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Are you curious about sustainable things to do in the Comox Valley region of Vancouver Island? The Comox Valley is a lovely slice of Vancouver Island, balancing ecotourism, nature-based activities, and agritourism. To enjoy this incredible and diverse landscape, engage in positive impact tourism and things to do, learn about Indigenous culture in Comox Valley, and support local businesses while enjoying your experience to the fullest.Goose Spit Beach Comox Valley Things to do Blog

The K’ómoks First Nations of the Comox Valley call their traditional lands “the land of plenty.” That is a good description for Comox Valley, a place that starts at the foothills of Mt. Washington and flows into the fertile agricultural lands, through the forests, and ends at the incredible beaches. Its plentiful bounty stems from the integration of nature and agriculture that brews a unique blend of sustainable agritourism and nature-based things to do and see.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when visiting Comox Valley for the first time. After enjoying a slow and sustainable stay in Tofino, I was convinced this was Vancouver Island’s best. But, after spending four days in Comox Valley as part of our longer B.C. road trip with our new Polestar EV, it is safe to say I will be back. Comox Valley offers a more rural agricultural experience with fewer crowds compared to Tofino, yet still plenty of things to do and activities for all travelers. We ran out of time before we could complete all the things to do in Comox Valley, and you could easily spend 5 to 7 days exploring this bountiful region. 

Fun and sustainable things to do in The Comox Valley, BC. Discover Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland and beyond.

Suppose you enjoy friendly locals, small-town pubs, and biodynamic wineries, picking your produce from U-Pic kFarms, swimming at incredible beaches, birding, walking kilometers of forest trails, supporting local businesses, and staying in sustainable accommodation. In that case, the Comox Valley is the best destination for your Vancouver Island holiday.

QUICK LOOK

  • Comox Valley is a region in Eastern Vancouver Island, in British Columbia, Canada.
  • It is known for fertile agricultural lands, Indigenous culture, and outdoor adventures.
  • Whether you are looking for U-Pick Farms, walking trails, beaches, birding, craft brews, and cultural tourism the Comox Valley is a must-visit.
  • This guide covers unique sustainable things to do in Comox Valley, where to stay, what to eat, and the region’s history.

About The Comox Valley, BC

The Comox Valley is an agricultural and nature hub on Eastern Vancouver Island. The region comprises three larger communities: the city of Courtenay, Comox, and the small village of Cumberland, along with several smaller communities such as Merville, Fanny Bay, Denman Island, and more. Comox Valley spans from the foothills of the mountains surrounding Mt. Washington all the way to Seal and Miracle Bay beaches. It includes adorable historic towns and plenty of farmland.  

The area has rich, fertile soil with a rocky clay shelf and aquifer, making it an excellent location for agriculture. The aquifer means that some farms in the region, such as 40 Knots, don’t have to water their crops even during the extreme drought in the summer of 2023. 

Miracle Beach Provincial Park Comox Valley BC Things to Do

Sustainability is woven into the practices of many farms, and it is not uncommon to find biodynamic and organic farms. Beyond that, many of the farms work with local wildlife conservation groups to create habitats for their wildlife on the farms. So, yes, you can go birding while shopping at a farm stand for the best garlic you’ve ever had. 

Land Acknowledgment and Indigenous History

The name Comox Valley comes from a colonial misinterpretation of the K’ómoks First Nation people who inhabited the region for thousands of years before colonization. The Comox Valley lies on their unceeded territory and lands. They enjoyed a plentiful and peaceful life harvesting berries, hunting deer, and reaping the benefits of coastal seafood.

Comox Valley Things To do Visit the Beach

After colonization displaced their people, tore apart their culture, and limited access to resources on their land, many of the K’ómoks people congregated in the southern part of their territory. Today, the nation is comprised of the Sahtloot, Sasitla, Leeksun, and Puntledge tribes. You can learn more about each tribe and their culture, history, and future on their website. Additionally, as you explore the Comox Valley, there are numerous things you can do to learn about the K’ómoks First Nation, many of which I share in the section “Cultural Things To Do.”

When to Visit Comox Valley

Summer might be the peak tourist season, but there are things to do in Comox Valley year-round in all weather and seasons. We visited last summer and found the crowds manageable, and the weather ideal for swimming and nature walks. 

Agricultural Tourism in Comox Valley

Spring: Comox Valley is an excellent area for birding. During the spring migration (March – April), you can head to wetlands and the coastal regions to see species such as the Brant goose, Tundra swans, and Arctic birds. Patio season starts in late spring, and you can visit breweries. Take advantage of the warmer afternoons with nature walks and hikes. 

