I don’t know if you are like me but I am not a fan of camping. I mean, I will do it if I have to but I never really can take more than two nights of it and I want to come home.
Call me snobby, but I much prefer staying in four star resort than laying on the ground in a tent with mosquitoes buzzing all around.
Maybe I would like camping more if the bugs were not part of the equation but I can’t stand flying insects and well, that’s a whole other story. To make a long story short, I stayed at this place called Beach Acres Resort in Parksville, BC and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it there. It was a great alternative to camping.
I went with my husband who loves camping and our five year old daughter who hasn’t been camping yet for a little Spring excursion out on the island. When we got there, we had to drive through a beautiful forest to get to the office for checking in.
As we slowly coasted down the road in our truck we were greeted by the most beautiful sight of a deer and her young eating shrubs along the side of the road. We drove up to them and rolled down the window to watch them in awe. They were not the least bit concerned with our presences and just toddled along there way.
We checked in and were greeting by a lovely young lady who gave us a very thorough over view of where to go for what and how to get to our cottage. The resort is set on 10 acres of forested property with individual cabins spread evenly about. The cabins just far away from the other cabins to give you privacy when you need it and company when you would like to socialize.
She explained that there was a restaurant on site that was an original heritage house, an arcade and an indoor swimming pool and jacuzzi. They had barbeques that you could rent for $15 a day you were free to use the communal barbecues (as they called them) located on the property. They had a small concession of coffee, tea, and marshmallows for sale at the office as well as fire wood. They had tennis rackets, volley balls, swimming toys and badminton rackets that were free to use during your stay.
As we headed out of the office foyer, we couldn’t help but notice that the arcade room was full of sporty looking bicycles for rent. That surely is a great idea for a facility to have equipment available for their guests to use. Had I known this earlier, I would not have taken our bikes along. It was such a hassle hauling along three bikes and my daughter’s wagon all the way on the ferry and beyond to get there. It would have been much easier to use the bicycles on site.
We hopped in our truck and headed to a dark brown cottage in the woods. Our unit was #51. There was a gravel driveway and sliding doors on the front of the cottage and you had to walk around to the back of it to enter.
Our cottage was furnished with every thing you need to cook at home, decent furniture, a large bathroom and plenty of towels! I had never stayed any where that offered this many towels so this to me was strange but great.
We had rented a two bedroom cottage so there was one large room with a king sized bed and the other room came with two small twin sized beds. The set up was definitely good for a small to medium sized family.
On our first night, we walked down the road that leads to the beach and more cabins that have a water front view. Although waking up to the sight of the ocean and sound of the waves may have been beautiful, I somewhat preferred where were staying in the forest cabins. The beach cabins were quite disconnected from everything that was going on and it was quite a long walk to go up and down a steep hill to get to the office or use the amenities.
The forest was absolutely beautiful. It was partially shaded with enough sparsity in the trees for the sun to shine through and bring warmth. The air was so fresh and clean and I kept inhaling and exhaling as I could not get over how great the air quality is on the island compared to the mainland by far!
That night we used the communal barbecue and cooked some steaks. After a few minutes of being there, my husband decided to start a fire. Yes, you are allowed to have fires in Parksville! Bonus! My daughter helped gather sticks and was very happy to make her first ever fire.
A couple walked by and decided to join us. We spoke and they also brought out some meat to start cooking. I started to see why this concept was so amazing. A bunch of stranger connecting over a meal and a vacation. This would never happen at a hotel. I mean, what are the odds you would be cooking with strangers at a hotel. Probably never! So anyhow we talked by the fire and learned about them, and they about us. The couple said they had been coming to the resort every year for the last five years and it was a home away from home for them. As our dinners were finished grilling, it was time to go. We all walked back to our cabins feeling so pleased we had met new people.
I could go on and on about how great Beach Acres is, but the point I wanted to get across is that I am someone who will choose almost anything over camping and I felt that this trip was a win win for both myself and my husband. He got to sit out doors in the forest by a fire, go down to the beach and watch the waves roll in, meet new people and talk under the stars and well I got to experience the same thing and all the while be connected to my ipad, be able to take a hot bath and sleep indoors without bugs!
So if you are looking for a great place to stay either by yourself or with family and friends, and you are more a hotel person than a camper… you should consider a trip over to Parksville for a few days at Beach Acres Resort. If I liked it, you will to. I promise.
Will I be back? Yes for sure.