The Chambers of Commerce from Galiano, Mayne, Pender, Saturna, and Salt Spring have been ‘island hopping’ this spring, encouraging local residents to shop, eat, and stay where their hearts are. Because our communities are interconnected, supporting our neighbour islands strengthens our region as a whole. Our next stop on this Southern Gulf Islands tour is Galiano Island: tag along!
Known as the gem of the Salish Sea, Galiano Island boasts an impressive list of trails and some of the most creative food west of the mainland. Find cliffside views, views, and more views with a visit to the Bluffs, a hike up Mount Galiano, or by exploring Bodega Ridge Provincial Park. Meander the shoreline at one of the island’s 69 shore access points or with an afternoon at Montague Harbour Marine Provincial Park, with its white shell beaches, open meadows, and tidal lagoons. Or adventure to an isolated refuge with incredible sandstone formations at Dionisio Point Provincial Park which is accessible by water only.
If you’re a wildlife enthusiast, you’re in luck! Galiano is in the flight path of many migratory birds and islanders have sighted over 150 species. Hang out near Active Pass, which has been designated an “Important Bird Area” for global conservation, and spot some for yourself. Check for eagle’s nests at Bellhouse Provincial Park. While you’re there, stop to enjoy The Whale Trail, look for Southern Resident Killer Whales and Humpback Whales and learn from the interpretive panels.
Nourish yourself after all that islandeering at one of the island’s many food outlets. The iconic Hummingbird Pub will have you singing across the island on the “Hummingbird Pub Bus” ride from the Montague Marina and Park. Find hole-in-the-wall gems in Sturdies Bay at Oxeye Café and Babes in the Woods. On Fridays, catch take-out sushi at the Galiano Garage, a local secret. Eat pizza to your heart’s content at Charmer and La Leña. Finish it off with a sweet treat, ice cream at Scoops or baked goods from Sturdies Bay Bakery, or both!
Make sure to stop by some of the islands long-time artisans to see Gulf Island creativity on full display. Galiano Island Soap Works offers facial and body products, candles and soaps, with most made right on the farm. Learn about the infamous “galirondack chairs” at Bodega North Woodworks. Peruse a beautiful outdoor gallery of both usable dishes as well as art at Cedar Grove Gallery. Find a fabulous hidden collection of paper goods, spices, and teas in the Post Office, at The Loose Leaf Tea & Papery. It just might take a few visits to see it all.
On our final island hop, we’ll explore Mayne Island. Stay tuned to learn how we can support its unique character. Inspired yet? Island hop for yourself at the upcoming Tour des Iles, happening June 24-26.