Walk among the totems or take a trip through the past, present and future at one of the local museums or discovery centres. Where else can you attend a meet-and-greet with raptors?! Explore the Cowichan River Footpath while you’re here or float down the river instead on an inner tube! What better way to spend the summer?!
Ahoy! from the Cowichan Bay Maritime Centre
Originally an oceanfront boat-building workshop, this gorgeously restored building is now a museum and home to a variety of boats on display, along with the heritage of boat-building just waiting to be discovered. Build your own tiny boat or folding camp stool in the workshop with museum volunteers, or take part in camp activities that include crabbing off the dock, arts and crafts, boat building, water safety and more.
Walk Among the Totems
Duncan, aka “The City of Totems,” has over 40 beautifully-carved totems scattered throughout the city, just waiting for you to take a self-guided walking tour. Follow the yellow footprints, or take a virtual tour with an interactive map. Take as long as you want; stop along the way for a drink, treat, lunch or to browse the toy shop.
Change Your View of the World at Hand of Man
Step inside this 17,000-square-foot museum of some of the most interesting personal collections in the world. Every bit of wall space is covered with a treasure, artifact, oddity or piece of culture and history. Don’t be surprised if the owner curator Jim Shockey joins you and starts talking about his incredible world-wide adventures over the last 40 years. This museum is a rarity and treasure all to itself.
All Aboard at the BC Forest Discovery Centre
Take a trip through the past, present and future on 100 acres! Forestry and logging take an important place in history and our present-day-lives, all captured in the Forests Forever interactive exhibit. No visit is complete without a locomotive ride across the spectacular grounds, and over the Somenos Lake trestle. Plan on lunch from the concessions or bring your own picnic.
Gear up for Cycling
Bring your bikes and ride the trails! Hundreds of kilometres of trails for all levels of ability. Enjoy the lush forests, the vistas, waterfalls and the adrenaline. Camps and clinics for kids 8-14 are available at Next Level Riding (
nextlevelriding.ca). Need a bike rental to get started? Check out Cycle Therapy in Duncan to get on a bike and start seeing the sights of Cowichan from a whole new perspective (cycletherapy.ca).
Get Wet on the Cowichan River
Dive into the fun of tubing down the Cowichan River with a leisurely but exhilarating floating experience. It’s Vancouver Island’s best kept secret for cooling off in the slow-moving, crystal clear waters of the Cowichan River. Jump in with your own floatie, or give The Tube Shack a call for licensed and insured tube rentals and complimentary shuttle back to Lake Cowichan.
Spend the Day at Transfer Beach
One of Ladysmith’s gems, Transfer Beach is a seaside park that will keep the little ones entertained for hours. Swimming, spray parks, playgrounds, and sheltered picnic areas—all surrounded by flora and fauna, viewpoints and lookouts. Pick up a game of basketball, horseshoes or sand volleyball then grab a bite and drink at the concessions and food trucks. This beach has it all, and is centrally located right off the Trans Canada highway.
Let Your Spirit Soar with The Raptors
The Raptors, 10 minutes north of Duncan, invites you to meet some of the coolest birds in the world during a 2-hour pre-booked session from 1-3pm daily (and an additional session on Saturdays from 10am-noon). Tickets must be purchased in advance online. There will be meet and greets with some of the newly hatched babies and residents, a flying demonstration and a chance to meet the parrots and Gaston the Marabou Stork.
Fall in Love with Stocking Creek Falls
This gentle waterfall is situated just north of Chemainus in the seaside community of Saltair. Part of the Cowichan Valley Trail, this easy path to the waterfall is full of wildlife, birds, trees, flowers and fresh air. Pick a salmonberry along the way, and count all the owls in the tall trees. Enter Stocking Creek Park from Chemainus Rd.