Nestled amid pristine beaches and lush forests, this little town has a lot to offer thrill-seekers. Hike, surf and kayak your way around this wildlife hot spot.
Sooke’s greatest charms are all natural. The local network of hiking trails draws outdoor enthusiasts from all over, and the diverse land and water habitats surrounding the town are havens for wildlife. Explore rugged hillsides, rich rainforests and wonderfully peaceful beaches. Come in any season to sample a wide selection of adventure sports in this idyllic setting.
The town’s name comes from the T’Sou-ke First Nation, the indigenous people who were the area’s sole inhabitants before the Spanish arrived in 1790. Learn about Sooke’s past in the fascinating Sooke Region Museum, which showcases the culture and history of both the T’Sou-ke First Nation and the Spanish settlers.
Stay in one of the pretty cottages that give Sooke its character. Rise early and venture out onto a hilltop hiking trail to enjoy a spectacular sunrise. Hikers of all fitness abilities will find a trail to suit them in East Sooke Regional Park. Follow winding oceanfront paths with breathtaking views, then take a break to enjoy a packed lunch in tranquility.
Another place to get away from it all is Sandcut Beach. Come here to marvel at the beauty of the waterfall and the sandstone rock formations. Let the waves lap at your feet as you stroll along this unspoiled stretch of sand.
To get more adventurous, try a dive trip. Sites filled with sea life include the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve and the Barnard Castle shipwreck. Or, if you’d rather be on top of the waves, join a whale-watching tour. Look for orcas, humpback whales, gray whales and even elephant seals.
Other ways to make the most of the ocean include windsurfing or a sea kayaking trip. On dry land, try zip lining.
The easiest way to get to Sooke is to first fly into Victoria International Airport. From there, drive to Sooke in about an hour or take a bus. Fitter travelers may even want to cycle; the outstanding scenery along the way will make the extra effort worthwhile.