The Village of Cowichan Bay is the historic gateway to the Cowichan Valley. In the days when water transportation dominated, Cowichan Bay served as the valley’s “front-door”. The bay has long been home to the Coast Salish people, and Cowichan translates as ‘the warmlands’ in the local first-nations language. The name is appropriate as the valley enjoys the warmest & most comfortable winter climate in all of Canada.
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.