Sunny weather, lazy days, sprawling beaches, and all the BC wine you can drink. That’s summer in the Cowichan region, the only question is – have you booked your trip yet?

If you’re dreaming about a slow-paced and down-to-earth getaway, look no further than Vancouver Island’s Cowichan region. You’ve got sandy beaches, art galleries and studios, sprawling vineyards, and all the phone-free time you can stomach – which we highly recommend! 

Here are 5 reasons to plan a trip to Cowichan this summer, and everything you can get up to while you’re there.

Wining And Dining 

Photo via Cowichan

Wine o‘clock anyone? Cowichan has held the title of BC’s official wine region since 2020. With 13 different wineries to explore, you can’t plan a trip to Cowichan without stopping for a few tastings. 

Blue Grouse Estate Winery has stunning vineyard views and a charming tasting room. 

Unsworth Vineyards Restaurant is your place for unique culinary experiences, with farm-to-table dishes to go with their wines. 

Averill Creek Vineyard is as picturesque as it gets. Taste their award-winning wines amidst a backdrop of rolling hills on their garden terrace.

The Great Outdoors

Photo via Cowichan

Of course, like any destination on Vancouver Island, the postcard-worthy nature speaks for itself. 

The Malahat Skywalk serves up stunning panoramic views you’ve got to see to believe. Gaze over the surrounding forests and coastline from the soaring observation platform – we hope you’re not afraid of heights! 

Ocean Ecoventures offers whale-watching tours in Cowichan Bay, where knowledgeable guides lead expeditions to spot orcas, humpback whales, and other marine wildlife. 

Sealegs Kayaking in Ladysmith offers kayaks, canoes, or stand-up paddleboards to rent. Take them for a spin or sign up for a guided tour of Cowichan Bay’s pristine waters. What better way to see it than up close and personal?

Local Culture

Photo via Tourism Cowichan

There’s more than just beautiful beaches to explore! Experience Cowichan’s vibrant arts and culture scene while you’re there for a screen-free vacation that never compromises on fun. 

Chemainus Theatre Festival offers world-class performances in the picturesque seaside town of Chemainus. See what productions are playing when you plan your visit!

Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre showcases traditional boat-building techniques and maritime history. You can even sign up for a wooden boat-building course that’s offered for adults and children in the on-site workshop.

BC Forest Discovery Centre in Duncan is an open-air museum with a fully working railway! Stop by, wander the trails, and learn about BC’s forest industry through exhibits, heritage buildings, and logging artifacts. 

Galleries And Studios

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Spend the day wandering through eclectic galleries and studios showcasing the works of talented local artisans. Best kind of souvenir if you ask us!

Imagine That! Artisans’ Designs is a shop in downtown Duncan that features a diverse collection of handcrafted jewelry, ceramics, and textiles for purchase.

Aquamaris Art Gallery focuses on contemporary Canadian fine art and proudly represents some of the region’s best artists. Check it out if you’re passing through Duncan. 

Cowichan Public Art Gallery in Duncan strives to be a world-class public art gallery in the Cowichan Valley. They host international, national, and local art exhibitions. 

Unique Stays

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Sure, you could always camp, but how nice is it to get the full vacation experience at a beautiful farm stay or rustic lodge retreat? Although, we did include a more adventurous option too…

Raven Point Inn and Marina is a quaint seaside perched right along the marina overlooking Ladysmith. Just imagine waking up to the gentle sounds of the ocean!

Homestead at Wildwood is private, rustic, and perfect for the outdoorsy! It’s right along a lake, so it’s perfect for kayaking, fishing, and enjoying the balmy island weather while learning about a working ecoforest.. 

Cowichan River Wilderness Lodge is a rustic retreat nestled along the banks of the Cowichan River. They offer guided fishing excursions and outdoor adventures.

Base Camp Adventure Rentals really takes you up on your wild side. Experience the Cowichan region as a nomad in a vintage Westfalia camper van! It’s the freedom of van life – just not forever.

Who’s ready for a summer vacation?