Nestled between the Beaufort Mountains and the Strait of Georgia, the Comox Valley’s stunning scenery, exceptional amenities and array of activities combine in one of the Island’s most popular vacation destinations.
With a mild year-round climate providing exceptional hiking, boating, fishing, swimming, mountain biking, diving and skiing, the Valley comprises several distinct communities. Courtenay is the commercial centre and a hub for arts and culture with downtown art galleries and studios, boutiques, theatres and restaurants. Outlying areas also feature a variety of farms, parks and beaches. Excellent marina facilities and a quaint downtown make Comox a popular destination where attractions include the Comox Air Force Museum and Heritage Airpark and the historic Filberg Lodge and Park, where annual events include the August long weekend’s Filberg Festival, one of BC’s finest arts, crafts and entertainment celebrations. Cumberland celebrates its history as a former coal-mining town – learn about its fascinating past at the Cumberland Museum and Archives. Nearby is Comox Lake, a crystal clear, glacier-fed paradise perfect for swimming, boating and fishing, with a full-service campground, picnic area, boat ramp and hiking trails.
Get off the beaten track with a visit to Denman and Hornby Islands, just offshore and accessible via BC Ferry from Buckley Bay, south of Courtenay. Favourite escapes for hiking, cycling, diving, swimming and kayaking, don’t miss Hornby Island’s Tribune Bay, where the summer sun warms shallow waters, ideal for swimming. Visitors also enjoy the islands’ many art studios.
Merville/Black Creek is home to family fun, with one of the region’s best beaches at Miracle Beach Provincial Park, plus mini-golf, go-karting, farms and horseback riding.
Mount Washington Alpine Resort is a hot spot for skiers and snowboarders in the winter and hikers and mountain bikers in summer or hike into the spectacular 250,445-hectare wilderness of Strathcona Provincial Park. Down the mountain, golfers tee off on year-round courses, while paddlers and boaters explore scenic waters. An ever-growing list of culinary events and agritourism opportunities highlights the Valley’s diverse farm-to-fork possibilities.
The Comox Valley hosts several amazing summer festivals celebrating the performing arts and local artists and artisans. Gardeners will love the Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens and the Filberg Lodge and Park while history buffs will want to explore the Courtenay and District Museum and Palaeontology Centre and Cumberland’s historic streets and fascinating museum.
Comox Valley Facts
- A community on the east coast of central Vancouver Island of 66,000 and growing
- Comox is a hub for more than 1,000 artists.
- Due to mild weather, you can golf and ski in the winter
- 445 farms producing everything from oysters, bison, wasabi to wine, vodka, and cheese
- The fossils of the Elasmosaurus sea dinosaur were discovered in the Comox Valley.
Vancouver Island has Canada’s mildest weather conditions. The Comox Valley enjoys a coastal marine climate with warm, dry summers and short, mild winters. It is one of the few places in Canada where you can both golf and ski in the winter.
Destination BC is developing a new campaign to promote hyper-local travel where residents are “tourists-in-their own hometown,” while practising the COVID-19 safety protocols as recommended by the B.C. Provincial Health Officer. Many B.C. parks are now open, and national parks were to open as of June 1.
(Check this website for current details on travel.)
Flying: The Comox Valley Airport offers daily flights to Calgary, Vancouver, and Edmonton by WestJet, Pacific Coastal Airlines, and Air Canada. For another flying experience try Harbour Air which offers daily service between downtown Vancouver and Comox Harbour.
Ferry: Take BC Ferries from either Horseshoe Bay or Tsawwassen to Nanaimo. For US travellers take the ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria or Anacortes to Sidney.
Vehicle: The Comox Valley is located about 1 hour and 20-minute drive from Nanaimo and 1 hour and 40 minutes from Victoria. For destinations between Nanaimo and Campbell River take the scenic route from Hwy 19 A.
For more information, visit westcoasttraveller.com.