Island Highway Pit Stop
Do you remember back on our Canada day adventure to the Wacky Woods in Fanny Bay on Vancouver island (what a mouthful)? That same day on the way back to my moms house we made a pit stop in Coombs to see the goats on a roof. Coombs is a small town, very little and very cute. You don’t want to miss it. Check out some of our highlights here.
Driving on Alberni highway, you can’t miss Coombs. With the castle that sticks out as a large landmark you’re kids will be gawking out the window telling you to stop at the castle one minute, and yelling to STOP AT THE GOATS ON THE ROOF the next. Plenty of reason to stop and you’ve only done a drive by so far. Pull over, stay a while. We’re just getting started.
There really isn’t a whole lot to this castle. What you see is what you get. But it’s fun, kind of magical, and completely random so far away from the Magical Kingdom in California. Gregory ran up as fast as he could and walked through laughing. Pretty magical to him, so it’s magical and fantasy-like for me.
Old Country Market
It is here at the market you will find the goats on the roof. Literally, goats on are the roof. During the summer seasons most garunteed. Other months it’s not always a sure thing. I’ve driven by and seen no goats before, never stopping when there are no goats. Stop if there are goats. It’s photo-worthy.
In the market there is a large selection of both food and goods like clothes, toys and helpful housewares. The toy section is where you’re going to lose your kid. Because you’re gong to turn into a kid. Check out all the cool wooden toys, toys that are so nifty and creative, there is just so much you can miss you get so involved… keep kids close. That’s all I’m saying.
When checking out the food, don’t forget to head on over to the cheeses. Get yourself some excellent cheese curds for a delicious poutine. Mmmm. Poutine.
In the center of the Coombs main Shopping area you’ll come across picnic tables and statues of Asian, First Nations, and regular looking animals. Again, great photo opportunities, and a great place for kids to run, play, and discover. We walked around here for half an hour, at least. Touring the carosel, dogs and other animals. We pretended to ride them, talk to the them, I was in awe of many and stopped to simply admire while Gregory ran off to play.
Also in this area, an old Coombs taxi cab car that kids love to get on and ride. Let them drive and you pretend to hitch a ride in the back. Watch as all the little kids accumulate to the car when one child gets there. That’s when the real party begins.
Billy Gruff Ice Cream
Stopping in at the many little shops to buy food and treats, don’t forget to stop in the Billy Gruff Ice Creamery. It’s a newer looking building that holds an ice cream store… obviously. The flavours are abundant and it tastes really good. It’s perfect for a hot summer day. Gregory had bubblegum and wore more than he ate.
There are many shops, again, many many shops. Clothing shops, furniture shops, doo-hickey shops and shops where you can buy souvenirs and gifts. I don’t generally walk into all the stores, there are so many and so many things to see in this little town. I much prefer hanging outside and exploring while the sun is shining bright, but if you’re into spending some cash and having material objects to commemorate a travel destination, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the selection available.
Parking can happen either on the side of the road opposite of the town on the highway, or right up close to the shops. When parking by the shops, go slow and keep an eye out for big people, little people (kids) and animals. Dogs weren’t the only animals around. There was someone out there with rabbits, selling them! So, really, keep an eye out.
There should be plenty of parking, however at times parking in the town can be difficult as parking spaces are taken up quickly on nice days. The area of shops to explore isn’t actually that big. It shouldn’t take more than 1-2 hours to fully explore, so tourists and visitors are always coming and going. Opening up parking spots rather frequently in my opinion.
our RAD experience
Going on Canada Day made for a busy Coombs, but it was a blast to make a pit stop here after the Wacky Woods. Gregory expelled his last bit of energy before a nap in the car, and mom and I got to have fun taking photos and exploring the shops together. What a mom I’ve got, she bought treats and cheese for poutine later that night, and she bought Gregory a cute wooden measuring apparatus. Um, it hangs on the wall and I can mark Gregory’s growth, a growth chart? Hmm. #BrainFart
Gregory enjoyed the castle, I love my photo I got of him running to the castle in black and white, one of my favourites of the day. My other favourite experience of the day? Spending it with my mom exploring an area that we’ve never lived that far away from our whole lives. Not living on the island close to my mom anymore really makes me appreciate our time together, it was fun exploring together.
Before You Go
Thanks for joining in on the last of our Canada Day adventures on Vancouver Island. We had a blast at the Wacky Woods and stopping off here in Coombs for a treat. If you’re on the island making a trip up North, definitely stop off at both locations for an hour or so each. Explore, enjoy the little things with the company you keep.
If you’re looking for more adventures, check out my Birthday Snow Wall adventure to Whistler. Not wanting to drive far? We’ve had a few adventures in Vancouver too. Check out Lighthouse park, Cypress Falls or even Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge. All are excellent hikes, more strenuous than anything we did on Canada day. But still all are worth a stop or day trip.