Relaxation and Adventure Go Hand-in-Hand on the Gulf Islands!
Are you dreaming of an island getaway? Why stop at one? “Island hopping”, as the locals call it, is a wonderful way to enjoy the beauty and variety of the Gulf Islands.
This archipelago located off the coast of Vancouver Island boasts a wealth of unique, and breathtakingly beautiful, islands—each with their own special flavor. Life is quieter out on the Gulf Islands. Come enjoy the island way of life!
Salt Spring Island
Once known for its free-spirited community, Salt Spring has evolved into a must-see destination frequented by many celebrities. In fact, the New York Times named it one of the world’s “52 Places to See” in 2016! The largest of the Gulf Islands, Salt Spring offers local galleries, artisan foods, organic farms and vineyards, unique shops– and sunsets that have to be seen to be believed.
Our favorites on Saltspring:
- The Tuesday Farmer’s Market at Centennial Park in Ganges. Everything sold at this bustling outdoor market was grown, forged, woven, brewed, painted, or baked right here on Salt Spring!
- Ruckle Park. Enjoy a picnic of local goodies on the bluff while you watch for killer whales, sea lions, and even river otter in the Swanson Channel.
- Embe Bakery. Speaking of local goodies, this place has Danishes and home-baked bread that dreams are made of.
- Vesuvius Bay – One of Salt Spring’s best swimming spots.
- Salt Spring Island Cheese Company – Grab a scoop of their amazing ice cream, sample their award-winning chevre, enjoy the scenic grounds, and say hello to the goats that make it all possible.
- Myriad opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking, golfing, birding, and beach combing!
Although Galiano is the closest island to Victoria, it is also one of the more rural. Almost seventy separate ocean access points mean that finding a place all your own is easy—and there are few things so relaxing as sunbathing or swimming on your own private beach.
Our favorites on Galiano:
- The Humming Bird Pub & Family Restaurant. If you want to see Galiano like the locals do, make a stop at this unique and delightful pub.
- Shopping for fresh produce at the local, organic farms.
- The Kunamokst Mural.
- Did we mention the beaches?
North and South Pender Islands
Originally two islands, North and South Pander are now joined by a car bridge, which makes getting around these beautiful islands easier than ever. There are also several accessible marina’s should you decide to boat in. Pender is a vibrant, friendly community, with plenty to offer.
Our favorites on the Pender Islands:
- The 9-hole golf course at Pender Island Golf and Country Club. Salty sea air, soaring eagles overhead, and a satisfying course make this a must for golfers.
- For those that enjoy their golf in disc form, the islands boast a 27-hole Frisbee-golf course at the Golf Islands Disc Park.
- The view from Mt. Norman at sunset. Bring a blanket, a camera, and someone you love.
Rich in history, and the natural beauty that all the Gulf Islands are famous for, Mayne Island offers a laid-back vibe. If you’re feeling adventurous be sure to check out the cycling circuit that loops the entire island.
Our favorites on Mayne Island:
- The Georgina Point Lighthouse. On the National Register of Historic Places, the Active Pass Lighthouse at Georgina Point is a fascinating spot to spend an afternoon. An extra bonus: watching the BC Ferries as they navigate the Pass.
- Meadowmist Farm. Visit with the adorable goats and sheep, then shop their selection of woolen items and goat’s milk soap. Fun for youngsters and the young at heart!
- The Japanese Gardens at Dinner Bay. This beautiful garden is a memorial to the Japanese who settled and worked on the island between 1900 and 1942.
Home to one of Canada’s newest National Parks, this island has long been a mecca for birders, photographers, hikers, kayakers, and all who enjoy peace and natural beauty. The most remote of the Gulf Islands, Saturna will bring you back in touch with nature as you explore its many trails and beaches.
Our favorites on Saturna Island:
- Orca watching at Saturna Island Marine Research & Education Society (SIMRES). Take in one of their seaTALKS to discover more about the marine life that calls this area home.
- Wild Thyme Coffee House. Grab a cuppa and cinnamon bun at this charming “Double-Decker Bustaurant”! All the food and beverages are locally sourced and the vibe is fantastic.
- Beach combing. Have the beach to yourself and spend a leisurely afternoon hunting for treasure.
As you travel further north along the coast of Vancouver Island, you’ll find Gabriola Island, Denman Island, and Hornby Island. These islands are well worth the extra travel time to reach them.
Calling itself the Isle of the Arts, Gabriola offers a wealth of local galleries, shops, studios and of course amazing scenery.
Our favorites on Gabriola:
- The Gabriola Arts Council. Check out their website before you go and take in one of their many festivals and events showcasing local creative talent.
- The petroglyphs. Touch history and marvel at these ancient pictures carved into the rock.
- Malaspina Galleries. These astonishing natural rock formations look like cresting waves and are a must-see while you’re on the island.
Peace, solitude and stunning scenery abound on Denman.
Our favorites on Denman Island:
- Boyle Point Provincial Park. Enjoy beautiful hikes and a spectacular view of Baynes Sound and the Chrome Island Lighthouse.
- Brunch at Denman Island Cafe Pourium. In keeping with the island vibe, all the food is fresh, locally sourced and delicious!
Long a haven for those seeking a more peaceful, nature-focused existence, Hornby Island is home to many. Visitors can partake in traditional healing arts, yoga and meditation as well as enjoying the delightful bounty of organic farms at the local market.
Our favorites on Hornby Island:
- An evening at Island Stars. Far from the city lights, star gazing doesn’t get any better than this. Contact this astronomical observatory and reserve a tour.
- Beachfront Yoga Classes. Offered seasonally, these rejuvenating classes will leave you feeling relaxed and stress-free.
- Hornby Island Estate Winery. The newest vineyard and winery on Hornby Island. Their fruit wines and ports are making quite a splash.
Most of the larger Gulf Islands can be reached by BC Ferries through their inter-island ferry service, while smaller islands are reached by private boat or chartered seaplane. You can also venture out on the passenger only water-taxi services to travel between the islands. A perfect way to go island hopping!
Relax and unwind with a visit to the Gulf Islands!
Ready to see the beauty and diversity of our islands for yourself? Book your stay at the Lodge at Weir’s Beach and venture out on your own island hopping excursion.
Our peaceful and spacious rooms provide a great “home base” from which to begin your adventures. We love our area and look forward to sharing it with you soon!