Things To DoWelcome to our beautiful Sooke Cottage! East Sooke is a pristine landscape which offers a natural haven for wildlife. Year-round outdoor recreational opportunities abound as well, due to its mild climate - Sooke is a wonderful all-season coastal getaway! Click here to see photos of the local scenery.
|Our favourite restaurants, hikes, and attractions around Sooke|
Hiking, walking, and cycling:
- East Sooke Regional Park is located just a few minutes drive from the cottage. The Pike Road entrance has a lovely beach approximately 1/2 hour walk from the parking lot, along a wide well-groomed trail. If you prefer a more rugged hike through the forest, visit the Anderson Cove entrance. The Aylard Farm entrance is probably the most popular and well-known - it offers a combination of picnic areas, easy walks to a beach, and hikes to scenic viewpoints. The strenuous, rugged, and spectacularly scenic Coast Trail can be accessed at various points in the park.
- The Galloping Goose Regional Trail System is located approximately 10 minutes drive from the cottage, on Gillespie Road. Look for the signs for Roche Cove Park. This wide easy trail through the forest is perfect for both walking and biking. There is a small trail that heads down to the cove which is absolutely beautiful (wear shoes with good traction). You can also follow the main trail all the way to Matheson Lake, a popular recreation & swimming area. Matheson Lake is also accessible by car from Metchosin Road.
- Whiffen Spit, accessible via Quimper Park in Sooke (near Sooke Harbour House - see Restaurants and Dining section below), is a scenic & easy walk with the ocean on three sides! Very pretty. Can be windy sometimes so dress appropriately.
- Ed Macgregor Park is located near the Sooke town core, about 20 minutes from the cottage. It features a gorgeous waterfront boardwalk and is a popular place for locals and tourists alike.
- Witty's Lagoon
is a beautiful area that's especially popular with bird-watchers.
It is located on Metchosin Road (from Gillespie, turn right onto Sooke Road and
look for signs to Metchosin). The Nature Centre entrance is the more popular of
the two entrances to Witty's Lagoon, as it has a gorgeous beach and picnic area.
There are three main hikes - the Lagoon Trail,
the Beach Trail, and
Not far away is also the small but pretty Albert Head Lagoon Park. Also in Metchosin is the beautifully sheltered Devonian Regional Park. Thetis Lake Park is also very popular with both locals and tourists, known for its picturesque lakes.
- Goldstream Provincial Park is a true wonder. Giant trees, waterfalls, and the annual salmon spawn make the park a favourite with both the locals and with tourists.
- In the mood for a little exploration? Drive up the coast and visit the rugged beauty of French Beach Provincial Park, China Beach, or Sombrio Beach. Accessible via West Coast Road (head into Sooke and continue following the road. Sooke Road turns into West Coast Road).
Eagle and Wildlife Watching: the island is blessed with an abundance of wildlife. There is a large variety of wildlife that can be seen from the cottage, from eagles, heron, the tiny hummingbirds, fun quail family, elusive otter, and the spectacular sight of seal fishing just offshore! Visit between December and February for a chance to see the "eagle extravaganza" at Goldstream Park, when bald eagles feast on salmon.
Bicycle Rentals: available from Sooke Cycle (tel: 250-642-3123).
Swimming: Visit the Sooke Potholes Provincial Park, a popular area for swimming. You will see signage on Hwy 14 (Sooke Road) heading into the town of Sooke. Some guests also swim from the private dock at the cottage; however please be aware that there are hazards associated with swimming in the ocean. Note that the cottage does not have a beach, and is a rocky shoreline. Here is more information about beaches and swimming on Vancouver Island and the Sooke area.
Kayaking and Boating: the Sooke Basin on which the cottage is located, is a wonderful and protected place to kayak. The private dock offers an easy launching place. Kayak rentals and equipment are available in the town of Sooke from Rush Adventures (tel: 250-642-2159). Pedder Bay Marina (tel: 250-478-1771) rents out motor boats.
Wineries: Tugwell Creek Honey Farm & Meadery (tel: 250-642-1956) offers tastings and self guided tours.
Zip-Line Adventure: For something different, try Adrena Line Zipline Adventure Tours (tel: 250-642-1933) where you can ride a zip-line through the West Coast forest. They're located near 17 Mile Pub, approximately 10 minutes drive from the cottage.
Restaurants and Dining:
- Fine Dining: Our favourite is an unassuming local gem called the Smokin' Tuna Cafe (tel: 250-642-0332), situated on a pretty spot on the waterfront. Open May to October, they offer casual lunches and fine dining for dinner, with an ever-changing menu. There's also the ever-popular and famous Sooke Harbour House (tel: 250-642-3421) offers fine gourmet dining. Another popular spot is Markus' Wharfside Restaurant (tel: 250-642-3596). Both are approximately 20 minutes drive from the cottage in the town of Sooke. Reservations are recommended.
- Casual Dining: 17 Mile House Pub (tel: 250-642-5942) is popular with the locals. You will have passed it on the way to the cottage, near the intersection of Gillespie and Sooke Roads. Many people also enjoy Stonepipe (tel: 250-642-0566) located across the street from PetroCanada in Sooke. Also in Sooke is the Stickleback West Coast Eatery (tel: 778-425-4499), located at 5449 Sooke Road next to Rush Adventures. Mom's Cafe (tel: 250-642-3314) is popular for breakfasts and milkshakes. Little Vienna Bakery (tel: 250-642-6833) offers fresh baked goods, sandwiches, and light snacks. Heading the other way towards Victoria, there is a lovely restaurant and one of our favourites, called My Chosen Cafe (tel: 250-474-2333) on the corner of Metchosin Road and Happy Valley Road. You can get pizza from My Chosen Café as well as from Sooke 2-for-1 Pizza (tel: 250-642-5451).
- Fast Food: McDonald's and A&W are available in the town of Sooke.
Grocery Stores: the city of Langford and the town of Sooke (both approximately 20 minutes from the cottage) have grocery stores. Langford has a Superstore as well as several grocery stores, while Sooke has Village Foods and Western Foods. We suggest shopping for groceries prior to heading to the cottage.
Convenience Store: Bill's Food & Feed (also called East Sooke Grocer) is approximately 5 minutes drive from the cottage at the intersection of Gillespie and East Sooke Roads.
Travel Information: please visit our Travel Resources section for information on ferries, passports, weather, etc.