Port Renfrew is a community on the West Coast of Vancouver
Island, British Columbia
, located approximately 2 hours' drive west of Victoria
, British Columbia. This small village has some spectacular accommodations, vacation rentals and condo rentals. It calls itself The Jewel of the West Coast
, where visitors can experience the tranquility, beauty and charming lodging options, all that has made the West Coast so famous.
Port Renfrew is also the southern end of the West Coast Trail, a world famous hiking trail
built in 1907 along the west coast of Vancouver Island
to save shipwrecked sailors. During the days of sail, 1830 - 1925, 137 major shipping tragedies occurred in the immediate vicinity of the entrance to the Straits of Juan de Fuca. International recognition was given to this stretch of water off Port Renfrew. It became known as The Graveyard of The Pacific. Port Renfrew is also the western terminus of the Juan de Fuca Trail.
Apart from wonderful accommodation, vacation rental and condo rental options, theTall Tree Music Festival also calls Port Renfrew home, proving to be a celebration of community spirit, the environment and artistic creativity.
In recent years, Port Renfrew has seen an increase in tourism. The Ancient Forest Alliance has worked hard to locate and preserve some of North America's largest trees
located around Port Renfrew. This preservation is paying off as people from all over the globe are now witnessing Avatar Grove, and Canada's "gnarliest tree." The Red Creek fir, the world’s largest Douglas Fir, and San Juan Spruce, Canada's largest Sitka spruce are also located in the area. So make sure you book your summer accommodation and vacation rental well in advance as this is a very popular village.
Visitors can take a leisurely 15 to 20 minute easy walk to Botanical Beach in Juan de Fuca Provincial Park
, and discover fascinating tidal pools rich in marine life - one of the best opportunities to view intertidal marine creatures and plants on Vancouver Island. Botanical Beach is one of the most amazing places on the entire West Coast, with tide pools filled like jewel boxes with brightly coloured marine animals.
Port Renfrew is the gateway to some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world.
If there's one landscape most associated with oceans, it's beaches. Finding the best ones along the south western coast is not difficult, as almost all of them have been protected as provincial parks. Beginning at French Beach, a necklace of sites is strung north to Port Renfrew, where the most fabulous of all, Botanical Beach is located.
It's not unusual to spot black bears in early spring
on some of the beaches, particularly around China Beach and Mystic Beach. Bears are unpredictable creatures, especially when they emerge hungry from winter denning. Make sure to check your accommodations or vacation rentals for more information.
The San Juan Bay also offers wonderful windsurfing for the more adventurous.
For those who have paddled only in sheltered passages, sea kayaking along the outside waters of Vancouver Island is another world. The 37-mile (60-km) ocean route between Sooke
and Port Renfrew, with its string of beaches to touch on, can be paddled in a lengthy summer day.
So from unsurpassed natural beauty to luxurious accommodation on offer, Port Renfrew should not be missed.