The Comox Valley --- a destination not a pass through
First, and we want to get this out of the way, if you drive through Courtenay on the 19A you will see nothing interesting. The signed route goes past strip malls, shopping centers and automobile dealerships. You’ll miss downtown Courtenay with its quaint shops, fantastic restaurants, splendid museum loaded with fossils and dinosaur bones and much local history, historic Native Sons Hall and much more. We know because on our first trip through the Comox Valley we got off the Powell River Ferry heading towards Tofino, a place we had heard about and wanted to see, followed the signs and saw next to nothing. It was several years later that we came back to the area searching for a waterfront home and took the time to look around. We fell in love with the place and moved here. So take some time, get off the signed route and meander around awhile. We’d suggest at least a week, but for sure, allow a minimum of 3 days. Visit Comox with its gorgeous harbor and marina, excellent restaurants, art galleries, historic Filberg Lodge and peaceful neighborhoods. Continue on and you’ll likely find Goose Spit, the perfect place for a lazy beach walk, yet just 5 minutes from Comox. Keep going and perhaps pay a visit to the amazing Air Force Museum located at the entrance to the CF Comox base. Make a stop at Kye Bay with its sandy beach. If you follow the coast you find Military Beach, Kin Beach, Seal Bay Park, Bates Beach, Kitty Coleman Beach, Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens, Miracle Beach and more all the way to Saratoga Beach.
The Comox Valley has beautiful lakes and rivers, splendid hiking and biking, great golf at half a dozen courses (you’re bound to find one just right for your skill level). There is much First Nations culture and art to see here too. We could go on and on, but won’t. Just realize the abundance of things to do and see here. We apologize to local people if we’ve left off one or more of your favorite things, perhaps the fine wineries, or farm markets so abundant here. Speaking of abundance, the number of incredibly talented artists and musicians here is mind boggling and must be seen or heard to be appreciated.
We don’t mean to dismiss shopping centers and box stores. We have infrastructure here, however badly located, and are glad of it. Whatever we need is available here. No need to drive an hour or more for goods or services. St. Joseph’s Hospital is here and continues to be a symbol of excellence in care and competence.
The Comox Valley is often overlooked, or at least under looked. It has suffered from pitiful marketing, and poor planning but that is changing. So do yourselves a favor and take a good look at this wonderful area.