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Gulf Islands - anybody been to Galiano Island?

Gulf Islands - anybody been to Galiano Island?

Jan 8th, 2015, 11:49 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 2,558
Gulf Islands - anybody been to Galiano Island?

I booked a vacation rental on the bay at Active Pass on Galiano Island, hoping to see some whales. It looks like a nice island and I'm getting excited to go there. Does anyone have any input or suggestions for me?
Maggi is offline  
Jan 9th, 2015, 01:08 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Glad to hear you're staying on Galiano! What have you researched so far that appeals to you? What are hoping to do while you're there?
BC_Robyn is offline  
Jan 9th, 2015, 01:12 PM
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(Give me a few ideas of what already appeals to you, and I'll fill in the gaps)
BC_Robyn is offline  
Jan 10th, 2015, 01:49 AM
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give us details on your interests...how long are you there? just want to relax on the island or do you maybe want to do day trips to other islands? walking? hiking? kayaking?
ltt is offline  
Jan 10th, 2015, 12:52 PM
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I have been haunting website with info on Galiano Island and it looks like there are some interesting places to eat out. I do like food shopping and cooking but was told we should probably bring food onto the island - is that true? What is the grocery shopping like on the island as well as liquor and wine? Unfortunately we won't be there on a Saturday or I would go to the farmer's market. We are not avid hikers, but certainly would like to do some easy walking and exploring. Mainly I will be hanging out at the shore hoping to spot some whales. Might even go on a whale watching tour. We're not opposed to visiting other islands is it is worth the trip. We will have a car. Maybe moped rental and/or kayaing (if it is easy - we are novices.)
Maggi is offline  
Jan 22nd, 2015, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Oct 2008
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Galiano Island is pretty limited for food shopping, although if you need something, you can usually buy it on the island, just don't be picky about the brands.

Have you been somewhere so remote and rural, where the only store is a tiny mom and pop type place filled to the rafters, and it also acts as a gas station and the post office and the liquor store? That's Galiano's Corner Store: https://www.facebook.com/thecornerst.../photos_stream. It's endearing and it hasn't changed much over the decades. You will be able to buy liquor and wine there, but I'd imagine the selection is probably basic at best. I'd pick some up before going unless you're really not picky about what you're drinking.

Across the street is the Daystar Market & Cafe, which is a health food/organic store - quality stuff, more expensive, organic, artisanal stuff. The cafe next door serves good, local, seasonal food. Here are photos of the place: http://daystarmarket.com/photos/

There's a Home Hardware store nearby, and a few cafes, restaurants, and a food truck at Sturdies Bay, the little village by the ferry terminal.

When my sister and I and our friends rented a cabin at Bogeda Ridge two years ago in February, we brought all our booze and food with us. We picked up a few things at the General Store and Daystar Market - things we forgot (and I forget what they might have been. Milk? Butter? Fresh bread?). But for our 3 nights there, we brought everything with us.

Also note: Anything sold on Galiano will be more expensive, because it factors in the price of the ferry to get there.

La Berengerie, if it's open, is definitely worth a meal.

Otherwise, most places are easy walks on Galiano. Definitely go to Montague Harbour - spectacular sunsets and white shell midden beaches. There's a short loop trail that starts at the parking lot and takes you around the peninsula - definitely do that. Take some food and a book and make a picnic out of it. You won't see orcas there, but likely river otters (sleek, weasel looking creatures - not sea otters, even though they are in the sea). There are a few white shell beaches to explore around there. You can even rent a boat - well worth it. Definitely one of the best places to visit.

Another tip: pick up a map of the island - they should be available, maybe to purchase (there's a cute little bookstore at Sturdies Bay) but the locally made map points out all waterfront access points, which aren't always obvious if you're driving around.

Bellhouse Provincial Park, again, tiny place, not much to it, but it's one possible orca viewing location, though you'd have to be extremely lucky. You do realize you likely won't see orcas from the shore, right? Unless you stay put and don't move and gaze out all day and night. And even then, it may not happen.

The Galiano Bluffs provides an amazing view over the Gulf Islands, and you drive through a crazy looking rainforest on the route there - like you've gone back in time.

There are sandstone caves somewhere along the westside of the island, and on the west side of the island, if you can find access to the water, are beautiful sandstone eroded coves and cliffs and tidal pools.

By Bodega Ridge, there's a weird "stone gallery" where an stone artist lives - he also has sheep that graze and bleet, kind of like some Neololithic sculpture garden. And nearby, there's access to some trails that I've never hiked, although it's open to the public.

At the very north end of the island, there's a way to access Dionisio Provincial Park, which has more sandstone caves and a famous archaeological site that UBC archaeology students often do terms at. You can't drive to the park, because the road there is actually privately owned and is closed to traffic, but you can walk along that road and access the park, which may interest you.

This should give you a good start.

I think when in doubt, just ask the locals what they'd recommend. They're all passionate about their home.
BC_Robyn is offline  
Jan 24th, 2015, 06:20 PM
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BC Robyn, thank you so much - there is a lot for me to look forward to! I appreciate your taking the time to answer.
Maggi is offline  
Mar 30th, 2015, 09:24 PM
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Sadly, we have had to cancel our trip due to my husband's illness. I hope to be able to follow up on this perhaps next year. Thanks for all the help so far.
Maggi is offline  
Mar 31st, 2015, 04:44 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Sorry to hear you won't be making it this year. Here's hoping you can come next year and enjoy it twice as much because of the wait.
eliztravels2 is offline  
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