Mount Washington

Winter & Spring: 1700 acres of terrain are serviced by 5 lifts and 4 Magic Carpets at Mount Washington Alpine Resort. That should keep skiers and boarders occupied for a weekend...or two. Nordic skiers will love 55+ kilometers of groomed winter wonderland. Hit up après-ski in the village or rent a condo for the weekend.

Explore Stotan Falls

Another local hotspot in summer, these shallow river waters are a great place to cool off. Enjoy the novelty of the potholes upriver. It's worth noting the falls have been closed in the past due to low water levels so check ahead. Also, there is no lifeguard on duty.

Stotan Falls are located on the private land of 3L Development. In 2015 they closed public access to Stotan Falls. Explore at your own discretion and note that British Columbia Magazine does not endorse trespassing.

Sample Artisan Sweets at Hot Chocolates

Location: 368 5th Street, Courtenay V9N 1K1 
Hot Chocolates has been a mainstay on Courtenay's boutique-lined 5th Street since 1986; so much so, locals can half-expect to find truffles in their Christmas stocking. Peruse the charming storefront for assorted hand-crafted Belgian chocolates. Fresh ingredients like house-roasted nuts will settle savory cravings while cream, wine and fruit infusions (locally sourced, of course) will satisfy the nagging sweet tooth.

Kyak to Tree Island    WebsiteClick here
Known locally as Tree Island, this small island's formal name is Jáji7em and Kw’ulh Marine Park (or Sandy Island Marine Provincial Park.) Kayakers can make this open water paddle a half or full day trip. For a full day trip launch near the Courtenay Air Park. Launch from Union Bay or Goose Spit for a shorter paddle. Prefer to go with a guide? Many local kayak rental shops offer guided paddles to Tree Island.

Once on the island, enjoy sandy beaches, bird watching and explore interior trails. Tree Island is located off the northern tip of Denman Island and the beach which skirts the island changes dramatically with the tides. Be careful to watch falling tides or risk carrying your kayak the long walk back to the waterline.

Bliss Out at Kingfisher Hydropath

Location: 4330 Island Highway South, Courtenay, V9N 9R9

The Kingfisher Hydropath is Vancouver Island's Valhalla. Arrive early to take a dip in the heated outdoor pool and hot tub, or relax in the sauna and steam cave. Next, collect your robe, don your swimsuit and sip herbal tea before being led into the Hydropath.