Looking for a relaxing getaway not too far from Vancouver? Try Salt Spring Island – we did, and it was wonderful!
Salt Spring Island is one of the Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia between Vancouver and Vancouver Island. It is accessible by ferry, but we traveled by Sea Plane for a different perspective. The flight with SaltSpring Air was great and we had fantastic weather so got to see some amazing scenery.
The flight only took about 35 mins from Downtown Vancouver and landed at picturesque Ganges Harbour, just a short walk from our hotel.
We had informed the hotel of our arrival time so they sent someone down to the dock to meet us. We had arrived several hours in advance of our check in so we opted to send our bags on ahead and explore a bit on our own.
First stop – quaint little Tree House Cafe for some breakfast!
After fueling up we set off on a walk to the other side of the island. It was lovely and quiet, but a bit further than we expected so we were pretty knackered by the time we returned and checked in at the beautiful Hastings House.
Our Hillside Suite, overlooking the Harbour, was gorgeous and well-equipped. Also incredibly private and quiet!
We were also very hungry which was good because we were booked in at the Fine Dining Room for dinner. The dining room is set in the historic Manor House, and the Fine Dining is a must experience while visiting Salt Spring Island. It’s famous for Salt Spring Island lamb, but being non-meat eaters we opted for seafood options.
After a scrumptious dinner and impeccable service we returned to our room to find a couple of bunnies on the bed – a nice touch for Easter.
The next morning we woke and enjoyed some coffee on the patio, surrounded by birds and trees before heading to the dining room for breakfast.
We decided to explore the grounds a bit so checked out the view of the harbour and the property’s gardens.
While strolling in the garden we saw little “bugs” whizzing through the air making a buzzing sound. These “bugs” turned out to be hummingbirds and we discovered that feeders had been hung throughout the garden. We grabbed our cameras and found a spot to watch and record them. It was amazing. We had planned on going shopping, but both Susannah and I found the tiny birds absolutely mesmerizing. We watched for about 1.5 hours and enjoyed it so much that we returned the next day for more viewing!
Hummingbirds are super fast and can fly in any direction which makes them hard to photograph. I recommend a very fast shutter speed if you want to stop them in midair. Here are a few shots.
See my full gallery of Hummingbird photos here.
Here’s a short video to show you just how speedy they are.
That evening we wandered Downtown and enjoyed another amazing dinner, this time at Auntie Pesto’s which is located in the Ganges Village right by the water. The meal was outstanding and again we sampled local produce and fresh seafood. So good!
Our last morning came too quickly. We had a few hours before our flight so we decided to stroll through the fields and along the sculpture trail at the edge of the grounds. It’s a short walk but has some cool sculptures as does the Hastings House property itself.
There are a ton of things to do on Salt Spring Island – lots of artisans and workshops, health and wellness retreats (Hastings House has a spa on site), and adventure activities. We went with no definitive plan and although interested in many activities and sights, we basically stayed in the Ganges Harbour area. The Hastings House Country Hotel property is vast and quiet and we found our getaway there to be just what we were looking for. We had such a slow paced, relaxing time – I think it is fair to say that neither of us wanted to go home.
Once again we were treated to a lovely SaltSpring Air scenic flight home. It was awesome to be so close and arrive home so stress-free.
I’d definitely recommend Salt Spring Island for a few days away. Check out this website for everything you need to know about Salt Spring and plan your own Island getaway.