Sooke is a great place to wait out a pandemic. World happenings aside, the community has a lot of adventure to offer this summer.
Though your worldly wander plans may have unexpectedly turned into “staycations” this year, there is still fun to be had with the entire family, right here at home. Here are some of the things Sooke has to offer:
Fishing – Fishing charter companies in Sooke are open for business. Ron Neitsch, owner of 2 Reel Fishing Charters said fish open for catching right now are coho salmon, halibut, rock cod and lingcod. Crabs are also in season.
Whale watching – Sooke is an excellent place to catch a close-up glimpse of our aquatic neighbours. Paul Pudwell, owner of Sooke Whale Watching, says southern resident killer whales are frequently seen from April through November, along with transient orcas year-round. You may also encounter humpbacks, grey whales, minke whales, porpoises, white sided dolphins, harbour seals, sea lions and more on a whale watching tour.
Summer camps – SEAPARC is offering a variety of youth summer camps this year beginning on June 29. The camps will differ slightly from previous years, with reduced capacity, mainly outdoor activities, and additional safety and sanitary protocols implemented. All camps will take place at SEAPARC or within walking distance of the facility. Camp options can be viewed on the SEAPARC website at seaparc.ca.
Biking – Sooke has a bike park, as well as an outdoor skate park for riders to use. There are also mountain bike trails around the area for people to take advantage of.
Sooke Fine Art Show – One of Sooke’s most popular events is being held online this year. People can visit the show online anytime from July 24 to Aug. 3. This is the Sooke Fine Art Show’s 34th year, and a wide range of categories will be featured in the show, including paintings, drawings, sculptures, photography, jewelry, ceramics and more. There is no fee to view the galleries.
A look through history – The Sooke Region Museum reopened Monday. Hours of operation are Monday to Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sooke Country Market – The Sooke Country Market is back for a 25th year. The market is currently held at its usual location on Otter Point Road, but will be changing locations to John Philips Memorial Park to allow space for more vendors. The market features produce, crafts and food from a range of local vendors. The new location is expected to debut on July 4. For more information on the Sooke Country Market, please visit www.sookecountrymarket.com.
Bed and Breakfast – If you have been hankering for a weekend away, a staycation at one of Sooke’s B&Bs or resorts may be just what the doctor ordered. Various Bed and Breakfast spots can be found through the travel information centre at the museum.
Family Camping – The Sooke River Campground is open for reservations for groups of six people. For more information on camping, please visit sookecampground.com.
West Coast Outdoor Adventure – The name of the business speaks for itself. You could spend the day adventuring out on the water by renting a kayak, sail-yak, paddle board, or stay on land and embark on a rental bike adventure.
Ziplining – Adrenaline Zipline Adventures is open in Sooke for the summer. They are located at 5128 Sooke Rd.
Beer tasting – All three Sooke Breweries – Sooke Oceanside Brewery, Bad Dog Brewing Company and Sooke Brewing Company – are open for business.
Goat Yoga – Here’s a down-dog like you’ve never experienced it before. Goat yoga is great for all levels. Classes are generally held outdoors at Pioneer Park in Shirley. For information on upcoming classes, please visit the Vancouver Island Goat Yoga Facebook page.
Fitness classes – If you did a little too much snacking during your time in isolation, worry not. Your body can feel rejuvenated through working up a sweat at one of Sooke’s fitness facilities. One Mind and Body Wellness and Fitness is offering classes again. For more details call 778-587-1387. The Sooke Boxing Club, Sooke 24 Hour Health and Fitness, and Otter Point Athletics are all open as well.