Cowichan Bay is a picturesque part of the Island that brings together the natural environment, modern industry and thousands of years of cultural history. The local ecosystem and economy have been tied together in this area for thousands of years — as the local Cowichan people have been living on the salmon and shellfish found here for over 4,500 years.
Today, the region remains an ocean hub for commercial and sport fishing. The main village thoroughfare offers a variety of restaurants, shops and unique accommodation, many of which are perched above the water on stilts. While the waters and estuary surrounding the village provide a natural space for wildlife and nature viewing.
Between the culture, history, restaurants and shopping, you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of time to explore it all! You’ll also want to make sure you give yourself some extra time to find parking (if the main strip is full, look for spots near Hecate Park)!
The Rock Cod – West Coast Fish Fry & Bar
Recently under new ownership, the legendary Rock Cod Cafe has been a staple for fish and chips in the Cowichan Valley since 1991. The Rock Cod will fill your fish cravings with their own lager on tap and two gluten-free options!
Situated right on the shore of Cowichan Bay, the Masthead’s dining room overs a beautiful lookout over the marina. The decadent seasonal menu ensures that diners are always experiencing the freshest local flavours. Enjoy live music every Saturday night
The newly reimagined Cow Cafe has opened as the Cook & Butcher. The new menu of fish, burgers, bowls and creative sharing plates has something delicious for everyone. Diners over 19 will want to indulge in their award-winning caesars and artisan cocktails.
This organic bakery uses exclusively organic flour, farmed and milled in British Columbia. Enjoy cookies, varieties of bread, and pastries made daily in this quaint seaside bakery.
Right next door to True Grain Bread is the brand new Leeward Coastal Café. This café is an extension of True Grain and offers fresh soups, sandwiches and delicious breakfast options.
Udderguys is home to old fashioned ice cream and retro candy. Their artisan ice creams are made in-house and come in a rotating variety of flavours.
The Vine is a Belgian inspired restaurant with an intimate and cozy atmosphere in Cowichan Bay. Along with a delicious and unique dinner menu, The Vine also has a full menu dedicated to crepes. So take decadence to a new level and enjoy the patio views at The Vine.
Sathian Thai is a casual Thai restaurant offering dine in or take out options. The menu is full of all your traditional favourites.
Stop at Rob’s for delicious fish and chips, chowder, burgers, wraps and more. This is great take out food, or you can enjoy the quaint outdoor patio in the summer and winter (heated).
Take a piece of the seaside home with you from Beachology. Shop from their selection of beach-inspired furniture, home decor, jewellery and apparel.
The Wild Coast Perfumery captures the natural essence of the west coast and Cowichan Region. The all-natural scents are inspired by local landscapes and are crafted from plant-based essential oils and wild-harvested tinctures.
The Crowfoot Collective stocks handmade and ethically sourced products like jewellery, clothing, candles, and scents. Indigenously owned, the Collective showcases Indigenous, BIPOC, and women-led artists and businesses. They also provide a welcoming space for shoppers to learn about the people behind each product.
Mudroom Clayworks is a working studio/gallery/shop situated right on the waterfront. Stop in and watch potters working the wheel, then take a piece of Cowichan Bay home with you.
Fairtrade, locally made, and sustainable. Radway studios offer high-quality clothing, jewellery and accessories.
This unique gift shop features the wares of local artists. This is the perfect place to pick up a souvenir from Cowichan Bay.
Arthur Vickers is an acclaimed First Nations artist, a master storyteller, a journeyman carpenter and a recipient of the Order of British Columbia. His work is crafted in a variety of mediums and have been displayed around the world. In 2018, he opened his gallery on the waterfront in Cowichan Bay.
The Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre is a community-based museum that aims to preserve, exhibit and demonstrate maritime heritage. The Centre also holds wooden boat building workshops for adults and children.
Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre
Two major rivers meet on the tidal flats of the Cowichan Bay Estuary. This unique habitat is an ideal home for various birds, sea life and a diversity of intertidal life. The Cowichan Estuary Nature Centre offers interactive opportunities for all ages to learn about the estuary.
Offering kayak tours right from Cowichan Bay, Coastal Bliss is an expert in all things adventure on Vancouver Island. Whether you’re into hiking, kayaking or canoeing, you can book a multi-day adventure on Vancouver Island and beyond.
Oceanfront Suites at Cowichan Bay
Located right on the water, the Oceanfront Suites offer stunning views of Cowichan Bay. Home to the Cowichan Bay Spa + Salon and the Cook and Butcher, this is a premium accommodation for visitors of all kinds. In addition, this venue can accommodate weddings, meetings, retreats and banquets.
Perched on the hill overlooking Cowichan Bay, the Dreamweaver B&B offers unique Victorian-style accommodation. Enjoy full-course, home-cooked breakfasts paired with a world-class view of Cowichan Bay.