Welcome to what the Washington Post has called “the coolest island in Canada.” Life on the most populated (just over 10,000 full-time residents) of the Gulf Islands is centred in Ganges Village, a bustling harbour town known for its shops, galleries, restaurants and a legendary Saturday market where everything is made, baked or grown on Salt Spring Island. Peace and pastoral quiet is the norm elsewhere on this postcard-scenic refuge. Hike Mount Maxwell’s cli side trail, picnic at Beddis Beach, dine by the water in Fulford Harbour and tour the island on two wheels.
Visit spas, yoga studios and a wellness centre for spiritual rejuvenation on this “healing island.” Drop into the Visitor Centre (open year-round) for details on the North End and South End loop studio tours. Then relax and stay awhile in a resort, one of dozens of B&Bs or after pitching a tent oceanside near Ruckle Heritage Farm, BC’s oldest working farm. Now renowned as an unparalleled foodie and boutique shopping destination, Salt Spring can be reached via three ferry terminals, float planes and after sailing here by pleasureboat and tying up in one of 300 marina slips.
Salt Spring Island Through the eyes of the travellers
Things to do on Salt Spring Island
- Welcome to the unofficial arts capital of the Gulf Islands. Such is Salt Spring’s international reputation that author John Villani named the island one of the top-10 art destinations (population under 30,000) in North America. Pick up a map of 30-plus home studios at the Ganges Visitor Centre (with its signature orange door).
- Local arts and crafts are available daily throughout the summer at the Salt Spring Arts Council’s cooperative ArtCraft gallery. Nearby in Ganges is ArtSpring, an intimate venue for music, theatre and dance performances staged throughout the year.
- Shop, people-watch and mingle with the colourful crowd at the legendary Saturday Market in Ganges from Easter weekend to the last Saturday in October. More than 140 vendors offer nothing but items made, grown or baked on Salt Spring.
- Immerse yourself in wellness with spa treatments, yoga and fitness on the “healing island.” A vast variety of experienced, certified practitioners are available to help visitors rejuvenate and restore themselves.
- Discover the refined pleasures of locally grown and prepared food at any of the island’s relaxed restaurants, cafes and pubs. Take home canvas shopping bags packed with artisan breads, cheeses, salmon, lamb, apples, hazelnuts, beer and wine – all produced locally.
- The Salt Spring Fall Fair is one highlight on a lively annual community events calendar that also includes the Working Boat Festival, Christmas on Salt Spring, Annual Pride Festival, the Eco-Living and Home Tour, Ruckle Park Day, the Round Salt Spring Sailing Race, Sip & Savour Salt Spring Harvest Food and Drink Festival, the Organic Apple Festival, Sea Capers and Halloween Spooktacular.