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Exploring Galiano Island

With only a couple of days on Galiano Island, I had to be strategic about my time. I had arrived just before dinner on a Monday night, hardly the most lively time to step into a small community.

After dropping my bags off at the Galiano Oceanfront Inn and Spa, I walked out to the main road and around the corner to Babes in the Woods, a restaurant whose name I couldn’t resist. But they were closing at 7pm (damn you Monday nights!), so I continued walking, hoping to come across another option. There were none nearby.

Until Mike pulled up.

“Where you going?” he asked.

“I’m trying to find somewhere to eat, but everything seems to be closed.”

“Ah, yes, Monday night.” He paused, thinking. “Well, the place you want to eat is The Crane and Robin, down at the marina. It’s the only restaurant overlooking the water. I’m pretty sure they’re open tonight. Hop in and I’ll take you.”

So off we went, me to The Crane and Robin, him to meet a friend at Montague Harbour beach to watch the sunset. “If you want a ride back, just meet me down on the beach and we can hang out for a bit,” Mike said as he drove off. That sounded good to me.

Stunning view from Montague Harbour on Galiano Island.


Where to Eat on Galiano Island
I sat down and ordered their special, the Jamaican Curry Chickpea Taco, and watched the seagulls swoop around the moored boats and kayaks piled on top of one another in the marina. The tacos were delicious. In fact, I enjoyed everything I ate while I was on the island.

Babes in the Woods has tasty quesadillas, creative pizzas, Asian noodle dishes, tapas and homemade soups. I was surprised to find good Thai food at Wild1 Cookhouse, which has covered outdoor seating (and heaters when it gets cold). I wasn’t able to try the fancier options, but pilgrimme (farm-to-table) and Atrevida Restaurant & Lounge (at the Galiano Inn) are supposed to be top notch.

Delicious tacos at The Crane and Robin.


Kayaking from Galiano Island
After my meal at The Crane and Robin, I walked to Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park to hang with Mike and meet his friend Ron. It turns out, Ron is a kayak instructor and takes people of all ages out on the water. Next time, I thought, I’m definitely going to kayak with Ron. You can also rent kayaks from Galiano Kayaks, based in Montague Harbour.

Art Galleries on Galiano Island
The next day was a rain-in, so I rented a Smart Car from the Galiano Inn and went gallery hopping. I particularly liked Sandra Dolph’s pottery, Marcia DeVicque’s glasswork and Debbie Ritchie’s jewellery.

But I can’t talk about art without mentioning the huge mural at the Galiano Inn. Called Kunamokst Mural (meaning “together” in Chinook jargon and representing unity through diversity), it is an 11 x 21 foot mural painted by 190 artists and is worth checking out, even if you’re not staying at the inn.


Written for Tourism Vancouver Island by Lori Henry.

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