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If you're searching for a camping destination that offers beautiful natural scenery, gastronomic delights, and abundant outdoor activities, look no further than the Vancouver Island city of Courtenay. Located a little over 60 miles north of Nanaimo and a few minutes from the town of Comox, Courtenay offers experiences and attractions to suit travelers of all ages.
When you visit the area, you can sample the delicious local seafood, explore the region's fascinating prehistoric and pioneer history, and hike and sightsee your way through beautiful parks and nature reserves. Best of all, you'll find plenty of comfortable campgrounds where you can park your rental RV in Courtenay for a few nights or more. Keep reading to find out how to enjoy the perfect stay in Courtenay.
The entire length of Vancouver Island's east coast boasts an array of beautiful natural attractions, and Courtenay's surrounding area is no exception. One of the first destinations on your must-visit list will no doubt be Miracle Beach Provincial Park, which is located within half an hour of the city. Boasting a wide, sandy ocean beach, this 338-acre park is a popular family destination during the summer months. You can cool off in the water, build sandcastles on the beach, and explore the tide pools to see what you can find. Kayaking and canoeing are also on offer. You might also like to check out the small network of hiking trails that winds its way through the surrounding forest.
Next, you might want to steer your camper rental from Courtenay towards Seal Bay Nature Park, which is found a little closer to the city. This 1,500-acre park protects a huge swathe of second-growth forest, with everything from Douglas firs and big-leaf maples to hardhack wetlands. There are several beautiful hiking trails to explore, with the two-mile loop of Melda's Marsh and the half-mile Don Apps Trail particular favorites.
Another local park worth exploring is Nymph Falls Nature Park, found approximately 15 minutes west of Courtenay. This 150-acre park is found on the northern bank of the Puntledge River and is famous for its ice-cold waters and beautiful waterfalls. You can swim just downstream from the falls during summer, or visit during October and November to watch fish leaping up the falls. Whitewater sports and hiking trails are also available. People traveling with dogs will be happy to know the leash is optional here.
Once you book an RV in British Columbia, your next job is finding somewhere to stay in your rental RV in Courtenay. The good news is that there are several RV parks and campgrounds to choose from in the area. One option is Maple Pool Campground & RV Park, which is found five or so minutes north of town. Situated on the Tsolum River, this camping area offers full hookups and pull-through sites, as well as easy access to the city center.
If you don't mind staying a little further out of the city, Cumberland Lake Park Campground is worth a look. Located on the shores of Comox Lake to Courtenay's southwest, this campground is open from the start of May until the end of September. It features a mix of serviced and unserviced campsites, and also offers a boat launch area and public beach.
Another option worth considering is setting up camp in Miracle Beach Provincial Park. Boasting more than 200 RV-friendly campsites, the Miracle Beach Campground is set in pretty, forested surrounds. Features include a dump station, flush toilets, and a kids' adventure playground.
Once you've set up camp in your rental RV in Courtenay, it's time to set out and explore some of the city's best attractions. You might like to start your adventure at the Courtenay & District Museum & Paleontology Centre on 4th Street. One of the highlights here is the fossil tour, which transports you 400 million years back in time to when dinosaurs roamed the earth. The fossil collection gives a fascinating insight into the sheer size of these ancient beasts. Interesting displays showcase the pioneer history of the Comox Valley.
When you hop back in your rental motorhome from Courtenay, make a beeline for I-Hos Gallery. Home to a collection of modern and traditional Northwest Coast artwork and crafts, the gallery features work from more than 50 artists. From jewelry, masks, and carvings to fashion, prints, and books, there's plenty to admire and enjoy.
Finally, your visit to Courtenay wouldn't be complete without a stop at the Kitty Coleman Woodland Gardens. This excellent attraction offers a 24-acre natural escape where you can find peace and tranquility. The gardens feature one of the country's largest collections of rhododendrons, a variety of native birds, and colorful wildflowers, making them a lovely spot for a stroll or just some quiet contemplation. Best of all, they're open all year round.
You'll find a whole lot to enjoy when you rent a motorhome near Courtenay, and there's no time like the present to get out there and enjoy this beautiful Vancouver Island destination.