Shannon’s guidebook

Shannon

Shannon’s guidebook

Vineyards and Wine Tasting
Very nice wine, good food in a very pleasant ambience. Lovely location with beautiful vistas of the property. Nice and close too, 5-7 minutes by car.
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Unsworth Vineyards
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Very nice wine, good food in a very pleasant ambience. Lovely location with beautiful vistas of the property. Nice and close too, 5-7 minutes by car.
Another lovely venue with yummy wine and live music on the weekends! Pretty close to my place: 7-10 minutes by car.
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Enrico Winery
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Another lovely venue with yummy wine and live music on the weekends! Pretty close to my place: 7-10 minutes by car.
Fabulous architecture in the main tasting area of this vineyard. About 10-15 minutes by car from my place.
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Blue Grouse Estate Winery
4365 Blue Grouse Rd
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Fabulous architecture in the main tasting area of this vineyard. About 10-15 minutes by car from my place.
Such a pretty place with outstanding views of the valley. This vineyard it the furtherest out, at about 20 to 25 minutes away by car.
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Averill Creek Vineyard
6552 N Rd
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Such a pretty place with outstanding views of the valley. This vineyard it the furtherest out, at about 20 to 25 minutes away by car.
Lakes
Beaches, swimming, a cute little village with coffee shops, and restaurants. A short 10 minute drive.
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Shawnigan Lake
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Beaches, swimming, a cute little village with coffee shops, and restaurants. A short 10 minute drive.
Cowichan Lake is a beautiful 30km long lake located in the Cowichan Valley, popular for swimming, boating and fishing. It is also where the Cowichan River starts, providing another fun activity – tubing down the river!
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Lake Cowichan
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Cowichan Lake is a beautiful 30km long lake located in the Cowichan Valley, popular for swimming, boating and fishing. It is also where the Cowichan River starts, providing another fun activity – tubing down the river!
Food scene
Walking distance to this local favourite restaurant at the Mill Bay Marina. It is a 1.6km walk and 90 seconds by car. :o) Good food and daily drinks specials.
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Bridgemans Bistro
740 Handy Rd
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Walking distance to this local favourite restaurant at the Mill Bay Marina. It is a 1.6km walk and 90 seconds by car. :o) Good food and daily drinks specials.
They make a great drip coffee and the baked goodies are fresh daily. A 20 minute walk or 90 seconds by car.
Bru-Go's Coffee
2720 Mill Bay Rd
They make a great drip coffee and the baked goodies are fresh daily. A 20 minute walk or 90 seconds by car.
Another great local coffee shop with yummy baking and a nice patio for sunny days. A 20 minute walk or a 2 minute by car from my house.
Rusticana Coffee
803 Deloume Rd
Another great local coffee shop with yummy baking and a nice patio for sunny days. A 20 minute walk or a 2 minute by car from my house.
Award winning food, view of the water and wonderful service. Can not good wrong here. Must have a car- 15 minutes drive from my place
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Cow Cafe
1765 Cowichan Bay Rd
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Award winning food, view of the water and wonderful service. Can not good wrong here. Must have a car- 15 minutes drive from my place
A more formal dining experience. The price tags for the main dishes are a bit hefty but the food is worth every penny. Delicious! Pretty darn good wine list too! On the water, so the view is pretty. It's drive of about 15 minutes, parking is tight though so leave yourself enough time if you have made reservations.
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The Masthead Restaurant
1705 Cowichan Bay Rd
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A more formal dining experience. The price tags for the main dishes are a bit hefty but the food is worth every penny. Delicious! Pretty darn good wine list too! On the water, so the view is pretty. It's drive of about 15 minutes, parking is tight though so leave yourself enough time if you have made reservations.
To visit this restaurant, it requires a ferry ride across the Saanich Inlet. The ferry departure is about 7 minutes from my house and it's a 25 minute crossing. It's a beautiful, scenic boat ride and you can choose to dine in the pub or the formal dining room where reservations are recommended.
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Brentwood Bay Resort
849 Verdier Ave
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To visit this restaurant, it requires a ferry ride across the Saanich Inlet. The ferry departure is about 7 minutes from my house and it's a 25 minute crossing. It's a beautiful, scenic boat ride and you can choose to dine in the pub or the formal dining room where reservations are recommended.
A local favourite pizza place. They deliver too, in case you want to snuggle in for the evening. It's about 15 minutes away by car. Location is on the highway, so not exactly a charming place but the pizza is good!
