This charming seaside village is home to boating enthusiasts, artisans and an eclectic community of locals, some dwelling in floating residences. “The Bay,” as it’s known locally, also boasts a variety of marinas and an oceanfront hotel. The relaxed vibe and waterfront charm of main street is magnified by a selection of favourite foodie haunts, including a cheese shop, ice cream parlour, organic bakery and fish-and-chips restaurant. Walk the pier and visit the Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre. Serve aces on one of the oldest active lawn tennis courts in the world. Go whale-watching, view the paintings of internationally known artists, and take the kids to the Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre to enjoy the fun at the marine touch tables. Finish your visit off with a trip to the Rock Cod Cafe, featured on the Food Network’s TV series, You Gotta Eat Here.
Through the eyes of the travellers
Things To Do In Cowichan Bay
- Birdwatchers visit the Cowichan Bay Estuary at the mouth of the Koksilah and Cowichan Rivers to view some of more than 200 bird species that reside locally. Spring and fall are prime times to catch migratory birds as they travel the north-south Pacific Flyway.
- The kid-friendly Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre features historic exhibits, on-site boat restoration and displays by the Wooden Boat Society.
- Indulge in some retail, gallery and foodie therapy along the town’s waterfront main street.
- South Cowichan Tennis Club is second only to Wimbledon as the oldest active lawn-tennis court in the world.
- Go whale watching in a rigid hull boat on outings that are also sure to include sightings of all types of marine flora and fauna. Or head out into the bay in a sea kayak for eye-to-eye encounters with seals, cormorants, kingfishers and more.
- The village is famous for its dedication to local, fresh and sustainable food. The Spot Prawn Festival features music, cooking demos, tasty seafood and sales of live prawns.
- Join a fishing or sightseeing charter. Take a tour of the bay in a vintage captain’s gig. Or head out on a moonlight paddle across one of the Island’s most tranquil and scenic bodies of water.
- Sailing enthusiasts gather in the summer for a pair of long-time highlights of Vancouver Island’s nautical calendar: The Wooden Boat Society’s Boat Festival and the Cowichan Bay Sailing Association’s Cowichan Bay Regatta (the second-largest such sailing event on Canada’s West Coast).
- The knowledgeable volunteers at the Cowichan Estuary Interpretive Centre offer hands-on learning about the creatures that live in