The West Shore is composed of the communities of Colwood, Langford, View Royal, Metchosin, and the Highlands. This must-see region lies to the west of Victoria, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island from Esquimalt Harbour to rocky Point along the shore of Juan de Fuca Strait which leads out to the Pacific Ocean.
To help you plan your trip, we've put together some of our favourites including family-friendly things to do and unique accommodation options. Here are seven ways that you can enjoy Victoria's West Shore this summer.
1. Be Adventurous
Your adventurous soul will find no shortage of activities to get your adrenaline pumping. Embark on an aerial adventure at WildPlay Element Parks, where you'll make your way through a series of tree-top obstacles and zip lines, or hop on a dirt bike at the West Shore Motocross Park.
If gaming is your kind of adventure, head to the View Royal Casino and choose from more than 500 slot machines and a ton of games. Tip: the casino offers a shuttle service for a nominal fee, so you won't have to drive. Catch the shuttle from downtown Victoria at the new Capital City Station.
2. Hike, Bike & Get Out on the Water
For a breath of fresh air, choose from the CRD Regional Trails network which includes over 80 kilometers of multi-use pathways. Whether you're running, walking or biking along the trails, these trails will take you anywhere from urban sites through rolling farmland, along oceans, and through parks. If you feel like adventuring with a guide, check out the CRD Regional Parks Nature Outings.
Rent a bike from TREK Bicycle Store of Victoria, located right on the Galloping Goose Regional Trail at the Gorge, and enjoy a day of biking out to the WestShore and back from downtown.
3. Enjoy a Round of Golf
Home to several world-class golf courses, the West Shore is undeniably a golfer's paradise. Book a round at the Arnold Palmer-designed Bear Mountain Golf Course (they're hosting this year's Pacific Links Championship in September 2016 with a $2.5 million prize purse), Highland Pacific Golf or Olympic View Golf Course, and enjoy a relaxing round surrounded by wilderness.
4. Opt for Family Fun at City Centre Park
Spend the day with your family at City Centre Park, a state of the art recreation facility where you can choose from a variety of sports such as mini-golf, floor hockey, and bowling. Hit the splash park when you're ready to cool down, and then stick around to watch a hockey game at the indoor arena or a junior football game at the Westhills Stadium. Fun fact: It's Rugby Canada's home stadium.
Image: A Junior Football game at Westhills Stadium
5. Immerse Yourself in Local History
Possibly one of the most scenic attractions in all of Victoria is Hatley Park National Historic Site, located at Royal Roads University. It's one of the few Edwardian estates in Canada that still has its key structural elements intact. Here, you'll explore the beautiful Hatley Castle and surrounding gardens.
After your visit to Hatley Park, head over to Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites. A former west coast artillery fortress that was on active duty from 1895 to 1956, Fort Rodd Hill still houses many original early 19th century buildings. Take a guided walking tour to learn about the history of the site and pay a visit to Fisgard Lighthouse - the oldest lighthouse on Western Canada's coastline.
6. Visit the Public Art Gallery
Stop by the West Shore's public gallery: the Coast Collective Arts Centre, where you'll find handmade works that celebrate the artistry and craftsmanship of southern Vancouver Island. The gallery promotes arts and culture and showcases the work of both emerging and established Canadian artists and artisans. Tip: all of the artwork on display is for sale!
7. Stay the Night
Whether you're into resort-style luxury or west coast glamping, the WestShore offers a wide range of unique overnight options. For a room with a view, book a suite at Moon Water Lodge & Malahat Chalet on the Malahat or the Westin Bear Mountain.
If you plan on booking a fishing excursion for your WestShore adventure and want to stay right by the water, choose oTENTIK at Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse or Pedder Bay RV Resort. Another great option is the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Victoria-Colwood, which is conveniently located right next door to the Coast Collective Art Gallery.
If you've already booked your accommodation and still want to visit the WestShore, fear not. Wilson's Transportation offers a WestShore Express Shuttle that will get you to and from downtown Victoria with no fuss.
Still looking for more ideas? Check out our blog post on family-friendly activities in the West Shore and three ways to explore the West Shore by bike. You can also visit our things to do page and the online calendar of events to see what's happening in Victoria.