Having grown up in Vancouver, I am ashamed to admit I have neglected to visit most of the neighbouring islands that are a mere ferry ride away. Tourists travel from all over the world to explore these islands, so I figured it was about time I added a few of them to my travel bucket list!
After a ton of research, surveying locals and friends, I had a laundry list of things to do on Salt Spring Island. We packed so much into just two days on the island, and I can’t wait to return to explore more.
Read on for amazing things to do on Salt Spring Island, and be inspired to book a trip over to this quaint town off the coast of Vancouver
Salt Spring Wild Cider House
Salt Spring Wild Cider House is a must visit while on the island. Their ciders are made from wild apples grown on the island, and can be found in bars, restaurants and liquor stores all over the province. The owners have made it their mission to offer up traditional english cider, not the sugary “ciders” you used to drink when you were 19..
I still can’t stand the sight of a Peach Growers bottle after one too many hangovers..*shivers*
We tasted 6 delicious ciders, from dry to ginger to elderberry. I loved the unique glassware they used for the tasting, and the location had a cool barn chic vibe to it (not sure if that’s a thing but I’m going with it)..
Salt Spring Island Cheese Company
Have you ever scoured the cheese section at a local grocery store in Vancouver and seen the beautiful flowers pressed a top a round block of goat cheese? I’ve always admired them, but never knew they were made and packed on Salt Spring Island.
Stop by and taste the multitude of jams, jellies and cheeses the company has to offer. Pick up some cheese, crackers, and olives for an oceanfront picnic to enjoy later (with the wine you will soon purchase from Salt Spring Winery).
Salt Spring Island Winery | Mistaken Identity Vineyards | Garry Oaks Estate Winery
I had no idea Salt Spring Island was home to so many wineries! We stopped at Salt Spring Winery and had the place to ourselves. The tasting room is set in an old barn, with a pond and picnic tables spilling out front.
It’s the perfect place to sample wines, and grab a bottle (or 6) to go. The rosé was a fan favourite this year, so if you’re lucky enough to visit when it’s in stock, be sure to grab one! I loved the pinot noir and the blackberry dessert wine made from island berries! An afternoon wine tour should definitely be on your list of things to do on Salt Spring while you’re there!
Salt Spring Island Ales
Beer anyone? This little craft brewery had an awesome tree house vibe to it, set amongst island forestry and tucked away off a dirt road. The brewery has won a plethora of awards for their craft beers, made with organic malt and fresh spring water. Grab a flight and sit outside in the courtyard sampling a few of their house favourites and seasonal ales.
Hike Mount Maxwell
Views on views on views. Mount Maxwell Provincial Park has some incredible views of the neighbouring islands and harbours. You can hike up or drive to the top and hike the trails along the mountain’s rim. Pack some snacks and sit up top to enjoy the views.
Salt Spring Centre of Yoga | Salt Spring Island Wellness Centre | The Nest Hot Yoga
Salt Spring Island has such a zen vibe to it, we NEEDED to find a place to channel that energy with some yoga. We went to Salt Spring Centre of Yoga, and Amy was an incredible teacher with an infectious spirit. Her flow class was more intense than most, and I loved the traditional vibe to the practice. Salt Spring Centre of Yoga hosts retreats as well if you’re interested in immersing yourself further in the practice.
Fernwood Dock & Fernwood Road Cafe
Have a bite to eat at the Fernwood Road Cafe and walk down to the famous red dock on the North end of the island. Enjoy the scenery, do some beach combing, and hang out. This is a great place to sit and read a book and relax.
Salt Spring has some of the cutest artisan shops and boutiques you’ll find in British Columbia. Spend the afternoon wandering around town visiting unique shops you won’t find anywhere else. From home decor, consignment stores, and clothing boutiques, there is something for everyone. Check out my in-depth guide into the shopping on Salt Spring
Sacred Mountain Lavender Farm
Frolicking through lavender fields has been on the bucket list for quite some time. Unfortunately, we visited in September and all the lavender had been harvested. Your best bet to see the lavender in full bloom is to go in July. In season or not, this is still a great place to visit to pick up some lavender, well, anything. Honey, essential oils, soaps, linens. You name it.
Famous Saturday Market
One of the most talked about things to do on Salt Spring Island is visit the Saturday market. From cheeses, to soaps, to home decor, to books, cookware, candles. This is Salt Spring’s claim to fame. If you can visit on a Saturday, I would highly recommend stopping by!
One of the best things to do on Salt Spring Island is simply RELAX. It can be hard to just unwind and chill in the big city, so take the slow pace of the island to heart and chill out.
Grab a Salt Spring Island Coffee and head down to the water! Read a book by the ocean, write in a journal in the park, listen to music while walking along the beaches. There are so many creative spirits on Salt Spring, it can be infectious. I loved easy-going mentality, and it was nice to be amongst people that value creativity over the hustle and bustle of the city. Embrace this and try to take a piece of it home with you.
We visited during the week in September (shoulder season), and it was so nice to get a true sense of what life is like for the locals on this picturesque island. No lines, artisan shops to yourself, space to clear your head. This two day reset on Salt Spring was just what we needed!
I hope this has given you some ideas for things to do on Salt Spring Island. Whether you are visiting for the day or for the week, you’ll leave feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
Thinking about visiting? Feel free to ask questions about things to do on Salt Spring Island!