For hundreds of years, Sooke, British Columbia, was a prosperous settlement of the Coast Salish Indians, who relied on ample supplies of berries, birds, clams and fish. European settlers arrived in 1849 and a population boom in Sooke was caused by the Leech River gold rush in 1864. Today, as vacationers enjoy the cottage-like outdoor-oriented setting, it is a fun community with a resident population of 11,600 that swells by the thousands in the summer months. These are the 10 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Sooke, BC.
10. Galloping Goose Trail
Ever wonder what it’s like to ride the Galloping Goose Regional Trail from end to end? The trail begins at the south end of the Selkirk Trestle, at the foot of Alston Street in Vic West. Access points are found along the entire trail route. Parking areas are located at Atkins Avenue in View Royal, Aldean Avenue in Colwood, the Luxton Fairgrounds on Sooke Road in Luxton, Rocky Point Road in Metchosin, and Roche Cove Regional Park in East Sooke.
9. Mount Manuel Quimper
Mount Manuel Quimper is a moderately trafficked 10.0-kilometre loop trail near Sooke, British Columbia, Canada that has a fantastic forest environment and is rated moderate. The trail is mostly used for hiking, climbing, and mountain biking, and from May to October it is best used.
8. Haunted 17 Mile House Pub
Stop by 17 Mile House Pub in Sooke where they’re serving up, wine beer and spirits, if their ghosts you’re into. One of the oldest buildings in Sooke is the 17 Mile House Pub and it comes with long-lasting guests! The ghost of ‘Ma’ Wilson is said to be still visiting the nearby tavern.
7. Watching the sunset at Possession Point
One of the best viewpoints in Sooke is at Possession Point, just at the end of East Sooke Lane, and it just so happens that the setting of the sun makes the perfect backdrop. Grab your other half, and don’t forget the camera, as this perspective provides the most romantic atmosphere and breathtaking sunset views. This is probably one of the most underrated Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Sooke.
6. Sooke Region Museum & Visitor Centre
The Sooke Area Museum & Visitor Centre is a community museum that, from Sooke to Port Renfrew, explores the human and natural heritage of the region. The museum also manages the region’s local visitor information centre. During the year, the museum hosts numerous special activities has a local arts & crafts gift shop and can make special meals for pre-booked tour groups.
5. Ella Beach
A beautiful rocky beach with the shoreline lined by several large Douglas firs and Sitka spruces. This beach is a favourite amongst locals, and among tourists, it is very little known.
4. Whiffin Spit
Located between Sooke Harbour and the Juan de Fuca Strait, Whiffin Spit provides a beautiful coastal walk along the coastline. The area is popular with dog walkers and lovers of nature, as wildlife can sometimes be seen during your walks, such as shorebirds and sea lions. At the end of the parking lot, the trail begins and follows the gravel path to the end of the Whiffin Spit. The trail is relatively flat, providing different views of the landscape. There are several benches and small paths that veer off the main trail, providing extra points of view or places to explore the rugged beach areas.
3. French Beach Provincial Park
The 59-hectare French Beach Provincial Park is situated in the spectacular Juan de Fuca Strait on southern Vancouver Island, within the traditional territories of the T’Sou-ke First Nation and is considered to be one of the Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Sooke. Great hiking trails lead you through a second-growth forest of Douglas-fir, Sitka Spruce, Western Hemlock and Western Red Cedar. A wide swath of lawn fronts this pea-gravel beach where you can picnic and swim. Hundreds of miles of shoreline along the Strait of Juan de Fuca make for some memorable beachcombing.
2. Whale Watching
The perfect months for watching Orcas (Killer Whales) in all their glory are May through October. The Juan de Fuca Strait is the perfect area to find the returning Humpbacks from June to November and with hundreds returning to their feeding grounds gives you ample opportunity to have your own close encounter of the deep. During peak months, The success rate for sighting whales is 97%.
1. Sooke Potholes Provincial Park
Make a splash at Sooke Potholes Provincial Park, one of British Columbia’s most common places to swim in a natural setting. Located in a regional park of 7.28 hectares (17.9 acres), the potholes were initially created in the last ice age 15,000 years ago by glacial movement. The holes are filled today with clear, freshwater used to dive, swim, and play. You’ll find picnic areas by the pools that provide a place to relax while the river babbles alongside; watch the currents swim with Chinook salmon.
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