Brightly-coloured red and yellow archway and railing leading out to a dock lined with fishing vessels. A sign reads, "Comox Fisherman's Wharf."

Three-Day Getaway: Beyond the Comox Valley

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Discover Comox Valley

Hiking, beachcombing, wine tasting, and island hopping—in the Comox Valley you can fit all that, and more, into one three-day getaway.

Vancouver Island’s Comox Valley, home to Courtenay, Comox, and Cumberland, links the mountainous wilderness of Strathcona Provincial Park with the sheltered, beach-fringed Strait of Georgia; the delightfully laid-back islands of Denman and Hornby are just offshore.

Point Holmes near Comox | Comox Valley/Jordan Dyck

Day 1: The Comox Valley

Fuel up with a bacon benny at Atlas Café, downtown Courtenay’s go-to spot for globally inspired, locally sourced fare. From there it’s just 30 minutes to Mount Washington Alpine Resort, where you can ride the chairlift to the peak, freeride at the resort’s bike park, or explore Strathcona Provincial Park’s subalpine meadows; the boardwalk loop through Paradise Meadows is a great place to start.

Back at sea level, build a sand castle at Miracle Beach Provincial Park, play a round at Crowne Isle Golf and Country Club, tackle the mountain bike trails around historic Cumberland, hunt for fossils with the Courtenay and District Museum & Paleontology Centre, or browse the shops in Courtenay or Comox’s walkable town centres.

Thirsty? With four wineries, five microbreweries, and two distilleries in the valley, artisanal tipples abound. Try the Marzen Lager at Gladstone Brewing, the apple cherry cider at Raven’s Moon Craft Cider, or the single malt whisky at Shelter Point Distillery.

Check into Courtenay’s Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa and spend a blissful hour in the resort’s Pacific Mist Hydropath, a unique spa featuring a series of aquatic treatments, from a massaging waterfall to a steam cave. For dinner, opt for share plates at Kingfisher’s new AQUA Bistro & Wine Bar, or make it a date night at the resort’s chic Ocean7 restaurant.

Visit the Comox Valley
Fillongley Provincial Park | @kimlovesbc

Day 2: Denman Island

Heading south, stop for cinnamon buns at Just Like Mom’s in Union Bay, then, at Buckley Bay, hop on the cable ferry to funky little Denman Island, one of BC’s quietest isles.

Chat with locals and pick up a bar or two of organic Denman Island Chocolate at the General Store. On summer Saturdays, picnic fixings abound at the farmers’ market. Feeling active? Hike in Boyle Point Provincial Park or paddle out to Jáji7em and Kw’ulh Marine Park [a.k.a. Sandy Island Marine Park] with Denman Hornby Canoes and Kayaks.

Overnight options include budget digs at Earth Club Factory Bistro & Guesthouse or seaside camping at Fillongley Provincial Park. Reservations, here and on Hornby, are essential in summer.

Visit Denman
Hornby Island | Destination BC

Day 3: Hornby Island

Start with a locavore brunch at Forage Café or an all-day breakfast (with kombucha on tap) at Vorizo Café. Both are in Ringside Market, Hornby’s adorably bohemian village centre.

To do? Picnic on Tribune Bay’s white sands, stroll along the seaside bluffs at Helliwell Provincial Park, explore Hornby’s 80-plus kilometre network of single track (Ringside Market’s Bike Shop has rentals), or meet sea lions on a fishing, kayaking, or diving adventure.

Wind down with a tasting trip to Middle Mountain Mead, Hornby Island Estate Winery, or Island Spirits Distillery; or chill out with a beachfront yoga class, happening daily at Little Tribune Bay.

Catch some live music with dinner at the Thatch Pub or Hornby Island Bakery & Pizzeria and enjoy a beverage from Hornby Island Brewing Company before settling into your cottage or campsite (try the Sea Breeze Lodge or Tribune Bay Campsite). If you’re here during the Hornby Festival in August, expect performers, family events, and more.

Visit Hornby

Getting There

From Tsawwassen and Horseshoe Bay on the BC mainland, sail with BC Ferries to Nanaimo, about an hour south of Courtenay. Air Canada, WestJet, and Pacific Coastal Airlines serve Comox Valley Airport. Fly from Vancouver to Comox Harbour with Harbour Air Seaplanes.

Originally published in June, 2017.

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