Summer: June – September is the best time to visit if you are interested in agritourism, such as farmers’ markets, summer street markets, U-pick farms, farm stands, and food tours. Many farms are only open to visitors during the summer and early autumn. Summer is also great for outdoor activities such as hiking, nature walks, swimming, mountain biking, and more. 

Comox Valley Things to do for every season

Autumn: Autumn colors make hiking and being outdoors a colorful adventure, making for lovely mid-day hikes, walks, and warming up after with a cup of hot tea or coffee at a cozy cafe. On rainier autumn days, head inside for art galleries, museums, and Indigenous art centers. 

Winter: Winter is the perfect time for cross-country skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and all winter sports. If you prefer to stay indoors and relax, enjoy wellness and spa experiences, galleries, and museums. Visit the breweries for a cozy evening and dine at one of the waterfront pubs.

Sustainable and Fun Things to do in the Comox Valley, B.C.

The best things to do in the Comox Valley revolve around enjoying their rich, sustainable agritourism and incredible nature. Make sure you bring your appetite, good walking shoes, a small day bag, and clothing that transitions well from nature walks to wine tastings to exploring historic downtown. The diversity of things to do in this region will have you wanting to return again and again during all seasons. Ganesh and I can’t wait to return as an easy long weekend trip from our home base in Vancouver.

Agritourism Things to Do in Comox Valley

1. Book a Sustainable Wine Tasting

One of the first things booked during our time in the Comox Valley was a wine tasting at 40 Knots Winery. This biodynamic, vegan, and organic vineyard truly hits all the elements of sustainable agritourism on the head. I first learned about them from an article about how they don’t use pesticides or chemicals for their wine; instead, they rely on natural products such as locally sourced kelp for fertilizer. The vineyard also employs about 40 geese, chickens, and other critters that all play a key role in eating pests, such as slugs, as they leave behind natural fertilizers. 

40 Knots Wine Tasting in Comox Valley

We came for their environmentally friendly agriculture and stayed for the wine. 

We booked a premium wine tasting with 40 Knots. Going into the tasting, I wasn’t expecting much, to be honest. I was convinced I would support them for their sustainable farming practices more than their wines, but after an incredible tasting, Ganesh and I loved their wines and the experience so much that we decided to become members. That’s right, we became members of our first winery – it was that good! Even though they produce mainly whites, and I consider myself a red gal, I was happy to become a member of a quarterly box of wine, enjoying every wine I tasted. 

40 Knots Wine Tasting in Comox Valley BC

You can choose between a 30-40 minute informative tasting with an in-depth explanation of biodynamic agricultural practices. This tasting also includes snack pairings that are spot on, including local organic cheese, local crackers, chocolate, and nibbles made in-house with grape byproducts. After the tasting, you can self-guided walk around the interpretive trail, order more wine, or get a bottle. 

Those wanting a more immersive experience can book a guided tour of the vineyards, plus the tasting. Alternatively, you can also opt for a picnic basket and a flight of wine to enjoy on their terrace at your leisure.

Wine Tasting in the Comox Valley

If one tasting isn’t enough, many fantastic wineries exist in the Comox Valley. Stop by the mainland’s highly-rated Beaufort Vineyard and Estate Wines or Corlan Farm Vineyard and Winery, Isla De Lerena Vineyard, and Hornby Island Winery on the islands. 

2. Visit Farms – UPick and Festive Farms. 

Driving around Comox Valley, you’ll see signs for U-Pick everywhere! U-Pick farms are a great place to stock up on fresh goodies for dinner or take them on the road for healthy snacks. Of course, what you can get depends on the season, but there are plenty of spots for berries (strawberries and blueberries), cucumbers, vegetables, and more. If you don’t know what a U-Pick farm is, you are in for a treat! It’s essentially where you go to a farm or orchard that is open to the public. After checking in and usually paying a reasonable fee, you get a basket and can pick to your heart’s content. Every farm is set up differently, so follow the specific rules and guidelines you’ve been given.

Farms in Comox Valley BC

Some more popular spots will be Windhover Farms, McClintock’s Farm, Berry Best Organic Farm, or Blue Haven Farm, but you can also drive down rural roads like Bates Road or Condensory and pull into whatever spot has a U-Pick sign. Most of these farms will close in winter, and this activity is best for summer and early autumn. 

