Category: Coombs

Cuckoo Trattoria and Pizzeria

You know those classy Italian restaurants that have great food and it’s tough to secure a reservation? I do, but honestly what is one doing in Coombs, BC? This tiny town is 10 minutes west of Parksville along highway 4A, also known as the Alberni Highway. This is not the big city! The Cuckoo Trattoria and Pizzeria is a large space with a lot of outdoor seating that looks over the woods that are behind the Goats on the Roof shopping destination. We were connecting with family and friends and others negotiated the reservation and we sat at the Mexican […]

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A Coombs BC Shopping Expedition

Coombs is a 10-minute drive (about 10 km) inland from Parksville, which is considered part of central Vancouver Island. We always enjoy a side trip to Coombs when we’re in the area as there’s a couple of favourite shopping spots and there’s always something new. On Highway 4A, our first stop is Dutch Imports because some members of my family enjoy the rather peculiar-to-the-Dutch taste in candy (and other things). Stop here to find 43 types of salty licorice The store has more than odd foods. There’s a lot of traditional Dutch stuff that will make any Hollander homesick. Dutch […]

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Dutch Imports

In Coombs BC, there is a small little Dutch Imports store right off Highway 4. They are a bright orange and hard to miss, they have everything from Dutch food to little Dutch dish towels. When you walk in the first thing you see is the aisle of Dutch candies, with their specialized licorice. They also carry a variety of other foods, meat, cheese and treats such as Dutch honey cake and speculaas cookies. The service is helpful and friendly, no complaints there. The only complaint I have is something rather unfixable, the location of the store. I’m not the […]

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Shopping Therapy Coombs BC

Coombs BC is an interesting place. It’s 10 km from Parksville and is noted for its eclectic shopping, specifically Goats on the Roof AKA The Old Country Market. See This was not our first time at the market, but changes had been made as they are refurbishing the non wooden buildings across the street from the main market. Because this market prides itself in being fairly brand-free, the opportunities for unique shopping are good. For example, I was not expecting to find a clothing store called Wabi Sabi, which is a surfer clothing store. Considering the nearest surfing in […]

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Shopping in Coombs BC

Coombs BC takes its hippy heritage seriously. If you can imagine a totally funky market with goats literally on the roof, grazing, you are in the right place. Goats on the Roof Old Country Market is located at 2326 Alberni Highway, west and north of Parksville, and west and slightly south of Qualicum Beach. It’s no more than a 15 minute drive from either town. The market, apart from its unusual roofing, has a deli section, a bakery, a restaurant at the back, a great cheese section, a wild selection of craft items including home furnishings, bamboo fans for cooling […]

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Brand free or Bland? Qualicum Beach vs Coombs Shopping

With the exception of banks, pharmacies and gas stations, Qualicum Beach is fairly brand free. This does not mean that there’s no shopping. There’s a lot of knick-knack, clothing stores, independent coffee shops like Bailey’s and perhaps the last video store in existence called Catacombs Video. A partial list is here: We did find an antique store that had everything. Good quality antique glassware (it may be a rustic shop, but he knows his stuff) along with old LPs, some comic books and memorabilia from the 50s and 60s. There’s enough stuff to fill a man cave / basement […]

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The Old Country Market in Coombs BC

I never thought I’d visit Coombs, which is a small town near Parksville–Qualicum.  It’s a name on the map for me and until we chose to go to Butterfly World I didn’t think I’d have the pleasure of finding one of the most eclectic shopping areas in the world. The draw for this market is that they have grass on the rooftops of the market (I wonder if the new Convention Centre in Vancouver stole their idea) and they have goats trimming the grass.  Well, it’s been pretty darn hot and I suspect that the goats wouldn’t enjoy the dry […]

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Butterfly World & Gardens Coombs

The travelling family is always on the look-out for a good place to visit that the children will enjoy, but has some educational value and isn’t just wall-to-wall commercialism. The Butterfly World & Gardens in Coombs BC fits this bill.  We had an 8 and 2 year old with us and their interests were both piqued.  The eldest just wanted a butterfly to land on her and stay for a couple of moments.  The youngest wanted to just be able to see everything and had a good sense of discovery. Fortunately the facility wasn’t just a pile of butterflies flitting […]

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North Island Wildlife Recovery Association

If you want to see some animals in captivity, but are in captivity for a good reason — i.e. they’d be dead in a minute in the wild — the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington BC is a good choice. To get there, you need to take the Alberni Highway (4A) which you can access via Highway 19.  It’s quite close to Parksville (about 4 km) and makes an excellent day trip for the family. The place is not a zoo as such and it has a wonderfully rustic feel about it.  It’s a place to try to […]

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