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Cowichan Bay
Travel Guide

Visit this pretty bayside village to find a fantastic local culinary scene, artists’ workshops and a long maritime history.

The seaside village of Cowichan Bay looks into a scenic inlet on the southeast coast of Vancouver Island. The small community is known for fine local produce and artisan workshops. Stroll down the village’s seafront promenade and visit a café or studio or head onto the water in a kayak or boat. Spot whales in the beautiful bay and enjoy local wines and cheeses from Vancouver Island.

Walk along the waterfront and see the collection of charming shops and cafés fringing the shore. Visit artisanal bakers, ceramicists, cheese-makers, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor and several restaurants. Spot the gently waving masts of the ships docked in the marina. Cowichan Bay, once a busy deep-water port, is still occasionally frequented by tankers and container ships.

Explore the Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre and walk onto its scenic wooden boardwalk. Here, you’ll find the Cowichan Wooden Boat Society, dedicated to the preservation of the town’s long tradition of boatbuilding.

Join a whale-watching or scenic boat tour for a fascinating insight into the waters around Vancouver Island. You might see humpback whales, orcas, seals and sea lions streaking through the water below your boat and bald eagles flying overhead. Alternatively, rent a kayak and explore the coastal waters or the mouth of the Cowichan River. Join guided tours or cruise along the coastline at your own pace.

Look for morning birds at Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre at Hecate Park. Then head to the village’s waterfront pub for a relaxing lunch and drinks. Appreciate stunning views of the bay and surrounding hillsides while you sample local seafood and regional wines. Looking north, you’ll see Mount Tzouhalem and its forest reserves.

Cowichan Bay is on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, a 1-hour drive north of Victoria and the same distance south of Nanaimo. Reach Victoria by ferry from Tsawwassen, Anacortes or Port Angeles. Nanaimo Airport is located in Cassidy.

Top hotels in Cowichan Bay

Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay
Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay
3 out of 5
1681 Cowichan Bay Rd, Cowichan Bay, BC
The price is £79 per night from 21 Mar to 22 Mar

Situated on the waterfront, this spa hotel is within 9 mi (15 km) of Arbutus Ridge Golf Club, Vancouver Island University-Cowichan Campus and Merridale Estate ...

4/5Very Good! (664 reviews)

"Nice waterfront views and nice big suites. We did find that the bathroom needed updating though. There were spots in the ceiling were the paint had flaked off and moisture spots as well. Comfortable bed and having a full kitchen was nice."…"

Reviewed on 15 Feb 2021

Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay
Wessex Inn By The Sea
Wessex Inn By The Sea
2 out of 5
1846 Cowichan Bay Rd., Cowichan Bay, BC
The price is £72 per night from 13 Mar to 14 Mar

Situated by the ocean, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre, Cowichan Wooden Boat Society and Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre. ...

3.9/5Good! (279 reviews)
Friendly staff, great location

"Great owners and staff, they really want you to enjoy your stay. Also, it's a wonderful location. Only negative is the thin walls as it is an older building."…"

Reviewed on 6 Sep 2020

Wessex Inn By The Sea
Custom Built Log Cabin 5 Minutes Walk From the Ocean
Custom Built Log Cabin 5 Minutes Walk From the Ocean
1109 Paradise Close, Cowichan Bay, BC
Get Rates

Situated by the ocean, this romantic cabin is within 3 miles (5 km) of Arthur Vickers Gallery, Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre and Cowichan Wooden Boat Society. ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (60 reviews)
Romantic getaway

"This spot provided us the perfect getaway- time for cozy fires, long baths and sleeping in with the snow blanketing the forest just outside the doors. Perfect. Thank you both and looking forward to returning!"…"

Reviewed on 27 Feb 2021

Custom Built Log Cabin 5 Minutes Walk From the Ocean
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Top Holiday Rentals in Cowichan Bay

Custom Built Log Cabin 5 Minutes Walk From the Ocean
Custom Built Log Cabin 5 Minutes Walk From the Ocean
1109 Paradise Close, Cowichan Bay, BC

Situated by the ocean, this romantic cabin is within 3 miles (5 km) of Arthur Vickers Gallery, Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre and Cowichan Wooden Boat Society. ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (60 reviews)
Romantic getaway

"This spot provided us the perfect getaway- time for cozy fires, long baths and sleeping in with the snow blanketing the forest just outside the doors. Perfect. Thank you both and looking forward to returning!"…"

Reviewed on 27 Feb 2021

Custom Built Log Cabin 5 Minutes Walk From the Ocean
Spacious Ocean View home, walking distance to Cowichan Village and heron rookery
Spacious Ocean View home, walking distance to Cowichan Village and heron rookery
1859 Wessex Rd, Cowichan Bay, BC

Located in the heart of Cowichan Bay, this holiday home is within a 10-minute walk of Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre, Cowichan Wooden Boat Society and Cowichan ...

5/5Exceptional! (4 reviews)
Excellent in all ways

"Property was just as described. The owner understands hospitality. I would certainly go back again"…"

Reviewed on 22 Aug 2019

Spacious Ocean View home, walking distance to Cowichan Village and heron rookery
Cusheon Lake Resort
Cusheon Lake Resort
3 out of 5
171 Natalie Lane, Salt Spring Island, BC

This Salt Spring Island cabin is on the beach, 1.5 mi (2.5 km) from Cusheon Lake, and within 6 mi (10 km) of Fulford Harbour Terminal and Ganges Marina. Saltspring ...

4.8/5Exceptional! (101 reviews)

"Beautiful location, loved canoeing on the lake. Would recommend."…"

Reviewed on 2 Mar 2021

Cusheon Lake Resort
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Cowichan Bay

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Reviews of Cowichan Bay

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Top Destination

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Verified traveller

29 Aug 2019

Beautiful spot!

Cities near Cowichan Bay