Sooke is the southern-most gateway to Canada's authentic west coast, located 60 minutes from Victoria's Inner Harbour.
The great outdoors is the focus here for those eager to refresh themselves in nature. The to-do list is topped by sport fishing, surfing, hiking along the remarkable Galloping Goose and Juan de Fuca trails, whale watching, mountain biking, and bird watching. Sooke also boasts a strong arts community.
The authentic west coast referred to here is not the part of the coast shaped by the open Pacific and associated with Tofino and Ucluelet, 135 nautical miles to the north. This is the just-as-rugged and tempestuous coastline that faces the Juan de Fuca Strait and the US beyond it. China Beach, where one gets the first real taste of the area's wild side, is smaller than Long Beach, but the sand is soft, the headlands dramatic and the view of the Olympic range is lovely.