- Vancouver Island’s Cowichan Valley boasts a Mediterranean-like microclimate that’s more than ideal for winemakers. Named Cowichan, meaning warm island, by the First Nations Salish, the lush green region, with mild, year-round temperatures, is the warmest in Canada and home to the picturesque Unsworth Vineyards. Boasting 12 acres of grape varieties, Unsworth’s award-winning Ovation, as well as its Allegro and Symphony blends are the result of the family-owned winery’s traditional, artisanal winemaking philosophy. Take the beautiful country road through the rolling hills of Cowichan Valley to visit Unsworth’s tasting room or to dine in the Unsworth Restaurant, which captures beautiful vineyard views and celebrates “all things Vancouver Island.”

DINE HERE - Situated on the water at the stunning Mill Bay Marina, Bridgemans Bistro honors the history of the region’s hardworking, dedicated and adventurous bridge workers. The West Coast-inspired menu features locally sourced ingredients, such as local clams and mussels. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, the family-friendly restaurant also offers a diverse menu of burgers, sandwiches, pasta, ribs and prawns. Every table overlooks the Saanich Inlet and Maker Baker, and you may even spot a few whales passing by.

EXPLORE THE BAY HERE - A visit to Mill Bay wouldn’t be complete without an adventure at sea. Offering activities for all ages and abilities, Blue Dog Kayaking offers guided sea kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding half and full-day tours from its Mill Bay paddling center. These relaxed and recreational tours offer a stress-free experience at a leisurely pace with outings including wildlife tours, family adventures, sunset and full moon tours. For the more committed adventurer, Blue Dog Kayaking provides instructional expeditions, as well as instructor courses.

SOAK UP NATURE HERE - Mill Bay is just as beautiful to explore by land, with the Mill Bay Nature Park offering a true West-coast nature experience for the whole family. Nestled in a pristine forest setting, the park features a network of walking trails, including a relaxing .8 km loop that winds through the trees to the beach, a perfect place to enjoy a picnic or explore the tidal flats for clams and crabs.

SPARK YOUR CREATIVITY HERE - Sweet Art Studio offers a hands-on experience and is the place to learn for beginners and self-taught artists working to hone their craft. Learn how to observe and draw with accuracy and to understand perspective and proportion, or practice your painting techniques using oil pastel, watercolour, acrylic and water soluble oil paint.

LIVE HERE - Situated within Mill Bay’s newest premier neighbourhood, 881 Hayden Place showcases exceptional modern architecture and design. Featuring soaring ceilings and expansive windows, the four-bedroom home’s spectacular great room with gas fireplace transitions seamlessly through French doors to the outdoor living space and private backyard. Represented by The Agency’s Brian Danyliw of The Danyliw Group, 881 Hayden Place is situated moments from the coast and within convenient, commuter-friendly distance of Victoria.