Visiting a farm is another great way to support agritourism that diversifies farm income. It is also a great way to celebrate the seasons! Shamrock Farms is notorious for throwing epic events that focus on the bounty of each season. While many farms close in autumn, Shamrock is open for their Fall Harvest Market. Visit to purchase pumpkins and other end-of-season products and enjoy a festive fall ambiance. Spring is their annual plant sale, and summer is their lavender and garlic event.    

3. Shop at a Farm Stand

If you want to support small local farms but prefer to skip the labor of picking your own produce, then stop at any number of farm stands. Larger vendors will likely have someone to assist you and accept credit cards, but smaller honor systems booths will require you to have cash on hand. 

Again, you can drive around and stop at dozens of stands offering eggs, flowers, fruit, veggies, milk, or other essentials. Or, if you want an established place to go, visit Lentelus Farms. This adorable farm stand has lots of variety. Their garlic was some of the best I’ve ever had in my entire life, so I can definitely recommend picking up several heads of garlic if it’s in season. We also noticed beautiful chard and greens. 

4. Stock up on Cheese

If you took my advice to book a wine tasting at 40Knots, you might wonder where their incredible cheese comes from. Natural Pastures is a local cheese company that was born from a heritage farm in the Comox Region. They produce almost 20 unique cheeses, including soft, firm, aged, and artisanal options. Natural Pasutres even teamed up with 40Knots to produce a cheese with a rind made from grape skin by-product! It’s super tasty!

You can stop by their store downtown to select your favorite types of cheese or chat with a friendly staff member to find your new favorite!

5. Enjoy Craft Beer

If beer is more for you, there are several breweries in the area that you will enjoy! The Comox Valley is on the BC Ale Trail. 

The best brewery in the Comox Valley is Land & Sea Brewing Company in downtown Comox. Their tap house is big, modern, and has a great food menu (including vegetarian options!). They had their summer beers on tap, and we loved their Hazy IPAs and Summer Saison. During winter, try their Porter or Oktober lager. 

RAD Brewing is also in downtown Comox, and it ticks all the ultimate creative hipster vibes. Go for the Dark Lager for chocolate and coffee notes. Or my favorite, a red ale infused with Nitro for a creamy finish. Cumberland Brewing Co. is going to be your new favorite small-town brewery. It is cozy, hip, and has a great outdoor space. Go for their English Ale or a darker stout, depending on the season.

Over in Courtenay, there is Ace Brewing, a big modern aviation-themed brewery. They have the biggest selection and variety of beers, many of which have won the Canadian Brewing Awards. Try their F@#$ Bomb Blackberry Sour for something tart and sweet, or their award-winning Jet Fuel Westcoast IPA.

Other options are the Church St. Taphouse in Comox, which has a more casual pub vibe. You can order their honey ale or rotating tap pub-style tapas, including vegetarian options and vegan with subs. Gladstone Brewing Co. is a small heritage and intimate brewpub. Finally, we can’t forget about Hornby Island Brewing, a nano brewery. If you make it over to Hornby Island, you can try the small-batch beers on-site – otherwise, see if you find their beers at local pubs or the store. 

6. Shop at Farmers and Street Markets

If you visit Comox Valley in spring, summer, or early autumn, you must check out the farmers and street markets. The farmers markets are a one-stop-shop to get all the fantastic goodies in Comox Valley, from handmade soaps, art, baked goods, food trucks, and, of course, organic and local produce. Comox Valley has three farmers markets, a weekly street market, and seasonal special events.    

Things to do in Comox Valley Vancouver Island Canada

Wednesdays

Two events merged to create one incredible artisan and farmers market in downtown Courtenay on Wednesdays (June-September). On Duncan Ave between 6th and 4th Ave from 2-5:30 PM., dozens of vendors sell their wares in a combined farmers and summer street market.  

The Wednesday Farmers Market was started as a way for farmers to sell their mid-week harvest and get people downtown outside of the weekend days. It was recently combined with the Summer Street Market, where local artisans, crafters, and businesses sell unique handmade and local goods. 

Saturdays

If you are in Courtenay on Saturdays (June – September), head to the CV Exhibition Grounds from 9 AM – 1 PM for a traditional farmers market. This is a great place to stock up on all your fresh produce, berries, flowers, and other goodies for the road or your stay in Comox Valley. 

Sundays

Head down to Cumberland on Sundays (June-September) from 10 AM – 1 PM for their small, intimate Farmers Market on Dunsmuir Ave. Cumberland is a more rural town with amazing produce, wines, and organic/holistic body products. 

