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48 Hours With Family in Campbell River

A two-day break from the daily grind can do wonders for everyone – especially families. When it’s time to take the kids out of town, come and make memories in Campbell River, where wild nature and urban travel meet.

Where to lay Your head

You have no shortage of options when choosing your base of operations (a.k.a. your accommodation) in Campbell River. If a hotel stay is what you have in mind – think pool access and free, hot breakfast to fuel the whole family – then Comfort Inn & Suites is a solid choice. The rooms also feature microwaves and mini-fridges in case you are travelling with your favourite snacks. 

Those looking for proximity to water should consider the Passage View Motel for a great view of, you guessed it, the Discovery Passage. Here, you’ll not only get a comfortable room with patios or balconies but also the extra perk of having direct beach access. Feeling outdoorsy? Then you’re definitely in the right place. Whether you’re travelling with your camping gear or an RV, choose your own adventure from among many options for cabins, glamping, RV parks, campgrounds or even backcountry camping.

Day 1: Quality time, inside & out

Morning

Chances are you spent some time in a vehicle on your way here, so let’s get those feet on the ground and go exploring. First up, go find a dinosaur and a cougar (we kid you not). The Drifted Creations Scavenger Hunt is a great way to get an overview of the town and meet some of the local sculpted celebrities. 

Another year-round outdoor activity that is sure to burn off some of that energy is roaming the trails in Beaver Lodge Forest Lands. We recommend the Rail Trail, an old logging road that has been turned into a multi-use trail (and it’s stroller friendly, too). 

Afternoon

Lunch time! Head to SoCal Restaurant and Lounge. Their ample menu includes vegetarian, gluten-free and kids options, so we promise the whole family will be pleased. By they way, they offer take out as well if you want to have a picnic along the seawalk.

Oh shoot, is it raining? Or maybe it’s too sunny (hey, that can happen!). Either way, don’t worry, we’ve got you. The indoor Discovery Passage Aquarium allows you and the kiddos to marvel at local marine life, while learning a thing or two in the process. The aquarium’s Explorer Lab is a year-round educational space with observation tanks and displays of animals (who will be returned to their natural habitat after their brief stay at the aquarium). Their activities do change year round, so it’s best to check in to see what they have available depending on the time of year. 

Discovery Passage Aquarium

For those craving an active afternoon, the North Island’s largest indoor climbing facility is the answer. On The Rocks Climbing Gym welcomes beginners and offers plenty of challenge to more experienced climbers.   

Evening

Finish the day off by checking out Elk Falls suspension bridge. The 25m plunge into the canyon will amaze year-round, and it’s is only 2 km from downtown. There are plenty of paths to run up and down around here so a quiet backseat on the way back to your accommodation is guaranteed.

Day 2: Quality time with wildlife & culture

Morning

Get ready for a big day (probably best to pack some snacks!) and head out on the water in search of whales, dolphins, seals and more. Campbell River Whale Watching & Adventure Tours packs a punch in their four-hour Whale and Wildlife Tour with departures a few times a day. Additionally, Homalco Wildlife and Cultural Tours is an award-winning Indigenous tour company, and their Whales, Wildlife and Culture will similarly engage and educate the whole family for four hours. Note: Whale watching and wildlife tours have a minimum age requirement of four years.  

Is whale watching a bit too much adventure for your young travellers? Then why not check out Holly Hill Farm, where you can get up close and personal with all sorts of free-ranging fluffy creatures like alpacas, bunnies and ponies.

Family at Holly Hill Farm

Afternoon

Dockside Fish and Chips is a crowd-pleasing lunch spot, complete with a floating patio. Since you’re there anyway, we’ll let you in on a little secret – this is also the locals’ favourite spot to get doughnuts, so be sure to grab some before you continue on. For more local dining tips, check out this guide to Campbell River’s food scene

After indulging in a doughnut or two, walk to the Discovery Fishing Pier, about one kilometre south. The Discovery Fishing Pier is a well-loved community gathering place best known for its unobstructed views of the Discovery Passage and Quadra Island. Breathe in the salty air while the kids learn about the sealife below through the interactive touchscreen that showcases the many creatures that call the waters home. Who knows what might appear for a quick hello from below.

Enjoying Ice-Cream at the Pier in Campbell River

Evening

To wrap up your stay in Campbell River, enjoy a meal at a family-friendly  Ricky’s All Day Grill, where the little travellers have their own menu, or find a place for your taste from this overview of dining options in Campbell River. 

Parents: Looking for even more family recommendations? Stop by the Campbell RIver Visitor Information Centre, or give our friendly team a call. You’ll find our operating hours and contact info here.