At the north end of the Malahat Drive, take a detour to Mill Bay and enjoy the village’s quiet waterfront streets and wonderful Gulf Island views. If you thought that the town of Mill Bay got its name from being a mill, you’d be correct – a lumber mill to be more precise. It is now a quiet seaside community that overlooks Saanich Inlet. The surrounding parks and scenery are lovely – perfect for hiking, cycling and boating. This is an ideal spot to spend a few days, basking in the sun and swimming in warm waters. With its own marina, easy access to the North Island as well as Victoria, and world class wineries, it’s no wonder Mill Bay is such a desirable place to call home.
What to Love
- Commuter town
- Waterfront views
- Hiking and biking trails
Dining, Entertainment & Shopping
Community events are plentiful in the community, one of the most popular being the Brentwood Rowing Regatta, hosted by the internationally acclaimed Brentwood College each April. Each August, the Cowichan goes Country (an annual country music festival and Art Affair) features the best of South Cowichan music, artisans, and galleries.
Travelling northwards, Mill Bay heralds the start of some incredible Vineyards and Cideries in the Cowichan Valley. While new wineries seem to pop up almost every year, top choices include Unsworth, Zanatta, and Blue Grouse. Merridale Cidery, just north of Mill Bay is another community favourite, offering a multitude of both classic and seasonal options year-round. Located on the water at the beautiful Mill Bay Marina, Bridgemans Bistro is the perfect setting for a friendly meal. Mill Bay Sushi is a Japanese restaurant that offers an amazing dining experience with outstanding quality service that will exceed your expectations. If you’re looking for the best coffee around, head to Drummroaster, a family owned roastery which is dedicated to serving fresh, organic, fairly traded coffee and delicious, and offers everything coffee related from high end coffee machines, to grinders, and supplies.
Things to Do
The Mill Bay Marine Group offers a variety of Vancouver Island adventure tours, events and packages. From wildlife tours, private boat tours, or even luxury glamping, you can enjoy the spectacular scenery and outdoor lifestyle of British Columbia’s Pacific Northwest.
Mill Bay Nature Park, located in Mill Bay, has a great network of walking trails and beach access. Explore easy walking trails in this 2.92-hectare park then stop for lunch at the picnic area. There’s even an option to go for a swim at the public beach and take in the sights at the viewing platform.