Moo's Pizza
3345 Trans-Canada Highway
A local favourite pizza place. They deliver too, in case you want to snuggle in for the evening. It's about 15 minutes away by car. Location is on the highway, so not exactly a charming place but the pizza is good!
Some of the best crab cakes ever and it's on the water so views are lovely! Another Brentwood Bay gem, so catch the ferry over on the Mill Bay side and relax and enjoy the 25 minute crossing. Map: https://bit.ly/3kqtGGS
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Blue's Bayou Cafe
899 Marchant Road
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Some of the best crab cakes ever and it's on the water so views are lovely! Another Brentwood Bay gem, so catch the ferry over on the Mill Bay side and relax and enjoy the 25 minute crossing. Map: https://bit.ly/3kqtGGS
The views are spectacular and that's the reason to go. The eyes are feasting on the vistas, if you catch my drift....
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Malahat Chalet
265 Trans-Canada Hwy
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The views are spectacular and that's the reason to go. The eyes are feasting on the vistas, if you catch my drift....
A must go. A delightful english tudor style pub, quaint and cozy with good hardy food one would expect from a pub that was set in the english country side. It's a bit of a journey as it is just south of Nanaimo but worth the 50 minute drive.
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The Crow & Gate Pub, Nanaimo
2313 Yellow Point Rd
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A must go. A delightful english tudor style pub, quaint and cozy with good hardy food one would expect from a pub that was set in the english country side. It's a bit of a journey as it is just south of Nanaimo but worth the 50 minute drive.
City/town information
A lovely seaside town on the east side of the Saanich Inlet. Lots of restaurants to try. Rent a paddle board or a kayak at Pacific Paddle and explore the nearby waters. It's a 25 ferry ride over from the Mill Bay side.
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Brentwood Bay
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A lovely seaside town on the east side of the Saanich Inlet. Lots of restaurants to try. Rent a paddle board or a kayak at Pacific Paddle and explore the nearby waters. It's a 25 ferry ride over from the Mill Bay side.
A must visit, Cowichan Bay offers a wide choice in restaurants, shopping and general sight seeing. A trendy little place that is a very popular destination in summer and that also means parking is challenging.
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Cowichan Bay
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A must visit, Cowichan Bay offers a wide choice in restaurants, shopping and general sight seeing. A trendy little place that is a very popular destination in summer and that also means parking is challenging.
A lake side community about 10-15 minutes by car from my place. A very popular destination in the summer time as there are 3 or 4 beaches and nearby parks.
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Shawnigan Lake
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A lake side community about 10-15 minutes by car from my place. A very popular destination in the summer time as there are 3 or 4 beaches and nearby parks.
The closest city to Mill Bay, as it is 20 minutes by car from my house. Duncan has all the amenities that one would expect from a city.
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Duncan
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The closest city to Mill Bay, as it is 20 minutes by car from my house. Duncan has all the amenities that one would expect from a city.
Beautiful Victoria has it all and it's only a 30 minute drive from Mill Bay. It is a visually stunning harbour city with so much to do. Check out Fisherman's Wharf, ride a pickle boat or go for high tea at the Empress Hotel. You are sure to have fun.
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Victoria
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Beautiful Victoria has it all and it's only a 30 minute drive from Mill Bay. It is a visually stunning harbour city with so much to do. Check out Fisherman's Wharf, ride a pickle boat or go for high tea at the Empress Hotel. You are sure to have fun.
Sightseeing
World Famous Butchart Gardens, open all year around. A must see. It's near Brentwood Bay so you can either take the ferry over or drive about 40 minutes. I vote for the ferry, it's way more fun and relaxing and once the ferry has landed it's just 5 minutes to Butchart Gardens.
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The Butchart Gardens
800 Benvenuto Ave
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World Famous Butchart Gardens, open all year around. A must see. It's near Brentwood Bay so you can either take the ferry over or drive about 40 minutes. I vote for the ferry, it's way more fun and relaxing and once the ferry has landed it's just 5 minutes to Butchart Gardens.
Panoramic Views stretching beyond the Saanich Inlet and the Saanich Peninsula to the Olympic Mountains, stateside.
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Malahat SkyWalk
901 Trans-Canada Highway
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Panoramic Views stretching beyond the Saanich Inlet and the Saanich Peninsula to the Olympic Mountains, stateside.
A nice 1.6km walk to the Marina, stop in at the Bridgeman's Bistro for a snack and/or drink before returning home.
