One of the greatest advantages of Canadian West Coast living is access to the forested Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia. Situated in the Southern Gulf Islands is Salt Spring Island. Covering 180 square kilometers, the island has a population of 10,500. What makes Salt Spring Island attractive to both tourists and vacation home buyers is its accessibility and the tranquility in its natural beauty.
On a Friday afternoon, you have a variety of options to get to Salt Spring Island from Vancouver and nearby areas. The fastest is by seaplane, which takes a little over half an hour. Depart from downtown Vancouver’s Convention Centre and arrive in Ganges Harbour in a cool 30 minutes. Alternatively, depart from Tsawwassen to embark on a scenic three-hour ferry ride to Long Harbour (there’s also a one-hour non-stop ferry that departs on Saturday afternoons).
For weekend athletes, Salt Spring Island offers plenty of fun outdoor activities. Its low-traffic winding country roads are ideal for road biking, while its calm ocean waters are popular for stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking. You can also work up a sweat hiking on one of the many adventurous island trails.
If you prefer to kick back and unwind, Salt Spring Island’s wineries are an excellent way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Sip a glass of your favourite white or red at Salt Spring Vineyards (which also functions as a bed & breakfast) or Garry Oaks Winery. For beer drinkers, head to Saltspring Island Ales’ “tasting loft”, opened in 2013. They offer complimentary beer tastings and growler fills.
After drinks, pay a visit to the island’s famous Salt Spring Cheese Company. Later in the afternoon, explore Salt Spring’s popular Saturday market, with everything from artisanal cheese to handmade quality goods.
For dinner, treat yourself to a relaxing evening at Restaurant House Piccolo. The restaurant’s exterior heritage charm is matched with excellent award-winning food and service. Reservations are recommended.
Head over to Salt Spring Coffee for a sustainably sourced and freshly brewed cup of coffee in the morning. Take your cup to go, and explore the spectacular shoreline’s combination of sandy beaches and rocky shores.
After lunch, take a studio tour of the local art community. You can browse a wide selection of artwork, including pottery, sculptures, and paintings in galleries like Blue Horse Folk Art Gallery and Duthie Gallery, take part in workshops, and view art demonstrations. Once you’ve had your fill, catch a seaplane or ferry back to Vancouver.
Salt Spring Island’s proximity to areas like Vancouver has made it an increasingly popular choice for vacation home buyers. The island offers a calm oasis away from urban stress. And its natural beauty and fun outdoor activities keep tourists and part-time residents coming.