If you’re looking for an island getaway close to Vancouver, then look no farther than Salt Spring Island. Salt Spring is the largest of the Gulf Islands, located off the coast from Vancouver, B.C. The islands are accessible by B.C. Ferries, which offer different options for times depending on your days of travel. If you’re lucky you might even catch a spectacular sunset.
A trip to Salt Spring is best planned around the Saturday market which happens between April and October. This market is one of the largest in Canada, with all vendors having to “make it, bake it, or grow it”. The market takes place in the heart of the main city, Ganges, close to shops and restaurants. There is definitely something for everyone here!
Heading south from Ganges you will find picturesque Cusheon Lake…a quick stop on the way to Ruckle Provincial Park.
Ruckle Lake Provincial Park is a must see on Salt Spring. The meandering trails take you through forests and meadows to breath-taking views along the shoreline. Keep an eye out for sea lions and whales, or explore tidal pools with colourful starfish, as well as crabs, mussels, limpets and more. There is camping available here for both tents and campers, as well as numerous areas with picnic tables for day use.
The area at Ruckle Park was originally owned and farmed by an Irish immigrant, Henry Ruckle, who homesteaded here in 1872. Although much of the original land was donated to create the park, the remaining private land is still farmed and used to raise sheep. Today the Ruckle Farm is the oldest working farm in the province.
After you’ve explored Ruckle Provincial Park continue to Fulford Harbour and stop for a bite to eat at Rock Salt Restaurant. This restaurant has great food and fantastic views looking out over the harbour.
Heading back north we found a beautiful stone church. This church was founded in 1878 and is the oldest church on Salt Spring Island.
There was time for one more stop before arriving back in Ganges so we stopped at Salt Spring Vineyards for some wine tasting and to enjoy the view out over the vineyards. Along the same road you will also find Garry Oaks Estate Vineyard, as well as Salt Spring Ales….something for every palate.
The next day we drove around the northern part of the island. We stopped at Salt Spring Wild Cider and tried some unique blends of cider including Elderberry, Hopped Apricot, and Ginger Root.
On the northern part of the island, you will find Mineral Springs Resort. The resort is located near the mineral springs that originally gave the island its name. This property has rooms with soaker tubs where you can relax and enjoy the rejuvenating spring water. With ocean views and beach access this might be a place worth checking out for our next visit.
Our two days away had been the perfect getaway…filled with walks, a winery, and well-being! Salt Spring Island should definitely be on everyone’s list of island destinations.
Salt Spring Island can be reached from either the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal near Vancouver, B.C., or from Victoria B.C. on Vancouver Island. Reservations are highly recommended if travelling from the Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal. Ganges is the main town and where you will find the majority of accommodations, restaurants, cafes, and shopping. Drive with care on the island as deer do live here and will often jump out from the side of roads.