Sooke BC- Vancouver Island’s Best Kept Secret

Biking in Sooke
Photographer
Mark Matthews

Sooke BC- Vancouver Island’s Best Kept Secret

MARK MATTHEWS

I recently visited Sooke and it felt like it was time to be a tourist in my own town. The West Coast of southern Vancouver Island is just 45 minutes from where I grew up and it’s where I feel most at home. I have so many good memories from this region.

Over the years, I’ve driven through Sooke countless times, stopped in for a quick ride up Harbourview or Broom Hill, but never truly experienced this place to its full potential until now.

Use the code "SAVE50" and receive your second night at the Prestige Oceanfront Resort at 50% off. Includes a $50 voucher at the West Coast Grill. Must book on website, valid Sept - Dec 2017.

The trip started off with a two-hour visit to Adrena LINE Zipline Adventure Tours. The facility features eight awesome ziplines ranging from 50 to more than 300 metres (150 to 1,000 feet)! As our session went on, the lines got higher, faster, and more intense. The energy was like nothing else. All the guests were here for one reason alone: to do as many weird upside-down manoeuvres as possible while going at ultra-fast speeds down metal cables far off the ground.

Ziplining in Sooke
Photographer
Mark Matthews

One of our first zip lines to get warmed up

The staff were here for essentially the same purpose – and to keep our crazy crew safe. Talk about a fun job! This place lives up to its name but it was also educational. We learned about the local wildlife and the history of ziplining.

My time at Adrena LINE was a wrap and I was ready to check into the Prestige Oceanfront Resort Sooke. It might be located on the Canadian West Coast, but the bright white exterior makes it look like a 5-star Hawaiian resort. But true to sense of place, when I entered the vibe was as laid-back West Coast as it gets and knew I’d be comfortable here. The walls were covered in old photos and art showcasing local history, and the staff told me all about the local outdoor activities right off their dock, like kayaking and paddle boarding. I made a note to myself that I’d go out with West Coast Outdoor Adventure the next morning.

I could just imagine myself stand-up paddleboarding on the smooth waters right outside the hotel. I thought, what a perfect and relaxing way to unwind after a day riding the bike trails. 

Sooke Hotel Prestige
Photographer
Mark Matthews

Checking out the scenes before getting settled into my room at the Prestige Oceanfront Resort Sooke.

If you’re feeling luxurious book the Pacific Penthouse suite and this could be your patio.

The patio from the West Coast Grill, located inside the hotel, has beautiful views overlooking East Sooke to your left and the Olympic Mountain range to your right. It makes the perfect spot to catch the sunset. In addition to the great location, the resort also features an indoor pool and hot tub, world-class spa, sports bar, athletic centre and fire pit area.

I was here to mountain bike, of course, in this little bike community with huge heart. Local businesses like Sooke Mountain Cycle are working hard to make more quality riding for everyone in the region.

Westcoast Grill Sooke
Photographer
Mark Matthews

The view from my dinner table at the West Coast Grill, within the Prestige Oceanfront Resort.

The terrain was a nice change from the wide-open, fast riding I’d been doing in B.C.’s Interior this summer. Southern Vancouver Island is the land of technical rock faces. It’s a real test of your skill that keeps you on your toes all day. I grew up in Victoria so riding this type of terrain is where I feel right at home.

The endless rock features are what make riding here so unique.

I linked up with the best crew you could possibly ask for in Sooke and hit the trails! Local legend and Sooke Mountain Cycle owner Lorien Arnold, along with Patrick of Nolan Riding, acted as my guides for the day. We found some lesser-known gems in an area I thought I knew so well. Thanks for showing me Vancouver Island’s best kept secrets guys! I had the time of my life in Sooke and can’t wait for round two.