The town of Sooke would be a great place to stay overnight and explore in depth. The Circle Route passes right through the town core and offers you plenty of reasons to stick around! Check out the list below for places to hike, bike, & explore with the family, a few great cafes for healthy food on the run, and a few purveyors of well crafted adult beverages.
Parks & Trails
- Wiffin Spit (Location)
- This naturally formed peninsula protects the Sooke harbour from the powerful winter storms in the Juan de Fuca Strait. There is a flat crushed gravel trail to walk, and it takes about 45 minutes to walk to the end and back. On stormy days, you can watch the action of the waves from the comfort of your car in the parking lot. Beautiful views of the Olympic Mountains on a clear day. A great spot to bring the kids, at low tide there is a small intertidal zone to explore and look for smaller sea life. Dog friendly.
- Sooke Harbour Boardwalk/ Ed Macgregor park (Location)
- This raised boardwalk on the edge of the Sooke Harbour is accessed from Ed Macgregor Park, directly off the Circle Route. Walk through the garden and grass in the upper park area to the wheelchair accessible ramp/path which winds its way through the trees down to the water and the wide wooden boardwalk. Watch for eagles, herons, seals, salmon jumping, and locals crabbing from the dock. The grass area close to the road is a great spot for a picnic. Grab something to-go from a local café and stop in the park.
- Sooke Potholes Park (Location)
- One of the best swimming spots in the area, this protected area stretches for 6km along the Sooke river, with plenty of family friendly spots to swim, and less populated areas to enjoy if you’re willing to walk a little further. An active salmon spawning ground in the fall, with Black Bear sightings common at that time. Also a worthwhile hike in the rainy season as the river is quite impressive when it is running high with safe places to take in the waterfall views
- Ayum Creek (Location)
- This six-hectare park protects the stream-fed estuary of Ayum Creek, which empties into the Sooke Basin. The creek flows through mixed forest and riparian habitat, and is a spawning stream for wild coho and chum salmon, as well as steelhead and cutthroat trout. This park is right beside a market/Gas station/Brewery, so it would make a great stopping point for everyone in the group!
- Muir Creek (Location)
- Although not a protected park, this area is well utilized as such and efforts are underway to get park status for the beach and creek areas. Parking is directly off the highway in a gravel lot. 2 minutes to walk to the beach, and if the tide is in your favour walk about 25 minutes to the west (right as facing the ocean) and you will find fossilized seashells in the sandstone cliffs.
- Harbourview road (Mt. Quimper hike & mountain bike trails) (Location)
- This park is the gateway to an endless network of hiking & mountain biking trails in the Sooke hill which utilize some old logging roads and access trails. The trails are well marked, indicating which are reserved for hikers or bikers. The summit hike to Mt.Quimper can take 1.5-2 hours one-way, and is very hot in the summer-time! Bring a day pack if you plan to hike to the top. There is an old fire lookout cabin on the summit, which is a great place to get out of the rain and have some lunch.
- Galloping Goose Trail (Location)
- The Galloping Goose trail is a reclaimed rail line that runs from Downtown Victoria to the Sooke Potholes area. It crosses The Circle Route a couple times between Sooke & Victoria and offers a chance to pedal your way through protected parklands, beside sheep pastures, and along the edge of the Sooke Basin.
- Roche Cove park (Location)
- A slight detour from the Circle Route, 5 minutes down Gillespie Road, is Roche Cove Park. Hike through the Cedar Grove trail to stand in the shadows of massive trees estimated to be over 500 years old. Or walk along Matheson Creek and just try to find something that isn’t covered with moss. Cross the road from the parking lot for a short walk to the edge of the Sooke Basin with a few benches to sit and relax with the view.
You must be thirsty after all that exploring! Drop by one of these local producers to sample and purchase their delicious products. Some places are only licensed to offer tastings, while others offer space for you to stay for a full glass or pint.
- Sooke Brewing Company (Location)
- The only local brewery with a lounge endorsement & a patio. Stay for a pint or two and meet the locals. There's no kitchen, but food trucks park on site quite often, you can order a pizza, or hit the butcher shop next door for a snack. The five owners all have multi generations in Sooke B.C. and this connection to the local area is linked to everything we do. We aim to brew beers that can be enjoyed both by those new to craft brewing as well as the most experienced connoisseurs. Our goal is to set the bar higher for great beer in BC while paying homage to the amazing place we call home.
- Bad Dog Brewing (Location)
- Bad Dog Brewing Company is a new craft micro brewery in Sooke, British Columbia. We are open Tuesday – Sunday 11 – 7 and welcome the public to come by and try our tasty brews. We offer our products in single tall cans, 4 packs and have just recently added growler fills and flights. Enjoy a cold beer in our picnic area!
