Adventure is always on the calendar at the unique Gulf Islands, the islands in the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia. Gulf Islands National Park Reserve protects 15 islands that are rich in history and exquisite wilderness. The southern Gulf Islands are Galiano Island, Gabriola Island, Salt Spring Island, Mayne Island and Pender Island. With an impressive amount of natural beauty, comes an impressive amount of activities to keep you and your friends super busy while getting to know these hidden gems. They are reachable by boat or ferry only, which adds to the excitement! Here are 25 of the must dos!
** Make sure you are aware of all health regulations and other travel-related information before travelling. Some places might be closed due to various reasons**
1. Wildheart Adventures – Gulf Islands
All you wild hearts, lets hit the expansive ocean! With this tour group, there are day trips, multi day trips offering you impressive tours of the ocean by sea kayak. All are welcome, beginners and experts alike. You may get luck and see the beautiful creatures of the animals including whales! You can experience all the Gulf Islands with this company.
2. Dionisio Point Provincial Park – Galiano Island
A favored trail on Galiano Island, you will explore dense forest as you trek through the pretty trails. This park is only accessible by boat but you can camp, fish, hike and even scuba dive, once you do arrive.
Address: Galiano Island
3. Sea Star Vineyard – Pender Island
Located on beautiful Pender Island, Sea Star Vineyard promises the ‘best view in BC!’. There are expansive views across the 26-acre property which overlooks both Mount Menzies and the beach below! You can enjoy a tasty tour, where you can enjoy their award winning wines, nibble on fresh fruits and enjoy the delicious eats of a food truck.
Address: 6621 Harbour Hill Drive, Pender Island
4. Montague Harbor Marine Provincial Park – Galiano Island
Galiano Island houses the idyllic Montague Harbor Marine Provincial Park, sure to excite all outdoor enthusiast! It’s a magical destination to pass an afternoon enjoying the wildlife, picnics, a swim or a walk. It’s also a loved destination for overnight camping.
Address: 1P0, 550 Montague Park Rd, Galiano Island
5. Salt Spring Saturday Market – Salt Spring Island
Get your weekend started right with a visit to the beautiful and bountiful Saturday Market on Salt Spring Island! Open from April and through the summer, enjoy perusing the arts and crafts, jewelry, woodworkers, photography, body care, fruits, produce and much more.
Address: Centennial Park, Ganges, Salt Spring Island
6. Salt Spring Wild Cider House – Salt Spring Island
Sip on the sweet tastes of fresh, locally made ciders while basking in the glorious sun and taking in the pretty sights. The atmosphere is calm and welcoming, and they even pair their tasty beverages with local eats!
Address: 151 Sharp Rd, Salt Spring Island
7. Silver Blue Charters – Gabriola Island
Year-round salmon fishing aboard a breezy 25.5 food boat! You’ll be whisked away on your adventure by the boat captain in the hopes to catch some of the tastiest salmon in the world!
Address: 210 Decourcy Drive, Gabriola Island
8. Golf and Country Club – Gabriola Island
Hole in one! Get on the green and practice your golf skills at this rewarding 9-hole course. You’ll enjoy the beautiful view and once the game is over, you’ll enjoy the tasty treats waiting at the club house.
Address: 825 South Road, Gabriola
9. Bennet Bay – Mayne Island
A relaxing and idyllic beach which a wonderful spot to sit back and take in the sunshine! Bennet Bay offers kayaking, swimming, hiking trails and all-around memorable beach.
Address: Bennet Bay, Mayne Island
10. Ruckle Provincial Park – Salt Spring Island
This magnificent park is over 5 kilometres of shorelines overlooking the Swanson Channel, which is a special place to relax and sunset gaze. It’s a popular spot for hanging out with friends, enjoying the scenery, wildlife and even scuba diving.
11. Galiano Sailing Charters – Galiano Island
Set sail! A journey by sailboat is a magical experience and with the Galiano Sailing Charters, you will see some of the most treasured boat only spots! These boats are on private charter, so you will get an amazing and private experience.
Address: Galiano Island 9
12. Drumbeg Provincial Park – Gabriola Island
Head to Drumbeg Provincial Park for a stunning park overlooking the impressive Strait of Georgia and the Coast Mountains! There are diverse marine life and gorgeous wildlife to enjoy. It’s also a lovely location for diving, hiking, and picnicking.
