If you’re looking for a place to experience pristine West Coast wilderness on Southern Vancouver Island, you’ll want to book your stay in Sooke, British Columbia, Canada. Just forty-five minutes west of Victoria and the home of the T’sou-ke Nation, Sooke offers guests some of the most stunning views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains in Washington State, endless seascapes of the open Pacific Ocean, incredible outdoor recreation, cultural sights and some unmissable dining experiences! A holiday in the Sooke area is one of the best ways to experience the wild West Coast in all its glory!
How to get to Sooke
From the Mainland:
Tsawwassen (South of Vancouver) to Swartz Bay (North Saanich): If you’re taking the passenger and vehicle ferry from Tsawassen south of Vancouver, you’ll arrive in North Saanich near the seaside town of Sidney. From the ferry simply take Highway 17 to Highway 1 just north of Victoria and Highway 14 all the way to Sooke (map) – the drive takes just over an hour.
Horseshoe Bay (North Vancouver) to Departure Bay (Nanaimo): When you arrive in Nanaimo, you can hop right onto Highway 1 which will take you through Nanaimo and the beautiful Cowichan Valley into Greater Victoria. From here, you’ll merge onto Highway 14 all the way into central Sooke (map).
Victoria International Airport (YYJ), located just a few minutes south of Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal on the Saanich Peninsula offers car rentals where you can easily follow this map to get to central Sooke.
If you’re staying in Victoria and want to visit Sooke for a day trip, getting there is easy! The trip takes approximately 45 minutes which means that you can visit a few times during your stay!
On Two Wheels:
If you’re staying at a Victoria EMR property and want to do some biking on the west coast, a cycle out to Sooke is a great way to spend a sunny day and get some exercise! The Galloping Goose Regional Trail dedicated, multi-use trail that runs all the way from Victoria to Sooke and will take you through downtown Victoria, Langford and Metchosin all the way to Sooke central! Whether your starting point is right downtown Victoria or in Langford, you can find multiple access points to this trail all the way along!
Outdoor Recreation in Sooke
Sooke is known for its incredible natural beauty and so it’s no wonder that some of the very best outdoor recreation can be found in the area! Whether you’re looking for stunning beaches, endless forested hiking trails or epic ocean adventures, Sooke has it all!
Located halfway between Sooke and Port Renfrew. Jordan River is known for its stunning ocean views and epic surfing. While this tiny logging community might not offer much in the way of amenities, it is by far one of the most incredible, wild places to visit on the west coast. If you’re planning to surf here, be sure to research before you go! The waves are known to be unpredictable and locals are notoriously protective over this beloved surfing spot.
If you’re looking for a great family beach to visit during your stay in Sooke, French Beach is a great option! With a great playground, grassy areas with picnic tables, lots of flat trails near the pebbly beach and lots of driftwood to climb on, kids of all ages will love a day out at French Beach!
Right near Port Renfrew and a part of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, Botanical Beach is a stunning beach to spend a day exploring the rich tide pools and beachside trails. With incredible marine life to see and fascinating geological features, this is a perfect beach for marine science enthusiasts!
This stunning sandy beach, not far from central Sooke offers visitors a stunning place to spend a day in the sun. Enjoy relaxing on the sand, exploring the craggy rock formations and basking in the breathtaking view of the Olympic Peninsula in the distance!
Just north of China Beach, this beach is a mixture of sand and pebbles and has some of the most incredible forested trails to explore! Great for families, Mystic Beach has rocky outcrops and beach caves to explore, tons of smooth pebbles to skip and stunning views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountain Range!
While this may be one of the best natural swimming spots to cool off in the summer heat, Sooke Potholes Regional Park is also a great place to spend the day hiking year-round! For an easy hike, follow the Riverside Trail along the Sooke River as it meanders through the trees and offers incredible views of the river as it rushes toward the Sooke Basin.
With 50 kilometers of trails through pristine West Coast wilderness you can ramble along rocky, windswept coastal trails to find hidden beaches or trek through dense forested trails, up hilltops and find breathtaking views of the ocean.
This incredible, 75 kilometre trail that starts in Port Renfrew and terminates in remote Bamfield, offers a once-in-a-lifetime hiking experience with stunning views and challenging adventures! If you’re an avid hiker and looking for a real adventure, you’ll want to plan your attack of the rugged West Coast Trail.
Similar in intensity to the West Coast Trail, the Juan de Fuca trail that starts near Jordan River and terminates in Port Renfrew offers hikers a rugged and challenging 47 kilometre trail and typically takes 12 hours to complete.
This extensive trail runs from Sooke all the way to downtown Victoria, is paved and fairly flat for most of the way. It’s an ideal way to cycle with the family or if you’re looking for a relaxed, well maintained cycling path to explore.
One of the best ways to explore the waters of the Sooke Basin and the shore of beautiful Whiffin Spit for an afternoon is in a kayak! Whether you’re ready to go kayaking solo or you want to book a tour, Sooke has tons of incredible options! Check out our favourites here!
Charters & More
For a truly unique, west coast experience, book a whale watching tour! From April to October, you can find mink, grey, Orcas and sometimes Humpback whales as they migrate through the waters of the Strait. Even if you don’t get to see whales, there is so much marine life to see, you won’t be disappointed! Take a look at our favourite whale watching companies in Sooke, here!
If you’re an avid angler, you’re going to want to book a fishing charter during your stay in Sooke! While there are lots of places on the shore where you can cast a line, booking one of our favourite companies is going to guarantee that you have an incredible time and learn some new skills!
5128C Sooke Rd, Sooke, BC V9Z 0E2
At AdrenaLINE, your zipline experience begins with an eight minute off-road adventure to an incredible location in the wilderness. When you arrive, you’ll find eight different zipline routes spanning across 100 acres of pristine coastal rainforest! Buckle up for the ride of your life!
Arts and Culture
2070 Phillips Rd, Sooke, BC V9Z 0Y3
This small museum focuses on highlighting the region’s history and culture from momentous events to daily life in one of the Province’s oldest, independent settlements. With exhibits of First Nations artefacts, historic photographs as well as the Triangle Island Lighthouse interpretive centre and Moss Cottage – visit for deeper appreciation of this area’s historical importance!
2046 Otter Point Road, Sooke, BC V9Z 0P7
Located in the heart of Sooke, this gallery features a collection of original, local artwork from paintings, ceramics, glass and metal works to jewellery, wearables, and fibre art. Plus, you can find one-of-a-kind gifts and art cards!
Food and Drink
6731 West Coast Road #252, Sooke, BC V9Z 0S9
Since 2015, Sheringham has produced award-winning spirits with locally-sourced, high quality ingredients and impeccable distillation techniques. Plus, this lovely distillery prioritizes sustainability practices at every level of production. Pop into the tasting room to try some truly unique spirits that are sure to raise your spirits!
8750 West Coast Road, Sooke, BC V9Z 1H2
Mead isn’t something you find every day but at Tugwell you can find many different types of the ancient potable made from fermented honey, yeast and water. With carefully tended beehives and lots of local wildflowers, Tugwell produces some of the best honey and subsequently, some of the best mead! If you are searching for a unique imbibing experience, Tugwell Farms is worth the trip!
6929 W Coast Rd, Sooke, BC V9Z 0V1
This beautiful, oceanfront restaurant, located right near the Sooke Harbour Marina offers elegant west coast dining with a stunning view. In warm weather, guests can enjoy fresh, elevated seafood dishes on the terrace and look out over the waves.