Sidney, short for Sidney-by-the-Sea, is an inviting seaside town just 30 minutes north of Victoria. Home to the Washington State Ferry terminal and just five minutes south of the BC Ferries terminal, it's worth a stop or even a weekend visit. The streets are lined with independent shops, including a wealth of bookstores—so many, in fact, that Sidney has earned a place as Canada's only official Booktown (www.sidneybooktown.ca). Sidney's parklike waterfront, which houses a marine ecology center as well as cafés, restaurants, and a wheelchair-accessible waterfront path, is a launching point for kayakers, whale-watchers, and ecotour boats heading out to explore the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve offshore.
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