7. Cheers at the Griffin Pub

The hosts of our Tiny Home recommended that we check out the Griffin Pub during our stay, and we are happy we took their advice. This cozy heritage UK-style pub is out by the airport and features a lot of military memorabilia. They have plenty of local beers on tap and a full menu with several vegetarian options like a Vegan Ruben made with smoked beats! Ganesh and I enjoyed a few pints with our vegetarian dinner while soaking in the local ambiance. There is an outdoor terrace, a pool table, and cozy nooks to sit in and enjoy your beer. 

Griffin Pub Comox Valley BC

8. Eat Along the Food Trail

The Comox Valley is known as the foodie epicenter of Vancouver Island. If you want expert, local knowledge to help you find the best wineries, restaurants, markets, bakeries, and flower farms, then book a guided experience with Island Gourmet Trails. Three locals lead this women-owned company with years of experience as Chefs, culinary business owners, and expert foodies. 

Comox Valley Things to Eat Farm to Table

There are three tours. The shorter appetizer tour includes a farmers market, breakfast, and a winery or distillery. Their gourmet tour lasts 7 hours as you visit seven producers with transportation and finish with a 3-course meal at one of the region’s best restaurants. 

9. Feast with Farm-to-Table Dining

Considering the bountiful agricultural region around you, you might as well enjoy some of that on your plate, right? There are a few restaurants in Comox Valley with seasonal and local food. 

The best of the best is Locals Restaurant. This charming spot is in a heritage building with dark, cozy wooden interiors, a bright, covered sun room, and a sunny outdoor patio surrounded by a garden. No matter where you sit, you can enjoy any of their menu highlights featuring sustainable, local, and organic products. As a vegetarian, they have many options, including seasonal salads, Asian-inspired veggie spring rolls, polenta, mushroom mains, and more! Pair with a BC wine!

Locals Restaurant Courtenay, BC

I still suggest you skip the meat and order a sustainably certified seafood dish if you aren’t vegetarian.

Cultural Things to do in Comox Valley

10. Support Indigenous Businesses

If you want to take more time to learn about the K’ómoks First Nations and their art and culture, there are plenty of Indigenous experiences in the Comox Valley. The I-Hos Art Gallery and Gift Shop is great for picking up souvenirs created and sold by K’ómoks and other Indigenous creators or businesses. Along with apparel, you’ll also find art, jewelry, baskets, and more! The building resembles a traditional longhouse of Canada’s First Nations. 

Right next door to the I-Hos Gallery is Totem Design Studio. Totem Designs sells eco apparel, home decor, textiles, and wellness products designed by Indigenous creators and artists.

The Spirits of the West Coast Art Gallery is slightly more upscale, with grand art pieces such as masks, canoe paddles, statement pieces, and fine jewelry. The selection is a carefully curated collection of B.C. First Nations tribal art and styles, so you’ll find more than K’ómoks First Nations designs. 

11. Visit Historic Downtown Centers

If you haven’t already been downtown for the farmer’s markets, then take a few hours and wander the charming streets of Courtenay, Comox, and Cumberland. While in Courtenay, we stopped at bookstores, cafes, and local boutiques to stock up on sustainable souvenirs from our trip. This is an excellent opportunity to support small businesses while enjoying colorful historic districts. 

Comox BC Marina

Courtenay, a larger town at the mouth of the Puntledge River, is a more touristy hub. But there are still plenty of small stores and restaurants to enjoy. Comox, conversely, is a smaller, seaside harbor town and feels a bit more laid back. As a small village, Cumberland is more rural, but there is still a nice downtown core along Dunsmuir. 

12. Relax with a Spa Experience

If you want to sit back and relax – no matter the season, then take advantage of the numerous spa and wellness offerings in the Comox Valley. 

The Pacific Mist Spa is an immersive coastal and spa experience that offers the best of the Comox Valley nature but in a spa-like setting. Enter a sandstone cave with eight experiences: massage/jet pools, a river walk, waterfalls, and ocean-themed rooms. 

The Lost Faucet Sauna House is a traditional spa experience where you cycle through relaxing followed by hot and cold experiences. Other alternatives include OhSpa for masks and wraps and Cumberland Wellness for massages.

13. Appreciate Art 

The Comox Valley Art Gallery is a progressive exhibit featuring local art, films, and think pieces. As you explore, many rotating and permanent installations will inspire you to think critically and engage in meaningful discussion. Whether you learn about the crisis of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls from the Red Dress Gallery or are inspired to discuss consent with your cohorts, the pieces here will leave you dwelling on their impact. 

