Cumberland, BC is considered one of the best-kept secrets on Vancouver Island, but it’s safe to say the cat’s out of the bag. In recent years, this village has made a push to transform itself into a popular tourist destination, in large part due to its dynamic community of artists and outdoor activists alike.
Located within the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, Cumberland is now a historic village which was once a coal mining town from 1888 to 1966. Originally named Union, BC after the Union Coal Company, the town was renamed to Cumberland in 1891. Since then, the town has worn many hats and seen numerous changes.
Today, the beautiful village can be found nestled against the foothills of the Beaufort Range, just under the shadow of the infamous Comox Glacier. With a population of just under 3,400, Cumberland is as quaint and inviting as it is rooted in its storied history.
Highlights Include Historical Tours, Unique Structures, and Strathcona Park
Cumberland’s year-round residents are a friendly and large part of what makes their community so special. Home to amazing cultural activities, artists, annual festivals, and unbeatable outdoor recreation, it is no wonder why this Comox Valley village has become such a hotspot for travelers from across the globe.
When you first arrive in Cumberland, you will be hard-pressed to keep your eyes from bouncing back and forth between all the incredible 19th and 20th century architecture. Today, Cumberland wears its storied past with pride through its breathtaking structures from the cedar-shingled cottages and sagging porches to the Queen Anne and Victorian mansions. Many past visitors have described the town as something out of the movies.
In addition to its striking appearance, Cumberland, BC is a gateway to Strathcona Provincial Park, an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise. The park offers everything from fishing, hiking, walking, mountain biking, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, and camping in its expansive wilderness throughout most of the year.
The Cumberland Museum and Archives is also worth a visit, especially for those interested in the history of the area. There are numerous self-guided walking tours in Cumberland that offer visitors a little insight into the historic neighbourhoods and the beautiful downtown as well as several impressive art galleries and plenty of opportunities for shopping. Annual festivals and events that take place every season include the Winterfaire between November and December and Empire Days celebrations in May.
How to Get Here
Located on the east coast of central Vancouver Island, Cumberland is just of a portion of the highway that runs from southerly Victoria to Port Hardy in the far north. It has an excellent transportation system that includes air, ferry, and bus options.
If you are traveling by car, Cumberland is located just under three hours (214km/133mi) from Victoria on Hwy 19. When traveling from Nanaimo, the drive will take about 75 minutes (104km/65mi).
The Comox Valley Airport, located in Comox, services Cumberland and the surrounding areas. It is centrally located on the east coast of Vancouver Island and just a 25 minute drive from Cumberland.
If you are planning a vacation to Vancouver Island this year, you will not be disappointed with spending a few days in Cumberland. One of the most picturesque towns on the Island, Cumberland BC offers a wonderful mix of outdoor adventure, history, culture, and incredible beauty.
Featured image credit: http://comoxvalleyapictorialview.blogspot.ca/2013/01/village-of-cumberland.html
Creative Commons Attribution: Permission is granted to repost this article in its entirety with credit to Amazing Vancouver Island and a clickable link back to this page.