COWICHAN BAY: THE ECLECTIC SEASIDE TOWN
SEASIDE TOWN Cowichan Bay
Often referred to as ‘eclectic’, the town is home to artists and artisans, craftsmen and women, who embrace the slower pace of island life. Dock your boat at the popular Fisherman’s Wharf, which is also home to a flotilla of salmon, crab, prawn and tuna boats. It’s a short stroll off the dock to Cowichan Bay Road, which has everything you’ll need to enjoy the area. You can book a room at the Oceanfront Grand Resort and Marina or settle in at the Dream Weaver Bed and Breakfast.
Once your bags are bedded down you’ll not doubt be hungry and ready to explore. Walking down the road you can grab a casual bite at the Cow Bay Marine Pub or the Rock Cod Café. You’ll pass a variety of marine stores and be tempted by seaside adventures like kayak rentals and whale-watching tours.
The Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre
is operated by the Cowichan Bay Wooden Boat Society and offers hands-on exhibits, artifacts and photographs depicting the Bay’s colourful history. Watch while classic and modern wooden boats are being built or restored.
The Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre is just a short walk further, so hopefully you’ve brought your camera and binoculars. The centre overlooks the Cowichan Estuary, a 400-hectare area, which provides habitat for resident and migratory birds, Pacific salmon, shellfish and a diversity of inter-tidal life. See and touch marine and intertidal creatures in the aquarium and touch tank; and enjoy wildlife and bird watching along the ocean front interpretive trail and from the viewing tower. If your legs haven’t given out, or if you’ve rented a bike and have more kilometres in you, continue on Cowichan Bay Road into the estuary to Robert Service Memorial Park. A monument stands in honour of “the Bard of the Yukon”. He is best known for his poems “The Shooting of Dan Mcgrew” and “The Cremation of Sam Mcgee”. The poet moved to Cowichan in 1896 and was discovered by an editor while working as a store clerk. The rest, as they say, is history.
Eagles and trumpeter swans are two of the 220 species that live or pass by here on this migratory rest stop on the Pacific Flyway. Spring and fall are the peak times to experience this wondrous natural relocation.
For more ‘civilized’ pursuits, play golf at nearby Cowichan Golf & Country Club, tennis at one of the oldest lawn tennis courts in the world, or hitch a ride to Rocky Creek Winery for a sample of their blackberry wine.
Nature, history, sun, sand and sea make Cowichan Bay an excellent port of call on your next maritime excursion.