Gulf Islands © BCIT School of Business International Exchange Program
Tucked in the Strait of Georgia, in between Vancouver Island and the mainland, are the picturesque Gulf Islands. More than a dozen of these long, thin islands, and numerous islets, can be found on Canada's West Coast and each island has its own character and beauty, making them well worth a visit.
The islands are home to artists, writers, retirees, and those seeking a more community-based lifestyle, with many Vancouverites escaping to holiday homes tucked in the rainforest. Large parts of the islands have been designated as marine parks, preserving the land for the numerous native birds and animals.
Bowen Island is only a 20-minute ferry ride from West Vancouver's Horseshoe Bay and visitors can enjoy a stroll from Snug Harbour, past the historic Union Steamship Company store, grab a bite to eat, or take a walk in the Crippen Regional Park.
Galiano Island is the second biggest of the group and is about the size of Manhattan Island in New York. Only 50 minutes away on the Tsawassen Ferry on the Lower Mainland, Galiano Island draws all sorts of visitors who come to picnic in Bellhouse Park; take a walk through the lush rainforest up to Bluffs Park to enjoy spectacular views of neighbouring Islands; indulge in a spot of fishing, kayaking, or golf; or visit one of the local galleries or shops. Many of the islands host events and festivals each year, where the community spirit and laidback atmosphere typical of the Gulf Islands is evident.