The gallery is an inspiring place to visit for a rainy day or winter activity in Comox Valley. Still, visiting any time of the year and returning to see their latest exhibits is well worth your time. 

14. Be Entertained at the Local Theater 

Enjoy an evening of live entertainment at the Sid Williams Theater. This community theater hosts tribute bands, Indigenous musicians, holiday concerts, ballet, musicals, comedians, and more. Check their calendar for events and ticketing options for when you are in town. 

15. Support Local Artists 

You can certainly find plenty of local artists to support you as you explore boutiques in the downtown districts. But, if you want to find artists creating your favorite medium and visit their studios or look for them at local stores, check out the Comox Valley Art Guide. Here you can learn about the queer ceramic artists behind Mabel Ceramics or Art Mates, a collaborative art initiative among friends. The guide features dozens of painters, jewelers, stained glass artists, and more!  

16. Learn at a Museum

Take a deep dive into the pre-historic, Indigenous, and natural history of the Comox Valley at the engaging and informative Courtenay Museum and Palaeontology Center. The highlight is the Fossil Tours that occur outside and explore Vancouver Island’s pre-historic time with a hands-on experience. On this tour, you will learn how a 12-year-old discovered an Elasmosaurus – the only one ever found in B.C.! 

The permanent education exhibits are accompanied by rotating and seasonal exhibits that explore the magical world of fungi, prominent figures, and the natural geo-history of the region, among many other themes. 

Comox Valley Goose Spit

17. Learn About WWII History

Unknown to many, the Comox Valley played an important role in WWII history and events. The Canadian military trained in Courtenay for the D-Day invasion. Some of those trained and deployed returned to govern in towns in Comox Valley. 

To learn more about the region’s WWII history, visit the Air Force Museum and the HMCS Alberni Memorial Museum

18. Explore a Historical Park 

Stop by the Coal Creek Historical Park near Cumberland if you want a historical nature walk. This forested area guides you through the region’s Japanese, Chinese, and coal mining history with information signs, historical ruins, and more!

18. Get off the Beaten Path

If you are on a more extended road trip from Nanaimo or Victoria, take the slow ocean route driving Highway 19A. This will take you along the coast, where you can easily stop at any of the small towns in the Comox Valley. Swing through Fanny Bay, Buckley Bay, or Union Bay for small kiosks on the side of the road, nature walks, bakeries, and more!

Comox Valley Highway 19A

If you have extra time in your itinerary, hop on a small ferry to Denman Island or Hornby Island. Here, you will find wineries, hiking trails, camping sites, BnBs, Provincial Parks, and stunning coastlines with fewer crowds than the main island.

Outdoor and Active Things to do in Comox Valley

19. Support MARS Wildlife Sanctuary

The MARS Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the top things to do in the Comox Valley. This hidden gem is an incredible wildlife rehabilitation center doing fantastic community work.

MARS was founded by a lifelong resident who dedicated her life to saving animals. Years later, her vision has come to life at the new MARS sanctuary. Stop by their engaging visitor center to learn about wildlife conservation, Comox Valley biodiversity, and their mission to rescue and rehabilitate wildlife on Vancouver Island. At the visitor center, you’ll also learn what actionable steps you can take to protect wildlife and the most common household threats to biodiversity – window impacts, cats, lead poisoning, trash, and more.  

Comox Valley Things to do Blog MARS Wildlife

If you book a guided tour in advance (we did this, and I highly recommend it!), you’ll accompany a wildlife rehabilitation expert around the property visiting wetlands and a native pollinator zone. During the tour, you’ll meet ambassador animals and current patients. The ambassador animals include owls, crows, hawks, and eagles that were rescued but unable to return to the wild for various reasons, such as permanent cranial trauma or inability to fly. 

Comox Valley MARS Wildlife Sanctuary

The guided tours cost $5, but we donated $100 to help fund their conservation efforts and an added tax benefit. MARS is an educational and ethical way to connect with and learn about wildlife throughout the Comox Valley and beyond. 

20. Explore the Forest and Ocean

Seal Bay Nature Park is a special little slice of nature along the coast of Comox Valley. This park connects forest and ocean in a sprawling park with forested walking trails, marshland habitat, and shorelines. And yes, there are seals! We saw several once down by the ocean.

Sea Bay Nature Park Comox Valley BC

Park at the main parking lot and head east for forest trails and fern-covered understory. Take a short but steep hike down to the beach to explore and for a chance to spot seals. If you cross the road from the parking lot and head west, you’ll have access to a network of trails surrounding the marshland for a completely different ecosystem and wildlife viewing opportunities.

