Saratoga Beach

Located at the north end of the Comox Valley, at the mouth of the Oyster River, Saratoga Beach is considered by many as the ultimate stretch of shimmering sand on the sheltered east coast of Vancouver Island. The tide along this stretch of the shoreline goes out for over a quarter of a mile, creating a hard-packed oceanfront playground perfect for children. The gently sloping beach continues for well over a mile into the calm waters of the Strait of Georgia, creating warm, shallow and safe swimming conditions, free from powerboat traffic, deep water or strong currents. Saratoga Beach is flanked by popular Miracle Beach Provincial Park and Oyster River Regional Park. Various attractions dot the area including the Saratoga Speedway where you can rent a go-cart and race against your friends, or just watch others. If you want to see salmon being reared check out the Oyster River Hatchery. Visit Seal Bay Regional Nature Park south of Black Creek which is a sunny stretch of coastline frequented by California and Steller sea lions, seals, and migratory birds. Paddling and rafting, fishing, bird watching, scuba diving, hiking, biking and skiing in winter at Mt. Washington are all close by.

Location

Saratoga Beach is located at the north end of the Comox Valley on the eastern coast of Vancouver Island, 26 km (16 mi) north of Courtenay and 26 km (16 mi) south of Campbell River.

A Step Back in Time

The Comox Valley has a dynamic and exciting history, ranging from 80-million-year-old marine reptiles and earth-shaping glaciers to bustling turn of the century coal mines and pioneer farming and logging. Local museums explore all elements of local social and natural history and present information, new insights, and hands-on learning experiences for visitors of all ages.

Millions of years ago, much of Vancouver Island was a saltwater lagoon inhabited by large and often ferocious-looking marine creatures. But as the climate changed, so did the geography. More than 10,000 years ago, the Comox Valley was buried under a sheet of ice a kilometer thick. When the climate warmed again most of the ice sheet melted, leaving Vancouver Island as we know it today. The Comox Glacier which looms over the Valley is lingering evidence of this dramatic time in our natural history.

Archaeological finds indicate that First Nations peoples have visited and lived in the Comox Valley for as long as 9,000 years. Before the appearance of the Europeans, the Valley was home to the Pentlatch and Comox bands of the Salishan First Nations. They thrived on the ocean’s gifts of salmon, clams, oysters, cod, and halibut as well as the land’s abundant deer and elk and many edible and medicinal plants.

The first European settlers arrived in the Comox Valley in 1862 and soon discovered why the First Nations called the area Komoux (“Land of Plenty”). Over time, the settlers cleared land for farms and began logging the extensive forests. In 1914, the railway line from Victoria was extended to the Valley; a year later the area around the train station was incorporated as the City of Courtenay.

Throughout the late 19th century, many Royal Navy war ships anchored in the Comox Bay, prompting the construction of the Comox Wharf. In 1893, the community officially became known as Comox.

In the late 1800s and the early 1900s, coal was the mainstay of central Vancouver Island’s economy. Built on rich coal seams, the inland settlement of Cumberland became a flourishing community that was segregated into separate town sites for the diverse nationalities working in the mines, including a significant Chinese community. After World War I, the demand for coal lessened and Cumberland slowly evolved into a sleepy shadow of her former self.

The Comox Valley Heritage Tour presents opportunities for residents and visitors to explore the rich social and natural history of the Comox Valley. This self-guided driving tour marks significant heritage sites with interpretive signage, photos and stories. Brochures and information are available at the Comox Valley Visitor Centre.

Contact Information

Campbell River Tourism

Saratoga Beach & Nearby Accommodations

22 Listings

Pacific Playgrounds Resort & Marina

Pacific Playgrounds Resort & Marina

Black Creek

Our beautiful, full-service ocean side destination resort is located halfway between Courtenay and Campbell River. Pacific Playgrounds International is situated in a tranquil location surrounded by lush trees along the bank of Oyster River with stunning coastal views. Just steps away from Saratoga B ... Read more
Salmon Point Resort RV Park & Marina

Salmon Point Resort RV Park & Marina

Campbell River

Salmon Point Resort is an oceanside vacation destination for the entire family or a base camp while you enjoy the many activities the area has to offer. Only minutes from Campbell River and Courtenay, our resort is the gateway to Vancouver Island and all its beauty. Our RV Park has various type of s ... Read more
Bates Beach Oceanfront Resort

Bates Beach Oceanfront Resort

Courtenay

Enjoy the spectacular view of the Inside Passage to Alaska at Bate Beach Oceanfront Resort. Located just north of Courtenay, adjacent to Seal Bay Nature Park on Georgia Strait, there are excellent hiking and cycling trails, canoeing, beach-combing and more. We offer different styles of accommodation ... Read more
Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge

Tsa-Kwa-Luten Lodge

Quathiaski Cove

A scenic 10 minute ferry crossing from Campbell River brings you to Quadra Island, the home of our Laichwiltach First Nation and Tsa-Kwa-Luten's Lodge and Oceanside RV Park. The RV park is situated at water's edge of an 1100 acre forest where bald eagles soar and killer whales pass by. 13 fully ser ... Read more
Seal Bay RV Park Ltd.

Seal Bay RV Park Ltd.

Courtenay

Spacious treed sites in peaceful setting. Sites all fully serviced with hydro, water, sewer and cable. WiFi is also available. A trail leads directly into Seal Bay Nature Park. Boat launch, fishing, golf, biking and hiking all close by. 40 minutes to Mt. Washington. ... Read more
Driftwood By The Sea Inn and RV Resort

Driftwood By The Sea Inn and RV Resort

Campbell River

Welcome to our outstanding Resort with wonderful ocean,wildlife and cruise ship views. Enjoy a fantastic stay at Driftwood By the Sea Inn & RV Resort, where all your expectations will be exceeded by our inviting hosts. We take pride in providing genuine hospitality and sparkling clean accommodation ... Read more
Maple Pool Campground & RV Park

Maple Pool Campground & RV Park

Courtenay

Secluded Getaway on the Tsolum River by the City - located the heart of the beautiful Comox Valley on Vancouver Island, Maple Pool Campground is minutes from Courtenay's city centre, shopping, theatres, golf courses, ski resorts, boat rentals & fishing, and recreational sports centres; it is an idea ... Read more
Puntledge RV Campground & Nim Nim Interpretive Centre

Puntledge RV Campground & Nim Nim Interpretive Centre

Courtenay

Puntledge RV Campground is a family friendly orientated campground with quiet, clean facilities. Our sites are spacious, grassy sites. We are adjacent to the Puntledge River which is great for swimming, tubing and fishing. We are located minutes from downtown Courtenay with sports, recreation, shopp ... Read more
Galaxy RV (Courtenay)

Galaxy RV (Courtenay)

Courtenay

RV shoppers in the Comox Valley/Courtenay region can now come shop locally for RVs at our Courtenay location on the old Comox Valley Hyundai lot. ... Read more
Mae Mae Motel

Mae Mae Motel

Campbell River

Situated only a two minute drive to Campbell River downtown, our motel is the ideal destination for guests wanting to explore Campbell River and the surrounding areas. Located on the shores of the river, guests are spoiled to fantastic views right on our private dock. Our motel offers rooms and cabi ... Read more
1 2 3
Travel Spotlight
Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989