Vancouver Island — Day 4 of a 4-Day Trip on British Columbia Coast with Suggestions for a Morning in Sidney!
We reserved the 8:05am ferry from Powell River (Westview) to Comox (Little River). After the hour and half long ferry, we planned to drive down the Vancouver Island Coast to Maple Bay, in Northern Cowichan, to visit family. Based on Google maps, the commute from Comox to Maple Bay should take about 2 hours. We spent 9 hours travelling along the coast and made multiple stops.
Our day started with waiting for the ferry early in the morning. Once we parked the car at the terminal, we walked to Rocky Mountain to grab some pastries. We ordered the chocolate croissant and the ham and cheese croissant to go.
We arrived in Comox just past 9:30am and headed to Courtenay for coffee. We stopped at Cappuccino Grande Cafe. The small shops scattered around Downtown Courtenay are very cute.
We drove to Goose Spit Park located in Comox — interesting name. The park is well-kept and we enjoyed a nice stroll along the ocean. The top of the stairwell offers a picturesque view of the park and leads up to the neighbourhood.
Goose Spit Park
For lunch, we ate at Atlas Cafe in downtown Courtenay. The food was delicious! We shared the spicy ahi tuna rolls and ordered the black and blue burger and the togarashi tuna salad as our mains.
After lunch, we visited Wayward Distillery. The distillery is hidden away in an industrial area, but is easy to spot due to its blue painted walls. Interesting fact — Wayward Distillery is Canada’s first distillery to produce spirits using 100% BC honey. They offer free tastings of their spirits.
After an exciting morning in Comox and Courtenay, we continued our adventure along Vancouver Island’s coast. Our next stop was Fanny Bay Inn, located in Fanny Bay, for raw oysters. The indoor seating of the restaurant was completely full, so we sat ourselves at one of the outdoor tables. We ordered a half dozen raw oysters with the hot sauce to share. They were very fresh and so creamy!
After our snack, we continued our drive, stopping next at Qualicum Beach. The beach was not too busy and the mountainous background was stunning.
Our next stop was Coombs Old Country Market, known for its goats on the roof. There is also a selection of restaurants and small shops in the area — the ice cream parlour and donut shops are popular. The market has a variety of items including artisanal food, toys, and cooking ware!
After wandering the market, we headed across the street to Billy Gruff Creamery for ice cream. We ordered the cookie dough and banana and fudge. It was a huge scoop of ice cream — perfect for a warm summer day!
After enjoying our ice cream, we continued to Nanaimo and stopped at Delicado’s for chips and dip. The two dips that came with the chips were salsa and hummus. The salsa was very yummy, we bought a large container to take with us.
We headed to Nanda Chicken, just a few blocks away, afterwards. We had been eating for most of the day so we were not too hungry, but we were craving korean fried chicken. We ordered the Ganjang Chicken to go and headed to Transfer Beach Park in Ladysmith to eat. The portion size was generous and the chicken smelt so good! The vinegar mustard dip complemented the chicken — a delicious combination.
Tired from our long day, we headed to Maple Bay for the evening.
Whether you are taking the ferry or flying out of Victoria, Sidney is a good spot to stop. In fact, both the ferry and airport are in Sidney (not Victoria). Before returning to Vancouver, we had breakfast at 3rd Street Cafe. I ordered the eggs pacifico — 2 poached eggs with smoked salmon, red onion, crispy capers, and hollandaise on a toasted english muffin. A very cute local spot!
After breakfast, we walked along Sidney’s waterfront near Beacon Park and enjoyed the refreshing morning air before heading to the ferry.
Side note: Here are some photos of us fishing in Maple Bay! We also spotted a family of orcas!
Complete Day 4 Itinerary
*Travel times may vary. Check Google Maps for most accurate travel details.
7:00am: Head to the Westview Ferry terminal (1 minute drive from Downtown Powell River). Pick up pastries from Rocky Mountain (4 minute walk from ferry terminal). The ferry ride from Westview to Little River is an hour and a half.
10:00am: Stop by a cafe in Comox or Courtenay for coffee (Either option is a 10 minute drive from Little River Ferry Terminal)
10:30am: Explore Goose Spit Park (11 minute drive from Courtenay or 6 minute drive from Comox). Relax on the beach.
12:00pm: Head to Atlas Cafe for lunch (13 minute drive from Goose Spit Park)
1:00pm: Check out Wayward Distillery (5 minute drive from Atlas Cafe).
1:30pm: Head to Fanny Bay Inn for raw oysters (18 minute drive from Wayward Distillery)
3:00pm: Walk along the water at Qualicum Beach (27 minute drive from Fanny Bay Inn)
3:30pm: Head to Coombs Old Country Market (8 minute drive from Qualicum Beach). Grab ice cream and donuts. Check out the market.
4:30pm: Stop by Delicado’s Deli for chips and salsa (Note: They close at 6pm) (35 minute drive from Coombs Old Country Market). Head to Nanda Chicken and pick up korean fried chicken (2 minute drive from Delicado’s) to go.
6:00pm: Sit by the water at Transfer Beach Park (20 minute drive from Nanda Chicken). Enjoy your korean fried chicken!
7:00pm: Catch the ferry back to Vancouver (25 minute drive from Transfer Beach Park).
4-Day BC Coast Itinerary
Click “Download” below for an excel version of my 4-Day BC Coast Itinerary. Feel free to use the excel file as a planning template for your own trip along the BC Coast!