This is the great outdoors, people. Not only is your cabin a pinecone’s throw from the beach, you are close to some of the best coastal hiking in Canada. Drive 15 minutes to the Mystic Beach trailhead, part of the 47-kilometre Juan de Fuca Trail. The hike to the surf takes less than an hour via the forest trail, crossing a suspension bridge along the way. If the tide is out, you can treat yourself to a walk through the rock arch, a ride on the rope swing and (if it’s warm enough or you’re feeling just that happy) a skinny- dip in the waterfall. Those that prefer to roll can bike the Galloping Goose Trail for as long as your quads can stand it—but be aware that if you head north out of Sooke seeking the “ghost town” of Leechtown, there’s not really much to see (but that’s ghosts for you), and that the sword ferns and cedars there look pretty much the same as they do outside your cabin.
Culture (if you must!) can be had at the 11- day Sooke Fine Arts Show, which runs from late July to early August and features hundreds of works by Vancouver Island sculptors, painters, photographers and jewellers. Last year’s juried prize winners include Vincent Fe’s steampunk teapot, Jonathan Kacki’s bikewheel photography and Nicole Sleeth’s arresting, cigarette-smoking nude. You can also absorb your fill of local history at the Sooke Region Museum, featuring photography, clothing and artifacts dating back as far as the 18th century.
For dinner, head to Sooke Harbour House, which dishes farm-to-table food in your choice of top-shelf style (the main dining room) or with a more casual attitude (the Copper Room). The dining room menu changes daily, but if you’re going for Copper casual, do like the locals do and have either the B.c.-raised beef brisket and bison burger or the fish and chips, made from o-the-boat ling cod or halibut.
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