Seal Bay Nature Park Forest Trails

We spent a little over an hour at Seal Bay, greeting locals and enjoying a relaxing stroll working our way out to the beach. We sat and watched seal heads bobbing in the water and were thankful to have our binoculars on hand!

21. Go for a Swim

There are many excellent opportunities for swimming in the Comox Valley. Whether you dip in the ocean with stunning mountain views in the distance or prefer a freshwater dip in a lake or at a billabong-style watering hole, Comox Valley has plenty of spots. 

MIracle Bay Provincial Park Swimming

If you want a salty swim in the ocean, the best beaches for swimming are:

  • Miracle Bay Provincial Park – Open ocean swimming with incredible views of the mountains across the Straight of Georgia. Since this is a provincial park, there are picnic benches, changing rooms, walking trails, campsites, ample parking, and more. The tide is dynamic, so leave your items high on the beach. Ganesh and I enjoyed swimming in the shallow waters, catching glimpses of seals and Mt. Tantalus in the distance. 
  • Kye Bay is another open ocean beach with sandy shallow waters perfect for a leisurely swim with incredible views.  
  • Goose Spit – a nice protected spit with a long stretch of beach perfect for swimming or a lovely coastal walk. 

Comox Valley Things to do Go Swimming

If you are a freshwater lover and prefer a calm river or lake, then you will want to head to:

  • Nymph Falls – swim in the clear blue pools at the bottom of the falls. 
  • Cumberland Lake – a provincial lake with plenty of swimming areas.

22. Meander the K’omoks Treaty Tribal Forest

Enjoy a lovely nature walk through a co-managed interpretative network. The Tribal Forest Park is a natural space co-managed by the Comox Valley government and the K’omoks First Nation. As you explore this area, you can connect with the Wildwood forest. Take it slow, as there are lots of signs to learn about the culture and ecology of the region. My favorite way to learn about a region is stopping to read all the fun signs. The K’omoks and the Wildwood do an excellent job making exercising while learning a blast!

23. Try Water Sports

With so many bodies of water around, hitting the beach with a kayak or SUP for a low-impact way to enjoy the water is a great idea! The most popular kayak and SUP rental spot is Cumberland Lake Park and Campground from West Coast Watersports. You can also rent watercraft at Comox Valley Kayaks and Canoes to explore the estuary or Compass Adventures to explore the Comox harbor. 

24. Do Go Chase Waterfalls

The Comox Valley has some fascinating bodies of water. The cascading rivers and unique geology of the region make for some spectacular waterfalls. Some of the region’s best falls are:

  • Nymph Falls – The sandstone has eroded under the friction of the river, creating fascinating plunge pools. The walk to the falls is through a lovely forested area, and once you arrive, you can picnic, swim, or sit and enjoy nature’s power. 
  • Brown’s River Falls – This trailhead is across the K’omoks Treaty forest. After a lovely but technical walk, you’ll come to Brown’s Falls, with waterfall mist covering the lush green rainforest. This walk involves a few rope assists to get in and out of the region, so I only recommend this if you have food shoes (waterproof are ideal) and can hoist yourself up and down a rope.
  • Trent Falls – We didn’t visit, so I am not sure what the trail is like, but it looks like a lovely walk out to a stunning waterfall if you have the time!

25. Visit Provincial Parks 

I already recommended a few provincial parks, such as Miracle Bay, for swimming, but the Comox Valley is full of provincial parks. These parks are great for camping, swimming, nature walks, and connecting with nature.

Visit Tribune Bay Provincial Park, Helliwell Provincial Park, and Mt. Geoffrey Provincial Park on Hornby Island, or Fillongley Provincial Park on Denman Island for secluded nature, coastal hikes, beaches, incredible views, and private camping spots. 

Miracle Beach Provincial Park

Back on the main island, you’ll have Kin Beach Provincial Park, Kitty Coleman Beach Provincial Park, and Miracle Bay Provincial Park which are all excellent spots for swimming and beach-side picnics.   

Provincial Parks are free to access and offer low-cost camping and excellent services. 

26. Explore Goose Spit 

Goose Spit was one of our favorite places to visit. Walk along the coast, admire the wetland ecosystem, and go birding or swimming. This protected nature reserve has ocean-front beaches for swimming and a protected salt marsh cove in an intertidal ecosystem. Looking out back at Mt. Washington from Goose Spit has to be one of the best views in the valley. You’ll quickly spot the Comox Glacier, known to the K’omoks People as Kwénis. This name means whale, which they say was trapped in the mountains after a great flood. 

