Cowichan Bay

Cowichan Bay is a small coastal village on Vancouver Island that’s about a 55 minute drive from Victoria. The objective of our mini off season getaway was not to be in a city and not to feel hustle and bustled. We did however have Victoria obligations. But we were willing to do the drive. Speaking of timing, due to what seem to be normal traffic snarls around McKenzie Ave and the View Royal neighbourhoods, I recommend budgeting an hour to drive into downtown Victoria from Cowichan Bay. Since I’m on the tangent of driving tips, this route has the Malahat Drive as a major component. It has high altitude driving (353 m AKA 1158 feet) and you can have sudden weather and road condition changes. Also, the road is windy and when driving at night, it can be tricky. The real danger is the regulars to the road who drive fast and aggressively in comparison to a newbee.

Once in Cowichan Bay, you have a stunning and vibrant harbour. Boat fans will enjoy it. The main strip has a wonderfully eclectic collection of shops and restaurants. Even the ice cream shop is fun. It’s got import candy bars and other usual you don’t find at the grocery store.

Speaking of which, the town has the post office/liquor store/mini grocery store, but it closes early. Your best bet for a grocery story is the Thrifty foods off the highway near Mill Bay about 12 km south.

Among the offerings along Cowichan Bay Road are clothing shops, a pottery shop, coffee shops and more. None are branded. It’s truly a pleasure. And if you buy something, it gives you the feeling that some of that money could go to someone you could know personally or care about.

Accommodations include a suite hotel, which is called Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay (follow the link to my review) and a couple of bed and breakfasts.

I would like to escape the busy life here for a weekend at another time.

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