One of the great drives on Vancouver Island is a road trip to Port Renfrew on the West Coast. From the Oceanside area where we are it is 179 kilometres and will take you 3 hours. Take the Island Highway to Duncan and make a right turn at #18, the Cowichan Valley Highway. Continue through Lake Cowichan to Mesachie Lake and then turn left on the Pacific Marine Road. This road is a logging road, now fully paved. It is windy and twisty, a drivers delight. There are still some single lane bridges and on week days you will encounter logging trucks which seem to favour the middle of road, adding to the excitement. There is no centre line, by the way.
The scenery is spectacular through one of the great logging areas of the province. You will see old growth, new reforested growth and clear cuts too.
There is not much in Port Renfrew as the full time population is only 140 or so. But there are a few resorts if you choose to stay over. Big Fish Lodge or Wild Renfrew Seaside Cottages look interesting. If you are stopping for lunch check out the eateries on Trip Advisor before you go. There are 5 spots for lunch but I’d likely choose the Pub.
On our last two trips on this route we took a picnic and enjoyed a beach near Jordan River watching Surfers whilst sipping on a chilled bottle of Rosé.
The best option would be to continue to Point No Point, 58 kilometres further down the coast, just south of Jordan River. It is wonderful spot overlooking Juan De Fuca Strait and the Olympic Mountains in Washington State. You might want to overnight here or at least stop for lunch.The rooms look charming and cosy. The menu looks inviting. We spend a romantic afternoon there years ago when I was courting my favourite girl. I think we need to go back and stay over.
Why not make it a round trip through Victoria. You can do it in one long day if you are a driving nut like me but a sleepover in Port Renfrew, Point no Point, Sooke, or Victoria is probably more prudent. On Day two you could visit the KINSOL Trestle or a couple of wineries on the way home.