Kye Bay offers beautiful sandy beaches and many shallow tidal pools perfect for the kids. If you plan it just right and when the tide is coming in, the water is in incredibly warm as it passes over the hot sand. Here you can explore the reef that seems to stretch out forever, build sand castles, collect oysters and clams, swim in the warm ocean water or just relax on the lawn while the kids explore the tidal pools. Kye Bay is the beach that many locals remember from their own childhoods.
Kye Bay is located a few minutes from Comox.
Some honorable mentions:
Qualicum Beach (Central Island)
About 7 minutes north of Parksville Beach, Qualicum Beach has its sandy area uncovered at low tide. If you’re coming in from the water you’ll have a great view of Mt Arrowsmith, Hornby and Denman Islands are to the north and Lasquitti and Texada islands are to the east with the mainland and Coastal Mountains beyond. Qualicum Beach is right along Hwy 19A and it is a great place to do some bird watching.
Mystic Beach (South Island)
If you want to get a taste of VancouverIsland’s wild West Coast, but don’t havethe time to make the trip to the Pacific Rim, head west past Sooke toMystic Beach in the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. The 2km trail from China beach trailhead of the Juan De Fuca Marine Trail to Mystic beach provides a good taste of what it would be like to hike the longer more rugged West coast trail. The tide pools at either end of the beachare great for observing different kinds of sea life. Since you are 2 kmwalk from the parking area, make sure you and you’re party are dressed for the elements.
Mystic Beach is a favourite location for Grey Whales as theymigrate south to the Baja calving area each spring. If you are here in the spring and fall, you may just see a few of the 20,000 whales that migrate on their way up to the Berring Sea each year. The summer and fall months often bring harbourseals, stellar sea lions, and California sea lions in search of spawning salmon and herring.
China Beach (South Island)
China Beach is another choice for an alternative west coast beach for those not making the trip to the Pacific Rim. The fine sand beach makes a great place to build sand castles, relax on or do some beach combing at low tide. Being relatively close to Mystic Beach, there is also the opportunity to see Grey Whales pass in spring and fall months. There is also a waterfall to discover at the western end of the beach.
To get to China beach there is a 15-20 minute scenic hike through the forest of Sitka Spruce, Douglas Fir, Western Red Cedar and Alder trees.
Pachena Bay (Pacific Rim)
One the entry points to the West Coast trail, Pachena Bay is a secluded and quiet beach that will get much less traffic than most beaches on Vancouver Island. Most people would not come here unless they are ready for a day trip or full multi-day excursion on the West Coast Trail. If you are in nearby Bamfield, it is worth taking a few moments to stop at Pachena Bay.