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Sooke Travel Guide British Columbia Vancouver Island complete vacation information guide

Your complete vacation, accommodation & online business information guide to Sooke BC, East Sooke and Port Renfrew & all points in between along the south west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Other Vancouver Island Travel Guides include Oak Bay and Victoria.

Private boat charters in Sooke and Victoria, BC
Private Marine Eco-tours and Boat Charters in Sooke and Victoria
, BC

Sooke BC

Sooke, BC was a thriving settlement of the Coast Salish Indians for hundreds of years, who were dependent on plentiful supplies of berries, birds, clams and fish. In 1849, European settlers arrived and in 1864 the Leech River gold rush caused a population boom in Sooke. Today it's a pleasant community with a resident population of 11,600 which swells by the thousands in the summer months as vacationers enjoy the cottage-like outdoors focused setting.

Accommodations range from bed and breakfasts of every style, to campgrounds and RV parks to cottages and vacation rentals to luxury hotel inns. The local museum depicts pioneer lifestyles of the 19th century, and some of the best year-round salmon fishing on Vancouver Island can be found here as well as fishing in the fresh water lakes.

sooke map directions

Sooke splendour
Where the rainforest meets the sea
By Linda Prochilo

On the wind-swept and secluded west coast of Vancouver Island lies one of the Pacific Northwest's best kept secrets: Sooke, British Columbia.

Perhaps on first glance it seems like a place one could easily ignore. But take time for that all-important second look and you will be struck by the many great opportunities for rest and recreation, its beauty and vitality ,and the friendly, genuine people who live here. And you will wonder how you overlooked it before.

The warm, welcoming community of 11,000 people is situated between a wild, towering rainforest and the dramatic Pacific Ocean. It's only a 40-minute drive from downtown Victoria, but Sooke offers visitors the untamed but comfortable experience that Vancouver Island's far west coast is famous for - and, thankfully, you can skip the five hour drive to Tofino.

Here too, the Pacific Ocean swells crash against sandy beaches and storm-blasted caves, offering up a wealth of marine treasures for the roving beachcomber. Clean, cold rivers lined with century-old fir trees run with wild salmon and steelhead. This is beautiful B.C. in top form.

But a word of warning: coming for a visit can lead to serious life changes. Many of Sooke's residents came for just a visit, and couldn't bring themselves to leave.

view of Sooke harbour

Sooke whale watching tours

Mother Nature's Playground
Sooke's coastal surroundings give those with moxie and energy a challenging backdrop for outdoor activities. For some, hiking is Sooke's greatest attraction. East Sooke Regional Park is considered one of the premier day use parks in Canada. Encompassing 1,422 hectares (3,512 acres) of ancient coastal rainforest, the wilderness reserve offers marine trails suitable for young families and expert hikers alike.

With the Galloping Goose Regional Trail cycling from Victoria is a reality. The Sooke portion of the 100-kilometre former railway line features views of Juan de Fuca Straight and the 12,000-foot high Olympic Mountains. On the "Goose" you can cycle, walk, in-line skate, wheelchair, push a stroller or ride a horse.

Sooke Harbour contains a wealth of coves and bays that happily lend themselves to exploration by kayak or sail. But make your way into open waters, and you can see why for some fishing is a highlight of any visit here. To date, the largest salmon caught was 67 pounds; the largest halibut, 206 pounds. And there is far more to experience than fishing in these waters. A new highlight is Race Rocks, a recently created ecological reserve, where visitors can climb into zodiacs for a marine wildlife adventure to view a major population of killer whales (Orcas), stellar and California sea lions, seals and porpoises.

Heading west toward Port Renfrew, the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail skirts the highway and offers 47 kilometres of rainforest coastline blessed with tide pools, sandstone caves and soft sandy beaches. The visitor can stop at the many scenic viewpoints and beach access entrances.

The quaint town of Port Renfrew itself, noted for its vast sandy beach, wilderness and proximity to the West Coast Trail, makes for an interesting overnight destination. The nearby San Juan River, cutting through some of Canada's most primordial of coastal temperate rainforests, is well known among the initiated for its exceptional canoeing and fishing.
The natural surroundings of the Sooke Region provide inspiration to many artists in the area. The arts are important in this region. Sooke has a performing arts group, orchestra, many talented musicians, art galleries and artisan studios. One can take self-guided tours of unique studios that feature everything from funky pottery and glasswork to First Nations art and exotic woodwork.

Calling it a day

Sooke is considered by many the bed and breakfast capital of British Columbia, with approximately 70 such establishments in the region. Each B&B is as individual as its owners, ranging in décor and atmosphere from a simple native feel to the happy fussiness of a venerable English garden home. Each is different, but they all reflect the more laid-back west coast lifestyle. And whether one stays in an elegant country inn or a romantic waterfront chalet, the gracious hospitality of the people is apparent the moment one arrives.

It is said that great things come in small packages. That is especially true of Sooke, an unassuming community with a big heart and a lot to offer each visitor. Free from the bustle of city life, one can still find solitude here - yet all the amenities of the big city are just 40 minutes away.

It has made more than one holiday seeker ask themselves a simple question: Why go anywhere else?

Coastal Revelations Vancouver Island BC Eco Tours You get customized nature hiking and walking ecotours in the Qualicum Beach area. Discover the story behind the ancient rainforests, mountain meadows, marine life, wildlife and bird watching areas with a biologist trained by Interpretation Canada.

customized nature hiking and walking ecotours in the Qualicum Beach area. Discover the story behind the ancient rainforests, mountain meadows, marine life, wildlife and bird watching areas with a biologist trained by Interpretation Canada Quick Links

Sooke in the News
Archive of Tourism related News Stories about the Sooke area.

Parks, Trails & Beaches
Endless miles of unspoiled beaches and parks.

Bed and Breakfasts
Sooke is renowned for it's hospitality - B&B style!

Cottages & Cabins
Nestled on beaches or in the Sooke Hills. Privacy and nature.

Vacation Rental Homes
Larger groups? Staying a little longer? Enjoy all the conveniences of home.

Inns, Hotels, Motels & Resorts
From pampered luxury to affordable accommodations.

Affordable accommodations & plenty of outdoor fun.

Travel & Tourism
Services specifically catering to travel and tourism in Sooke, BC.
fishing, hiking, kayaking, birding, cycling, whale-watching ...

From a 60's diner to Haute Cuisine, you'll eat well in Sooke!

Other Businesses
Arts and crafts, marinas, real estate, shops, services and other conveniences.

Chamber of Commerce, schools, real estate, churches, arts ...

Goods & Services outside Sooke
Here you will find goods and services from outside Sooke  listed geographically.

Oak Bay Village
A vibrant community only 10 minutes from downtown Victoria yet a world away from the rush of everyday life.

East Sooke
Nature lover's paradise with a sparse population and many wide open spaces.

Victoria, British Columbia
A Traveler's guide to the Garden City of the Canada's west coast.
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Sheringham Point Lighthouse Sooke, BC
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Sooke bed and breakfast accommodation directory
Bed and Breakfast Sooke


Vacation rentals Sooke
Vacation Rental Sooke

Your complete vacation, accommodation, business and community information guide to Sooke, British Columbia in series of Travel Guides including, Victoria, and East Sooke,  and Oak Bay on southern Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

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