Overlooking Salt Spring and the Gulf Islands
Get Away to the JENNIFER BLYTH PHOTO
GULF ISLANDS A
picturesque collection of unique communities in the Strait of Georgia, between Vancouver Island and the BC Mainland, the Gulf Islands are easily accessible via BC Ferries or private boat.
See LI READ for Salt Spring Island and Southern Gulf Islands Real Estate!
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Among the most popular getaways for locals, the islands’ stunning scenery inspires numerous artists and artisans while fertile lands support thriving farms and awardwinning wineries. From long sandy beaches to mountaintops where the views go on forever, the Southern Gulf Islands offer terrific day-trip destinations from Vancouver Island. With so much to explore, extend your visit with a night or two at a picture-perfect B&B or inn and start the adventure! Salt Spring, just a 35-minute BC Ferry ride from the Swartz Bay terminal, is renowned for its relaxed lifestyle, idyllic beauty, art galleries, studios, wineries and gift shops. Don’t miss the huge Saturday outdoor market where island’s accomplished artisans and farmers display their fine products. Enjoy a walk around the town of Ganges, with its interesting shops and eateries, then take a bike ride or leisurely drive around the Island to soak in the scenery. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy the hiking trails at Ruckle Provin-
cial Park while paddlers can choose from both fresh and salt-water excursions. Smaller nearby islands of Pender, Mayne, Saturna and Galiano are all served by ferry, but popular destinations for local boaters as well. While the populations of these islands are quite small – larger during the summer and on weekends – find all the amenities needed for an afternoon escape or longer getaway, with accommodations ranging from provincial park camping to luxurious resorts. Throughout the Islands, find beaches good for hours of relaxing, swimming or beachcombing, trails for biking and hiking, birdwatching, paddling and more, not to mention the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve. A little farther north, enjoy a short, 20-minute ferry ride from Nanaimo to Gabriola Island, popular with kayakers, campers, cyclists and explorers who come to discover the ancient petroglyphs and remarkable sandstone formations at the Malaspina Galleries. Denman and Hornby Islands are located off-shore of the Comox Valley and are popular with artists and vacationers, while visitors to Texada Island can enjoy the short trip.
What to do. What to see. How you get there.