Port Renfrew is the home of the Pacheedaht First Nation, meaning "People of the Sea Foam", who have traditional village sites in and around the main town centre. The West Coast Trail, a world-famous hiking trail built in 1907 along the west coast of Vancouver Island to save shipwrecked sailors, is on the Jordan River adjacent to Port Renfrew. During the days of sail, 1830–1925, 137 major shipping tragedies occurred in the immediate vicinity of the entrance to the Strait 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. Founded as Port San Juan, the settlers changed the name to honor Lord Renfrew who planned to settle crofters there. The name was changed due to mail being sent to the San Juan Islands instead of Port San Juan. Port Renfrew's bay is still called Port San Juan. Like many coastal Vancouver Island communities, Port Renfrew has a rich history in forestry and fishing.
110 km from Victoria: take the Trans-Canada Highway/Island Highway/#1 north to Goldstream, turn west onto the Westshore Parkway, and follow that to Highway 14/Sooke Road/West Coast Road.
- West Coast Trail Express, ☏ , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Leaves from the Victoria Bus Depot. Seasonal service May 1-Sep 30. Twice daily, 2 hours. $55-85.
Port Renfrew has seen an increase in tourism. The Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA) has worked hard to locate and preserve some of North America's largest trees around Port Renfrew. This preservation is paying off as people from all over the world 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 in the area.
- Trailhead Charters, Parkinson Rd, ☏ . Trailhead Resort and Charters offers full-service halibut and salmon sports fishing packages, as well as accommodations in Port Renfrew, Vancouver Island, BC.
- Local natural attractions include the West Coast Trail, Juan de Fuca Trail and Botanical Beach.
- Since 2010 the Tall Tree music festival has been held in Port Renfrew on the last weekend in June.
Port Renfrew is considered one of the best locations for salmon and halibut fishing in North America.
- There is also excellent sea and freshwater (San Juan and Jordan River) kayaking and birding.
- Port Renfrew General Store, Parkinson Rd. Daily 11AM-7PM.
Eat and drink
- Port Renfrew Pub, 17310 Parkinson Rd, ☏ . M-W 11:30AM-8PM; Th 10AM-8PM; F Sa 10AM-9PM; Su 10AM-8PM. 10-tap draught system, pool table and flat screen TVs — micro-brews, burgers or boat-to-table seafood drawn from nearby waters.
- Coastal Kitchen, 17245 Parkinson Rd, ☏ . Daily 7AM-5PM. Fresh seafood (local catch, buckets of mussles, rich chowders), organic salads, power-packed smoothies, burgers, breakfasts.
- Tomi's Home Style Cooking, 17152 Parkinson Road, ☏ . M-Th 7AM to 3PM; F closed; Sa 8AM-6PM; Su 8AM-3PM.
- Big Fish Lodge, 6644 Queesto Dr., ☏ . On the water with access to the beach. Common area with a pool table, foosball table, and guitar. Breakfast included. 6 bedrooms, large patio deck laundry, barbecue. From $119.
- Wild Renfrew Seaside Cottages, 17310 Parkinson Road, toll-free: . Private waterfront cottages by the ocean. Pub right next door. From $199.
- Trailhead Resort, 17268 Parkinson Rd, ☏ . Fishing lodge decorated with Vancouver Island fishing paraphernalia and local First Nations artwork. West Coast cuisine with BC seafood and homemade deserts. 1-, 2- or 3-day fishing packages available. From $70.
|Routes through Port Renfrew|
|END ←||W E||→ Juan de Fuca Provincial Park → Victoria|