It is 100% true, the only place on Vancouver Island where you can ski, beachcomb, golf, bike and be an urban explorer in the same place, is right here in the Comox Valley. It’s amazing really, to think that you can wake up at the Old House Hotel and, less than one hour later, be swooshing in powder on Mount Washington. Others in your party could be golfing on the greens below, biking the renown Cumberland trails, wandering the beautiful beaches along the Discovery Pass, finding camaraderie at the local breweries and wineries or getting lost in one-of-a-kind retail shops.
While world famous among boarders and skiers, Mt. Washington is an uplifting experience for those in search of low-impact adventure too. Nothing can prepare you for the spectacular views you will take in, en route to the lodge. The laughter and screams coming from the tubing run are worth witnessing whether or not you take to tubes. Or if you’re content staying behind the windows, several restaurants buzz with activity. I love the smell of grilled cheese and fries coming from the lodge restaurant as well as the sound of tromping boots. You gottal love hearing embellished snippets of conversation about how someone aced the black diamond. Most of all, I love to be out on the trails, picking my speed, sinking down and rising up on my own boards.
And, yes, in the Valley below, clubs are swinging and tires are spinning! Island greens rarely get touched with snow and provide the perfect cure for cabin fever. Five golf courses provide expert and amateur opportunities for those who love golf or people like me who would venture to try if I had a hot toddy to go with! It’s rare that the amazing Cumberland mountain bike trails are impassable. Beginners or experts can stick a sturdy tire among gorgeous forest and mountain trails. But let’s not forget road bikers… views are always spectacular on the many back roads leading to rural places.
I think my favourite meanderings happen in winter. Wandering along the beach on a still sunny day is priceless with the sound of lapping waves and boisterous seals nearby. Add to that, spectacular snow-covered mountains of our Strathcona range and the BC mainland all around, and it’s hard not to feel like one of the luckiest people on Earth, just taking it all in. Sometimes my journey is in search of good company and good conversation. Both are abundant at the Valley’s amazing craft breweries. Gladstone, Cumberland Brewing, New Tradition Brewing, to name a few, serve awesome, thirst-quenching beer in great spaces. Most recently, I visited Land & Sea Brewing Company in Comox, a great place for friends, family and community serving super delicious and healthy food.
Speaking of Comox, I have to tell you, I am really over the moon about the revitalization of this town. While I am a tried-and-true fan of shopping Fifth Avenue and adjacent streets in Courtenay, there is such a great vibe happening across the Estuary. Comox boasts clothing shops, kids shops, books stores and more. You’ll want to check out Benino Italian Café & Gelato. “YUM” … during all seasons! I’m really just scratching the surface. But stop and think about it. Where else can you do all of this at the same time? It’s why winter in the Comox Valley is really just about as good as it gets.