If you like the beach, you’ll love Parksville with our spectacular sandy beaches of Parksville Bay and picture-perfect view of the Salish Sea. Parksville Bay is one of Canada’s top beach holiday destinations.
At low tide, the ocean recedes about a kilometre from shore, providing a warm sandy beach which stretches forever. Bring your bathing suit, a picnic, the family, and enjoy the best of Parksville. And you might consider bringing along your skimboard, stand up paddle board and sandcastle building skills.
You can check the Parksville tide times at this link.
View from Parksville Beach
The islands you see from Parksville Beach are part of the Gulf Islands. The smaller is Lasqueti Island which is only about 73 square kilometres so it's close in size to Manhattan, New York, except with many less residents! The island has no paved roads and residents live without electricity or with alternative sources of power. The larger island to the northeast of Lasqueti is Texada Island which is the largest of the Gulf Islands at about 50 kilometres in length.
While standing on Parksville Beach, you can also see across the Strait
of Georgia (part of the Salish Sea in the Pacific Ocean) to the mainland. The coastal mountain range and the Sunshine Coast, including communities like Gibsons and Sechelt, are located on the mainland to the north and west across the Strait from Parksville.
Parksville beach is rich in sand dollars! Perhaps you've already found one and wondered, "What the heck is this?" In fact, these strange circular shells with the star-shaped design are NOT shells; they’re sea urchins.
The scientific species you see on our beach are dendraster excentricus
of the phylum echinodermata. An easy way to remember, "echinodermata" literally means "spiny skin" and sand dollars are covered by thousands of tiny spines or cilia which make them feel
"furry" to the touch. If you turn one over, you will see Aristotle's lantern, an organ where food such as plankton and other organic matter is ground into small particles for digestion.
If a sand dollar is black or dark purple in colour, it is alive. If a sand dollar is beige, tan or greyish in colour, then it is no longer living. Please do not remove sand dollars (or any other sea life) from our beaches. While enjoying the beach, please be respectful of the creatures that live here and do not remove sand dollars or any other sea life.