There are numerous travel guides to prepare you for planning a trip to beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, but few that include how to enjoy the hidden treasures on Vancouver Island such as Telegraph Cove; a boardwalk, rural-community of about 20 residents that offers some of the best outdoor experiences on Earth.
Tourists to the States are obsessed with charming seaside towns in America that are perfect for family vacations. So, we think that travelers to Canada would enjoy Telegraph Cove just as much, if not more. The former fishing and cannery village has become a launch point for eco-tourism. Specifically, camping, hiking, and kayaking with a variety of whales.
Without further ado, here is what to expect when visiting stunning Telegraph Cove on Vancouver Island in Canada.
10 Kayaking With Orcas Is A Truly Magnificent Experience Almost Unique To Telegraph Cove
One of the most incredible experiences you can have in Telegraph Cove is kayaking with orcas. A-List celebrities like Ben Affleck have been spotting kayaking all over the world, but we doubt even they have had an experience like this one. TripAdvisor has consistently rated North Island Kayak with its excellency award. Although other companies like King Fisher and Sea Kayaking also provide rental and tour opportunities.
Regardless of who you chose, chances are you will come face-to-face with one of the 250 resident Orcas in the area, a sea lion, or a Humpback Whale. Of course, this experience is only available in the late spring and summer.
9 The Village Goes From 20 People To 120,000 In The Summer
Telegraph Cove is a supremely remote environmental tourism hub on the northern end of Vancouver Island that is 210km away from Campbell River. The cove was built to expand the telegraph network on the island and gained its name in 1911.
Now the town, which is built on a boardwalk around a tiny harbor on the Johnstone Strait, is home to a mere 20 full-time residents but attracts up to 120,000 visitors throughout its summer season. This is because visitors can't get enough of the quaint seaside town, the local restaurants, and the superb wildlife experiences.
8 A Variety of Lodging Gives Visitors A Quaint Or Charmingly Modern Experience
Staying in Telegraph Cove is easy due to a variety of different lodging options that include renting historic homes, camping, as well as the town's two resorts. There are cost-effective cozy-cabins, historic homes, and modern condos available along the gorgeous boardwalk, as well as just outside of the town.
Telegraph Cove Resort offers a variety of accommodations choices, as does the much newer Telegraph Cove Lodge which overlooks the entire picturesque cove. Then, of course, there are campsites.
7 There's Even A Variety Of Camping Options
Camping in Telegraph Cove is done through the Telegraph Cove Resort, which is located one kilometer from the village. It's nestled in a stand of old trees and has over 100 serviced sites available for your camper or tent.
Full-service sites (with water, sewer, and electricity) cost about $40 per night, and water-only sites are $35, according to Telegraph Cove Resort. There are also camping cabins at $75 per night. All of which are located close to the Bauza Cove trail for hiking, the ocean, and the two streams.
6 There's Whale Watching Experiences Up The Ying Yang
If you're int the type who wants to get in a kayak and paddle near an Orca, you can watch them from a boat. There are numerous whale watching tours available at Telegraph Cove. Some companies, such as Grey Ghost Fishing and Adventure Tours also take fishing-lovers out to remote spots to catch salmon and other fish.
But other companies like The Prince of Whales are almost exclusively about taking tourists to nearby locations to watch these majestic creatures swim in their natural habitat.
5 If You've Ever Wanted To See A Grizzly In The Wild, Telegraph Cove Is For You
Many of the whale watching tours in Telegraph Cove also offer the opportunity to see Grizzly Bears in the wild. Sometimes spotting these elusive mammals happens naturally on a whale watching tour. Other times, you see them where they are most likely to be spotted.
Tide Rip Grizzly Tours takes tourists, via boat, from the Telegraph Cove Harbour up to beautiful and remote spots to safely watch the bears hunt and hang out in their natural habitat.
4 Near-Endless Hiking Opportunities, Most Of Which Are Really Hard
Telegraph Cove is home to trails that take avid hikers up to Blinkhorn Light as well as various other networks of trails on the North Island. While the hikes vary, most reviewers on TripAdvisor claim that the Blinkhorn trail itself is quite strenuous, so only active, fit, and experienced hikers should try to do the whole thing.
Given how remote the area is, it's common to spot tons of wildlife while hiking. This includes deer, bald eagles, and, yes, bears. This means precautions must be taken to ensure your safety if you decide to go into the remote bush.
3 The Whale Interpretive Centre Offers A Chance To Learn About Whales Right Where They Live
Right along the boardwalk in Telegraph Cove is one of their star attractions, The Whale Interpretive Centre. It's a small museum that houses a number of whale skeletons and exhibits that give tourists a chance to learn about these beautiful creatures.
According to TripAdvisor reviewers, the $5 admission price is well worth the educational experience for kids and adults alike. Other reviewers were shocked at just how high-end the museum was given its location in such a small town.
2 There's Sports Fishing Fun To Be Had
When you're taken out on the water near Telegraph Cove to fish, you're competing with whales and sea lions. But fishing tours know precisely where to go to allow fishers the opportunity to catch their quota of salmon, halibut, and rockfish without too many interruptions from larger marine life. Although, not always is that guaranteed.
Still, fishing-junkies adore Telegraph Cove and its surrounding inlets due to the abundance of fish as well as the peaceful, almost meditative, natural environment.
1 Visiting Telegraph Cove Is Like Taking A Step Back In Time
The homes, restaurants, and lodges that surround Telegraph Cove's harbor are all built on stilts, making it a fully-fledged boardwalk community that attracts over 120,000 tourists during the summer months. Since it looks so similar to how it did in 1912, visitors often claim that going there is like stepping backward in time.
This is a feeling that the businesses and owners of the town want to keep up, as so much of their economy depends on tourism.