As much as I’d love to explore more places in our beautiful province, I haven’t made it a priority of late. Work, family life, and endless kids’ birthday parties take up the majority of our calendar.
However, last week we were invited to visit the Sooke Point Ocean Cottage Resort on Vancouver Island. The first thing I did was look it up on the map, and then ask my wife if we could go. Not for permission (though it mostly was), but because she knows our weekend plans better than I do. After agreeing that it looks amazing and we should definitely go, we packed our little car and booked the ferry.
It turns out, that Sooke is home to some truly awesome breweries and even better views. The cottages are on a solid rock peninsula five metres from the sea, on the extreme southwest tip of Canada’s South Pacific.
Let’s start off with the resort. It may be still under construction, but there are plenty of completed cottages that are a whole new level of luxury. The large apartments have everything you could possibly want. Big beds, fancy kitchen, a fireplace and a big TV in each bedroom. While some of these amenities could be found in high-end hotels, what other places don’t have are the wall-to-wall floor-to-ceiling sliding windows. It feels like you’re on the bridge of a ship and are staring out on the Pacific Ocean.
There’s nothing between you and the wide blue horizon and it’s stunning. The sunsets in the evening, the storms rolling in from the west, and the eagles using the wind to glide over their prey are all within arms reach.
Next up are all the things to do in town, which is a 30-minute winding road away, but well worth spending the day exploring.
We checked out:
After a quick walk down to the Marine walkway and pier, we went straight into the Sooke Brewing Company. The bright red building can’t be missed and is a great spot to meet a few locals and fill up a growler with a new favourite IPA.
Just down the road from the Sooke Brewing Company is the Sheringham Distillery, who make their own gin from locally grown flowers, spices, and other ingredients. We got a tour around the wonderfully ornate chrome and copper equipment and tried everything they had been working on. We bought a bottle of the coffee liquor for pouring over ice cream or making a very grown-up espresso when we get home. I was excited to try the whiskey but they were all out. In fact, they’ll probably have to sell it on a lotto system as it’s so sort-after once available later in the year.
On our way out, the friendly host told us that she’s made up of about 80% Stick In The Mud coffee and we should head there next. So we did.
Oh, my word was she ever right. The coffee was perfect and the staff were great. It’s a cool spot to go and hang out, or just sit quietly and read the paper. Next stop, Bad Dog Brewing.
While we were sipping the ales at Bad Dog Brewing Company, a few people with Sooke Oceanside Brewing hoodies came in. Of course, my daughter instantly starts talking to them, shows them the dogs, and demonstrates how to run in circles. They were incredibly nice and so welcoming and told us that their friends run the Sooke Oceanside Brewery that’s in one of the bays of a local garage. So off we went with a message to say hi to Riley.
We said hi to Riley and she told us all about what they had to offer. The coffee beer had the locally brewed coffee beans from the Stick in the Mud Coffee shop. Yum!
Dating back to 1894, this is a historic landmark of the region. In the early 1900s, it became known as the 17 Mile House Pub, as it is located 17 miles from Victoria City Hall. It’s also home to a few ghost stories, but I kept those to myself while we were there.
By all accounts, it sounds like it was a bit of a boozy weekend. It was more of a taster of local coffee, local beer, local gin, and the local lifestyle. I loved it all and can’t wait to come back. Truthfully, this has reignited my dreams of exploring more of beautiful British Columbia and discovering the things that make each community amazing.
Where should I go next?