtenay/Comox → Nanaimo|