There is always something happening on Salt Spring Island, in British Columbia’s Gulf Islands. It’s nature enthusiast’s paradise, complete with endless blossoms in the spring, seemingly endless days during the summer, fall harvests and winter festivals. Surrounded by miles of waterways, what sets Salt Spring apart is its status as an artsy town, as its residents include farmers with artisanal delights, musicians, writers, crafters, painters and other talented individuals. To get to Salt Spring Island in your private jet, fly to Vancouver International Airport or the King George Airpark. Make your way to Tsawwassen and take the Long Harbor-Tswwassen ferry to the island. Alternatively, you may charter a floatplane to the Ganges Water Aerodrome.
Hastings House Country House Hotel
A country house modeled after an 11th-century Sussex manor, Hastings House is a tranquil 22-acre seaside estate with historic character and guest rooms that will remind you of the English countryside thanks to its harbor views, gardens and meadows. The rooms are outfitted with fireplaces, antiques and woodwork crafted by local artists. The most popular accommodations include the intimate, two-room Post Cottage and the suites in the Farmhouse, which overlook the Ganges Harbor. The rates at Hastings House include a sumptuous breakfast and afternoon tea. The dinners in the manor house or on the veranda are equally wonderful with local seafood and herbs from the property’s garden.
A 120-acre organic farm on the way to Mount Maxwell, Foxglove Farm sits on one of Salt Spring’s oldest homesteads. Accommodations include a restored log house, a cozy cabin and isolated cottage with features like claw-foot tubs, full kitchens, traditional quits and farm-fresh treats.
If you wish to stay in a location closer to town, check into Hedgerow House, which is a five-minute walk from shops, cafes, restaurants and the Saturday Market. The inn’s Garden Room has its own private entrance and patio. You also have the option of booking the whole house, which can accommodate up to nine guests. The bed and breakfast serves three-course morning meals on your patio or balcony, or in the breakfast room or garden.
Located on the village’s waterfront boardwalk, Auntie Pesto’s is open for lunch and dinner from Monday to Saturday. The restaurant is open on Sunday evenings during the summer. Shawn Walton, a Red Seal chef, sources the ingredients from the kitchen’s garden, as well as local growers and artisans. Popular menu items include homemade soup, duck comfit with ravioli stuffed with pear and gorgonzola, and beef tenderloin with a port demi-glace.
A favorite among wine enthusiasts and couples looking for a romantic setting, House Piccolo is open for dinner from Wednesday to Sunday. The menu features seasonal ingredients prepared with international twists. Try the velvety soft venison grand veneur, lamb rib chops, or the catch of the day.
Salt Spring Island is home to several walking and hiking trails. If you are an experienced hiker, the trails at Bruce Peak and Mount Tuam will reward you with the best views of the island. Those who prefer easier trails enjoy Burgoyne Bay or Reginald Hill for their water views. For a different type of view, don’t miss the Sculpture Trail at the Hastings House Country House Hotel.
Salt Spring Island is home to a craft ale brewery, two cheese makers, three wineries, boutique coffee roasters and artisan bakers. You’ll also find farm stands speckled throughout the island. Hire a car service to hit the favorite hotspots.
Salt Spring Studio Tour
Add to your art collection with help from the Salt Spring Studio Tour. The tour takes you to 28 studios where you can watch artists at work as they craft jewelry, weave linens, paint handcrafted wooden sculptures, and more. The unique experience gives you access to hands-on demonstrations and chances to mingle with the artists.