B.C. Bucket List: Visit the Famous Rooftop Goats

From must-see attractions to outdoor adventures and more, discover and explore the best B.C. has to offer

From must-see attractions to outdoor adventures and more, discover and explore the best B.C. has to offer

Whether you grew up on the West Coast, have recently moved here, or are just planning to visit, there’s no doubt you’ve got a bunch of West Coast adventures you can’t wait to cross off your bucket list. To help you prioritize that list, we’re sharing some of our must-do B.C. experiences so you don’t miss out.

Goats1Instagram/Goats on the Roof

Experience: Goats on the roof

Cost: Free

How to get there: Coombs Market is located approximately two hours drive up-island from Victoria, B.C. and approximately 40 minutes drive from Nanaimo, B.C.

Bucket list factor: A road trip around Vancouver Island isn’t complete without stopping by the family-owned Coombs Old Country Market, and the famous goats on the roof.

Since 1973, the Old Country Market has been a popular roadside fruit stand for travellers heading to the west coast of Vancouver Island, and—overtime—has become quite the landmark, now featuring a mixture of eateries and shops welcoming locals and visitors—oh, and the pièce de résistance is in the name: goats on the roof

Rhi1Instagram/Rhiannon JonesBuilt by Kristian Graaten and his wife after they emigrated from Norway in the 1950s, the ‘green roof’ is inspired by their Norwegian roots as many homes and farm structures are built directly into the hillside—but how did the goats get there? Well, legend says that after a few too many tipples, current owners Larry and Lene Geekie ‘borrowed’ some goats to mow the grass roof. Needless to say this caught the eyes of those passing through, much to their entertainment, and the goats became permanent tenants of the Coombs Market, attracting visitors since.

And that’s not the only reason to visit! The marketplace is filled with fresh and local produce, from Billy G’s Doughnut Shop to the Billy Gruff Creamery and Bistro. Plus, you can dine in at the Taqueria Cantina, Market Place Cafe or the Cuckoo Trattoria and Pizzeria, plus shop the beautiful gifts at the market’s gift shop. 

The quirky adventure is guaranteed to make you smile.