Cowichan Bay village is situated in a natural harbour near the mouth of the Cowichan and Koksilah Rivers. The bay has long been home to the Coast Salish people. European settlers arrived on the HMS Hecate in 1862. Cowichan Bay became a focus for the lumber and fishing industries with regular steamship arrivals.
Visitors to the village today will find a host of restaurants, hotels, B & B Guest Houses, gallerys and curio shops mixed in with the traditional working harbour. Kayaking, fishing, cruising and sailing are all popular activities. Whale watching and boat tours of the bay are popular in the summer as well.
Bird watching at the Cowichan Bay Estuary attracts many visitors. Rare shorebirds, rufous hummingbirds, yellow-headed blackbirds, feral mute swans and purple martins are just a few of the birds regularly seen. The Cowichan Bay Estuary, at the mouth of the Cowichan River, attracts over 200 species of migrant songbirds, shorebirds and waterfowl.
Over the past few years, several successful vineyard operations have been established in the Cowichan Valley. If you enjoy tasting local wines, tours of the local estate wineries are close to the village. The local area is also well-known for organic produce and naturally-raised livestock. Some of the local restaurants feature Cowichan Valley wines and food.
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