Explore | Nanaimo, Port Renfrew, Sooke, Victoria

Last Friday my Dad and I took the drive from Nanaimo to Cowichan Lake out to Port Renfrew, back down to Victoria and up to Nanaimo again. We left at around 6:30 AM and got home around 4:00. Earlier I had driven to Port Renfrew and through some panic thought that the road was gravel. Much to my amazement it was actually paved, my mind had just remembered it the wrong way. It’s funny how that can happen sometimes. We used my Dad’s iPad as our map to track where we were going. 

IMG_3634 IMG_3637 IMG_3649 IMG_3651One stop that we made was the Harris Creek Spruce! It’s HUGE! It was a much deserved break while on the highway from Cowichan Lake to Port Renfrew. It’s a large Sitka Spruce located just off of the highway and so so worth stopping to see.
IMG_3658This is the view coming into Port Renfrew. We stopped on a bridge to get this shot. It was pretty foggy, which is not unusual for the west coast. The fog was rolling in in such a beautiful way. Both my Dad and I agreed that it would be really pretty to canoe in the summer when it’s warm out.

IMG_3660This is in Port Renfrew at their pier. We stopped here so my Dad could show me where him and my Mom went for dinner once.  Then we were on the road again to go from Port Renfrew to Sooke. Our next stop was French Beach. It is a spectacular beach on the west coast. The waves come in so big and they scrape back the rocks when the wave ebbs out. The sound it really magnificent, it’s so loud. My Dad found a really cool rock that was almost perfectly round. 

IMG_3677 IMG_3683 IMG_3685Our next stop was in Shirley, at a cafe called Shirley Delicious. This cafe is AMAZING! It is an oasis on the west coast. We had some of the best americanos that my Dad and I have ever had. The cafe is doing well for being seemingly ‘in the middle of no where’ I can definitely tell why. The owner and chef was so nice and you could tell that she really loved what she was doing and creating at her cafe. Her attention to detail and passion was clear. It is definitely a very special place to stop on the loop.

IMG_3689 IMG_3690We finally ended up making a couple more stops in downtown Victoria and then heading back up to Nanaimo. If you have a day to spend on Vancouver Island this is an awesome idea. You get a little bit of everything: lakes, trees, really big trees, mountains, ocean, rivers. It’s all here on Vancouver Island and I for one am so exited to keep on exploring!


~ Sarah


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