Cape Scott Provincial Park is on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island and a favorite destination for many locals. Expansive white-sand crescent beaches, an abandoned Danish farming settlement, and a rustic lighthouse are just a few of the features that attract intrepid hikers year after year. The park is accessible from San Josef Bay from the south; it can also be reached via the North Coast Trail starting at Shushartie Bay. This VICT Discover Coffee Itinerary from Nanaimo to Cape Scott offers suggestions on where to uncover amazing locally roasted coffee on your journey there and back. Discover all the locations listed here on the VICT Tour Map.
Coffee Stop #1: Regard Coffee Roasters (Nanaimo)
You’ll be in for a long drive if you plan to reach either trailhead, San Josef Bay or Shushartie Bay, on day one so start your day off right with coffee from Regard Coffee Roasters in Nanaimo. They open at 8 am weekdays and 9 am on weekends, so if you are a morning person it may be best to buy beans ahead of time and brew them at home. Otherwise, check out their new north end location on your way out of town.
Coffee Stop #2: French Press Roasters (Qualicum)
This local coffee hub boasts incredible locally roasted coffee and delectable baked goods, just in time for breakfast or a late morning snack. If you are not in a rush, the town of Qualicum is a fantastic place to stretch your legs and explore with a cappuccino from French Press Coffee Roasters in hand. Note to weekend travelers: French Press is not open on Sundays.
Coffee Stop #3: Foggdukkers Coffee (Campbell River)
By this time it’s either lunch or well into the afternoon. Open daily from 9:30 am to 5 pm, Foggdukkers Coffee is a long-established local favorite in Campbell River. Take some time to hang out on the beach like a true west-coaster as you heed the oft-sighted island bumper sticker: Slow down! This ain’t the mainland.
Coffee Stop #4: Burly Bean Coffee Co. (Port Hardy)
If you think you can’t find locally roasted coffee on the north tip of the island, you could not be more wrong thanks to Burly Bean Coffee Co. Established in 2021, expert coffee roasters Mike and Andrea McGill have your north island coffee needs covered. Get a fresh roasted bag of beans for the trail from Marketplace IGA in Port MacNeil or stop by Cafe Guido's Copper & Kelp Market in Port Hardy.
Coffee Stop #5: Rhodos Artisanal Coffee Roasting Co. (Courtenay)
Of all the things you may crave as you step off the North Coast Trail, a steaming cup of coffee to warm your chill, damp soul may be at the top of the list. Rhodos Bistro & Artisanal Coffee Roasting Co. in Courtenay will not only satisfy your coffee craving, but offers an all-killer, no-filler west-coast brunch for hungry hikers. If you hit the road early you can reach Rhodos Coffee before they close at 3 pm.
Coffee Stop #6: Royston Roasting Co & Coffee House (Royston)
The last stop before heading home has to be Royston Roasting Co & Coffee House. Tucked away in the scenic seaside town of Royston, this small roaster has recently transferred hands to new owners passionate about great coffee. Add a warm community vibe to a well-drawn shot of espresso, and you are all set to wrap up a truly memorable journey.
Going on a road trip on Vancouver Island or the Gulf Islands?
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About the Curator
Joshua Gillingham is an author, board game designer, and coffee lover from Vancouver Island. He curates the Vancouver Island Coffee Tour. For questions or comments about VICT, map updates, or roaster openings and closures, send him a note via the community contact form.