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Mill Bay Marina
740 Handy Rd
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A nice 1.6km walk to the Marina, stop in at the Bridgeman's Bistro for a snack and/or drink before returning home.
Activities
A nice forest walk in the over a trestle bridge, or take your bike. A popular year round activity.
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Kinsol Trestle
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A nice forest walk in the over a trestle bridge, or take your bike. A popular year round activity.
Get out on the water and explore the region by boat. The wildlife is amazing: orcas, seals, sea lions, eagles, herons....take your camera!
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Ocean Ecoventures Whale Watching
1721 Cowichan Bay Rd
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Get out on the water and explore the region by boat. The wildlife is amazing: orcas, seals, sea lions, eagles, herons....take your camera!
Just a short jaunt away at the Mill Bay marina, rent a kayak or paddle board and venture out into our bay. This summer my husband and I ran into a pod of 3 orcas! Wow is all I can say.
Blue Dog Kayaking
740 Handy Rd
Just a short jaunt away at the Mill Bay marina, rent a kayak or paddle board and venture out into our bay. This summer my husband and I ran into a pod of 3 orcas! Wow is all I can say.
Yes we have a cricket club.....Never understood the rules. Perhaps you do? :O)
Cowichan Cricket and Sports Club
1722 Elford Rd
Yes we have a cricket club.....Never understood the rules. Perhaps you do? :O)
There is a waterfront pub, marina, and 4 pickleball courts for those of you who are into the fastest growing sport in the WORLD! And one tennis court for the hold outs. 30 minutes from my place.
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Maple Bay
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There is a waterfront pub, marina, and 4 pickleball courts for those of you who are into the fastest growing sport in the WORLD! And one tennis court for the hold outs. 30 minutes from my place.
Platforms high above your head. Dozens of zip lines streaking through the trees. Gravity-powered plummets that make your heart race. A giant swing so fast it blurs your vision, and more suspended ladders, bridges, nets, and obstacle games than you can count. This is where adventure lives. This is WildPlay. All this excitement just 25 minutes from my place! There is a Wildplay in Nanaimo as well.
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Wildplay Element Parks West Shore Victoria
1767 Island Highway
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Platforms high above your head. Dozens of zip lines streaking through the trees. Gravity-powered plummets that make your heart race. A giant swing so fast it blurs your vision, and more suspended ladders, bridges, nets, and obstacle games than you can count. This is where adventure lives. This is WildPlay. All this excitement just 25 minutes from my place! There is a Wildplay in Nanaimo as well.
In the neighbourhood, 7 minutes by car, go for a nice stroll through the forest on to the beach.
Mill Bay Nature Park
In the neighbourhood, 7 minutes by car, go for a nice stroll through the forest on to the beach.
Hiking
One of the best ways to experience this yourself is to spend a day on the “yellow” and “blue” trail loop. This 10km trail skirts the east flanks of the mountain providing stunning views of the Sansum Narrows that flows between Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island. Be prepared to experience flora and fauna that will fascinate any hiker. Keep your eyes open especially for the Bald Eagles that sit atop the coastal trees watching for a quick snack. Then in the water you might be treated by a visit from a playful seal or if you are lucky enough a pod of Orcas swimming by. The trailhead for the Blue Yellow loop is best accessed at the cul de sac at the end of Maple Mountain RD in Maple Bay.
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Maple Mountain
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One of the best ways to experience this yourself is to spend a day on the “yellow” and “blue” trail loop. This 10km trail skirts the east flanks of the mountain providing stunning views of the Sansum Narrows that flows between Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island. Be prepared to experience flora and fauna that will fascinate any hiker. Keep your eyes open especially for the Bald Eagles that sit atop the coastal trees watching for a quick snack. Then in the water you might be treated by a visit from a playful seal or if you are lucky enough a pod of Orcas swimming by. The trailhead for the Blue Yellow loop is best accessed at the cul de sac at the end of Maple Mountain RD in Maple Bay.
