Common menu bar links

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


Two figures doing yoga poses on the beach during sunset East Point, Saturna Island
© Parks Canada / Josh McCulloch

For you, travel is a chance to totally disconnect and just “get away from it all.” All you want to do is rest, recharge and renew. You usually take short vacations to familiar destinations, often for family visits and celebrations. While you might seek out destinations with a few interesting things to see and do, you don’t want overly-hectic schedules of events. After all, travel is meant to be relaxing, not extra work!

Enjoy a place where tranquility and magnificent scenery are just a step away from all the amenities of modern life. Spoil yourself and your nearest and dearest on a weekend of extravagance at a local resort. Stay in a cozy oceanfront cottage, pamper yourself at a nearby spa, dine on local fare at a west coast restaurant and enjoy the peace and quiet of a stroll through the surrounding park.

Disconnect from daily life and get a real breath of fresh air on Saturna Island, just a short BC ferry “cruise” away from Sidney or Vancouver. Head to East Point where a short ramble down the beautiful grassy headland takes you to an unparalleled view of the Strait of Georgia. You may spot a whale or even a whale pod. Cap off your afternoon with a leisurely lunch, followed by a wine tour and tasting at a local winery.

Don’t miss the Gulf Islands answer to a tropical paradise— Sidney Spit. Lie back on your beach blanket and be transported to the tropics by the warm sandy beaches and inviting blue waters. Pick up a gourmet picnic from a local bistro and catch up on your favourite book.

For the Rejuvenator,we suggest…

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!

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.

Cosy campfire sing-a-long – Gather the gang around a crackling campfire at McDonald campground, a lush forest setting only minutes away from Sidney and Victoria. Roast some marshmallows, tell your scariest ghost stories and sing your favourite campfire songs.

Get away from it all – A peaceful forest trail leads you down onto a beautiful rocky point, surrounded by crystal clear turquoise waters and tall echoing cliffs. Take a seat, breathe in the clean forest air and admire your stunning surroundings at Narvaez Bay on Saturna Island.

One-day wonders – Pack the picnic basket for a new family adventure each weekend: Sidney Spit – make sandcastles; Mt. Warburton Pike – bring a blanket and spot a goat; East Point – hear sea lions; Winter Cove– watch the water do tricks; Roesland– take a family photo on the point at Roe Islet.