Two Day Arts & Culture Itinerary
From beautiful First Nation creations to multiple museums, two days of the Comox Valley’s most creative corners.
This valley is full of history, and the art and culture of the Pacific Northwest can be seen and heard in every corner of the Comox Valley. But first, we eat.
Start your day at Bigfoot Donuts on 5th Street in downtown Courtenay, where donut worshippers line up, awaiting freshly made donuts and other savoury options, along with their delicious house blend Chai. Want a more traditional breakfast spot? The Hen and the Hog Café or Off Main are tasty spots serving an inviting atmosphere and a drool-worthy menu.
While enjoying your bennie, look into the schedule at Sid Williams Theatre, where some of the most incredible plays and concerts to hit the north-central Island run just the radar. Whether you’re a fan of music, theatre, comedy, or re-imagined holiday classics, you will find an intriguing live show! It’ll give you the energy you need to power through two days of exploring the full spectrum of attractions in the greater Comox Valley.
Start with the deep history and even deeper dinosaur bones (among other awesome things) at the Courtenay Museum & Paleontology Centre. This place is a cache of incredible artifacts and will set you up for a thorough understanding of the Valley’s history. When you’re done, lunch is close by at Gladstone’s Brewing Company, High Tide Public House or Nikkei Ramen-ya, all are within an easy walking distance.
After lunch, make your way across the bridge to the beautiful oceanside, original main village site of the K'ómoks First Nation. From here, enjoy the views of Comox Glacier—known as Kwénis to the K'ómoks people, which means "whale", said to be trapped on the mountain when the “great flood” receded. In the shallow mud flats out front, a millennia-old series of fish traps shows the indigenous ingenuity of catching one of their favourite foods—salmon. Visit the I-HOS Gallery to browse their stunning collection of traditional and contemporary Northwest Coast artwork and crafts produced by featured First Nation artists. Spirit of the West Gallery is a few minutes away, where you can explore a large variety of authentic Northwest Coast art and jewelry.
Enjoy unique flavours without the wait of a sit-down restaurant at either Black Market or Taco Bandido, both food trucks, before heading to Tin Town. This quirky little community is where you’ll find an array of art adventures, healing services, fresh-made pasta, a bakery, a coffee shop, and more! Use your inspiration from the sights of the day, and spend the evening taking a class in watercolour or acrylic painting. You’ll go to bed feeling enriched and fulfilled with art.
On Day two, start with checking ComoxValleyArts.com for current art exhibits throughout the valley, visit the Comox Valley Art Gallery, or stroll to the nearby HMCS Alberni Memorial Museum to learn about the history of Canada’s role in WWII.
Head to Comox for lunch at the bright, airy space that is Church St. Taphouse, where the beer list is long as the views across the ocean and up to the mountains. Prefer coffee? From drip brews to silky lattes and everything in between, head to Milano Coffee or The Mill Coffee; both serve up well-crafted flavourful cups. Next, drive to Point Holmes in Comox to walk the beach and see the airplanes fly overhead. Finally, visit the Comox Air Force Museum & Air Park where you can explore the historical and important part of West Coast Military Aviation History. The museum comprises a building holding a gallery, collections, gift shop, library, and an outdoor exhibit, the Heritage Air Park, located approximately 600-metres from the museum. Finish with dinner at Avenue Bistro, where the chef creations are unlike any you’ve tasted before while using ingredients straight from local sources.