- Sheringham Distillery (Location)
- Small tastings & tours from 12:00 - 5:00 daily. We use time-honoured distilling methods and B.C. grown grains to achieve our sustainable and traditional approach to the production of our spirits. Our small batch hand-crafted spirits (Vodka, William's White – Double Distilled Grain Spirit (a.k.a. White Whisky) and Whisky) are all made with 100% B.C. agricultural products. We source local ingredients from Vancouver Island whenever possible. All our products are mashed, fermented and distilled at our distillery. We are proudly committed to localism, quality & sustainability.
- Sooke Oceanside Brewing (Location)
- S.O.B. was born out of a desire to bring the love of craft beer to our west coast community of Sooke, B.C. Founded in 2015, S.O.B. has been a long standing labour of love. You may have heard of us long ago now, but it has taken a lot of recipe development, and planning to arrive at this point, and it has been time well spent! You're going to love our beers! The tasting room is up and running so come have a flight and say hey.
- Tugwell Creek Meadery (Location)
- We help adventurous connoisseurs rediscover an ancient libation with hand crafted meads made from our own Wildflower Honey. Our carefully tended beehives are put out to forage the wild flowers in hills behind Sooke for the purest honey. Come visit our tasting room, gift shop, and museum at our ocean view farm.
It's been a long day, are you hungry?.... or just hungry for more adventure!? These locally owned and operated cafes have just what you need to refuel for the second half of your day.
- Road to Sooke Café (Location)
- In the front lobby of The Prestige Hotel. Fresh baked goodies all day long, and always something new to try. Healthy options with locally sourced ingredients. Stay for a coffee and a sandwich while taking in the view of the Sooke harbour from the patio, or take it for the road! Salads, sandwiches, baked goods, espresso, fresh fruit, pet friendly!
- Stick in the Mud Coffee Shop (Location)
- I dunno...Like whatever your other favourite coffee shop has...Only better.
Famous for our breakfast sandwich, the Egg-a-majig! A local free range egg on homemade focaccia with oven roasted veggies, aged white cheddar cheese, tomato and a variety of home made sauces (try some Sookesauce!). The Eggers are available vegetarian or with an in-house roasted turkey breast and we also offer slices of locally smoked and seasoned pork shoulder from Black Market Meats. We make coffee. We bake food. We fill your bellies with attitude. Some Vegan and Gluten Free stuff. You'll like it.
Breakfast, grab 'n go, lunch, treats...Blah blah blah...
- I dunno...Like whatever your other favourite coffee shop has...Only better.
- Little Vienna Café (Location)
- The bakery cafe' offers a fast-casual restaurant serving made to order breakfast & lunch items, a unique selection of fine cheeses and meats, market & deli items, specialty coffees & teas. It's important to note that we also cater to those with special dietary needs and also produce vegetarian, gluten, dairy, egg and nut free items all in a peanut free operation. A great patio to eat on if the weather is fair.
- Salt West (Location)
- Tours available April - October, Tuesday-Saturday. Handcrafted Canadian Sea Salt harvested from the west coast of Vancouver Island, BC. Featuring certified organic and/or natural and local fresh ingredients. Choose from pure, flavour infused, earth & sea spice blends and natural smoked sea salts available for purchase.
- Sooke Museum & Visitor Info Centre (Location)
- Since 1981 the Sooke Region Museum has hosted the region’s official Visitor Centre, part of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture & Arts Visitor Centre network. Sooke to Port Renfrew is a premier tourism region of Vancouver Island conveniently located near the province’s capital city, Victoria. Each year thousands of visitors come to enjoy recreational opportunities from year-round salt and freshwater fishing, cycling, scuba-diving, windsurfing, kayaking and whale watching to name just a few. We are the gateway to old-growth forests and hiking is a common past-time for people of all abilities. As the Province’s oldest independent settlement, this historic town attracts residents who have developed an excellent arts and crafts community with theatre productions, music, galleries, festivals and the well-known Sooke Fine Arts Show.
- Sooke Town Core (Location)
- The Pacific Marine Circle Route cuts through the town core of Sooke. There are two grocery stores, three banks, a pharmacy, hardware store, two gas stations, a library, a few restaurants & coffee shops, liquor store, two marijuana dispensaries, a brewery, two pizza shops & a laundromat all within a 5 minute walk. When you reach the round-about make a right into the large parking lot. Parking can be tough to find in the busy summer tourist season, but the whole town core is pedestrian friendly and shops are close together, so just grab a space and walk to get what you need.
- E-Fish-Ent Fish Co. Smoked Salmon (Location)
- Located less than a minute from Sooke Oceanside Brewing, just off highway 14. Take home the falvour of the west coast with some smoked wild pacific salmon. Selling packaged Smoked Salmon, Candied Salmon, and Salmon Pate. Safe for suitcases in a vacuum sealed package, with a 5 year shelf life on the smoked salmon. Closed over the winter months, but worth the stop if you're passing by at the right time of year.