Nothing like a good stroll to make a vacation better

You shouldn’t underestimate the value of walking to tourism

You shouldn’t underestimate the value of walking to tourism.

In Campbell River, we have an extensive network of trails and we’re nearing the completion of a circuit trail around Campbell River that incorporates the Sea Walk, the Beaver Lodge Lands and a new trail along the Jubilee Parkway. In fact, on Sunday, I went for a walk along the Sea Walk and even though it was a cold but clear day, there were tons of people out enjoying the brisk air and the beautiful scenery.

But even when I travel, I usually incorporate walking somewhere. Even if it’s not on my list of museums or parks to visit, it’s usually a part of my trip. It was the same during my visit to Victoria last weekend (yes the same weekend as my Sunday walk along the Sea Walk).

We were staying at Spinnakers in their lovely guesthouse garden suites. You may know Spinnakers for its brew pub where they make their own beers on site. But it’s also a nice place to stay and we spent a night there in their largest suite complete with a jacuzzi tub, fireplace and full kitchen. Pretty nice.

They call it their garden suites and they do have a nice rattan-like decor that’s bright and cheerful. Spinnakers also has a cool 1884 guest house and a bungalow. It looks like the owner of the brew pub has acquired adjacent buildings and incorporated them into a nice visitor facility beside the pub/restaurant.

It sure beats the cookie-cutter hotel format you usually see. A little quirky uniqueness is right up my alley.

We were also able to set out from the front door and walk along the Vic West walkway along the city’s waterfront. Think of the Stanley Park Seawall in Vancouver but which meanders and bends a lot more.

We walked along the waterfront and admired the waterfront condos and apartments which looked out on Victoria’s southern view. Small pocket beaches, funky boathouse marinas and rocks to clamber over all made for an easy couple of hours of walking. You can go for miles in either direction. A pocket of Gary Oak trees made for an interesting conservation stop. Gary Oaks are unique to the South Island and they’re a protected species.

Later in the day we took what I’d call more of a hike around Thetis Lake. We had the nephews and auntie with us and decided to find a few geocaches. It made for a nice energetic walk that kept the youngsters focused.

I have to say, though, I’ve never seen so many dogs being walked in all my life. I would venture to say that 90 per cent of the people we encountered were walking dogs – often more than one at a time.

Life in the big city, eh?

As nice as Victoria is, it’s always good to get back home to Campbell River. Lots of places to walk here and as a frequent traveller who appreciates a holiday that allows for a few hours to just stroll, I know that visitors to our city would make good use of our trails and walks.