Comox

Destination Location

Comox, BC

Overview

Located on the eastern side of Vancouver Island in beautiful British Columbia, Comox is most well known as an historic naval and steamer port city and Canadian Forces Base. But beyond that, it's also a delightful destination for adventure travellers, eco-tourists and lovers of nature, art and music.

The Comox skyline is hedged by mountains, providing a beautiful backdrop to this charming town found within the Comox Valley. It's also where you'll find some of Western Canada's best festivals and outdoor entertainment.

Every August, Comox hosts the Filberg Festival. For over a quarter century, hundreds of artists, craftspeople and entertainers have gathered at Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park to display and sell their works. The festival is also Western Canada's largest juried outdoor arts show.

Outdoor enthusiasts will also want to check out the wide range of leisure and sporting pursuits available in the great outdoors around Comox. Try downhill skiing on Mount Washington or go for a hike up to Forbidden Plateau. There's also plenty to do out on the water. From sailing and wind surfing, to fishing, swimming and sea kayaking with orcas, you're bound to find activities on water and land that you'll love. Or, simply take in the views from Strathcona Provincial Park and nearby Nymph Falls.

For those looking for some rest and relaxation, Comox is conveniently located just a short drive away from the famous Kingfisher Oceanside Resort & Spa. Situated on Gartley Bay in the Comox Valley, this resort hosts visitors from near and far. Stop in for a night (or a week), breathe the fresh ocean air and sample the creative West Coast cuisine at the resort's oceanside dining room. Of course, there is also the incredible on-site spa where you can get pampered.

But that's not all. You'll also find whale watching adventures, bird watching trips, great golf courses, numerous places to shop and plenty of vineyards to explore all within reach of Comox.

Comox is a fantastic destination for:

  • outdoor adventure
  • beach

Airport served by: Comox, BC (YQQ)

Destination basics

Comox Valley is a charming region containing several communities on the Vancouver Island’s east coast. Whether you want to explore the great outdoors or go boutique shopping, you’ll find it here.

Comox & Courtenay

Located next to each other, the town of Comox and the city of Courtenay form the most populated spot in Comox Valley. Stroll through Downtown Courtenay for some great shopping and restaurants or check out the Comox Fisherman’s Wharf to watch the catch come in.

For some fun and education visit one of their museums. Wow your kids with dinosaur bones at the Courtenay & District Museum and Paleontology Centre, see aviation artifacts up close at the Comox Air Force Museum, or learn about the local history at Comox Museum and Archives.

Although this is one of the most populated areas in the valley, you can still enjoy the wilderness. Both Miracle Beach Provincial Park and Seal Bay Nature Park provide stunning views of the ocean and wonderful trails. Goose Spit Park is a narrow park that’s known as a great bird watching spot.

Southern Comox Valley

Including Fanny Bay, Denman Island, and Hornby Island, the southern portion of Comox Valley has a lot to offer. The hidden gems of Rosewall Creek Provincial Park in Fanny Bay and Fillongley Provincial Park in Denman Island both have scenic trails and few tourists.

On Hornby Island explore steep bluffs at Helliwell Provincial Park or walk along the water at the Tribune Bay Provincial Park. Afterwards reward yourself with a drink at the esteemed Island Spirits Distillery.

The Rest of Comox Valley

There’s still so much this picturesque valley to explore! During the summer you can kayak on Comox Lake and during the winter you can visit Mount Washington Alpine Resort. This ski resort is one of top attractions in Comox Valley, and both novices and pros love to snowboard down these snowy peaks.

Whatever you decide to do, you’ll make lasting memories at Comox Valley.

You’ll find a wide range of entertainment in Comox Valley. Whether you want to kayak along the shoreline, hit a few holes at a top-rated golf course, or indulge in a relaxing spa treatment, you can do it all here.

The Great Outdoors

With the impressive Comox Glacier towering over the region, it’s easy find outdoor adventures in the lush forests and expansive sea. At Miracle Beach Provincial Park, you can walk along the beach as you try to find tide pools or build a sandcastle. With skiing in the winter and mountain biking in the summer, the Mount Washington Alpine Resort can’t be missed. Hike through forest trails to a cobblestone beach at Seal Bay Nature Park. Gaze out at the cascading waterfalls at Nymph Falls Nature Park, and make sure to visit during October and November when salmon swim upstream to spawn.

Museums

If you want to learn something new and have fun, then make sure to visit a museum. The Comox Air Force Museum has fascinating exhibits about aviation history, including letting you get close-up to historic military planes. If you want to learn more about the community then stop by one of the local history museums, including Comox Museum & Archives and Cumberland Museum & Archives. Make sure you sign up for a fossil tour at Courtenay & District Museum and Paleontology Centre. This unique museum showcases Comox Valley history as well as dinosaurs!

