Salt Spring Island is the largest and most highly populated island in British Columbia's Gulf Islands chain. It is also the most visited island in the chain, and this has a lot to do with its renowned art scene. Shopping at the island's galleries can be a great way to spend some time, and you might even try to plan your visit around ArtCraft. This annual art-based event starts in May, and it runs clear through to mid-September. There's also WinterCraft, which offers arts and crafts shows of its own during the two weeks leading up to Christmas. In addition to arts and craft shows, these annual events feature gallery exhibitions of considerable quality, as well as visual arts performances and a variety of other things to do and see.
Shopping for arts and crafts and enjoying special arts events aren't the only ways to stay busy while visiting Salt Spring Island. Strolling along the scenic Salt Spring Island Granges Harbor can be a joy, and if you're up for a walk through nature, you can consider taking to the island's hiking trails. There are numerous hiking trails that wind their way across the island, and they include the trails on Mt. Maxwell. This mountain peaks out at around 1,950 feet, and you can hike all the way to the top if you please. It is also possible to drive to the top of Mt. Maxwell if you are more interested in saving your energy. Either way, the views will be rewarding. Among the things that you can see from the top of Mt. Maxwell is the higher Mt. Bruce and nearby Vancouver Island. The recreational trails on Salt Spring Island also cater to mountain bikers, it is worth noting, so you can also add that to your possible list of things to do.
When looking for ways to keep busy during your Salt Spring Island visit, you can consider booking a sailing excursion or enjoying a kayak tour. Other tours can see you birding, taking a carriage ride in the main island community of Ganges, or learning more about the food and art history of the island. When you're not taking a fun and interesting tour on Salt Spring Island, teeing it up on the Blackburn Meadows Golf Course can be just one more way to fill your time. This 9-hole, links-style golf course is well maintained, and rental clubs are available. The club also offers a driving range and a small clubhouse where you can relax with friends old or new over snacks and beverages. March through the end of October is when the Blackburn Meadows Golf Course is open.
No discussion about Salt Spring Island would be complete without mentioning the Village Market. This market in Ganges operates on Saturdays between mid-March and the last Saturday of October. The hours are 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., rain or shine. At the Village Market on Salt Spring Island, you can enjoy a vibrant farmers market atmosphere. Local farmers show up in force to sell fresh produce, and they are joined by artists and craftspeople who have plenty to sell themselves. It's a delightful affair all the way around, and as such, it is largely responsible for attracting people to the island during the warmer season.
Salt Spring Island sits just off the Vancouver Island coast in the Strait of Georgia. Also found within the region is the bustling city of Vancouver, which adds to the island's popularity with tourists. Should you be interested in taking a break from the big city and venturing over for some Salt Spring Island fun, you can take a ferry from the mainland at Tsawwassen. The ferries arrive at the Salt Spring Island Granges Harbor. This harbor also sees recreational boaters drifting in to claim one of the spots at the marinas. Flying to the island is also an option, as seaplanes link it to Vancouver. Several flights between the two destinations are offered on a daily basis.
Once you figure out how you are going to get to Salt Spring Island, you might start looking for a place to stay, although day trips are possible. The Salt Spring Island hotels include numerous bed and breakfast inns, and if you like to be pampered, a stay at the Salt Springs Spa Resort is worth considering. This resort at 1460 North Beach Road features cozy chalets with jetted tubs, wood fireplaces, kitchens, and barbecues. On the spa side of things, the treatments include holistic body, fitness, and beauty therapies.
One of the other top-rated Salt Spring Island hotels is the Hastings House, which offers relatively luxurious guest units and plenty of elegant charm. Found at 160 Upper Granges Road, this elegant hotel also features a spa, and the concierge services can come in handy when looking for information on activities, local restaurants, and more. As for the bed and breakfasts, Anne's Oceanfront Hideaway B&B is among the best. This waterfront inn at 168 Simson Road enjoys a fine location, and the rooms are more than luxurious enough for most.
It's not all about the hotels on Salt Spring Island. There's also Salt Spring Island vacation rentals to choose from. You can find cottages, condos, and private homes for rent on this 70-square-mile island, and most offer a healthy array of amenities. Fully equipped kitchens are among the most common and welcoming amenities that the Salt Spring Island vacation rentals have to offer.