Salt Spring Island is a gorgeous destination off the west coast of Canada known for rustic charm and rugged natural beauty. The laid back vibe makes this the perfect place to get some R&R, check out the local artists and enjoy great food and drinks along the way. Keep reading for 10 unbelievable things to do in Salt Spring Island!
Hike to the Top of Mount Erskine
Mount Erskine is a relatively short hike that will reward you with jaw dropping views of the Gulf Islands. Covering about 4 km (out and back) and gaining 390 meters of elevation; it will get your heart pumping just enough to make you feel like you`ve earned that panoramic view from the top. The most direct route is called “The Assault Route” (its not thattt bad) but there are also numerous other ways to get to the top from other trails on Salt Spring Island. For more information; CLICK HERE.
Have Tapas and a Flight at Salt Spring Wild Cider House
On top of being exceptionally charming; this cidery is home to some outstanding food and drinks! They have several creative cider flavors that you can sample AND a menu that doesn`t disappoint. With fantastic vegan and gluten free options; you can`t go wrong at the Salt Spring Wild Cider House.
Rejuvenate in the Salty Pear Sauna
If you`re looking for the best place to relax, refresh and take in the Salt Spring Island vibe; you do not want to miss The Salty Pear Sauna! This adorable little barrel is set out in the woods and can be rented by the hour for a very reasonable price.
Explore the Lavender Fields
Walking through blossoming lavender fields couldn`t be a truer representation of this free spirited island. There are now two lavender farms on Salt Spring; Lavender & Black and the original Sacred Mountain Lavender. They both have great shops that sell soaps, oils, and other products which come directly from the farm!
Go Shopping in Ganges
Ganges is the main village on the island. The small streets are lined with shops, restaurants and local artists selling their unique souvenirs. The harbor is usually bustling with local fishermen and seals playing around the docks. On Tuesdays and Saturdays you will find it extra busy due to the famous farmers market. Shop here for everything from fresh local produce and herbs to pottery, art, and clothing.
Camp at Ruckle Provincial Park
The majestic cliffs of Ruckle Provincial Park were one of my favorite places to explore on Salt Spring Island. You could walk around for hours on the small trails leading to different viewpoints along 7 kilometers of rocky shoreline. Make sure to reserve a camping spot well in advance, or try your luck with the first come first serve section.
Try One (or Four) of the Best Ice Cream Sundays Ever
I know what your thinking.. “the best sunday ever?.. that seems a touch dramatic.” You`re just going to have to trust me on this one; they really are that good. And did I mention they`re 100% vegan?! Salt Spring Soft Serve is located in a food truck along the main street in Ganges. Just go.. you can thank me later.
Watch the Sunset from Mount Maxwell
Mount Maxwell is an iconic viewpoint of Salt Spring Island. You can choose to hike or drive to the top for incredible views of the Gulf Islands and the sunrise or sunset. TIP: The road is a bit rough so I wouldn`t recommend attempting it in a small car.
Eat Dinner at The Tree House Cafe
The Tree House Cafe is a local favorite with a great atmosphere and live music most nights of the week! It is actually built around an old tree and the food is to die for.
Take A Bio Luminescent Kayak Tour
Seeing the bio luminescence in the ocean has been a bucket list item for me since I can remember. I always assumed I had to go somewhere tropical to experience this jaw dropping phenomenon. Who would have guessed that Salt Spring Island has bio luminescence in the ocean for the entire summer?!
Our tour was through Salt Spring Adventure Co. and we had a fantastic experience! We met at 8:30 pm and went over all the safety information about sea kayaking. As we began paddling into the ocean a seal swam right past us! We kayaked for around 45 minutes out to a small island and docked on the beach for some hot chocolate and cookies; returning back to the harbor at 11:30 PM.
Check Out The Local Artists
Grab a map from the information center in Ganges and set out on a self guided tour of the artists shops and studios around the island. This is a great way to get a glimpse into the culture and local life around Salt Spring.