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West of downtown Victoria, along highways 1 and 14, are the rapidly growing communities of View Royal, Colwood, the Highlands, Langford, and Metchosin, collectively known as the West Shore Communities. Although its rural nature is quickly giving way to suburban development, the area is worth a visit for its wilderness parks and national historic sites. Heading north, Highway 1 cuts through
deep forests and over the 1,155-foot Malahat Summit on its way to the Cowichan Valley wine country. A viewpoint at the top, accessible only from the northbound lane, offers sweeping views over Finlayson Arm and the surrounding forested slopes.
The Cowichan people were onto something when they called this fertile valley north of Victoria "the Warm Land." The region, roughly from Mill...