Mt Tzouhalem or “Mt Zoo” as the locals like to call it is likely the most active and frequented hiking destination in the region. The mountain is sought out for it’s unique shape of sheer cliffs on the southern flanks that overlook Cowichan Bay and beyond. Foremost, it should be noted that this location is very popular with the mountain bike community sharing many mixed-use trails with hikers. Always be aware of riders that may be coming down the mountain at fast speeds or coming up behind you. The mountain is a very friendly place between the different user groups and people are always very helpful to offer trail advice and directions. Hiking on the mountain has many options for one to explore. Most hikers are determined to head right to the top to get to the Chase Woods Nature Conservancy of Canada Sanctuary. The goal is to visit the large cross perched on the edge of the cliffs that overlook the valley below. Other hikers head to the mountain to visit the BC Parks Ecological reserve established in 1984. This ecological area was created to protect the endangered Gary Oak stand that is on the mountainside in this spot. This species of tree has but only 5% of its original natural habitat remaining in Canada. Also notable is the beautiful wildflowers that grow throughout the stand. Mt Tzouhalem is a very trail dense area so plan your route, take a map and don’t be afraid to ask the always friendly locals for directions and even their favorite spot to explore.
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Mount Tzouhalem
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Mt Tzouhalem or “Mt Zoo” as the locals like to call it is likely the most active and frequented hiking destination in the region. The mountain is sought out for it’s unique shape of sheer cliffs on the southern flanks that overlook Cowichan Bay and beyond. Foremost, it should be noted that this location is very popular with the mountain bike community sharing many mixed-use trails with hikers. Always be aware of riders that may be coming down the mountain at fast speeds or coming up behind you. The mountain is a very friendly place between the different user groups and people are always very helpful to offer trail advice and directions. Hiking on the mountain has many options for one to explore. Most hikers are determined to head right to the top to get to the Chase Woods Nature Conservancy of Canada Sanctuary. The goal is to visit the large cross perched on the edge of the cliffs that overlook the valley below. Other hikers head to the mountain to visit the BC Parks Ecological reserve established in 1984. This ecological area was created to protect the endangered Gary Oak stand that is on the mountainside in this spot. This species of tree has but only 5% of its original natural habitat remaining in Canada. Also notable is the beautiful wildflowers that grow throughout the stand. Mt Tzouhalem is a very trail dense area so plan your route, take a map and don’t be afraid to ask the always friendly locals for directions and even their favorite spot to explore.
This hidden little gem is located in the Oceanside community of Saltair between the towns of Chemainus and Ladysmith. Tucked off Chemainus Rd you drive down into the Stocking Creek River parking area where your short hike suitable for all ages awaits you. You will hike down the trail and shortly thereafter cross the bridge over Stocking Creek. Once over the creek make a right hand turn following the path to the well built stairs and boardwalk that overlook these amazing falls. Best experienced in Spring when rivers are full from recent rain and mountain snow runoff has begun. Although anytime of year is fun to enjoy the falls.
Stocking Creek Waterfall
This hidden little gem is located in the Oceanside community of Saltair between the towns of Chemainus and Ladysmith. Tucked off Chemainus Rd you drive down into the Stocking Creek River parking area where your short hike suitable for all ages awaits you. You will hike down the trail and shortly thereafter cross the bridge over Stocking Creek. Once over the creek make a right hand turn following the path to the well built stairs and boardwalk that overlook these amazing falls. Best experienced in Spring when rivers are full from recent rain and mountain snow runoff has begun. Although anytime of year is fun to enjoy the falls.
This short but rewarding trail provides amazing views from high on top of the bluffs of Sansum Narrows nestled between Maple Bay and Cowichan Bay. Heading south from Maple Bay on Genoa Bay road you will turn left onto the newly built Stoney Hill road. Follow the road up until you reach the parking lot on the right and the trailhead begins immediately from the roadside. The trail is just under 3.5km and is a spectacular loop. Views that showcase the beauty of the Pacific Northwest await you along the craggy hillside. With the waters of the ocean far below, gulf island in distance and mountainous terrain all around you will be at ease in the embrace of nature. As with the Maple Mountain trail watch for all types of wildlife especially whales that navigate the narrows below.
Stoney Hill Trailhead
This short but rewarding trail provides amazing views from high on top of the bluffs of Sansum Narrows nestled between Maple Bay and Cowichan Bay. Heading south from Maple Bay on Genoa Bay road you will turn left onto the newly built Stoney Hill road. Follow the road up until you reach the parking lot on the right and the trailhead begins immediately from the roadside. The trail is just under 3.5km and is a spectacular loop. Views that showcase the beauty of the Pacific Northwest await you along the craggy hillside. With the waters of the ocean far below, gulf island in distance and mountainous terrain all around you will be at ease in the embrace of nature. As with the Maple Mountain trail watch for all types of wildlife especially whales that navigate the narrows below.