Gulf Islands National Park Reserve of Canada

Explorer Quotient

Authentic Explorer | Cultural Explorer | Cultural History Buff | Free Spirit | Gentle Explorer | No-hassle Traveller | Personal History Explorer | Rejuvenator | Virtual Traveller

Personal History Explorer

View of the Pender Island Museum and beach Visit the Pender Island Museum at Roesland, North Pender Island
© Parks Canada / Chris Cheadle

You travel to gain a deeper understanding of your ancestry and heritage. Your travel tends to be a shared experience, both during and after the trip. You feel safer when you stay at branded hotels and prefer to travel in style, comfort and security. You like to visit all of the important landmarks, so a carefully planned schedule, often as a part of group tours, ensures experiences of a lifetime.

Enjoy the serenity of the Gulf Islands and bond with your family on a boat captained by a knowledgeable expert. Treat yourself and your nearest and dearest to a guided excursion and visit some of the park’s tried and true destinations. From a historic Hawaiian homestead to a fabled fog alarm building, the park offers many places to immerse yourself in the lore of eras gone by.

Take sanctuary on a weekend at a local resort. Stay in a cozy oceanfront cottage, pamper yourself at a local spa, dine on local fare at a west coast restaurant and enjoy the peace and quiet of the surrounding park reserve.

Check out the viewpoints and interpretive signs found throughout the park reserve. In this storied area, you can uncover clues from the past such as historical tidbits, maps and archival photos.

If you want to dig a little deeper before or after your visit, read one of the many historical or cultural books on the area such as Saltwater People (as told by Dave Elliot Sr. by Janet Poth) or Maria Mahoi of the Islands (by Jean Barman).

For the Personal History Explorer, we suggest…

If these walls could talk... – Step back in time at Roesland (North Pender Island) where you can see the original log cabins that were once part of a popular vacation destination and take a walk through the Pender Island Museum. Or, visit the recently renovated Fog Alarm Building at East Point on Saturna Island, chat with a local volunteer and hear tale tales of the islands.

Sidney Stroll with a view – Admire stunning views of the park while strolling the waterfront boardwalk in Sidney. Stop in at the nearby shops for coffee or ice-cream, or take some time to browse the second hand bookshops. On Thursday evenings in the summer, drop by the famous outdoor market.

Scenic road trip – Drive to the top of Mt. Warburton Pike on Saturna Island and enjoy the breathtaking bird’s eye view. Or, cruise along the stunning ocean-side road to East Point on Saturna Island where you will find an unparalleled view of the Strait of Georgia (and your best chance to spot a whale from land).

Sniff, sip and savour – Cap off an afternoon stroll through the park with a leisurely lunch, followed by a wine tour and tasting at a local winery.

Get out to sea – How better to experience the Gulf Islands than to relax on a boat captained by a knowledgeable expert? Treat your family to a guided excursion and visit some of the top destinations in the park. You can see eagles, otters, seals and maybe even a whale!