Sooke, Vancouver Island | G. Stathers
Sooke is the gateway to the scenic West Coast Road, which winds 70 km (44 mi) along the coast to Port Renfrew. Situated on the south-western coast of Vancouver Island, a short drive from Victoria, it is a picturesque community with an abundance of charm and lots of things to do. Beachcombing on the sandy beach, whale watching, fishing and kayaking are just some of the activities you can do on the water. Go zip lining or diving. Sip a glass of wine at the Tugwell Creek Honey Farm and Meadery or a craft beer at the Sooke Brewing Company. Enjoy the creativity of the many artists through galleries, arts & craft studios and more. Visit Sooke Potholes Regional Park, located on the spectacular Sooke River. You can swim in the “potholes” – unique geological formations creating deep pools in the river rock – explore the short forest trails and enjoy the stunning vistas. West Coast wilderness awaits you at East Sooke Regional Park. Experience it as you hike along the windswept rocky coast, over dry hilltops, through dark rainforest to sheltered coves and marvel at the spectacular views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Olympic Mountains.
Located 38 km (24 mi) west of Victoria, a 40-minute drive along Highway 14 on Southern Vancouver Island.
Sooke is a village named after the T’Sou-ke Nation, a Coast Salish band that lived off the land and bountiful sea produce of the area. The name T’sou-ke is said to be that of a stickleback fish found at the mouth of the Sooke River.
In the early 1860s, gold-rush fever hit the area when a few precious nuggets were found inland at the confluence of the Sooke, Leech and Wolf rivers. A town of 3,000 sprang up but quickly waned as the gold finds were sparse.
In June 1990, the region celebrated the bi-centennial of the first European contact in these waters made by the Spaniards in 1790. A statue of Spanish commander Manuel Quimper was unveiled on a grassy point at the start of the Whiffin Spit breakwater and is a favorite spot for photographers.