Comox Valley Things to do Blog Goose Spit

27. Go Birding

Comox Valley is an excellent place for birding and has been declared an Important Bird Area. Depending on the time of year and location, you’ll spot Trumpeter swans, Surf scoters, Western Grebe, Oystercatchers, Mew gulls, Harlequin ducks, Brant goose, Western screech owls, and Yellow-breasted chat. 

Comox Valley Things to do Birding

Head to the region’s swamps, wetlands, and coastal areas for the best birding opportunities. 

  • Seal Bay Swamp Loop
  • Coupland Swamp Loop
  • Lazo Marsh Bird Lookout Loop
  • Goose Spit

Lentalus Farms is an unexpected place for birding as their farm is a migratory spot for swans and geese. They have viewing platforms you can use during migration season before or after you pick up your fresh produce. 

28. Go for a Hike or Nature Walk

Comox Valley has hundreds of nature walks, hiking trails, and natural escapes. We often just pulled over when we saw a nature trail and would venture off for a few kilometers into the woods. You can do as we did and stop wherever it catches your attention. You’ll also notice many connector trails as you explore downtown, so you can easily get around without a car. 

HIking Comox Valley

We enjoyed low-elevation nature walks at Nymph Falls, Seal Bay, Mac Donald Wood Park, K’omoks Treaty Forest, and the Courtenay Riverway – but there are many more. Strathcona Park and Mt. Washington are great options for more challenging hikes with elevation.  AllTrails has a comprehensive list of trails through the Comox Valley A, B, and C regional zones – find a path that looks good to you and enjoy! 

29. Go Mountain Biking

When we told our friends we were visiting Comox Valley, many asked if we were mountain biking. While we don’t mountain bike, the area is known for its famous mountain biking trails. We would love to return and try it someday!

Mountain Biker

There are two prominent mountain biking areas:

  • Mt. Washington is known for its summer lift-access downhill mountain biking. They have a variety of terrain for all skill levels. You can rent MTB equipment at Mt. Washington Resort. 
  • The other region is Cumberland Trails. Cumberland is known for its world-class mountain biking. Dedicated locals developed the trails, taking advantage of steep hills and incredible forest terrain. You can rent bikes in Cumberland, Courtenay, or Comox.

30. Enjoy the Snow!

If you visit the Comox Valley in winter, you are in for a snowy treat! Mt. Washington Resort has excellent skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and tubing. Head up to the resort and check in for several days of winter fun. I am a big snowboarder and plan to return this winter to check out the slopes. The best thing about Mt. Washington is something for everyone, from Fat-tire winter biking, tubing, snowshoeing, and more. Nordic Skiing is also popular, and Mt. Washington has 55km of groomed Nordic ski trails. 

You can rent any gear you need on-site or bring your own!

Annual Events and Festivals in Comox Valley

The final thing to do in The Comox Valley is attend one of their annual festivals. This region comes alive during several annual events and festivals. If you love music, art, culture, and big crowds, plan your visit during one of these festive events (otherwise, skip them for a quieter experience). 

In early August is the Filberg Festival. This family-friendly event is an Indie and local music and arts festival. In addition to a weekend full of live music and entertainment, you can shop at local vendors, participate in workshops, and more. 

The bigger and louder Vancouver Island Music Festival is held every mid-July. This is a 3-day event with 6 stages featuring stage acts such as Canada’s own Sarah Mclachlan. The festival grounds also host a variety of entertainment, vendors, food trucks, and sustainability. 

The end of August is the big Comox Valley Exhibition or country fair. This is your more traditional agricultural fair with lumberjack shoes, rides, farm exhibits, street food, live music, dog shows, vendors, and antique shows. The Comox Valey Nautical Days in early August is a smaller and local festival with parades, community events, games, and family events. The Seafood Fest is held every June.

Where to Stay in Comox Valley – The Best Hotels

Tiny Home

We stayed in a Tiny Home on someone’s property. I don’t often choose AirBnB, but when I do, it is usually part of someone’s permanent home. I look for residents who have built an additional small home or cabin on their existing properties. This ensures the negative impacts of transient rentals are mitigated by helping homeowners supplement their mortgage or business by supporting them in a way that doesn’t contribute to higher rent or home prices in the surrounding community. 