13. Malaspina Galleries – Gabriola Island
A very unique rock formation to explore on Gabriola Island that feels as though you are strolling under near a wave frozen in time. The entire walk takes about 30 minutes and is immense natural beauty.
Address: 99 Malaspina Dr, Gabriola
14. Bodega Ridge Provincial Park – Galiano Island
This park is an impressive 328 meters above sea level, offering magnificent views of the Trincomali Channel, Vancouver Island the Strait of Georgia. One can pass the day hiking, hunting or bird watching.
15. Salt Spring Paddle boarding company – Salt Spring Island
SUP or Stand up Paddle Boarding is an ever-popular activity in the west coast. With Salt Spring Paddle boarding company, you can rent equipment or take a lesson, or tour! The company is mobile meaning they can meeting the clients anywhere, anytime to take advantage of the spectacular beauty of Salt Spring Island
Address: Beddis Beach 1456-1460 Beddis Road
16. Salt Spring Adventure Co – Salt Spring Island
Explore the island by 2 wheels. Despite the small and windy roads on the island, the rewards and views are worth the strain and challenge! With Salt Spring Adventure Co., you can rent either a pedal powered bicycle or electric – assist bicycle. Plus, the company includes exciting trails that only the real locals know about for you to whizz around the island.
Address: 125 Rainbow Road, Salt Spring Island
17. Fishes Wish – Salt Spring Island
Ready to test your fishing skills? You can find all sorts of ocean goodies including salmon, halibut, cod, crabbing and prawning with a charter trip with Fishes Wish. The company is family run and wish to give you the best time they can!
Address: Ganges Marina 161 Lower Ganges Road, Salt Spring Island
18. Salt Spring Golf and Country Club – Salt Spring Island
This classic 1928 course is a 9 hole course over 70 acres, that’s perfect for golfers of all levels and skills. Connect with nature while having a fun game – the ideal combination.
Address: 805A Lower Ganges Rd, Salt Spring Island
19. Sacred Mountain Lavender -Salt Spring Island
Lavender is well loved plant, rich in smell and thought to promote calmness and well-being. Located on Salt Spring Island, Sacred Mountain is a boutique farm with 2 acres of over 50 types of lavender! You can also enjoy their shop which sells wonderful lavender items, including essential oils.
Address: 401 Musgrave Road, Salt Spring Island
20. Dinner Bay Park – Mayne Island
Not just a place for dining – Dinner Bay Park is a terrific family destination offering a zip line, disc golf, kid’s playgrounds, picnics, trails to hike and a Japanese garden. Plus, the views are pretty outstanding as they look out onto the ocean! There is no charge to enter. Donations are accepted.
Address: Dinner Bay Road
21. Bellhouse Provincial Park – Galiano Island
Why not take your picnic to Bellhouse Provincial Park, a scenic small green space attached to the vast ocean, offering panoramic views of the Active Pass, Mayne Island and the strait of Georgia. You can even watch the boats go by!
22. Bluffs Park – Galiano Island
A cool, short hike up to Bluff Park leads to absolutely indescribable views, overlooking other Gulf Islands and the active pass. Once you reach the top you can take in the views, relax and appreciate all the beauty.
Address: Bluff Road On Sturdies Bay Rd., Galiano Island
23. Magic Lake – Pender Island
If you’re looking for the perfect swimming hole, this spot is absolute magic! Locals love it due to its idyllic and quiet location along with the enticingly warm waters and even a diving platform.
Address: Pirates Rd, Pender Island
24. Found Road Trail – Pender Island
A simple forested hike down with a steep finish leads you to a small private beach with some sweet views. The challenge is the way back up! The trail is steep but its a worthwhile experience, especially for those who love nature and discovering new areas.
Address: Canal Rd, Pender Island
25. Enchanted Forest – Pender Island
Enchanted Forests are always magical and exiting and this one does not disappoint! This fun and short hike even has a waterfall! There are a few paths you can take and a pretty view that overlooks the Bedwell Harbor.
Address: Spalding Rd, Pender Island