Sometimes, you just know. Know that ultimately, you will “get to that place”. Know it’s on your list of destinations that call to you. Such has been prelude ahead of me going to Salt Spring Island, part of the Southern Gulf Islands in the Greater Vancouver area.
I first heard of Salt Spring Island – and believe it or not – in Japan. Japan!? Yes. It was when I met Prof. Masao Mizuno, and his team at Kanazawa Creative Tourism, that he told me to go Salt Spring Island. “Go there, Elena, whenever you get a chance to visit Western Canada.” I smile. 18 months after he had said that to me, I am here. And finding that he is indeed my missing link for being here: Half of the people I’ve met on Salt Spring Island know him AND are currently expecting him and his friends from Japan on another visit soon!
Salt Spring Island holds part of the same magic it does for me as a first-time visitor: Go there and you will be granted to slow down, smile, and see things differently.
“Salt Spring Island: Discover Yourself Here!”, is the brand message run by the local Salt Spring Tourism board, embodied by driven, capable and very warm-hearted Janet . Go and see her and her team at the Visitor Information Centre for a hand at planning your visit. So how do you even get to Salt Spring in the first place, you may ask?
“Our big focus on Salt Spring Island is ‘Outdoor Recreation’,” Janet says. So why not start your visit with an “Island Escapes” kayak trip?
“We are running a morning tour right now, leaving at 11.45 a.m. It includes cookies & coffee at Chocolate Beach!”, Kevin and his team at Island Escapes Kayak are telling me, welcoming me with a smile. Chocolate Beach? My foodie self is thinking, “Chocolate Fountain!”, while Kevin chooses to keep it a secret for the moment, only deciding to reveal it to us at the very beach itself. I just love my three hour tour on a single kayak in a group of five – and find that I am more and more a natural at kayaking. Check this out.
Next up, Tip Number Two: Go get yourselves on a “Salt Spring Tour” bus exploring what the island has to offer in terms of wine, beer, food & local farm producers.
Jason’s tour is the perfect wrap-up for anyone who wants to explore what Salt Spring Island is all about in a “tasty nutshell”. For being only 10.500 people on an area 27 km long and 14 km wide, the Salt Spring Islander spirit is very much about being resourceful, inventive, driven as well as laid-back. “Tour Salt Spring” offers a taste of all of that spirit and more, expressed through meeting local food & wine/spirit producers. Come take this drive with me …
So where to go for exploring more of that talent? That’s Travel Tip Number Three for you: Go check out the following farms, markets, as well as foodie hot spots on Salt Spring Island.
Morningside Organic Café & Bakery: A story in itself, located in Fulford Harbour. Hastings House for a perfect local food platter, complimented by great Salt Spring wines. Every Tuesday, the island runs a farmers’ market from 2.00 – 6.00 p.m. in the afternoon, rallying up gorgeous local food producers from sea salt, to violet peppers and all the way to lavender ice cream. A foodie fest not to be missed, for sure!
Adding to that, are some interesting facts about the local culture. Tip Number Four is all about keeping your eyes, minds & hearts open …
Finally, my big tip for you is GO & MEET THE ARTISTS. People really are what make Salt Spring Island such a great place to be, visit and stay.
My heart is full of love as I write this. THANK YOU, Darlene & Vaughan: Staying on Salt Spring Island would not have been the same without your tender loving care, and feeling like family with you. Same for you, Ulrieke: I just loved participating in my creative wool workshop with you!
Here is who you, too, should meet or check out on the so-called Salt Spring Studio Tour that takes you on an artful itinerary around the island. Find out more on their website www.SaltSpringStudioTour.com: The same website that got me as a creative traveller interested to come here in the first place!
Ready for going to Salt Spring Island? As if you needed more reasons … Here is the complete photo collection I took while there:
I have also produced a travel video that highlights some of my travel adventures in Western Canada, all the way from Vancouver to the vast open plains east of the Rocky Mountains. A fascinating, funky take on what has truly been a life-changing journey. Enjoy with sound & smile 🙂
See you soon in Salt Spring 😀
Disclaimer: I have been supported by Salt Spring Island Studio Tour & Tourism Board on this creative visit to Salt Spring Island. All opinions are my own.