If you want to see Vancouver off the beaten path, go to Port Renfew, this was home for 3 nights. Last year we stayed in Victoria and Toni picked us up from our hotel. This trick snagged us an extra 3-4 hours on the trails. She doesn’t usually book stay and play tours but we became friends with her (we feel special). It was nice having this as our home for a few days.
We stayed in a cottage that is part of Handsome Dan’s Resort, the seaside cottage with firepit was totally worth it. We regret not booking an extra night just to enjoy the place because it was nice, nicer than any home we’ll ever own (if it ever happens). There are restaurants down the road you can walk to but only one is open at night. There are no sidewalks or street lights so it’s good to have a flashlight if you plan on walking at night, watch out for bears and wildlife too.
Toni mentioned this area last year when we asked her where she would show us if we came back. The Ancient Forest Alliance has been working hard to preserve the old growth trees in the area. They saved the area known as Avatar Grove which was marked for clear cutting a few years ago. Over the next few days we’ll set about to explore Port Renfew and see Canada’s gnarliest tree.
Tourism is a blessing and a curse. It brings nature enthusiasts who cherish the old growth trees and this justifies saving the forests instead of logging all of them as well as demonstrate that conservation creates sustainable business. But the locals have been telling us that there’s a lot more garbage on the trails and in the forests. No matter how many signs the parks service puts up about hauling out what you carrying in, there will sadly always be some people that don’t care and are irresponsible. Remember, carry out what you carry in. To keep nature as pristine as possible, we have to treat it with respect. Toni tries to carry out as much garbage as her pack will hold.
It was the start of commercial fishing season so it was a bit brighter and noisier than we expected. But it was cool watching the fisherman bring in their catches for the day. I really enjoy seeing and learning about all types of people and jobs.
I tend to talk about my self as being a pure bred city slicker which I am but my Dad was a farmer for some time before he married my mom. Yup, a farmer in New Jersey and he always had a fondness for rural areas. His stories always made me curious about how other people lived and by other I mean outside the city. Once he rented a car and drove us to the Boonies of New Jersey to visit distant relatives that still had the farm (in the 1990s). It was a fun day and the tomatoes they gave us to try were so yummy. We’ve kind of lost touch with them and I’m not sure if they still have it.
Our cottage felt like a home away from home, our peaceful little enclave.
Can you believe we only used the firepit one night?! We couldn’t get the fire going our first day and we were too tired the other.
Next up, rugged Vancouver Island hiking.
8 thoughts on “Port Renfew”
This looks like a place you can really unwind yourself. Just enjoy the nature around and not much else.. Lovely place.
Thanks! Our one regret was not staying an extra night to enjoy the cottage.
I love those night sky photos. Such a wonderful vacation you had!
Thanks! We thought we’d get more night shots but there’s quite a bit of light pollution. Either way, still very nice trip.
Wow, beautiful! We currently live in Vancouver so I’ll add this place to our list of weekend getaways. Thanks!
We love that part of the world! So much outdoor life! We’ve been working our way along the Juan de Fuca. It’s a great trail to explore.
That’s definitely off the beaten path, looks like it would take an interesting drive just to get there.
For what it’s worth, directly across the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the American side is Neah Bay, one of my favorite places to dive in the Northwest.
It’s so close to Victoria. It’s funny when we hike the Juan de Fuca because every once in a while we get cell reception from the states so we check out email there. Would love to explore the US side.