Vancouver Island Attractions
Vancouver Island attractions are exceptional in the southern half of the island. And our vacation rental suite is conveniently located right in the centre of this area. Many attractions are easy-to-reach. In the Victoria area (Victoria’s Inner Harbour), on the Saanich Peninsula (Butchart Gardens, Sidney by the Sea) and others are in the neighbourhood, (Chemainus murals, Duncan and its totem poles, Cowichan Valley wineries, and more).
The Cowichan Valley is named after a Coast Salish word which means “the land warmed by the sun”, a truly appealing area. Our easy to find central location here at Cobble Hill is minutes from Highway #1 yet in quiet pastoral country, handy for all these places to see and things to do.
You’ll get an excellent introduction to the Cowichan Valley area on this video:
… you’ll want to come and explore.
Savour locally grown culinary delights. Farms (even a lavender farm) benefit from a long growing season and seafood is as fresh as it gets. Visit our farmers markets and restaurants to sample.
Recreation options are everywhere:
- Hiking trails abound – some of our favourites are Cobble Hill Mountain, Cowichan River Provincial Park, Mt Tzouhalem, and Maple Mountain are just a few. Or just stroll on beaches – Cherry Point Beach is a popular choice and you can walk or drive the short distance from our front door.
- Then there are year round golf courses, Arbutus Ridge is 2 minutes away and has a beautiful tennis bubble too.
- quiet roads for cycling or riding your motorcycle.
- Rent a kayak in Cowichan Bay or Mill Bay, a canoe or jet-ski on Cowichan or Shawnigan Lake. There’s fishing along the Cowichan River.
- Local lake and river swimming is fantastic or dip in the ocean for a bracing experience!
- And a truly memorable whale-watching experience can be taken from Cowichan Bay – see Ocean Ecoventures.
Visit charming waterfront communities like Cowichan Bay, Maple Bay or Genoa Bay. For example, Cowichan Bay’s locally produced eats are hallmarks of the main street’s favourite haunts – a cheese shop and restaurant, ice cream parlour, and an acclaimed organic bakery. Walk the pier, visit the wooden boats at the Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre, and serve aces on one of the oldest active lawn tennis courts in the world.
You may have want to visit that remarkable bridge in the above video; it’s the 614 feet long and 145 feet high Kinsol Trestle, west of Shawnigan Lake.
Drop into Whippletree Junction on Hwy 1 between Cobble Hill and Duncan for local gifts. Watch hand blown glass being made at a studio at Shawnigan Lake and take away a souvenir.
Wander through pretty Edwardian Ladysmith, located right on the 49th Parallel (much of our region is south of that line!).
For day trips travel to the Saanich Peninsula on the ferry from Mill Bay to Brentwood Bay for The Butchart Gardens just 45 minutes away. Alternatively, spend a day on laid-back Salt Spring Island (BC Ferries from Crofton). Or drive the beautiful Malahat Highway to spend the day in historic Victoria.
Duncan and the Chemainus murals
Duncan, the heart of the Cowichan Region, is a very walkable, people-friendly community that invites you to come, stay a while and enjoy the ambience. Its downtown features heritage buildings, and small, exquisite shops and restaurants catering to all tastes. Enjoy the cultural comings and goings in the busy City Square or tour the world’s largest collection of 38 outdoor totems. Purchase one of the famous Cowichan sweaters.
Chemainus “The Little Town that Did” is ten minutes north of Duncan. Think of an outdoor art gallery with over 40 large murals and many statues presenting the living history of this little town with a history in forestry. Browse through the boutiques, gift shops and antique stores. The Chemainus Theatre has a very high reputation for the quality of its productions.
Nearby, you will long remember The Raptors birds of prey demonstrations – educational and enthralling as eagles, falcons, vultures, owls and hawks go through their paces.
Almost 5,000 First Nations people live in the Cowichan Valley so their culture is significant here. Tour the Quw’utsun’ Cultural Centre in Duncan and view traditional art, crafts and native food.
Explore the outdoor museum that is the BC Forest Discovery Centre with over 5,000 artifacts and take a train around its 100 acres. Just north of Duncan.
Cowichan Valley Wineries
The Land Warmed by the Sun enjoys a pleasant temperate climate. Here is British Columbia’s second largest wine region where well-established vineyards welcome tours.
So take the wine route and visit our Cowichan Valley wineries and an estate cidery.
For further information visit the Cowichan Region Visitor Centre next to the BC Forest Discovery Centre.