SOOKe: city &Culture
Sooke is one of Vancouver Island's natural gems. A thriving community of artists & craftsmen, and locals offering all the inviting charm of a smaller town, this has become a premier getaway destination for local, international and celebrity visitors alike. Nestled into the West Coast of the island, the town offers the quintessential Pacific Northwest experience.
Sooke is world renowned for it's fishing and whale watching, both just out of the harbour and into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. A haven for nature lovers, there is a plethora of local beaches, hikes and parks that surround the area and lead all the way up to Jordan River and Port Renfrew; some of the most sought after beaches include French Beach, Mystic/ China Beach, Gordon's Beach, as well as Sombrio Beach known for it's surfing, and Botanical Beach, which offers the most vibrant exploration of intertidal marine life.
In the summertime, the Sooke Potholes are the place to be for natural, rock-carved swimming holes, while Whiffin Spit (just steps away from Inn to the Mystic) is a year round destination for walks with the family and four-legged friends - the spit is a naturally formed 'pathway' across the water that nearly reaches the East Sooke peninsula, and separates the Sooke Harbour from the open oceans of the Juan de Fuca Strait.
The town is rich with history, and the Sooke Region Museum offers many permanent and rotating exhibits and art shows to explore; the Museum is also home to the Sooke heritage Lighthouse, as well as the summertime Sooke Night Market each Thursday. For the more adventurous, the Adrenaline Zipline Adventures is just a few minutes from downtown, and is Vancouver Island's only canopy zipline destination; with eight lines ranging from 150ft to 1000ft, visitors get an exhilerating view of the 100 acres of temperate rainforest, as well as stunning mountain and ocean views.
Sooke offers a reputable dining scene that is set to impress everyone from 'foodies' to those looking for a quick bite before exploring the outdoors. For evening or finer dining, the Sooke Harbour House offers an intimate upscale experience both in the main dining room as well as the Copper Room (one of our favourite spots for a fireside glass of wine) and the patio during the warmer months. The Prestige Inn boasts expansive harbour and marina views from the West Coast Grill, and more casual fare for the later evening and sports enthusiasts in the Vault Lounge (another of our regular stops for an evening out on the town - ). Wild Mountain is renowned for its cuisine and offers an intimate setting just off the beaten path. For everyday dining, Route 14 and the Stickleback Eatery are the places to find visitors and locals alike, while Mai Mai's offers up the town's best sushi and Mom's Cafe serves everyone breakfast and lunch with an old-school diner flair. Just a few minutes out of downtown, 17 Mile Pub is a local institution, and offers live music on Friday nights with a massive backyard of games and a heated patio in the warmer months.
Sooke is located about 40 minutes up the coast from downtown Victoria, which makes day trips into the city very accessible. For a bustling shopping and dining scene, as well as infamous museums and local attractions, Victoria is just a short drive away.