Hotel at a Glance: Ocean Wilderness Inn
Before opening Ocean Wilderness Inn, Lori and Andy stayed at more than 80 inns, where they learned the ins and outs of professional hosting. Their experiences inspired them to stock the their inn with thoughtful amenities, including free WiFi and a cliffside hot tub that looks out onto the Pacific Ocean.
- Award winner: Guests raved about the inn's picturesque location on TripAdvisor, earning it a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2013.
- Wineglasses and corkscrews are in every guest room so you can easily sample the region's award-winning wines.
- Scenery and privacy: Carmanah and Raven rooms overlook the garden and forest and have private bathrooms; Playa del Norte room overlooks ocean and gardens.
- How to get to the ocean: Follow a wooded trail to a secluded beach just below the inn.
- Friend to the earth: The inn has an energy-efficient furnace and active recycling and composting programs.
Sooke, British Columbia: Rugged Seaside Bluffs and Rich History
The seaside township of Sooke is located on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, about 45 minutes west of downtown Victoria. It's worth it to explore the rocky coastline by boat. One way to do that is by taking a whale-watching tour. From May to October, you can cruise through nearby inlets and you'll get the opportunity to see orca and humpback whales as well as seals, sea lions, and dolphins.
You can also get a look at the region's tide pools and pine-tree-covered bluffs at a number of nearby provincial and regional parks, including East Sooke and Juan de Fuca. Sooke Potholes is among the most popular parks in summer, when kids come to cannonball into its swimming holes.
Back in town, the Sooke Region Museum sheds light on local history, from the First Nations—Canada’s aboriginal peoples—to loggers. Alternatively, the Royal BC Museum in Victoria features totem poles that rise above Thunderbird Park while a reconstructed wooly mammoth models the latest tuskwear.