Cowichan Valley

#9 in Best Things To Do in Victoria & Vancouver Island
Cowichan Valley
Cowichan Valley
1 of 3
Andrea Johnson/Courtesy Tourism BC

Price & Hours

Prices vary by winery
Hours vary by winery

Details

Wineries/Breweries, Neighborhood/Area Type
More than Full Day Time to Spend

British Columbia is peppered with vineyards. To snag a taste of BC vino (and maybe even a few bottles to bring home), spend a day or two in the Cowichan Valley – second only to the Okanagan as the province's highest producing wine region. Occupying the heart of Vancouver Island – roughly 35 miles northwest of Victoria – the Cowichan Valley is home to a variety of different wineries and tasting rooms. The best way to get a feel for this part of the island is to stop at several vineyards for a tasting. Or, to participate in the region's annual wine festival, plan to visit in late August.

But wine isn't the only reason to visit this beautiful stretch of Vancouver Island. The Cowichan Valley is also home to golf courses, art galleries and plenty of hiking terrain. Many travel experts also recommend bringing a bike so that you can cover more ground without confining yourself to the car. Recent visitors recommended the Cowichan Valley Trail for cycling and hiking.

The Cowichan Valley is about 35 miles north of Victoria. If you've got your own set of wheels (and a day or two of wiggle room on your itinerary), many travel experts suggest you take the nearly 180-mile Pacific Marine Circle Route, which hugs the coastline from Victoria west to Port Renfrew before meandering into the forests of the Cowichan Lake area and the Cowichan Valley. There's also a more direct route via the Trans-Canada Highway that takes about 45 minutes. If you'd rather travel by boat, you can make your north way to Brentwood Bay (about 13 miles north of the Inner Harbour) and catch the Brentwood Bay/Mill Bay ferry to Cowichan. For more information on lodging, wineries and other things to do in the valley, visit the Tourism Cowichan website.

See all Hotels in Victoria & Vancouver Island »

More Best Things To Do in Victoria & Vancouver Island

Inner Harbour
The Butchart Gardens
Type
Time to Spend
1 of 16
#1 Inner Harbour

The Inner Harbour is Victoria's primary tourist neighborhood. The harbor itself – home to various fishing boats and colorful floating homes – is framed by wide pedestrian streets, often frequented by street vendors and buskers. Numerous cafes and restaurants line the sidewalks and provide the perfect locale to savor an afternoon cup of tea while keeping your eyes peeled for whales playing in the open water. The Inner Harbour also hosts some of Victoria's most popular attractions, including the Royal British Columbia Museum and the Parliament Buildings. If you're embarking on a boat or ferry tour, this is where you'll likely start your journey.

Read more
S. Greg Panosian/Getty Images
See full list of Best Things To Do in Victoria & Vancouver Island »

Explore More of Victoria & Vancouver Island

Recommended

15 Scenic Train Rides to Add to Your Bucket List

Climb aboard these locomotives for jaw-dropping views.

Christine SmithMarch 26, 2019

13 Top Places to Visit in Tuscany, Italy

Ditch the crowded streets of Rome or Milan and head to Italy's picturesque countryside.

Lyn MettlerMarch 25, 2019

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019

15 Epic Outdoor Adventures to Enjoy Across America

Plan an unforgettable trip in your own backyard or on the opposite coast.

Will WalkeyMarch 12, 2019

The 30 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

Explore the globe in search of these intriguing historic sights.

Gwen PratesiMarch 11, 2019

The 50 Best Hotels in the USA 2019

U.S. News ranked 3,877 top properties for 2019. Check out the 50 best.

Zach WatsonFebruary 5, 2019

30 Hot New Hotels to Check Out in 2019

See which new properties offer surprising and fun features.

Lyn MettlerFebruary 5, 2019

10 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in the USA

Go all-in for these luxe resorts flush with amenities.

Will WalkeyFebruary 5, 2019

The Caribbean Comeback: 12 New and Renovated Caribbean Hotels to Visit

These island properties are sure to impress travelers.

Erin ShieldsFebruary 5, 2019

17 Amazing Kid-Friendly Hotels

Discover which properties offer ample amenities for children.

Christine SmithFebruary 5, 2019