To celebrate our anniversary, and to have one last getaway before our wedding, Chris and I hopped on a ferry to Salt Spring Island. I had been to a few other Gulf Islands before (my old family cabin being on Mayne Island), but never to Salt Spring Island and we were excited to try something new.
We stayed at Cedar Beach Resort which is a mixture of campgrounds, R.V. parks and cabins. We decided to rent a cabin for 2 nights. It was nice and secluded with a view of the lake. The cabin that we rented had one bedroom, one bathroom a kitchen and a little living area. It was perfect for the two of us.
Things to Do
There were so many things to do while we were there. To start, we went to the famous Saturday Market. There was so much to see, try and buy and it was all local. It was so neat to see so many different things. We went a bit late, but I would recommend going earlier in the morning. The only reason I say this is to ensure that you get parking! We drove around for a long time trying to find a spot.
On Salt Spring, there is a large culture for craft drinks. We went to Salt Spring Shine Craft Distillery where all the spirits are made from honey. We did a tasting of vodka, gin, moonshine and apple moonshine (which we ended up taking home).
Next, we tried the Salt Spring Island Ales brewery. It was very small, but the beer tasted great. We tried a flight of five beers. I am not a beer drinker but even I enjoyed them. It’s safe to say we didn’t leave here empty handed either.
We ended our drinking tour at the two wineries on the island. They are located pretty close together but each offers something completely different. First was Garry Oaks Estate Winery which was traditional. It had a tasting room beside the vineyards and was very beautiful. Next was Salt Spring Vineyards & Tasting Room which had more of the island feel. The tasting room was located in a barn and there was a little garden you could go eat in. It was definitely smaller but worth checking out.
After all that alcohol, we wanted some food. We made our way to the Salt Spring Island Cheese Company where they specialize in artisan goat cheese. You get to try all the different types of cheeses they make. Our favourites were the garlic and the flower. We also spotted some Salt Spring Kitchen Co. jam that we had to get as well!
Chris and I made the drive to Sacred Mountain Lavender. It is a farm that houses multiple lavender fields. It was stunning and smelled amazing. Not only can you walk through the fields (which look the best when they are in full bloom) but you can buy your fill of lavender products in their little shop.
We were told that the views on Salt Spring Island were unreal, so we had to make sure to check them out. We drove to Ruckle Provincial Park, which is also a campground, to do a scenic walk. There are pathways all along the water where you can find sea life everywhere. We stopped for a while to spot starfish and sea anemones, as well as watch a sea lion play in the ocean.
Places to Eat
There are so many amazing places to eat on Salt Spring Island, we didn’t even make a dent. I would go back just to eat more. Chris and I found the BEST BLTs on a bagel in T J Beans. It’s a tiny little coffee shop with minimal seating, but the food (and the coffee) are amazing.
We went to Moby’s Pub for lunch. It was quiet at the time we went but the views of the ocean, while we ate, was breathtaking. We both ordered fish and chips and they did not disappoint. As this is one of the few places open late on the island, I could see this place being a lot of fun at night. Views of the ocean, pub atmosphere and a pool table to boot.
However, my favourite meal by far was from Oystercatcher Seafood Bar and Grill. It is not very busy, but the food was unreal. We sat on the upstairs patio with an obstructed view of the water. Surprisingly, we were the only people up there. We started with oysters (because, duh!) before moving on to our entrees. I ordered lobster and prawn ravioli and Chris ordered the ribs. The food was so flavourful and delicious, I would go back and order the same thing again and again. We wanted to enjoy a dessert as well, so we ordered the mini donuts with a caramel and strawberry sauce. It tasted like the iconic donuts from the PNE. It was heaven.
If you haven’t been to Salt Spring Island, I highly recommend that you do. There is something for everybody there whether you want a relaxing weekend, a girl’s trip, or a bit of romance!