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Exploring the Wild Side of Port Renfrew

Posted on July 3, 2016


Port Renfrew is a small town on the west coast of Vancouver that has been home to tall trees, deep roots and families for generations. Approximately 2 hours' drive west of Victoria, Port Renfrew is the perfect place to go wild: go off the grid and unwind, surrounded by ancient forests and rugged coastline.

Port Renfrew's growing outdoor recreation and eco-tourism options has brought with it new places to eat, drink and stay in wild style. What hasn't changed is the small-town experience and easy access to the natural world. There's never been a better time to explore your wild side!

Wild Activities

Locals and the Ancient Forest Alliance worked hard to locate and preserve some of North America's largest trees located around Port Renfrew. This preservation is paying off as people from all over the world can now experience the "Big Trees Capital of Canada." Among these is the world's largest Douglas fir - the Red Creek fir - and Canada's biggest spruce - the San Juan Sitka spruce.


Don't miss nearby Avatar Grove, a unique clutch of old growth in the Gordon River Valley. Keep an eye out for "Canada's Gnarliest Tree" - a whimsical knot of twisted cedar. A magical place to peace out and leave your real-world avatar behind.

In addition to some serious rainforest skyscrapers, Port Renfrew is filled with adventure options that encompass every outdoor enthusiast's needs. Major national and regional parkland in and around Port Renfrew includes Juan de Fuca Provincial Park (extending from China Beach to Botanical Beach and site of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail), Pacific Rim National Park Reserve (site of the West Coast Trail) and Carmanah Walbran Provincial Park.

Spectacular beaches define Port Renfrew and the village is entry to kilometres of unrivaled coastline. Sandy, pebbled, or piled with driftwood, they're good places to breathe deeply and take it all in. Walk Botanical Beach to find intertidal life or, if you're up for it, head to Gordon River or Sombrio Beach nearby for some West Coast surfing.


Wild Accommodation

While camping opportunities abound, not everyone wants to rough it. Instead, retreat to a private waterfront cottage and enjoy all of the creature comforts without sacrificing your wild side. Wild Renfrew offers newly renovated accommodation options from exclusive waterfront cottages to comfortable suites complete with kitchenettes. The cottages feature rustic wood interiors, high end furnishings and stunning beach front views. For additional vacation rental options, check out Handsome Dan's Port Renfrew cottage rentals.


Wild Eats

For a small town, there is a wide range of delicious dining options in and around the area. West Coast chefs work closely with fishermen, farmers and even foragers to bring the best local fare to diners' plates. Enjoy a bite to eat in the new Renfrew Pub and drink in the views from their extensive oceanfront patio or stop by at the Coastal Kitchen for casual eats from fresh pastries to the hearty fisherman's breakfast.


For more information about Sooke to Port Renfrew, check out our Sooke area community page.