Where to Stay Comox Valley

We loved our Tiny Home, and I highly recommend it. We had a secluded backspace, parking spot, and outdoor gas fire pit. Inside, the Tiny House had a nice bathroom, a small kitchen, a counter, and a back area with a bed. The location was tucked away in the more rural agricultural backroads, but it was still central enough to get to downtown Comox and Courtenay. I suggest this option for solo or a couple of travelers as the living space is tight and cozy, and the location is more rural.

Heritage House

The Old House is a lovely central location along the water in Courtenay. Contrary to its name, the Old House isn’t old; it is a modern development next to one of Courtenay’s beloved heritage houses. My top restaurant recommendation in the region, Local’s, is now housed in the Old House and shares a property with this hotel and spa. Relax with amenities, pool, spa, and spacious suites – many including a fireplace and kitchenette. 

The best part about the Old House is its recognition as a level 3+ sustainable property. What exactly does that mean? Their 4 Good Program includes 17 goals considering their commitment to environmental sustainability, the local community, wildlife, Indigenous recognition, and more! The Old Hotel takes considerable steps to get involved in their community and take meaningful action toward sustainable hospitality that benefits the community! All this with spacious rooms and luxurious amenities – yes, please!

Glamping and Agritourism Tiny Home Ganesh and I had hoped to have more time in the Comox Valley, but unfortunately, this incredible place we looked at had booked up, so we decided to keep driving up to Port Hardy. But I sincerely hope you can stay longer to enjoy a sustainable glamping experience. Book   

Large Group House – Forest by the Sea – If you are traveling with a large group, I suggest you book a larger group home. This three-bedroom apartment will ensure your entire family or friend group will have a large, comfortable place to stay in the forest’s heart, with ocean views. Some amenities include a kitchen, fireplace, a large deck with a view, and a hot tub. 

Beachside Bed and Breakfast – If you enjoy the concept of a bed and breakfast where you wake up and don’t have to worry about your first meal of the day, then this beachside bed and breakfast is perfect. Bed and breakfasts can be a great way to meet local residents while still enjoying the comforts of home. 

Mt. Washington – Base Camp – For adventurous groups or families visiting the Comox Valley for epic outdoor and alpine experiences, check out this stunning cabin. With sweeping mountain views, three bedrooms, and plenty of amenities, you can enjoy the best skiing, mountain biking, or hiking in the Mt. Washington region.

Unique and fun things to do in the Comox Valley, BC, Canada.

Share 30 Unique Things to do in Comox Valley

If you are heading to the Comox Valley in BC, Canada, stopping in Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland, and the surrounding region – this is your go-to guide to discover the best things to do in the region. Whether you are looking for things to do focused on the bountiful agricultural aspects, like farm experiences and wine tastings, learning about the region’s rich cultural heritage, or getting your heart pumping with active outdoor things to do, I have you covered. This well-rounded list of more than 3o things to do in the Comox Valley ensures you visit sustainably and responsibly to benefit the community and reduce negative impacts from tourism in these charming small communities.

Is the Comox Valley in BC, Canada, on your list of places to visit, or did this guide put it on your list? Let me know in the comments which fun things to do catch your eye!

Share, pin, and bookmark this guide for your next trip to Vancouver Island.

30 unique and fun things to do in The Comox Valley, Cumberland, and Courtenay, BC, Canada.
Fun and sustainable things to do in The Comox Valley, BC. Discover Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland and beyond.

Curiosity Saves’ Travel Resources & Tips

Accommodation: Booking.com to find accommodation with a Genius Discount and clear third-party sustainable certifications like Green Key. Look for local hotels.

 

Tours and Excursions: GetYourGuide for tours, excursions, and tickets.  Viator by Trip Advisor has better activities for some of my favorite destinations, like my home state of Alaska. Look for eco certifications, avoid tours that promise wildlife encounters, support local guides, and book low-emission activities. Search the tour operator to ensure you support ethical operators.

Travel: Omio for booking buses and trains in English across Europe. After reducing the number of flights I take annually, I use Google Flights for their carbon comparison tool. 

 

Car Rental: Discover Cars for the best rates in English globally. It is easy to find hybrids and EVs along with resources for finding chargers. 

 

Packing Essentials: REI or your local Co-op have great essentials like reusable water bottles and cutlery setsPatagonia for regenerative clothing.  Farm to Feet for socks made with regenerative practices! Pistil Designs for cold-weather essentials. Osprey for bags that last 10+ years like the day bag for hiking or my favorite carry-on.

 

eSIM: Airalo eSIM. Reduces waste from single-use SIM. A total game-changer.