Cox Bay Beach (mlespear / Instagram)

The polls are in—and we’re not talking about elections this time!

Condé Nast Traveler readers have cast their ballots for the best travel destinations in the world, and both Vancouver Island and Victoria have come out on top.

According to the results of the 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards, Vancouver Island is officially the second best island in North America.

The travel magazine says that the destination has consistently taken top spot for readers in Canada, and is now a top contender for best island in the entire continent, “…namely because there’s so damn much to do.”

“Pick from salmon fishing, wine tasting, sailing, strolling along beaches and nature trails, or learning about glassblowing,” reads a description of Vancouver Island from Condé Nast.

In particular, the ranking mentions a trip to the world-famous Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino, and advises visitors to take a ferry over from Vancouver to make the trip.

Not to be outdone, the largest city on Vancouver Island has been voted the 8th best small city in the world by readers of the publication.

Condé Nast mentions the scenic ride over to Victoria as just one of the many highlights for tourists, and gives the city the title of ‘most British town in Canada’.

In particular, they offer a shoutout to Fisgard Street business, Venus Sophia Tea Room, for a high tea full of scrumptious baked goods.

Although now is not a good time for travel and Vancouver Islanders would rather visitors from other parts of the world stay away for now, the praise from Condé Nast readers is still welcome news for the region’s tourism industry.

“It is wonderful to see this positive recognition for Vancouver Island from global travellers at a time when our tourism industry is suffering,” said Anthony Everett, President and CEO of Tourism Vancouver Island, in a statement.

“We would like to thank the residents of Vancouver Island for contributing to making the Island a special place to live and visit.”

This year’s Readers’ Choice Awards votes were cast by readers at a time when travel has been brought to a near standstill, which means the results represent places where connections and memories were created in years past.

Top 5 Islands in North America

  1. Cape Breton Island, Canada
  2. Vancouver Island, Canada
  3. Isla Holbox, Mexico
  4. Prince Edward Island, Canada
  5. Isla Mujeres, Mexico

Top 10 Small Cities in the World

  1. San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
  2. Chiang Mai, Thailand
  3. Mérida, Mexico
  4. Monte Carlo, Monaco
  5. Valletta, Malta
  6. Salzburg, Austria
  7. Siena, Italy
  8. Victoria, Canada
  9. Florence, Italy
  10. Edinburgh, Scotland