Here are the most popular "must-see" attractions in the Victoria area, going west to Sooke:
[ Victoria | North to Saanich | West to Sooke ]
Highway 14, also known as the Sooke Road, heads west from Victoria and takes you to some rugged Pacific shoreline along the southwest coast of Vancouver Island. The paved road continues to Port Renfrew which is 107 kilometres from Victoria. The attractions here are listed from east to west.
Galloping Goose Regional Trail
Along the route is the Galloping Goose Trail, which is Canada's first rail to trail conversion. The trail along an abandoned Canadian National Railway Line runs for 58 kilometres, with more being added each year. The trail, named for the locomotive used to carry passengers to the now-abandoned mining town of Leechtown, begins just west of the Highway 1A underpass toward Colwood and is well marked with signage.
Fort Rodd Hill & Fisgard Lighthouse Historic Sites
603 Fort Rodd Hill Road (Colwood)
The Fort's three gun batteries were built in the 1890s to protect the Royal navy base in Esquimalt, and kept operational until the 1950s, once coastal artillery became obsolete. The 18 hectare waterfront park has spectacular views, and has beaches, tidal pools and forest trails to explore (because of wildlife, no pets are allowed). The Fisgard Lighthouse was the first permanent lighthouse on the BC coast, built in 1860. Displays inside the lightkeeper's house includes old maps, models, and photos of lighthouses, shipwrecks as well as light-making equipment through the years.
This community is 18 km west of downtown Victoria. This 13,000 resident town is one of BC's newest municipalities being incorporated in 1985. The town began as one of four large farms established outside Fort Victoria by the Puget's Sound Agricultural Company, a subsidiary of the Hudson's Bay Company. The town is named for the residence of EE Langford, who was the operator of the 243 hectare farm. There is a small Goldstream Regional Museum beside the town's infocentre.
2005 Sooke Road (1/2 km west of Colwood Corners)
Victoria , BC, Canada V8S 3L5
(250) 391.2666 Fax (250) 391.2623 Toll-free 1-866-241-0674
Hatley Park is Canada's largest and most diverse National Historic Site, centered around a magnificent castle built in 1908 by former British Columbia Premier and coal baron, James Dunsmuir. This 565 acre Edwardian estate is just 25 minutes from downtown Victoria. Open Year round, visitors will enjoy daily tours of Hatley Castle, a visit to the museum, or strolling through the Japanese, Italian and Rose Gardens. This ocean-front setting is available for weddings, meetings, retreats, conferences, corporate team building, motion picture filming, experiential travel programs and special events. Open May - October daily 10 am - 5 pm; Nov - April from: 10 am - 3 pm (Christmas Period open for private events only December 15 - January 13th). Admission charge.
Pearson College of the Pacific
Pearson College Drive (off William Head Road)
This campus is one of eight set up by the United World Colleges. It provides 200 students from around the world full scholarships to complete the equivalent of Grade 12 and first year university. The college also sponsors a summer arts program and a program for indigenous (native Indian) teenagers.
This 9,000 inhabitant village sits on the pretty Sooke Harbour, and lies about 25 kilometres west of Colwood. The town is named after the local Indian tribe T'Soke. This is western Canada's southernmost harbour, protected from the ocean seas by narrow Whiffin Spit. In 1864, miners were dropped off here to work the gold mines on the Sooke and Leech rivers, about 16 kilometres upstream from the sea. The gold rush lasted a year with $100,000 in gold extracted from the area. Sooke continued to grow as a logging and fishing community, and hosts the All Sooke Day (third Saturday in July) which trumpets its logging heritage. The Sooke harbour is about 5 kilometres long, before the waters widen into the larger Sooke Basin. The harbour is excellent for paddling. Often fishermen sell their catches fresh from their boats.