Botanical Beach, Port Renfrew, B.C.

Botanical Beach, Juan de Fuca Provincial Park. Credit Michael Wheatley - Alamy Stock Photo

Only two hours outside of Victoria lies Botanical Beach, a portion of Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, where sandstone tide pools make habitats for hundreds of different species of plants and animals. This beach starts and ends at Juan de Fuca Marine Trail, a very popular exploration spot.

Here, you are likely to spot killer whales, gray whales and harbor seals off shore. On shore you can explore the lively tidepools and shaded crevices of the rock formations for a chance to see starfish, urchins, anemones and more. The best time to explore is at low tide when you can walk out on the sandstone and see the brightly colored creatures that live there.

Be careful when climbing on the rocks as they can be slippery, and see if you can spot any hidden quartz imbedded in the stones. Or try the variety of nearby trails (caution: bear and cougar sightings are not common but can occur on forest trails). Whichever spots you explore, you’ll be able to enjoy the gorgeous landscape of Botanical Beach Provincial Park, one of the best destinations for tide pooling along the West Coast.

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