 Golf

With the mountains in the background and the fresh ocean air, teeing off at a golf course in Comox Valley is an experience like no other. Reserve a time at the Crown Isle Golf Resort, known for its award winning 18-hole course. Both inexperienced and pro players will enjoy the Glacier Greens Golf Course. Or try the moderately priced Comox Golf Club, which is in Downtown Comox and open year-round. Fore!

Spas

Don’t forget to relax and unwind. Check out one of the spas in Comox Valley and watch as your stress disappears. The Pacific Mist Spa at the Kingfisher Resort may be one of the best spas on Vancouver Island. Featuring water spa treatments, such as a Mineral Massage Pool or Sea Mineral Soak, you may never want to leave. You can also pamper yourself at OhSpa! along the Courtenay River. Enjoy the fresh air as you lounge in their heated outdoor pool or sip champagne with your special someone when you sign up for the Royal Treatment for Two.

You’ll find everything from quick snack spots, elegant bistros, and charming pubs in the Comox Valley. The restaurants here are sure to entice any visitor, especially when they use fresh local ingredients from the nearby forests, farms, and the ocean.

Comox & Courtenay

Since the Comox and Courtenay area is the most populated spot in the valley, it also has a lot of dining options. In Comox don’t miss out on Martine's Bistro which serves local food with a European flair. For amazing views stop by Blackfin Pub. Located on the waterfront, this pub is ideal for enjoying a relaxing pint or a seafood dinner as you watch the ships float in the harbor. If you want entertainment with your meal than make sure you head to Griffin Pub. This friendly pub often hosts events and serves craft beers along with tasty Canadian and American-style cuisine.

In Courtenay, Atlas Cafe is perfect from morning to night. They have a great breakfast menu, but you’ll find their lunch and dinner options just as tempting. For seasonal local cuisine, don’t miss the aptly named Locals Restaurant. This upscale restaurant offers amazing culinary creations.

Before dinner make sure to visit a nearby winery for a tasting. Beaufort Vineyard & Estate Winery, 40 Knots Winery, and Blue Moon Winery all offer a friendly atmosphere and fabulous wine.

Southern Comox Valley

On Hornby Island, stop by for a pint at the Thatch Pub as you gaze out onto the ocean or try home-style cuisine at the Sea Breeze Restaurant. Make sure you visit the Island Spirits Distillery where you can sample and buy their fantastic gin and vodka. In Fanny Bay, the famous oysters at Fanny Bay Inn can’t be beat.

The Rest of Comox Valley

The popular Mount Washington Alpine Resort has several dining options. At Eagle View Bistro, pick a spot by one of the huge windows overlooking the mountain and enjoy a meal or just a cup of coffee. At night have a cocktail at Ted’s Bar & Grill. Featuring live music on winter weekends, you can dance the night away and enjoy a drink.

Further north in Black Creek you’ll discover Coastal Black Estate Winery. For a modest fee you can tour the winery and sample their wines and meads. Visit their on-site store and find some fresh local cheeses and meats then head to their patio for a picnic. And don’t forget a bottle of their wine!

Comox Valley

Province: British Columbia

Country: Canada

Comox Valley by the Numbers
Population: 65,000
Elevation: 83 meters / 271 feet
Average Annual Precipitation: 114 centimeters / 45 inches
Average Annual Snowfall: 50 centimeters / 20 inches
Average January Temperature: 3.3°C / 38°F 
Average July Temperature: 20°C / 68°F

Quick Facts

Electricity: 120 volts, 60Hz, AC

Time Zone: GMT-8; Pacific Standard Time (PST)

Country Dialing Code: 1

Area Code:  250; 778; 236  

Did You Know?

A father and his 12-year old daughter discovered an Elasmosaurus fossil by the Puntledge River in Comox Valley. This was the first record of that type of dinosaur remains in British Columbia.

Orientation
Comox Valley is located on Vancouver Island's east coast in British Colombia, Canada. The region lies about 193 kilometers (120 miles) northwest from Vancouver.

The Comox Valley has been the home to humans for over 4,000 years! The K’ómoks First Nation, known as the Northern Coast Salish, originally lived in the region and still live here to this day.

The first European to see the valley is speculated to be Sir Francis Drake in 1579, but it’s not clear whether he truly visited or not. In the early 1860s, European farmers settled in the region and when coal was discovered people flocked to the area. The Comox Logging and Railroad Co. was founded in the early 1910s and became one of the largest logging companies in the area. Due to the coal, logging, fertile land, and abundant fishing, the local communities thrived.

Then in 1942, the Canadian Forces Base Comox was founded to take advantage of valley’s position on the Canadian West Coast. This military base continues to influence the region and you can learn more about it at the Comox Air Force Museum.

Today, this scenic valley is made up of various settlements that treasure their past and are looking forward to the future. From artists to fishermen to restaurant owners, the Comox Valley is home to a diverse and friendly people.

Points of interest in Comox

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