The City of Duncan is the heart of the Cowichan Valley on southern Vancouver Island. It is the commercial centre of the Cowichan region, serving over 80,000 people. Duncan is known as The City of Totems and there are close to 80 totem poles in the city, of which 41 can be seen on a self-guided totem tour when you follow the yellow footprints downtown. You will find a mix of heritage and vintage buildings in the downtown core, with the railway station being one of the favorites.
Duncan attractions include the BC Forest Discovery Centre, showcasing the history of the British Columbia forest industry; the Vancouver Island Trout Hatchery, which stocks over 150 lakes and streams on Vancouver Island; the Quw’utsun’ Cultural and Conference Centre and Casino, showcasing the native culture of the Cowichan tribe of the Coast Salish First Nations; Somenos Marsh, a rich and diverse wetlands immediately north of Duncan along Hwy. 1, which is a crucial winter habitat for waterfowl, shorebirds and songbirds; Pacific Northwest Raptors, a bird of prey and raptors conservation centre which offers daily flying demonstrations; the World’s largest hockey stick and puck.
The Cowichan region is one of British Columbia’s wine regions, and is also getting a well-known reputation as a food mecca. Nearby Cowichan Bay is the only north-american cittaslow community. The annual Cowichan Wine & Culinary Festival takes place every year in mid-september. Downtown Duncan features the Duncan Farmer’s Market on Saturday mornings year-round. Cowichan River Provincial Park features the Cowichan River Footpath which runs almost 20 km starting in Glenora just south of Duncan out to Lake Cowichan. Tubing on the Cowichan River is a very popular summer activity. The Cowichan River is also legendary for its sportfishing, especially for brown trout, rainbow trout and steelhead. Cowichan Golf and Country Club and Duncan Meadows Golf Course offer great golfing in the Cowichan region. Kayaking out in Maple Bay or Cowichan Bay, and hiking and mountain biking in the Cowichan region are also very popular activities. Duncan Bed & Breakfast innkeepers offer great accommodation in the Cowichan region, and will be able to assist you in finding the very best this region has to offer.