Ice Cream

Hot Spots in Port Alberni This Summer

Summer is officially upon us, and summer in the Alberni Valley means sunshine, bright blue skies, and +30 temperatures. We wait all year for the warmth and nice weather that summer brings; it invites us outside to enjoy our beautiful backyard. Sometimes the heat can get a little intense, luckily, there are numerous places throughout the Valley that are perfect for cooling off and making memories. We’re going to share our top 5 places to cool off in the Alberni Valley!

  • Sproat Lake.

Sproat Lake takes our number one spot to cool off this summer, for obvious reasons. This 25km long lake features over 90km of shoreline, crystal clear water, and ideal water temperatures for cooling off in the summer. You can enjoy this lake at one of the three provincial parks; Fossli Provincial Park is ideal for a beautiful hike before a refreshing dip in the lake, Sproat Lake Provincial Park is perfect for beach lovers, paddlers, and swimmers alike, while Taylor Arm Provincial Park offers plenty of shade and amazing swimming conditions. Regardless of which Provincial Park you decide to explore, all of them encompass the natural beauty and magnificence of Sproat Lake. Water sports are incredibly popular at Sproat Lake; waterskiing, wakeboarding, fishing, paddle boarding, and boating are all fantastic ways to cool off and enjoy the lake. We love spending summer days at Sproat Lake!

  • Tubing the Stamp River. Port Alberni Valley hot spots

Tubing the river is one of the best ways to spend a hot summer afternoon. Load up your floaties, some refreshments, sunscreen, your friends, and settle in for a cooling float down the river. While some more adventurous folks start their journey at Stamp Falls, we recommend starting your adventure at the Alberni Fish and Game Club and finishing prior to Papermill Dam. Park one vehicle at your end destination and head back up Beaver Creek to park at the Alberni Fish and Game Club, but keep in mind that this is an active shooting range and check in is required upon arrival. Load up your floaties, beverages, snacks, and sunscreen before heading down the short trail to the river. The river winds down the Stamp River, flanked by forests, some residential homes, and even farmland. While there is some shade, prepare to be in the sun for most of your journey. The float is relatively calm, with some faster sections, and numerous places to pull off for a bite to eat. The river is sure to cool you down on even the hottest Alberni summer day. 

  • Ice Cream from Coombs Country Candy.

Is there anything better than a waffle cone topped with creamy, cold, ice cream on a hot summer day? We didn’t think so. Thanks to Murray Lawlor, who began his practice in the art of chocolate and sweet creations 45 years ago and decided that Port Alberni was the ideal place to settle down and enjoy Island life, we have the delicious Coombs Country Candy to fulfil all of our sweet needs. Murray and his wife retired in 2020, after 26 years of business in Port Alberni, but Coombs Country Candy continues on. Today, the store is run as a social enterprise by the non-profit organisation Community Futures Alberni-Clayoquot, who will re-invest part of the store’s profits back into the community. They continue to use Murray’s recipes and product lines, with his permission of course, and even offer dairy and sugar free options. We love cooling off while enjoying deliciously handcrafted sweets!

  • The Alberni Inlet.

This 40km inlet stretches from the Pacific Ocean at the Barkley Sound to Port Alberni, and is best travelled by boat, but can be accessed in some areas by road. Fishing, boating, paddling, crabbing, watersports, and wildlife watching are popular along the Alberni Inlet. Canal Beach, located at 2120 Plywood Dr, is ideal for summer bonfires, picnics, and cooling off in the Inlet. China Creek Campground and Marina features a beautiful campground and marina. This is an ideal location for kiteboarding, especially in the evenings as the ocean breeze wafts up the Inlet. China Creek is also a popular scuba diving site, showcasing a sunken Chinese immigration ship which has been turned into the only artificial reef that can be accessed by land. The ship is home to numerous marine life including a giant octopus and dungeness crab. You can also take a daytrip down the Inlet to the small community of Bamfield via the historic MV Francis Barkley and the Lady Rose Marine Services. This trip truly showcases the natural beauty of the Alberni Valley, winding through old growth forests and mountains, you might even catch a glimpse of bears and whales on this journey.  

  • Alberni Valley Museum.

Last but not least, we love cooling off while exploring the past at the Alberni Valley Museum. Located at 4355 Wallace St, the air conditioned Alberni Valley Museum showcases a large collection of artefacts linked to First Nation culture, local and industrial history, and folk art. This museum starts off by taking you through local First Nation history and culture, before moving onto post colonial history and culture. It’s easy to spend an afternoon exploring and learning about the history of the Alberni Valley with interactive displays and exhibits. This museum will keep you coming back for more!

There you have it, our Top 5 list of places to cool off in the Alberni Valley this summer. We hope that you have a wonderful and safe summer living life to the fullest, and making memories. Let us know your favourite place to cool off in the summer!

VALLEY VIBEWritten by Megan Warrender, at The Valley Vibe. Port Alberni’s fast growing community and online magazine. The passion here at the Valley Vibe is to showcase the beautiful of our valley for all who live here, and travel through. Working together with many talented writers, we at the Valley Vibe love to explore, discover and uncover secret jewels about Port Alberni and Sproat Lake.


The Valley Vibe

As a local focused magazine, we focus on relevant and up to date information, stories, and historic pieces in the community. We focus on business and lifestyle in our local community. Let us show the community why we are passionate about your business and continuing to shop local.